First solo international flight ko ngayon. Hindi naman ako masyado kinakabahan kase twice na ko nakapuntang Japan. Nakapag solo flight na din ako dati nung pumunta kong Cebu pero andun naman si Kenneth. Ngayon solo lang talaga ko. 3 days lang naman mabilis lang. Ang ayoko lang sa trip ko na to eh naka parang dorm lang ako (para tipid). Eh medyo paranoid kasi ako feeling ko laging may mangyayaring masama (PTSD). Siguro next time hanap na lang ako ng mura basta solo lang ako sa room. Safe naman sa Japan pero mas ok pa din yung sigurado.
Kailangan ko nang maligo in 10 minutes. Sana wala akong malimutan. At sana wag ako masyadong maligaw dun kasi hindi na ko nagrent ng pocket WiFi. Wala naman ako masyadong pupuntahan.
Sounds good, right? And this includes plane tickets, airport fees, accommodation, food, a pocket WiFi, a trip to Universal Studios Japan and a few souvenirs. But a little disclaimer, I just have to say that this isn’t easy. You need to have the stars aligned in your favor to be lucky enough and get the cheapest flight, to not be choosy and book the cheapest (but still decent) accommodation, and be patient enough to do some research to score some deals (ticket discounts and vouchers).
I actually didn’t spend ₱18,000 because I bought a lot of stuff for my online shop called RanShoppe (shameless plug) and I also did some art tools hunting for my artsy projects (for watercolor painting and calligraphy – check out Dust Designs if you’re interested) (yeah, another shameless plug). But not everyone has an online shop and not everyone has this art hobby, so all the money I paid for those things doesn’t count. Some of you may think that this is a joke and say that the ₱18,000 could just cover the plane tickets and terminal fee alone. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, you have to be really lucky to get a roundtrip ticket for just ₱2,400 like I did (thanks to GetGo). But even if the circumstances are different for you now, I think you can still pickup a couple of money saving tips with this trip. So this is how I managed to do it:
Visa Application (₱950)
For the second time around, I applied for my Japan visa via Reli Tours and Travel agency because they have the cheapest handling fee. Luckily, I was granted a multiple entry visa for this trip. Yay!
I booked my ticket via Cebu Pacific using my GetGo points. At that time (maybe 7 months before our actual trip), GetGo held a promo. For only 10 points, you can book a one-way ticket to any country you want (so 20 points for a roundtrip ticket) and all you had to pay for is the travel taxes and web admin fees which amounted to ₱2,400. If you have a gazillion points, you can also have the option to pay the taxes and fees with those points so you can basically fly for free. I had about maybe 15,000 GetGo points at that time because I kept on converting my BPI Real Thrills Reward Points to GetGo points. You can do this as well if you have a credit card and love traveling. If you can cover the base fare with just GetGo points, all you have to do is pay for the taxes.
Accommodation via Airbnb (₱2,650)
I stayed in Japan for 7 days so that’s just ₱450 pesos per night! Some person gave me a referral link and that includes a ₱1,000+ voucher discount for my booking. You can also get an additional discount from Airbnb for a one-week stay. I came with four of my friends on this trip so what I did was, I gave them my own referral link and they got the same discount. I’m going to share with you my link as well if you also want to get that P1,100 discount on your first booking with Airbnb which is: www.airbnb.com/c/gleniza.
We stayed at Four Letter Words Hostel which is a very humble and straightforward accommodation. All the basics are available: comfy sleeping nooks, fast WiFi, hot showers, it’s also in a great location plus you get an entertaining and very kind host. He even offered us a free stay on our next trip to Japan! He said that we can stay there for as long as we want and bring some friends. I honestly don’t know what more could you ask for.
Pocket WiFi via Klook (₱1,615 – only ₱230 per day)
This I think is optional for some people. But I like renting a pocket WiFi when traveling to Japan. Their train lines can get pretty complicated so I always have to look up train stations and the appropriate fare for each train ride online. When navigating, the site I always go to is called Hyperdia. This amount could get much cheaper if you’re traveling with your friends or family since you could just split up the total rental fee. I was given a 7GB data allowance and I only consumed around 4GB during my whole stay.
Kansai 3-Day Pass via Klook (₱1,990)
I got a 3-day pass since I planned on traveling to Nara, Kyoto and Kobe. You can opt for a 2-day pass which is a couple hundred cheaper if you want to leave out Kobe in your itinerary. But going to Nara and Kyoto is highly highly recommended! In my case, I lost my pass when we were in Kyoto so I had doubts to go to Kobe the next day. So it’s up to you if you would like to get a 2 or a 3-day pass. Klook also offers promo codes, and since I’m a first time Klook user, I was able to get roughly 15% discount when I purchased the pass and pocket WiFi. I just used the promo code GETKLOOKD (not sure if this is still active though).
As you may notice, I kept on thinking of ways to get discounts in every purchase I make for this trip. That’s what I meant when I said that you got to have patience. Research first before making hasty (and expensive) decisions. Ok next:
Universal Studios Japan ticket via Klook (₱3,380)
I didn’t really visit USJ during this trip because I had the chance to go there last year. But my friends did so I included it here. I was busy buying stuff in Don Quijote while they were enjoying their USJ visit. I think last year, we spent ₱3,500 for our USJ ticket; so booking via Klook is a bit cheaper. And as you may already notice, Klook really helped us a lot with this trip. It’s very convenient that we can book all these things with just one app. Aside from convenience, the most important thing is that it’s cheaper.
Transportation to and from Kansai International Airport (₱850)
I included this separately because traveling to and from the airport is pretty expensive. From the airport, we just rode a train going to Tengachaya station which is just a 10 to 15-minute walk from our hostel. It was quite a long walk because we had our luggages in tow. But it’s much easier since we don’t have to transfer train stations.
Tourist Spots (Almost Free)
With our Kansai Passes in hand, we toured around Kyoto, Nara and Osaka for cheap. So all we need to set aside are the entrance fees for the different shrines, temples, etc. But the great thing is, most of the entrance fees for some of the great tourist spots are free! I think I only shelled out ₱200 when I went to Osaka National Museum of Art. It would have been another ₱200 when we visited Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) but our good friend Irving took care of that (Thanks Irving!). But still, it’s just a couple of hundred pesos and the rest of them are free! Let me show you around:
Food (it depends)
This is somewhat tricky because different people have different appetites. In my case, I can go having only two meals per day; but I’m always tempted to buy desserts (which can get a little expensive). And it also depends on your food choices because some restaurants are really pricey (like when we craved for katsu). Your best bet for a filling but inexpensive meal is at gyudon restaurants. It’s a good thing that everything is somewhat still fresh from my memory so I can give you a general food price guide when eating out in Japan.
Instant noodles [₱60-80]
Sandwiches at Family Mart/Lawson/7-11 [₱100-120]
Takoyaki (6-8 pcs) [₱250-300]
Katsu meal set [₱500-600]
Ice cream cones [₱150-200]
The above amount can buy you a keychain, maybe two fridge magnets, and one pouch of Kit Kat. So if you have a lot of friends and relatives requesting for their pasalubongs, or if you want to try all the different flavors of Kit Kat and other Japan goodies, adjust this amount accordingly.
And that’s it! So a sample itinerary would be:
Day 1 – Arrival at KIX (in our case we arrived at night)
Day 2 – Nara
Day 3 – Osaka (USJ)
Day 4 – Kobe
Day 5 – Kyoto
Day 6 – Osaka + Shopping
Day 7 – Departure
I hope this helps! Enjoy your Japan trip in the near future!
Eto na yung dalwa na sooobrang prepared sa pagpunta nilang Japan. *eye roll*
We bumped into them when we went out to buy some food in McDo. It was probably around 9PM. They looked so tired and hungry. Pretty much like us on our first day in Japan. 😂
From visa application up to their arrival in Kansai airport, they bring nothing but stress. They applied for their Japan visas just two weeks before their departure date. Kenneth and I applied for ours 2 months prior the trip; so I (yes I, not we) had plenty of time to prepare everything. Even after we, I mean I, booked our plane tickets last March (6 months before the trip), I’m already finished with our itinerary just a few days after. That’s why I’m super stressed with these two because I’m the one who’s going to book their bus tickets, purchase their DisneySea tickets, book their accommodation, etc (‘cos I have the credit card). I kept on bugging them to apply for their visas ahead of time so I can do all these stuff in one go. I’m not the type who does things last minute when it comes to preparing for travels. I wan’t everything planned and organized. Tapos andami pa nilang pabebe moments lalo na yung isa dyan (hello Bong). May pa-chat chat pa sakin na, “Baka hindi pa din ako tumuloy kahit ma-approve yung visa ko kasi ang busy ko ngayong September.” 🙄 I just replied, “Ok.” Di mo maintindihan kung nagpapapilit o ano. Pabebe.
But it didn’t stop there. When they arrived at Kansai Airport, pocket WiFi naman problema nila. Hays. Anyway, nakarating pa din sila sa kabila ng lahat. I’m never doing that again. Kanya kanya na lang next time ha. Bawal na pati ang pabebe. *end of rant*
Okay, back to day four. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan was the only thing in our itinerary that day. I was planning on squeezing a temple or garden before going to the aquarium but that didn’t happen due to time constraints and stuff. We needed to get back early for our bus trip to Tokyo anyway. We wouldn’t want to miss our bus. I’m sure the buses here leave on time ‘cos ‘being on time’ is so Japan. This was our last day in Osaka. Huhu.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Not So Funny Story:
The four of us were not supposed to be together on this day because their plan is to go to USJ (which we’ve been to already) then Kyoto for their second day (also been there). However, Bong had this funny idea (more like annoying idea) of not getting into any rides because he just doesn’t feel like it (say what??). Benson was super pissed. Even I got a little pissed. I mean, what’s even the point of going to USJ and spend 3,500 pesos for the ticket? To waste money? And what’s the point of having someone go with you to a theme park (one of the best in the world btw) if the one you’re with is not willing to go and experience the different fun rides together? I really have no idea how Bong’s brain works sometimes (or most of the time). So that led to Benson cancelling their USJ trip and they just decided to tag along with us.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Sobrang daming magagandang photo op dito sa Aquarium Kaiyukan. Eto yung hindi ko nabasa sa mga blogs, ang style pala nya (unless mali ako at may iba pa palang way), sakay ka ng escalator na diretso sa 8th floor. Sobrang haba nung escalator (papuntang 8th floor ba naman). Nakakalula pag tumingin ka sa likod. So pag nasa 8th floor ka na, ikot ka pababa na parang pa-spiral para makita yung mga sea creatures at ibang animals. Pag mabilis kang maningin at mag-picture, tapos ka na agad. Bye 2,500 yen. 💸
I thought Osaka Aquarium would be like Zoobic Safari with dolphin shows and stuff. I thought wrong. That’s why I’m a bit disappointed. I would suggest to skip this one if you only have limited time in Osaka. Unless you want to have photos looking like this:
Or maybe this:
This one also:
But skipping this is just a suggestion. Because I have a friend who told me that she didn’t like DisneySea so I had doubts of going there. But when we went to DisneySea (good thing we did), I was truly mesmerized. So it depends on the person.
We were pleased that there’s a fast food restaurant inside Osaka Aquarium because we haven’t had breakfast yet. There’s like a mini mall nearby with several food options but they’re not open until 11AM.
More photos before saying goodbye:
Eating time again. Open na yung mini mall.
Tempozan Market Place
After eating, they decided to go to Rinku Town. The boys wanted to do some shopping. Apparently, it’s a place with many outlet stores. I didn’t like this idea. Plus the train fare going here was around 500 pesos each. I’d rather go to Don Quijote and buy more Japanese snacks.
Believe it or not, I forgot that we went here because I didn’t take any pictures (as a sign of my rebellion). I originally wrote, “After eating, we went straight home blah blah”. But no, we actually went here. It’s a fact.
I was browsing Benson’s timeline for more Japan photos and if I hadn’t come across this photo, I wouldn’t have remembered. Since I’m quite disappointed with Osaka Aquarium and I’m forced to go here in Rinku Town, this is my least favorite day of our trip.
So after the boys were done with their shopping, we finally went home and packed our stuff. Before heading home, Benson changed his mind (again) about going to Kyoto for their second day. He must’ve imagined himself with lame-o Bong strolling around Kyoto and decided to just skip that lameness. He also said that he’s not really a fan of temples and shrines. Or ayaw nya lang talaga kasama si Bong na silang dalwa lang? Haha. So after much contemplation, he decided to just tag along with us to Tokyo. Then Bong followed suit. What is happening?? 😂 Problem is, their night bus tickets were for the following day kasi nga sa 3rd day pa dapat nila sila pa-Tokyo. Those tickets were already purchased online a week before their flight. Staying positive, we thought that they could just refund the tickets and just purchase same-day tickets at the bus station. We were oh so wrong. And you can’t change the date that’s indicated on the ticket either.
Balik muna tayo sa guest house. Mark (again, the Airbnb host) was surprised to know that the two will be checking out a day earlier (bye 1,500 pesos – the price of 1 night accommodation 💸😂). He even discouraged them from leaving because he’s not sure if they can buy tickets using cash. Eh laban na daw sabi ni Benson. Before leaving, we had the chance to meet Ken (the other host).
We learned through Benson that they’re not just business partners, they are also lovers. Aww. They’ve been together for 20 years I think? Inspiring. Benson also mentioned something about Ken adopting Mark? Uhm, I’m not so sure how that story goes.
Anyway, we reached the bus station at around 9:30 PM. The two immediately asked the staff and inquired about those tickets. Unfortunately, they were strict about the online reservations. Worst part is, they don’t sell tickets there. Transactions should be online. Bummer. Benson thought of Plan B: bullet train. That would cost them sooo much. And what if the tickets were non-refundable? (turned out they were refundable but it was too late to get a refund. bye 3,000 pesos.) But Benson didn’t bother. He’s really determined to go to Tokyo that night whatever it takes (whatever it takes to avoid being alone with Bong? haha). Thankfully, a good Samaritan informed them of another bus station with buses heading to Tokyo almost every 15-30 minutes. About that time, we were already on our way to Tokyo. Our bus left at 10:20 PM while they were still figuring out how to get to Tokyo themselves. Around 12 midnight, I received a message from Benson that they’re already on their way. Whew. What an ordeal.
Now let’s talk about the bus. It’s no ordinary bus. It’s the most comfortable bus ride ever. The travel time from Osaka to Tokyo by bus takes 9 hours. That’s 9 hours of just sitting and waiting for our butts to grow weeds. So that’s why they made this bus very suitable for long travels like this. Look.
It has curtains for your privacy. You’ll be provided with a pillow and a blanket so you’ll be comfy while sleeping. It also has spacious leg rooms and each seat have their own outlets to charge your phones. I read somewhere that some buses have a “ladies policy” where they separate male passengers from the females. Good thing I booked the correct bus. I booked it through Willer Express btw. Alright time to get some zzz’s.
This is how we spent our 7 days in JaFUN (Sep 8-14, 2016):
USJ Day! It was a 15-minute walk to Shin-Imamiya Station (from Ken & Mark Guest House) going to Universal City Station. Some morning sightings while strolling around Osaka:
We got off at the wrong station going to USJ. So while waiting for the next train, we (or I) had time for photo op.
Universal Studios Japan
We bought Express Passes online because I read from other blogs that waiting time for the most popular rides could take up to 2-4 hours! Especially for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. We wouldn’t want to waste time so we bought the passes for another Php 3,000 each (refer here for a step-by-step guide on how to buy it online). A total of Php 6,500 per person for the park entry ticket plus the Express pass. Sooo expensive. To think that our roundtrip tickets to Japan costed us Php 6,200 each. Anyway, no time for regrets.
We rode Hollywood Dream: The Ride first.
Then we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and took LOTS of photos.
Second ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
Didn’t take a picture. I’ll make it up with more photos of the wizarding world.
It’s way past lunch time so we had to eat. This right here costs around 2,000 pesos. Next time, we’ll just bring snacks.
Side Note #1:
When I was trying to buy our Express Passes online, we had the option to choose what time will we be entering the wizarding world. I chose the earliest time available which was 11:50 AM. After choosing the time, another time will be given for us to be allowed to ride the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. In our case, it was 12:10-12:40 PM. One thing that I learned from our USJ experience is that, I should have chosen a later time to enter Harry Potter world. Maybe around 6 PM would be perfect. The line was short when we got there so we weren’t able to utilize the full potential of our Express Passes. And I’ve also read that the Harry Potter world is best viewed at night. I can only imagine. Sayang talaga. I felt that I wasn’t able to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at its best. I could have taken better photos. I say this because we also went to DisneySea and stayed there until closing time (10 PM). DisneySea at night was magical. We left USJ early (around 6 PM) because we were already done with the 7 rides that we planned. Oh well.
JAWS for our third ride.
Ang medyo nakaka-turn off nga lang talaga eh yung mga rides na ang voice-over eh Japanese language. Although maganda yung visual, hindi mo fully ma-appreciate kase hindi mo maintindihan yung sinasabi. Tulad nung ride na to. Nakaupo kayo sa isang medyo malaking boat at may tour guide kayong kasama tapos biglang may shark na a-attack sa inyo. Medyo actor ang peg ni kuyang tour guide dito kase kunwari binabaril nya yung shark tapos mega acting sya sa pagma-maneuver nung boat para maka-iwas dun sa shark. Yung buong ride na yun, nagsasalita sya in Japanese na wala kaming maintindahan. Nagre-rely na lang kami sa mga nakikita namin at sa facial expressions nya. Mas na-enjoy siguro namin kung may naiintindihan kami sa mga sinasabi nya.
Side Note #2:
There’s a third lane for some rides. So there’s the regular one, the express, and then there’s a singles lane. If you’re in a group and fall in line on the singles, chances are, you won’t be sitting together. But if you’re in a hurry and don’t mind being apart, the singles lane would be the perfect choice.
Fourth ride: Flying Dinosaur. Three words. Best. Ride. Ever.
Instead of the usual roller coaster na nakaupo ka, dito, nakadapa ka. Medyo kakaiba yung feeling. Pagbaba namin dun sa ride, hindi pa din ako maka-move on dun sa experience. Basta ang saya. Si Kenneth medyo takot yun sa heights pero super nag-enjoy sya. Sulit daw yung 2.5 hours na pila. Matagal yung pinila namin dito kasi hindi na sya kasama sa Express Pass namin. Kung alam ko lang, sana yung Express Pass na may Flying Dinosaur na lang yung kinuha namin. Another fail.
Jurassic Park: Ride (forgettable) and The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman (same concept with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey pero mas ok to) for our 5th and 6th ride.
Our last stop was Space Fantasy: The Ride. This one surprised us.
Touristy Moment #3:
Basing from the name (Space Fantasy) and its facade, we thought it was a kiddie ride. We almost didn’t want to continue because we couldn’t figure out how to lock the locker compartment (so we could store our bags there during the ride). The attendant told us to insert ¥100 coin. It turned out we were inserting the coin in the wrong machine. So there’s this machine nearby the lockers and I thought that’s where we could get a ticket or something for us to utilize the lockers. When I inserted a ¥500 coin, the machine dispensed five ¥100 coins. Ang labo. Kenneth already refused to continue with the ride. We were already tired. But I asked the attendant again (for the last time) and if we still can’t figure it out, we will leave already. I even suggested to put our things inside the locker and leave it unlocked, because that’s how I trust the Japanese people. Kenneth refused again. Okay. So upon asking, the attendant accompanied us and showed us how. Turned out, the coin slot for locking the compartment was beside the keyhole of the locker. The machine’s purpose was to exchange your money for ¥100 coins if you don’t have one available because the lockers are only accepting, yes, ¥100 coins. Ay sus. Buti na lang natuloy kami sa ride kasi it was unexpectedly awesome.
So a few seconds into the ride, it was slow. We were like, “Ho-hum. Boring. Pambata.” But after a few minutes, we were transported into space! Ang galing nung effects. The stars seemed real and the pace was going fast. Hayyy super ganda. I will not forget the exploding sound at the end of the ride with matching explosion of stars. Parang milky way. Hay ang ganda talaga. What a great way to end our USJ visit. Off to Dotonbori!
But first, ride ratings:
Hollywood Dream: The Ride ★★★★☆
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ★★☆☆☆
Flying Dinosaur ★★★★★
Jurassic Park: Ride ★★☆☆☆
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ★★★☆☆
Space Fantasy: The Ride ★★★★★
More random photos before we go.
We were so excited to eat ramen in Japan. Upon searching Google, it shows very good reviews for Ichiran (there are 2 branches in Dotonbori). Unfortunately, I liked Ramen Nagi better (or fortunately rather ‘cos they’re more accessible to us). Ramen Nagi’s broth is richer and their noodles are firmer.
I had a headache the following morning because I was up late crying (I don’t know why it led to crying. It’s just that I was so annoyed. Grr.) So after eating ramen, we saw a Don Quijote store and I got excited. Based from the numerous travel blogs I’ve read, everything here is cheap. Madaming mga nag-bilin samin ng mga gusto nilang ipabili (perfume, collagen powder, wallet, green tea, etc) so I gathered all the strength I have left to do some partial shopping. Para at least sa mga susunod na days konti na lang yung bibilhin. Sobrang pagod na pagod na pagod na talaga kami. Hindi na ko makalakad ng maayos (I’ll remember to not wear boots next time). I was literally walking like Lotus Feet (yes, that character in the movie Feng Shui). Pinilit ko na lang talaga. Tapos eto pa yung mangyayari. 😔
To cut the story short, I bought 6 pieces of collagen powder for my officemates. One piece is around 800 pesos. When we got home and upon reviewing the receipt, 10 pieces na collagen powder yung na-punch ni ateng cashier. I paid for 10 but I only got 6. Grrr. Kayo na bahala mag-compute. Medyo madami kaming pinamili kaya di ko na naisip i-check yung receipt bago umalis. Japanese language pa yung resibo. Sobrang siksikan din mga tao dun sa store kaya hindi mo na talaga maiisip. Lesson learned. You can learn from my mistake as well. I know I won’t be accepting too many requests the next time I travel anywhere.
Okay enough. Kyoto naman bukas!
This is how we spent our 7 days in JaFUN (Sep 8-14, 2016):
We were already at the airport three and a half hours before our flight. The plane will depart at 3:00 PM then 8:00 PM (Japan time) would be the arrival time. At first, I thought the 8:00 PM that’s indicated in our ticket is also Manila time so I thought that it would take 5 hours to get to Japan. That’s why at 6:45 PM (Manila), I was just chilling in the plane because I thought we still have one hour before arrival. But the pilot suddenly spoke and announced that we will deplane in about 15 minutes. I got excited and started to fix my things and my hair then wore my shoes.
Kansai International Airport
Picked up our rented pocket WiFi from Pupuru. You can return it by dropping it off in any mailbox in Japan. In our case, since we’ll exit Japan from Tokyo, we dropped it off at Narita Airport. Renting pocket WiFi is highly suggested. Worth the extra cost.
We were already given instructions by Mark (our Airbnb host in Osaka) on how to get to our accommodation. He taught us how to buy tickets and what train line to get into. He told us to get off at Tengachaya station and that he will meet us at the exit. From that station, it will be a 15-minute walk going to our temporary house. One thing that’s great about our accommodation is that the owners don’t live in the house (unlike most of the Airbnb accommodation you’ll find). Ken and Mark have their own house just a few blocks away from the guest house. I guess it’s more comfortable that way. But even if the owners were not around, Mark is accommodating with our inquiries. I’ll just send him a private message if we have any questions on how to get from one place to another and he will respond as quick as he can.
Touristy Moment #1:
So ganito pala yun. Insert bills/coins first, choose how many passengers, then select the ticket amount. Instead of choosing the name of the station you want to go to, you choose the appropriate amount for that specific station. Siguro since sobrang daming train stations, amount na lang yung nilagay kase yung ibang stations naman same fare lang. Baka hindi na magkasya sa screen lahat ng stations.
We had no problems reaching Tengachaya station. Mark was already waiting for us when we got off the train. He didn’t have any pictures of us to recognize our faces but he immediately waved when he saw us (how?). The 15-minute walk from the station to the guest house with our luggages in tow was really tiring. Mark was already discussing some “things to know” while we’re on our way to the house. He speaks good English so there weren’t any problems communicating and he seemed very nice. We were already hungry when we arrived at the guest house and we just wanted to stuff our faces with Japanese food. But Mark had to tour us first around the house, discuss some house rules and help us with our itinerary and stuff (huhu so many things to remember). When Mark was done, it’s finally time to eat!
Our accommodation is in a good location and booking Ken & Mark Guest House was a really good decision. I highly highly recommend it. There is another station near the guest house which is just a 5-minute walk. Around that station, there are McDonald’s, Family Mart, some restaurants (mostly gyudon restos) and a supermarket. It was already 11 PM. Good thing there’s a 24-hour gyudon restaurant nearby. We had our really late dinner there. Before leaving us, Mark taught us how to buy the food tickets.
A quick tour around the neighborhood:
Touristy Moment #2:
In Japan, most of the restaurants have this food ticket machine where you have to buy the food tickets first, then sit at a table, give the food tickets to the server, and wait for your food. It was kind of intimidating at first but I had gotten used to it because we almost always had to buy food tickets in every restaurant we went to in Japan. And most ticket machines have English translations so you’ll be fine.
The gyudon was okay. Nothing special. What I liked was how clean and organized the restaurant was. The servers were also very courteous.
I had my worries of eating in Japan because I really don’t know how to use chopsticks. I’ve tried using it whenever we eat at ramen places here in Manila but I always end up asking for a fork. 😁 I find it hard to use chopsticks and my hand gets tired from using it. It’s like I’m having hand tremors. But after a few days of using chopsticks in Japan, I learned that you just have to relax. I was really proud of myself when I was able to eat my food with little difficulty. But there were times when I cheat and just use the spoon (which is intended for the soup) to scoop up the rice. Hihi.
Since we arrived in Japan late, we just went straight to bed after our late dinner and had some rest because we were going to Universal Studios in the morning; which meant I would finally get to see the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Yay! Kenneth is not a Harry Potter fan and calls Harry Potter ‘Harry F*cker’. Such a party pooper. Some photos of the guest house:
Toilets in Japan are very very special things. Mark said, “When you go back to the Philippines, you are going to miss our toilets here.” Yep. He’s right. Most of their toilets have automatic bidet, deodorizer, vacuum (to suck out the funky smell), fake flushing sound button (if you’re nagpupururot and want to avoid the humiliation) and buttons to change water temperature, nozzle position, and water pressure. Their really serious about their toilets.
USJ day tomorrow!
This is how we spent our 7 days in JaFUN (Sep 8-14, 2016):