Monday, 28 October 2013

It's been a very busy month and will still be till the end of the month! Some people would prefer to have a more relaxing month but honestly, I'm enjoying the busy schedule! Why? Because it makes me feel that I'm not wasting my time! Makes me feel like October is such a productive month!

Anyway, spent Friday to Sunday at a Congress! One of those early Rise and Shine days! Haha.. Hopefully the participation will bear fruit before the end of the year! *pray hard*

Right, suppose to be blogging about my planning for the Tokyo Trip Itinerary! So, how did I plan, where did I refer to, and who did I ask for advice?!?! Well, before I.. *ahem* start my lecture, I'll share my itinerary. If you think it's good, read on. If you think it's crappy, just forget it and move to another information source.





I guess everyone didn't really bother to read through but just scroll down to see how Holy Shit It's Freakin Long! it is and then just got demotivated. Haha.. Honestly, if you are going to Tokyo, Japan, you don't have to copy my itinerary. Truth to be told, there's no one itinerary that fits everyone because everyone has different interest.

Another reason why you should not copy my itinerary is because it is made to suit my uncle's schedule as well. My aunt invited me to join her and I accepted it after much deliberation. Most of your young people out there would be wondering why I would want to join the trip to a fun place like Tokyo with my aunt, uncle and mom. Sounds boring and restricted, right? Well, it was not an ideal trip but at least it was an eye opening trip and it is a trip to TOKYO! So, why not! It is also one of the thing in my wishlist and it's like a #DreamComeTrue! AND who could resist the AIR ASIA airfare of RM1,600 for two! Which means RM800 ONLY! Crazy deal right? I think it would be more insane if I did not grab the airfare. Now I sound like I'm promoting Air Asia. Lol.

After all that I've wrote, people who stumble upon this blogpost from search engine must be thinking, can you faster list out the essentials to plan my Tokyo Trip? I'm getting impatient already...

Oklo..
So here's what I did. 

No.1 - Hunt for the affordable airfare.
Well, as I've mentioned, I got my airfare of RM1600 for 2 person. Book early and be prepared for the unpredictable :P That's part of the adventure, isn't it? I book mine on 6th July 2013 and my travel date is 3rd to 8th October 2013. Fly from around late afternoon and reach Haneda Airport at night, about 1 1/2 hrs to midnight. Flight back is also around 8pm. Some people said it sucks to reach Tokyo at that hour. I'm fine with it because after all, I am still leaving around the same time rather than leaving in a morning flight.

No.2 - Hunt for the affordable accommodation.
I stayed at Kamata Fresa Inn Hotel for the first day and moved to join my aunt and uncle at Shinagawa Prince Hotel N Tower. Both cost about RM200 per night and does not provide breakfast. I guess it is not a Japanese thing to provide meals together with your stay. I booked Fresa Inn through Booking.com and Shinagawa Prince Hotel N Tower through HotelClub.com because both were offering low rates for different accomodations. So, check out these websites: Booking.com | Agoda.com | HotelClub.com just to name a few. You might get more when you google book hotel. Remember, early birds get the worms. The rate for Shinagawa Prince Hotel N Tower increased to RM600 per night if I were to book right before I board the place.

No.3 - Visa Application.
Visa? What visa? Most Malaysians are now exempted from Visa Application! Yay! Just as long as your fulfill these criteria, you do not have to apply to Visa. It's not about the money, more about the hassle!

Exemption of Visa for Malaysian Nationals holding biometric passport
with an embedded microchip that is compliant with 
ICAOInternational Civil Aviation Organizationstandards starting from 1 July
1. From 1st July 2013, the Government of Japan has decided to abolish the requirement of short-term visa for Malaysian Nationals who hold ordinary biometric passports with embedded microchip that is compliant with ICAO standards(issued since February 2010) who wish to enter Japan for short-term stay.
However, this visa exemption only apply to Malaysian Nationals holding ordinary biometric passport with embedded microchip that is compliant with ICAO standards. Malaysian Nationals who do not hold ordinary biometric passport with embedded microchip that is compliant with ICAO standards are remain advised to obtain a visa to enter into Japan.
When you plan to visit Japan, please kindly check if your passport is a biometric passport with embedded microchip that is compliant with ICAO standards.
For checking method, click here.
2. In accordance with the above visa exemption, the duration of stay in Japan to be given to MalaysianNationals at that time of entry inspection will be for maximum 90 days. (Those who plan to stay for more than 90 days or work in Japan, remain requested to obtain a visa as before.)

3. When you enter into Japan, your entry permit will be issued at the entry point by the Japan immigration (This is the same for those who enter into Japan with a valid travel visa). Please take note that you might be asked about your purpose of visiting Japan or requested to submit necessary documents (For example: Return flight tickets & etc.).
Please be aware that you might be denied entry if you are entering Japan for short-term stay but the total duration of your stay in Japan in a year exceeds 180 days.
4. If you have any enquiry, please contact the consular section of Embassy of Japan in Malaysia at the phone number below.
Consular Section, Embassy of Japan in Malaysia   Tel: 03-2177-2600
Why type when I can just get them off somewhere. Source: http://www.my.emb-japan.go.jp/English/visit/visa25062013.html

No. 4 - Finally! What to play, where to visit! What to eat!
These actually depends on yourself. As I've said, everyone has got different preference. Hence, you should plan according to your interest but do group them in the same time period if they are just nearby or in the same area. (I think I just said something stupid) Here's a few website to check out;
- Japan Hot Now! Japan Gourmet, Leisure, Culture, etc..
- Japan Guide Interesting things and places guide
- Tokyo Map Providing a map of certain area.
- Odaiba What to do at Odaiba..
Best Places for the view of Japan (one of my must do thing actually although I think a visit to KL Tower during day time is rather a waste of money due to the hazy view :/) :

No.5 How to travel around Truth to be told, the taxi fare in Tokyo is crazy. So the best way is to travel with Japan Rail Network. They are really convenient and ... really convenient. So convenient I think when you look at the rail networks, go go crazy and give up and say, Taxi Please! 


 You can download the Metro Subway Map above here: http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/pdf/routemap_en.pdf

Personally, I didn't like this map because I can't see where the heck I was going.. or rather, it doesn't really show a tourist the destination he needed to go to.

Here's the Railway Map I like :) 

Still, it is driving me crazy (although less) trying to figure out how to get from point A to pint B. Some is pretty clear while some will get you thinking, do you need to switch trains?

Fret not my friends! (Like some #SuperHero speech. Lol) Here's an awesome website that will save all your brain cracking puzzles! You really have to thank God there's Hyperdia which made taking trains an easy peasy task! Just put in which station you want to get onboard and where you want to go to and walla! They do the work for you and you choose the route you want to take! Just that easy! Easy, right? right? right? Say yes.



Again, I'm thankful for Hyperdia. I actually freaked out when my aunt told me that I need to study the rail networks really carefully and KNOW which train and which station exit to take! Thanks to Hyperdia, traveling with trains in Tokyo is so easy! If you did check out my itinerary, you'd notice the Transportation info which is in red. This is where I get all my info from. Did I mention that they have an android version as well? If you're just plain lazy, to do it on your andriod phone and print screen them coz I don't think they work offline although I'd love that.. a lot.

Even more convenient now is that all prepaid cards can be used in almost all rail network. Unlike previously, Suica only for JR and so on... Btw, they are called IC card (not our Malaysia Identity Card card..). So check them out here: Prepaid Travel Card. If you don't intend to read, I really advice you to just read because there are places where you can't use the IC card and when you return the card, they charge you 210 yen for handling fees which is about RM6.93. So don't make a fuss :) If you don't want to return the card, it can still work within 3 years from last active use :) Personally, I credited 10,000 yen (RM330) into mine and I think I've used around 6,500 yen (RM214.5) for just traveling.. in Tokyo which is.. about RM43 per day on average? Sounds kinda expensive, huh? I think it's alright because as tourist, we do travel a lot and I don't want to limit myself in just the JR circle. I think they have a cheaper tourist pass for JR or something like that.. that's for you to find out yourself :D Also, they can be used to make purchase in convenient marts! So less coins for your pocket! :)


I LOVE my PASMO card (which I got from Haneda Airport). So cute. Unfortunately I have to give it back =/

No.6. Extras: Refer to Lowyat Forum post :D
There are nice people who will help but there are also people who treat themselves as lecturers and you as their student. So it depends on their mood (angin) whether they wan to reply you nicely or not.

That's about all I did when I plan for my trip! Good luck everyone! :D  Do not get stress with your planning. you just have to plan a rough one because due to time and interest factor, plan might change. So just plan a simple one and change according to situation :) Have a carefree and enjoyable holiday!

The following posts would be about the trip itself. Places I visit and stuff I eat and things i see! Stay tune if you'd like to know more about it ^^

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