I have always loved traveling and Japan is included in my bucket list. I have always thought of seeing the sakura trees bloom or experience snow in Japan territory. I am a big fan of anime at the same time I love to learn about a country’s culture and history by visiting their old structures or historical places. I have always thought that Japan is just a dream destination as I have this connotation that everything is very expensive in Japan. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and I prove myself wrong.
I tried to read some blogs and sought help from some friends in Japan so that I can finalize my 7 day itinerary. So many last minute changes in my plan but I never regret any.
Here’s my do-it-yourself 7 day #JaFun itinerary.
I boarded the 530am flight to Tokyo via Cebu Pacific. It is important that you work on your visa at least two weeks before your scheduled travel date to have ample time for visa processing. I had my visa processed in an accredited travel agency at SM Megamall (5th floor Bridgeway). I paid.1,200 as processing fee for the travel agency.
It was quite an easy process for visa processing. You just need to submit filled out visa application form, NSO copy of birth certificate (1 year validity), bank statement, travel itinerary, picture, flight itinerary (if available). Visa processing can be as quick as 3 days to 7 working days. My visa was processed thru Reli Tours and Travel.
As I am planning on my itinerary, I saw that the ticket price for riding on a bullet train is quite expensive. But, foreigners who will visit Japan can purchase unlimited access to JR Railway if bought outside Japan. You can choose between 7 days, 14 days, 21 days. More info can be read here.
Going back to my Day 1 itinerary, left Philippines (Terminal 3) at around 530 am and Landed at Narita airport at around noon time. First thing I did is to look for the JR Office so that I can get my JR Rail Pass. I looked around to get a copy of Japan Railway map so that I know where to go. Seeing it initially make me intimidated as there are so many lines, at the same time one must be careful in transferring lines as you will be charged an additional amount – i.e. since I purchased JR Rail Pass, if I will transfer to a line which is not owned or under JR Railway, I will have to pay an additional amount on top of my 7-day unlimited JR Rail pass.
I tried to look in the map where is my hostel located, and it took me a while to figure out which line to go. On my end, I forgot to take note on the direction on how to go to the hotel (which station to alight, which direction to go, etc). So I ended up alighting at the wrong station, and me walking for at least 20 mins just to look for the guesthouse. Had I have noted it well before going to the guesthouse, the nearest railway station is just 5 minutes (or less) away. But I enjoyed the quite long walk nonetheless. I had a first hand experience with Japanese as I was asking for direction. They were very polite and helpful. The person who first assisted me actually walked with me in the first 5 minutes as the direction going to the guesthouse is quite confusing.
I left my stuff at the guesthouse, tried to roam around as I haven’t had lunch. After having my lunch, I decided to start exploring Tokyo!
I went to Shibuya station as this is where I will meet my friends from my prior company – Unilever. Before meeting them, my first goal is to see the famous Hachiko.
The best surprise for our dinner is basashi – Horse Sashimi. Yep, you heard me, it’s raw horse meat. I didn’t initially know that it is horse, and to my surprise it really taste good.
I asked my friend if this is snail, but she says this is sea food. I don’t want to believe, but I still believed her though.
I can’t believe that they cut the fish meat these thick!
I look tired but I am elated!
After dinner, I headed back to the Hostel as I haven’t slept yet since I left Philippines. Long day, but longer week ahead.