Last April 11 to 18 we indulged in the Japanese culture. Here is Japan in a nutshell; food, transportation, accommodation, leisure and shopping.
As a Filipino, travelling in Japan was quite fun and welcoming because of the Filipinos all around Japan.
Japanese food,especially Tokyoite food, is more than just tempura, sushi and ramen. Expect diversity in food options and flavors that came along with the diverse cultures there. Don’t just stock up on KFC and McDonald’s because I’m telling you now that it’s expensive and drastically different from American McDonald’s. I definitely recommend Yoshinoya which if you don’t know is a Japanese food chain scattered all around Japan and even the world. Yoshinoya is the cheapest quality food I found in Japan and it provides a home vibe and less expensive food that will sure fill up your stomach. I also recommend the different food courts in Obaiba (though I’m pretty sure that there are a lot around Japan) that serves different kinds of food (and you need to shell out at least 700-1000 yen for a meal) like Japanese omelet, octopus Takoyaki and my favorite, Katsu with curry. Their food may seem simple but it’s the Japanese motto “quality over quantity” that makes their food exceptional.
One tip; take the rail. Don’t be intimidated because the Japanese are very much welcome to help. From businessmen to bloggers to backpackers- they take the rail just like you here in Japan. Even I, at first, was intimidated and imagined it to be like New York rail. It’s ok to go on rail even with handicapped companions or strollers because elevators are all around the stations because of Tokyo’s goal to be open to all. (Tip: rent a pocket wifi or data because you will need access to Google Maps for it to be more convenient but it’s still quite easy without it)
(Short story time!)
Some of my insta followers may be wondering why I stopped posting after my post in Chureito Pagoda in Kawaguchi and some of my blog followers may be wondering why I didn’t fulfill my promise of a travel blog and that’s because I left my phone (as some of my Twitter followers know but my account is private so I don’t blame you). So we were on this bus (not a tour bus because we didn’t avail a tour) because there isn’t a train going to Oshino Hakkai on our last day. Going back to the hotel to get our things, I left my phones (plural, yes) on the bus because my jeans have no front pocket. Amazing.
There are tons of hotels in Japan but I recommend hotels in Odaiba (we stayed in Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba buit I also recommend Hilton Tokyo Daiba which is in front of it) or in the Disney hotels because travelling and roaming from there is quite easy and there are also a lot of food places there. I noticed that there aren’t a lot of hotels in Kawaguchiko but we stayed in MyStays which is very accommodating and has the perfect view of Mt. Fuji and Fujikyu Highland (which is the steepest roller coaster in the world btw)and has a bath house.
No more dilly-dally, this is Japan. Let’s start off in Yokohama- a dainty bay town by the outskirts of Tokyo, the home of the ever social media coveted cup noodles museum where you can learn about cup noodles and the best part- personalize and make your own! How about Disney? Tokyo is the only place you can find the only one in the world Disney Sea which has Venice as main street and has pirates and my favorite- MERMAIDS! Disneyland is also quite different here, it has Cinderella’s castle that can only be found here and in Disney world- in short it’s the only Cinderella castle in Asia. While we’re still talking about theme parks, let me mention Harry Potter World in Universal Studios in Osaka- the only one in Asia (though we didn’t go there because Osaka is too far from Tokyo it’s still worth mentioning because I’m freaking out that I didn’t get to go there).
Sightseeing, shall we? Tokyo also houses the tallest tower in the world- Tokyo Skytree. You may even see Mount Fuji from there (which is quite far btw) if you are lucky enough in high summer. What else is Japan famous for? Cherry blossoms, Japan’s national pride only blooms for a week anually in different dates depending on the place and we were lucky enough that they bloomed exactly the week we went there, I recommend Shinjuku Gyoen park with all sorts and designs of cherry blossoms. And last but not the least, taking a look at the mesmerizing Mount Fuji (we were lucky enough as well that the weather was good during the day we went there) while roaming around Kawaguchiko and maybe even joing the Shibasakura Festival (which goes only in full bloom this week or the next this entire year).
Planning on buying tons of “pasalubong” (souvenir) gadgets and gamer stuff? I can say that Japan is where you can shop till you drop (without cashing out all your pocket money). Souvenirs and clothing are all around Shibuya (pretty sure you heard about the crossing and Hachiko, right?). The bustling, ever-moving shopping district is for those who yearn a good bargain. How about gaming? I’m pretty sure you heard about the glorious Nintendo switch and that, along with PSVita and other gaming and anime paraphernalia can be found in Akihabara. It is the kawaii-gamer side of Tokyo that a lot expected in Japan. (Tip: Nikes are so cheap in Japan tbh there are like 5000 yen shoes which is about 45 usd)
That’s all y’all! new local travelog up next week! (guess where)