Glad to be writing again. Gonna share ALMOST EVERYTHING about my trip to Japan. Just want to pen down the interesting sights and hope it provides some info for you Wanderlust peepo. Actually, I intended to make vlogs, yes just when I finally have the balls to really make one, I discovered that most of the videos that I've taken during my solo trip were only screenshots (because my phone ran out of memory). FML to only realize this now T T I've been grieving all day coz I spent most of my time taking videos and so I don't have much photos to share :( Will try to make the most of what I have here.
So let's begin!
8 - 9 May 2017 Singapore > Bangkok > Tokyo
I stayed for 15D14N in Japan, where the first 7 days were spent in Tokyo with my bunch and the remaining 8 days in Kansai region, alone. (Yay first solo trip checked!) Flew from Singapore to Tokyo and from Osaka back to Singapore via Thai Airways. (Will share more about the flight tickets at the end of the post) Therefore, both departure and return journey includes a overnight stopover at Bangkok Airport. So we pretty much spent an extra day before arriving at our AirBnB in Shinjuku.
Time to fly.
Sorry I must share this, this is like my first time having such sumptuous in-flight meals. The dinner roll and croissant with one whole chunk of butter was heaven T T
After a 2-hour flight, 10 hours of sleeping on a recliner with constant public announcements bombarding my ears, another 6-hour flight and another hour stuck in immigration, we finally arrived at Sushi Land.
9 May 2017 Narita > NishiShinjuku Gochome
This Friendly Airport Limousine, 3100yen, provides transport to various areas of Tokyo and stops at major hotels. Our bus was bound for Shinjuku and we stopped at Hilton Tokyo, which is the closest stop to our BnB. (When we got off the bus, Hilton's bell boys thought we were hotel guests and almost grabbed our luggage LOL) Our BnB is a 2 room apartment located at Nishishinjuku Gochome. Subway station within 5 minutes, plenty of convenience stores and restaurants nearby. I love how this place is so conveniently located but away from the busy and crowded district of Shinjuku. The house has pretty much everything you need, from microwaves to teacups. Really had this go-back-to-my-own-home feeling at the end of every day. I'm sorry I have no photos of the place, but honestly I don't see why I have to, because the place is exactly what its AirBnB webpage says.
Our transport to the city center from Narita Airport.
Photos from AirBnB. Yes this is how homey our place is.
Dinner - Fukuraya Syokudo
After dropping our massive luggage at our BnB, finally have the time to really breathe in some air and convince myself that I am really in Tokyo! Head out to the streets, enjoyed the pleasantly chilly weather and checking out restaurants to fill our tummies. There's really no need to worry about food here, loads to choose from! We didn't look too hard and found ourselves a very decent restaurant that serves delicious and hearty meals.
Address: Japan, 〒160-0023 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku, 4 Chome−２−１９
Miso Mackerel Fish -- 820yen
This is awesomeeeeeee T T I don't know why and how, miso sauce here is delicious. It's like miso enriched with teriyaki sauce. Sweet and salty. Cant's stop drizzling the sauce over my rice. The fish was tender with the right amount of grease, super satisfying omgg.
Siowleng's Chicken Karaage Don -- 680yen.
Look at the amount of chicken pieces and they are crunchy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside.
Not sure what is this called but there's deep fried prawns, deep fried fish fillet, another serving of seared fish fillet and two sides, together with rice and miso soup (810yen)
First meal already blew my mind. Can't forget the happiness of finding something yummy when you weren't expecting it to be good haha.
There goes our first night in Japan. Was totally hyped to begin our journey on the next day. Will be talking about pretty pink flowers and red light district in the next post!
**Some additional info, skip if you're not interested**
1. Flight Tickets
We've been talking about the trip since last year but only booked our flight tickets in January. 2 weeks in Japan, for sure it's gonna burn my wallet and so we opted for the cheapest option available on Skyscanner at that point of time, no price watching or whatsoever. Although we booked Thai Airways tickets but they were bought via via.com, which is a 3rd party flight ticket reservation website which promises cheaper fares. Total return flight fare was S$ 380.48. It is cheap, but here's some pros and cons of choosing this option.
Pros: Much lower fares of Thai Airways flight. With 30kg Luggage and Meals (one meal for each flight) included. Great on-board service. Seat selection allowed.
Cons: Not-so-responsive customer service from via.com (but they solved our problems anyway). Overnight stopover at Bangkok Airport, which pretty much means you won't really get any sleep.
lesson learnt, though booking through a 3rd party website is more troublesome, but given the discounted fares, it's still pretty worth it. And do avoid overnight stopovers if you can :D
We reserved pocket Wi-Fi from Changi Airport. At S$5 a day, there's unlimited wi-fi usage and it's a high speed one. The pocket wifi comes with chargers, for Japanese power points of course. You just collect the wifi before you depart and return the wifi after you complete your trip and arrive in Changi.
3. Travel Insurance
I bought NTU's Travelsure. From 8 May to 24 May, 17 days, for S$44
After including the processing fees and all, each of the five of us paid S$182 for 7-Night stay in our AirBnB. That's about S$26 per night. The apartment is at the first floor, but there's no stairs, just a small slope up. Beds are comfy with plenty of blankets to keep you warm. Unlike our house toilets, the toilet and shower room are separated. Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower Cream are provided. The BnB provides its own pocket wifi as well. There's fridge and microwave to store and heat our breakfast. And there's pretty much everything you need from pans to dishes for you to cook. I guess I will only complain about the fact that the TV has only two channels and there's lack of universal adapter, so must bring your own! But again I need to stress the great location, Family Mart, 7-11, Lawson were all within walking distance. Just right below our apartment, there's a few restaurants including an Izakaya and a Indian cuisine restaurant. There's also a laundromat if you need to do your laundry. And again, I like the peacefulness of the area. After going out, walking through the busy crowds of Tokyo, I always feel glad coming back to our quiet neighborhood.