Ahhh Japan. It’s not yet my last post for the country but I know that you guys are just lounging around on Sundays and actually have the time read through a long text! Japan is my new favourite city. I love it there sooooo much that I actually wanna live there. haha! Everything about the place is amazing and even if I use all the flowery words I know, it will not suffice to describe how awesome it is… so you have to see it for yourself. So when you do decide to go, here are 20 tips I got during my stay there! I hope it helps :)
1. Do not land in Nagoya if you intend to stay in Tokyo. This was the mistake Ben and I made because we had to spend so much on bullet trains to get from one place to the other but the good thing is we got to see three cities in a span of 6 days! Land in Tokyo if you intend to stay there but land in Osaka if you wanna go to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.
2. A JR Rail Pass is essential. The pass is valid on all JR rails which means you get to use the pass to go everywhere or just add a little bit for private rails. You can even go to Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo! You just can’t use it on the shinkansen trains but that I recommend to experience at least once.
3. Research ahead on the places you want to go – how to get there, how much money & time you need and make an itinerary. We didn’t get to go to a lot of places because we didn’t do this so you should! haha
4. Subscribe to Smart’s #AllSurfAbroad for only 450 or 550 pesos. Read more here.
5. If you’re a group, it’s better to rent an apartment since it’s cheaper. We only paid 8,000 pesos each for 6 days! Yup, but of course there are downsides to it like a small space, no necessities and it can be dirty, too. But it’s fun to stay in one house with a group of friends and experience being a local together!
6. But if you’re only a couple or a small family, then I recommend a hotel. Look for one that’s walking distance from a train station though. If you can actually spend at least 4,000-5,000 pesos a night on a hotel, then go for it. If you’re a couple, that’s only 2,000 or 2,500 pesos each a night. Still really affordable for a hotel!
7. Google maps will be your best friend. It saved our lives! haha
8. If google maps fail you, don’t be afraid to ask station masters or locals. Japanese
people are actually the nicest locals I’ve met! They helped us get to a lot of places! :) Most of them do or try to speak english too.
9. Taxis are very expensive – make the most out of trains and buses. If you can, rent a bike. There was one time when we paid 1,000 yen for a 3 block ride. So use trains and buses all the time! Though the last trip is at 12:30 am.
10. For best local food experience, try places that locals line up in. It will almost never fail you.
11. Restaurants in central train stations have the best local food. I’ve tried the best noodles, tempura and gyoza in a train station!
12. Don’t be scared to try those hole in the wall small restaurants because you’ll be surprised that’s actually better than the commercialised ones. They even have eat all you can for about a 1000 yen for a span of time. Make the most out of that too!
13. Food from vending machines and convenience stores are actually good. REAALLY GOOD. Our first meal in Japan was form 711 and the taste is the same as the local Japanese restaurant food we have here. No kidding.
14. Check the weather daily to know what to wear but bring a light jacket just incase.
15. You will do a lot of walking in Japan so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. There was one time Ben and I walked for 22 minutes so be ready! haha
16. Local brands are actually resonable and European & American brands there are cheaper than any Asian country I’ve been to so you can shop. Try Harajuku for Tokyo and Osu Kannon in Nagoya for local brands. H&M, Zara, Forever 21 and especially Uniqlo are must see stores too!
17. Japan is known for second hand Designer shops so if you have the budget, check it out.
18. Bring a power bank everywhere if you plan to stay out the whole day. Because you’ll be using google maps and your 3g the whole day to get around, your battery will drain up so make sure you bring one! If you fail to though, their istores have charging stations where you can leave your phone for 30 minutes or so. They’re lockers so they’re safe!
19. Most historical sites are in Kyoto. GOOOOO. It’s worth it. Please? Please believe me on this!!!!!!!
20. Have fun, enjoy yourself, try to meet locals and don’t forget to eaaaat!!!!!!
Dress from STYLE STAPLE, Necklace from SM ACCESSORIES