Tokyo * Kawaguchiko * Kyoto Iga Osaka

8-15 April 2013

As far as I can recall, this trip felt like a dream came true.  I wanted to absorb every single experience. Even the sensation of inhaling the cold air! Though they said that I might not see the sakura (= Cherry blossoms), my heart throbbed as it’s anxious to shout “I’m in Japan!”

I will provide general information and the expenses, followed by my itinerary divided by cities (linked). And in every link, I assumed that you’ve read this general information, so there will be NO links to any information provided here.

Transportation
I suggest you to buy Suica card. It’s a reloadable and refundable card you can simply tap for transportation system, some vending machines, and even convenient stores. It can be used on public transportations, except inter-city buses and shinkansen. There are several transportation companies in Japan. They provide maps and some different routes. I think the most popular company is JR.

Japan has very neat routes, BUT mostly written and spoken in Japanese. I often ask the officer (station ticket booth officer or train operator) to make sure that I headed to the right direction. The other thing to do is to listen carefully to the announcement. You don’t want to miss your destination station. Note this too: you are not allowed to speak (including on the cellphone), eat, or drink on the train.

DO NOT take taxi if you don’t have plenty of money to spend.

Accomodation
I use Couchsurfing, so I didn’t spend too much on hostel. These are the links of some good hostels: Kaoshan Guest House, J-Hoppers, Peace House Sakura. There was a Japanese couple that run Nocosarejima bar and Yoccola Island share house  in Osaka. They were my hosts and I worked part time at their bar.

Food and Beverages
I listed some traditional Japanese food and beverage you MUST try while you’re in Japan:

Sushi, Sashimi, Snow crab, Fugu (blow fish), Unagi (eel), Natto, Yakiniku, Monjayaki or okonomiyaki, Japanese noodles. There is a unique restaurant in Kyoto that serve soymilk base soup: Mamezen.

Drinks: Matcha (Japanese green tea), Sake. Feel the sensation on putting dried fugu fins on the sake (my host in Osaka told me that).

Yes, you can drink the tap water.

Snacks: Takoyaki, Mochi, Dango, Senbei, Japanese Hamburger, Onigiri, Taiyaki. You can also find another shape of similar snack to taiyaki: dorayaki, ningyoyaki, etc.

juicy Japanese hamburger

juicy Japanese hamburger

taiyaki

taiyaki

Affordable restaurants: Sukiya, Yoshinoya. You can find more restaurants with good price if you have time to look around. Sometimes I bought something to eat at Lawson or 7-11.

yummy gyuudon (beef bowl) set somewhere in Shinjuku for only 350 yen

yummy gyuudon (beef bowl) set somewhere in Shinjuku for only 350 yen

my favorite onigiri from 7-11

my favorite onigiri from 7-11

Culture
I always admire Japan since my childhood experience watching the famous Doraemon, learning origami, and reading manga. I also learned the language as I like watching Japanese drama and Kamen Rider .

Japanese people are awesome. I think they are discipline, polite, and respectful. They will help you sincerely if you ask for direction. They will simply return something they found that’s not belong to them. They won’t break the rules easily. To show respect, bow deeply.

These are the interesting things you should know about Japan:

Garbage separation (waste disposal). Basically Japanese separate combustible garbage, non-combustible garbage, and recyclable garbage. I usually saw 4 trash bins: combustible garbage, non-conbustible garbage, cans/bottles, paper. I also saw a plastic bag for the lids of plastic bottles. My host has a separated place for kitchen waste. It’s really good idea. Don’t you think so? Check this out.

Japanese sleep on Futon on the floor. They like to go to Onsen, the hotspring. It’s different from Ofuro, the public bath. But if you have tattoo, you can’t enter the onsen because the image of the Yakuza, the famous crime syndicate, whose members have tattoos all over the body.

Japanese do the Hanami on Spring time. It’s a picnic under the Sakura trees. There is also yozasakura (=night time sakura) in Rikugien. You can do the picnic at night time. You better check out what festivals (Matsuri) are coming up on your holiday too. If you’re lucky, join the Japanese tea ceremony (Sado). If you have more money to spend, watch Kabuki, the Japanese dance drama.

Meet the Ninja, Japanese mysterious squad, in Iga city. Meet the Otaku, people with obsessive interests, mostly to anime and manga, in Akihabara. Meet the Geisha  that’s maybe different from what you’ve ever thought, in Kyoto.

Language
Most of Japanese people can’t speak English. You might need to learn these:

Excuse me = sumimasen.
Where is … ? = … wa doko desu ka.
Train station = eki.
Toilet = toire / tearai.
Thank you = arigatou gozaimasu.
How much? = ikura desu ka.
Please / help = onegai shimasu.

You can simply say the English word, but remember that they have their own pronunciation. For example: left = lefto, right = raito (right –oh), bus = basu (bus –ooh).

Learn more Japanese for travelers here. Download the survival application (iphone, ipad) here.

Expenses

Date

Detail

Cost (Yen)

DAILY

8

Reload suica card

5,000

5000

9

Hato bus tour

1,500

12590

 

@home cafe Akihabara

1,600

 

Kimono rental Asakusa

5,250

 

Wakame senbei

120

 

Japanese hamburger

320

 

Drink (vending machine)

120

 

Roppongi observatory & sky deck

2,000

 

Kitsune Udon & cranberry juice

1,680

10

Kiyomasa well

500

9470

 

Ema board

500

 

Snacks (Daiso)

315

 

Lunch set & nato

1,670

 

Sakura mochi & dango

280

 

Oedo onsen

1,980

 

Yaki soba (vending machine)

350

 

Macha soft ice cream

350

 

Japanese socks

525

 

reload suica card

3,000

11

Kawaguchiko express train

1,310

10364

 

Locker

300

 

Kachi-kachi ropeway (round trip)

700

 

Bus

740

 

Baked potato miso

350

 

Onigiri

136

 

Express bus to Shinjuku

1,700

 

Dinner set (gyuudon, tofu, miso soup)

350

 

Snacks (Lawson)

248

 

Coffee

130

 

Night express bus to Kyoto (Seishun Eco Dream no.7)

4,400

12

Breakfast (ham sandwich & tea)

450

6280

 

Sanjusangendo & donation (100)

700

 

Drink (vending machine) 2x

230

 

Kiyomizudera

300

 

Lunch (Tamago soba)

700

 

Ginkakuji

400

 

Kinkakuji

500

 

Dinner (Omusoba)

500

 

One day bus pass

500

 

Hostel (Sakura Peace House)

2,000

13

Danjiri museum, Igaryu ninja museum, Ueno castle

1,450

4355

 

Ninja show

300

 

Ninja costume (indoor)

200

 

Bus

380

 

Locker

200

 

Macha soft ice cream (Murai Bankouen Ninja Cafe)

250

 

Onigiri

105

 

Train tickets

1,140

 

Dinner (Yoshinoya – curry rice)

330

14

One day pass (subway)

600

1238

 

Train ticket

190

 

Dinner (Yoshinoya – gyuudon)

290

 

Chocolate drink (supermarket)

98

 

Drink (vending machine)

60

15

Lunch and snack (Lawson)

1,056

18456

 

Panstar ferry to Busan

17,200

 

Fruit juice 2x

200

TOTAL

67,753

Links to my adventure in brief details: * Tokyo * Kawaguchiko * Kyoto * Iga * Osaka

Comments
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  6. serius itu di kereta ngga boleh ngomong ci?

    • Eva says:

      boleh sih, tapi biasanya orang baru ngomong kalo ada sesuatu yang penting, jadi gak ada ngobrol2 dalam kereta… pas aku ngangkat telp juga malah ditegur sama yang nelpon😀

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