Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Jul 22, 2017

Hokkaido Spring Day 4: Nakajima & Maruyama Park, Mt Moiwa Ropeway

I wasn’t quite sure what to do on my fourth day in Hokkaido so I decided to focus on my main theme for this trip – Cherry Blossoms. I sought the advice of the staffs at my hostel (The Stay Sapporo) and decided to get myself to the local parks first.

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I crossed some gorgeous red poppies frowing by the sidewalk along the way. Aren’t they amazing?


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Jun 30, 2017

Hokkaido Spring Day 3: Noboribetsu

It was the last working day for my Hokkaido Rail Pass and it was perfect to offset my JR Super Express Train Hokuto to Norboribetsu. A one way trip on this train from Sapporo to Noboribetsu will set you back at 4480 yen (roughly 72 minutes) so if you ever intend to make long distance day trips like these, plan them according to your Rail Pass availability.


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Jun 19, 2017

Hokkaido Spring Day 2: Hakodate Morning Market + Onuma Park

Rise and shine at 6:30! I wasn't planning on waking till 7am but it was so bright I found it hard to continue sleeping. After taking a shower, I packed up and checked out of my hostel. I found myself at Goryokaku Koen again by 8:18 am because I just couldn't get enough of these Somei Yoshino!

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I wandered aimlessly like the hopeless dreamer I am, soaking in every bit of the Sakura rays. Let my photographs show you the beauty I saw.




Jun 4, 2017

Hokkaido Spring Day 1: Hakodate, Goryokaku Park & Mt. Hakodate

I took a red eye flight with a layover in Kuala Lumpur on my first ever trip to Hokkaido. I had bought the tickets only 3 weeks before the trip so AirAsia’s tickets were the only ones I could get that didn’t break my bank. My return tickets cost me SGD$628.50

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My flight was scheduled to fly at 8:45 pm and it was a whirlwind of a busy day! Thank God I managed to get everything together in time! After finishing all my morning and afternoon appointments, I rushed home and took the MRT to the airport because what do you think? because I’m cheap! I checked myself in with AirAsia's check-in booth to avoid having my bag weighed. I hadn’t bought any baggage space for the trip over (Cheap alert!) but I think I might have accidentally crossed the 7kg limit by one of two kilos, oops=X. I had grand visions of leisurely whizzing through the departure gates with just the booth printed boarding pass but verification of travel documents was required for entry into Japan so I was sent back to the counters to have my passport checked.





Had a brief layover at KLIA. Maybe it's the fact that I'm flying a Budget airline this time but man, the boarding gate between my flights were so far away! I also had to go through the x-ray machines twice even though it was a transfer. The last time I flew with Malaysia Airline to Osaka, I didn't have to do any of that. Was it just a difference in airline or are they stepping up security after that fiasco?

Mar 11, 2016

10 tips to travelling Japan for Cheap!

I marvelled my friends when I told them I travelled Japan for 15 days, covered 5 cities, 1 distant village and spent a grand total of just SGD $1730, all inclusive! I kinda cheated a little by spending 6 nights at 2 friend’s place. But given my spending record, even with 6 additional days of accommodation, I doubt I would burst SGD $2000.

And take note that within those 15 days, I did not starve. There were even days that I even splurged on restaurants (Korean Barbeque and Japanese Sukiyaki, yums!) and presents for my family and friends back home. So I'm here to share a few tips on how to travel Japan for cheap.


HOW TO TRAVEL JAPAN FOR CHEAP

Nov 9, 2015

Getting Data Sim in Kansai

So I visited Japan for the Cherry blossoms earlier this year. While I was there, i bought so-net’s Prepaid LTE Data Sim card. Unlike b-mobile which needs to be pre-ordered and shipped to the airport, so-net’s prepaid data sim are sold either via a vending machine or a shop inside the Airport. Which is of course, extremely useful for people who decide to splurge on a data sim card in the last minute. Not to mention the data plans are the cheapest by far.

 

Official website:  http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/en/index.html

 

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May 14, 2015

Review: Dolphin House Osaka Hostel (Japan)

When I impromptu-ly decided to fly to Japan for the sakuras (Cherry Blossoms), the first obstacle I faced was the unbelievable lack of accommodation during the last weekend of March to the 1st week of April. Hotels and hostels everywhere were sold out! God must have taken pity on me as I somehow chanced upon this little place in Osaka.
Here is my review of the Dolphin House Osaka .
 
Hotel Name: Dolphin House Osaka
Address: 577-0801 Osaka Prefecture, Higashi-osaka, Mikuriyaminami 2-1-38-A802, Japan
Contact: +81(0)80-9554-5580
Website: http://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/dolphin-hostel-osaka.en-gb.html
Price: SGD16 - SGD20 (Price varies)

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May 3, 2015

Cherry Blossoms @ Gion, Kyoto

Gion is a historical area in Kyoto that IMHO, serves as one of the most iconic representative of Japanese culture.

 

“ Gion (祇園?, ぎおん[note 1]) is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originally developed in the Middle Ages, in front of Yasaka Shrine. The district was built to accommodate the needs of travellers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan.”

Source: Wikipedia

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Gion is famous for it’s large amount of traditional wooden houses (Machiya) which so embodies the image of traditional Japanese architecture. Gion has evolved into a highly prosperous district that is filled with restaurants, shops and Teahouses. Most notably, is the Hanami-Koiji street where there is the highest concentration of Ochaya (teahouses) and where the Geishas receives and entertain guests.

 

“ The most popular area of Gion is Hanami-koji Street from Shijo Avenue to Kenninji Temple. A nice (and expensive) place to dine, the street and its side alleys are lined with preserved machiya houses many of which now function as restaurants, serving Kyoto style kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) and other types of local and international meals.

Interspersed among the restaurants are a number of ochaya (teahouses), the most exclusive and expensive of Kyoto's dining establishments, where guests are entertained by maiko and geiko.”

source: Japan-Guide.com

Apr 26, 2015

Cherry Blossoms @ Kema Sakuranomiya Park

“ Kema Sakuranomiya Park is a riverside park boasting water, greenery and cherry trees, which is built on the river terrace between Kema Araizeki (overflow weir) and Temmabashi Bridge. Incorporating classical buildings such as the Mint, Water Square and walking trails, the park is a good place for strolling and jogging. It is known as a cherry blossom-viewing spot for its magnificent 4,700 cherry trees. “

https://www.osaka-info.jp/en/facilities/cat7/post_323.html

 

After my failed attempt to dine in the Sailor Moon Cafe in Nakatsu, i took a train down to Sakuranomiya Park. At that point my spirit was pretty down and my hunger was not making myself any better. But with time ticking by I decided not to waste any time lunching in a restaurant but instead aim to have a picnic in the company of the cherry blossom trees.

 

So onwards I go!

 

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ADDRESS :〒530-0025 Area including 1-chome, Nakano-cho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka City
TRANSPORTATION : Short walk from Temmabashi Sta. on the Subway Tanimachi Line or the Keihan Line, Osakajo-Kitazume Sta. on the JR Tozai Line, or Sakuranomiya Sta. on the Osaka Loop Line

 

I alighted at the small JR Sakuranomiya train station and pondered about how to go to the park. Unfortunately,  the locality map was more confusing than anything. I eventually decided to try my luck by picking an exit and going that direction. I exited from East Exit 1.

Apr 21, 2015

Cherry Blossoms @ Kita-Ku, Osaka (Seeking SailorMoon Cafe!)

On the 3rd day of my Kansai trip, I decided to stay within Osaka city and for the first part of my day I decided to lounge in the Sailor Moon Cafe called Cafe Talismen.  I arrived at Hankyu Nakatsu Station (中津駅 Nakatsu-eki?) on the Hankyu Railway around noon and tried to navigate myself with GPS.

 

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Nakatsu Station (中津駅 Nakatsu-eki?) is a railway station in Osaka on the Hankyu Kobe Line and the Hankyu Takarazuka Line, and is operated by Hankyu Railway. There is another train station with the same name nearby but they are not linked. Nakatsu is within Kita-Ku (北区 Kita-ku?), which is one of 24 wards of Osaka, Japan. This particular area is 1 train station away from Umeda and is primarily a housing estate area.

 

“ Kita-ku, particularly the Umeda area surrounding Osaka Station, is one of the main commercial centers of Osaka. Kita-ku is also a financial administration center, housing the headquarters of the Japan Mint and the Osaka branch of the Bank of Japan. “

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kita-ku,_Osaka#Shrine_and_Temple