Tokyo Travel Journal

Four days in Osaka and another four days in Tokyo.

Tokyo was one of my dream destinations because snow and cherry blossoms look so dreamy on TV. But I realized, sometimes dreams are not always as pretty as we imagine. The cold weather made me realize I was not ready for winter and I was better off on top of the equator.

But this vacation is def one for the books- It was when I experienced my first snow fall, and see cherry blossoms for real.

Downside is, Tokyo is such a huge city you have to travel at least 15 minutes to get to your destination, that is if you are already familiar with the train stations and their routes. For a tourist like me, their train station is like a maze. With over a dozen of train operators and more than 4 subways on a subway station, you must fill in your thirst for adventure to get by . And for a lazy traveler like me, a 20 minute train ride would be an eternity.

Day 1

We arrived in Tokyo from Osaka via Shinkansen past 2pm, we checked in to our hotel which was very far from the center because it was the cheapest option I can find.  Good thing was, it’s located just at the back of the train station.

First day in Tokyo was spent for shopping (again). The Electric town Akihabara was our first destination.

DAY 1
11:00 AMDeparture from Osaka to Tokyo via Shinkansen
2:30 PMArrival in Tokyo
3:30 AMArrival and Check in at Shinjuku Sky Capsule Hotel
4:00 PMTo Akihabara Electic Town
5:00 PMAkihabara Shopping
7:00 PMDinner
8:00 PMHead back to the Hotel

Day 2

So the initial plan was to have lunch at Shibuya, and end the day at Tokyo Tower. Guess what? That never happennedddd! And why? Because the snow made us extra lazy. So half of our day was actually spent in Yoyogi park, the other half in Harajuku, window shopping. Late afternoon we visited the Korean town where we spent the whole night playing in an internet cafe.

DAY 2
8:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AMStroll at Yoyogi Park
10:30 AMHarajuku Shopping
1:00 PMLunch
2:00 PMShibuya Crossing
4:00 PMKorean Town
6:00 PMHead Back to Hotel

Day 3

And here’s another cliche- Tokyo vacation is never complete without a visit to Mt Fuji. So yes, we did try to get a glimpse of the renowned Mt Fuji, got a taste of winter at the Ski Resort, watch the early bloom of Cherry Blossoms, and paid a visit to a strawberry farm- a heck of the day I should say considering the distance between each activity.

DAY3
6:00 AMBreakfast
7:00 AMMeet Up for the Day Tour (c/o Klook)
8:00 AMDeparture
9:00 AMCherry Blossoms Festival
11:00 AMSki Resort
3:00 PMStrawberry Picking
5:00 PMMishima Skywalk and Pasalubong Center
6:00 PMHead Back to Tokyo
8:00 PMDinner and Head Back to Hotel
Day 4

Time to say goodbye. Short but sweet, we had to pack our things early in the morning to catch a flight back home.

DAY 4
5:00 AMBreakfast
6:00 AMCheck out and Departure to Narita Airport
7:00 AMArrival in Narita Airport
9:35 AMNarita to Cebu

You will never be a true tourist in Japan if you haven’t lost your way around Tokyo. Here are some of the notable mishaps we came across when in Tokyo and I thought I might just share it with you so you would not make the same mistakes we did, or at least be ready for them, lol!

Hop on the wrong train. On our way to our Mt Fuji trip meet up place, we rode the wrong train because we are on the wrong wing (we didn’t know the same train station name has east and west side).

So when you go to a group tour, be extra early because you’ll never know you’ll have to go back to where you started. Or you can just opt for a chartered tour if you have the budget, it’s much convenient.

Being separated from the group. Tokyo can be very crowded. Me and my husband had a miscommunication with the station officer. My husband thought the officer said the right way was on the right side while I thought it was on the left side. With just a split second, we got lost in the crowd and we couldn’t find each other, yes, their train station is so crowded!

The wifi signal in the subway was not very strong too! So avoid being separated from the group at all cost especially when you are 7 feet from the ground.

How did we found each other? We went back to the same station office where we lost each other while trying to make use of the intermittent signal in the subway. And wifi data was very helpful. I was beyond grateful that we did not use pocket wifi because then, only one of us could have used the wifi. With the data, both of us were able to connect via viber and communicated our way to each other.

Budget

Our Cherry Blossoms trip with ski and strawberry picking was quite a pain in the wallet. It was a last minute booking I had to spend P 10,000 each. The budget was for P 25,000 per person and we actually spent a little over P 25,000 each for our 4- day Tokyo vacay.

Also, I was thinking maybe I should also make a blog on how to increase your chances of getting your Japan visa approved based on my experience. My first visa application way back 2016 was denied and looking back, there were a few ample things I did extra on my second application in 2019, which got approved. I might just write about it when I have time to go over my papers.

If you have questions though on my itinerary, feel free to send me message, I would be more than happy to share my thoughts. Also you can check my Facebook for more photos of this trip =)

♥, JL Arnaiz

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