I’ve been asked a couple of times for our Japan itinerary and how I got to fit 40,000Php all-in for this trip. I actually prefer to blog our activities per day, so I can share our day in detail and the breakdown of our expenses. But since you asked for it, I’ll share here our 7 day itinerary.
To those who would like to read our daily activities in Japan, you can check Day 1 and Day 2 here. I’m currently working on our Day 3 (it’s coming up!).
YEY! SECOND DAY IN JAPAN! We started the day feeling fresh after a good night sleep. I bet everyone slept well considering how tired we were from all the walking we did on our first day. At least second day in Japan was more comfortable because we didn’t have to worry about our luggages anymore because they were tucked safe at home.
For our 2nd day in Japan, we decided to see the Mt. Fuji, which was originally not part of the plan. We planned to go to Odaiba, but heck we are already in Japan, why not see the iconic Mt. Fuji, right? So off we went. We left our AirBnb 9AM hoping that we will get to the station on time for the 10:30am bus to Gotemba.
Took advantage of the spacious train. Picture picture muna. :p
To be honest, medyo half-hearted ako to go to Gotemba kasi it was an impulsive decision plus it wasn’t considered sa budget. Eh, medyo pricey yung transportation going there. So ang make or break factor namin is if maabutan pa namin yung 10:30am bus.
This wasn’t easy to find from where we got off. We asked like 3 people and had to do little charades to understand each other. Luckily, we made it to the terminal at 10:10, enough for us to buy tickets and pee.
Subway: Shibuya to Akasaka-mitsuke (Ginza Line); transfer lines — Akasaka-mitsuke to Tokyo Station (Maranouchi Line)
1) Our JR bus going to Gotemba 2) Tickets! 3) Map of Gotemba Outlet stores plus discounts
I know the trip will take 1.5 hours so I bought breakfast at 7-11 near our AirBnb before we took the subway. And ate it during the trip.
There are other places where you can view Mt. Fuji. Based on my research, the best one is at Lake Kawaguchi. But we chose Gotemba so we can also shop and at the same time view the Mt. Fuji.
Gotemba houses Outlet Stores, so the prices are cheaper compared to other shops in Japan, plus they give out huge discounts. Most of the shops are international brands such as GAP, Cath Kidston, Michael Kors and Prada.
I promised myself I won’t buy because my pocket money was only 20,000 PHP. But I guess, my mom joined the trip for a reason, and that is for me to not be deprived if I ever want anything. Thanks, Ma! :p
Mt. Fuji was a little shy when we were there. Most of the time it was hidden behind the clouds. My photos did not give any justice to the real beauty of Mt. Fuji. But I considered myself lucky to see it in person. I’ve read stories where they didn’t get to see Mt. Fuji because of the weather. So before your trip make sure to check the weather or else…
These are their photos that I took…
Diba, somehow visible naman si Mt. Fuji. Then here’s my photo…
We gave ourselves 3 hours to window shop, eat (we ate at Mcdo! haha) and shop because our bus was scheduled to leave at 3pm. We chose that time because we still have other items to tick off in our itinerary. To be honest, 3 hours flew by quickly, we didn’t get to visit all the stores that we want. By 3pm, our bus was about to leave na, but thankfully they waited for us for like 5 minutes (they were still paying at the GAP Store). Of course we didn’t leave Gotemba without buying anything. My sister and Say were able to buy from GAP. I bought a bag from Michael Kors c/o my mom (originally it was 22,000Php, but we got it for 8,000Php). My mom was able to buy bags from Cath Kidston and Michael Kors, too.
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By 5:00 we were already at Tokyo Station, Yaesu South Exit. We were supposed to go to the Imperial Palace, but we passed by it on our way to the terminal, we decided to skip it. Our next agenda was to drop by at the world’s biggest Uniqlo, which is located at Ginza. Ginza is Tokyo’s luxury shopping district where Gucci, Chanel and Hermes can be found. But there are affordable shops too such as Uniqlo, GU and H&M and Zara.
Subway: Tokyo Station to Ginza Station (Maranouchi Line)
My friends, Rachel and Leslie, were able to buy clothes. They really packed few clothes for this trip because they were intending to shop for clothes in Japan (good strategy!). I, on the other hand, rarely buy clothes when I travel. I dunno why hahaha. I always spend my money on food, bags and souvenirs hehe. I tried out one outfit though.
So apparently, they give out head cover when you will fit their clothes. I think that is to make sure that their clothes will not be stained by your make up. Nice!
After we’re contented with our shopping, we went to see the Tokyo Tower. There are numerous places where you can see Tokyo Tower, some of it were actually free, like at Shiba Park or at Tokyo Metropolitan Goverment Building. But we went to World Trade Center because when I searched in Instagram the nicest view of Tokyo Tower, the location was tagged at Tokyo WTC. Plus… I found a discount coupon on the web!!! So I printed 6 for us, then actually left it at our AirBnb.
Subway: Ginza Station to Shimbashi Station (Ginza Line); transfer lines — Shimbashi Station to Daimon Station (Asakusa Line).
Regular admission rate was 620JPY, discounted rate will be 500JPY (diba, sayang!) Oh well, I CAN SEND YOU GUYS THE COUPON, JUST SEND ME A MESSAGE! 🙂 (But since, we weren’t able to use it, I’m not sure if they still honor the discount coupon, pero try nyo padin. No harm in trying naman diba?)
We stayed for more than an hour at the observation deck. Nagpahinga na din kami dun because super pagod na kami.
Here are other views from the deck…
When we decided to go down for dinner, sakto the restaurants were closing na din 😦 we had no choice but to head back to Shibuya and find a place to eat. But guess what… we ended up buying from 7-11 again! Hahaha, not that I was complaining though.
Subway: Daimon Station to Aoyama-itchome Station (Oedo Line); transfer line — Aoyama-itchome Station to Shibuya station (Hanzomon Line)
After all the planning and researching, it’s time to make it come to life.
This is it!!!
We were not light packers. We had 5 luggages and about 7 hand carry bags that we fit in 30kg baggage allowance and 35kg hand carry allowance.
Our flight to Tokyo was through Jetstar, which was stationed at Terminal 1. We left at 12:40AM and arrived at Narita International Airport at 6AM. (Their time is 1 hour ahead). It was my first time to fly via Jetstar and I’d say we had a smooth sailing flight since I was asleep the entire time. Little did I know, there was a strong turbulence midway that caused our plane to sink a few feet. LITERAL BES! As in, bumagsak daw yung plane at ang mga puso nila. The FAs panicked and instructed everyone to use their seatbelt. And I. WAS. ASLEEP. When I woke up, we were about to land na. 🙂
You know you’re in Japan when you see this.
After the arrival procedures (immigration and baggage claim), we went upstairs to look for the ticket counter for the Tokyo Shuttle. It was located at the right side of the food court.
If you will take other options like Keisei Skyliner or Narita Express, you can purchase the tickets on these vending machines. It’s just right beside the counter for Tokyo Shuttle.
We chose the cheapest option which is the Tokyo Shuttle. For 2100 JPY, we were able to buy 1 way trip from Narita airport to Tokyo + 3 day subway pass (can be used for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway). You’ll save 400 JPY if you buy this package compared if you’ll buy it separately.
Tokyo Shuttle- JPY 1000
72-hour subway ticket – JPY 1500
The bus stop for Tokyo Shuttle is at Bus Stop #1. Our schedule trip was 8:35 AM.
We have the bus all to ourselves. Chos! Akala lang namin. The Bus Stop #1 is the first stop of the Tokyo Shuttle. There were few stops around the airport before it departs to Tokyo. Tokyo Shuttle is the best option for those who are not in a hurry. It is the cheapest but it takes longer time compared if you take the Keisei Skyliner or the Narita Express. Travel time was not that bad. It will take 1.5hours from the airport to Tokyo station plus you get to observe Japan roads and establishments.
Few walks from where we alighted was the subway: Nihombashi Station.
The nearest station is actually the Tokyo Station, but JR line passes through it. Since we bought the 3-day subway pass, we had to take the nearest subway.
Warning: Ang kapalit ng murang Tokyo Bus ay kailangan namin mag akyat baba sa subway ng may dalang bagahe. Pero keri basta nakatipid 😉
Diba, mukhang walang kahirap-hirap.
From Nihombashi Station, we took the Ginza line and alighted at the last station: Shibuya.
WHAT’S GOOD SHIBUYA!
Medyo meh yung sight when it’s still early. Only few people cross the street. But it was such an undescribable feeling to finally see the crossing in person when you used to just see it in photos.
Our check-in time in our AirBnb was 3pm. We had to find a coin locker first so we can leave our luggages before we tour around. We went inside Shibuya 109 and found the coin lockers located at the B1 and B2 of the department store. The basement of Shibuya 109 is also connected to the Tokyo subway.
There are small, medium and large compartments for 400, 500 and 600 JPY, respctively.
Guys, okay lang mashunga sa pag gamit ng coin locker, hahaha! We had a hard time at first because the instructions were in Japanese. But there is an English option somewhere in there. Basically, what you have to do are the ff:
1. Put your things in the locker.
2. Push down the lever on the right side of the locker
3. Wait for the light — or sound
4. Automatically, the locker number will pop up on the monitor
5. Choose if you’ll pay via cash or reloadable card (Pasmo or Suica)
6. Insert cash or card.
7. Ta-da, you’ll get this ticket with your password (photo below)
Warning: Once you have locked the locker, do not reopen it again because that will be considered one purchase. You have to pay again if you open it.
After we left our things, we decided to have our lunch before anything else. Of course, I did my research on Japan restaurants. Food can be really expensive in Japan, that’s why it is normal to eat at convenience stores. But if you do your research, you can also find other people’s recommendation. Just like this hole in the wall restaurant recommended by Lady Iron Chef: Torikatsu Chicken.
The facade of the eatery. You wouldn’t even suspect that there was an eatery here. It is located at the 2nd floor of Miyagoji building.
The ahjummas were preparing our food (lol, Korean pala yung ahjumma). They don’t speak english and the menu were also in Japanese. So we just ordered Torikatsu because it is a Torikatsu eatery. Napractice din yung sign language and charade skills namin.
The writings on the wall are the menu. When we asked them if they have a menu, they pointed the writings on the wall, like we can understand it, bes.
Yey! Our first meal in Japan was a legit Torikatsu! Super yummy and even the cabbage tastes different than the ones here in Manila. Super fresh. Also, this meal was only 650 JPY. Alam ko hindi dapat tayo nagcconvert, but just to check, that was around 290PHP. Not bad at all.
**By the way, as I mentioned on my budget travel guide, I have a daily food allowance of 1750 JPY. I tracked every food I bought on the trip.
After that affordable yet delicious lunch, we were ready to start our Tokyo adventure. Since we were in Shibuya, we started with the famous Hachiko statue.
Since it was still quite early, there were few people crossing the famous Shibuya Crossing. We decided to go to our next stop which is Meiji Shrine. We took the Fukutoshin Line and alighted at Meiji-jingumae Station. I thought that was the nearest station to Meiji Shrine since it has the name Meiji Station. But I was wrong. We walked around, unsure if we were in the correct direction. We mostly used waze (often inaccurate) and Google Maps (love this app! must-have for your Japan travel) when we navigate through Tokyo. We passed by alleys, construction sites and japanese houses for what seemed like 20 minutes before we reached the entrance of Meiji Shrine.
Note: Alight at Kita-Sando station.
When you thought you are done walking because you’ve reached this point, NO. It’s actually just the start of more walking…
Actually, we did not see the Meiji shrine. We reached the barrels and that was it, we cannot walk any further. It was probably 10 to 15 minute walk from the entrance.
After resting our feet for few minutes, we walked to Takeshita Dori. Takeshita Dori is a shopping street popular amongst teenagers in Japan. It is where you can find the 4-storey Daiso store, where you can buy stuff for as low as JPY 100.
While they go crazy inside Daiso, (andaming tao, bes. Di ko keri.) I went outside and bought a Harajuku Crepe. They say must-try daw ang crepes along Takeshita Dori, so I gave it a try. The store was the one across Daiso, and I bought their best seller crepe: Chocolate with Banana crepe. And it did not disappont. Super yummy! There were other recommended stores around, but tamad ako maghanap. Pero this one’s really good din and there were a lot of people lining up, you know what they say about long queues in Japan.
After Takashita Dori, it was time for us to go back to Shibuya and check-in to our AirBnB.
Subway: Meiji-jingumae via Fukutoshin Line to Shibuya.
To retrieve our luggages from the coin locker, we just have to enter the password indicated on the ticket earlier.
Our AirBnB was easy to find. It was near the Torikatsu Chicken restaurant where we had our lunch earlier. Sam, our host, gave clear instruction and map of the area, so it was easy for us to locate it. The only struggle that we had was it was a bit uphill, so our arms were really overused with all the luggages that we carried.
I love our AirBnB in Shibuya. It was walking distance to everything: restaurants, shopping centers, subway and convenience stores. We had enough beds to sleep in, wifi was fast, the AC took a while to cool, but it was fine. Bathroom was small. Pang-isang tao lang sya. And at first, we cannot figure out how to turn on the heater, so we contacted Sam (our host), and he quickly replied. Nasa may door area pala yung switch. Overall, we had a nice and comfortable stay! I would highly recommend it.
These were taken right before we left the AirBnB, so it was very messy.
So of course, rest ng legs for a while. Then, it was time for us to witness the kagulo in Shibuya crossing. We went there around 6PM. The best spot was in Starbuck (2F) of Tsutaya Building. Since it’s a popular spot, super dami ding tao sa Starbucks. You just really have to squeeze yourself in para maganda ang shot. It’s amazing to watch people cross the Shibuya Crossing. It’s a sight to see when you’re in Japan.
This is a screenshot of the video I have taken. Can’t upload the video here eh 😦
Afterwards, the 6 of us went our separate ways. My mom, sister and I went to look for a place to have dinner. We ended up buying from 711. And we discovered this noodle that had easily become our favorite during the entire trip. Parang naka 5 ata kaming ganyan.
Say went to meet her cousin in Japan, they had dinner outside. Leslie and Rachelle checked out some shopping centers, they also ended up buying at a convenience store for dinner.
That’s for our first day. It was only our first day, but we felt like we were there for 3 days already. Super pagod!
For our visa, we went to Rajah Travel Corporation. I have a friend working there and she advised me to wait for the Travel Expo to pay for the visa processing fee because they will give a discounted amount. So we went to the Expo last February and pay for the visa processing fee of P450 instead of the original price of P1,500.
Our Japan trip, which happened last June 6 – 12, is by far the most special trip I’ve had. I knew everything by heart because I carefully planned and researched our itinerary and budget. They say travelling to Japan is expensive, but with thorough planning I would say it is not as expensive as other people think. If you are in my page because you also want to go to Japan without having to burn your wallet, you’ve come to the right page. We are a group of 6 who travelled to 3 cities: Tokyo – Osaka – Kyoto (well, plus Nagoya because that’s where we flew out of Japan) for P40,000 and some change. Below I will share how I planned our trip.
Before I start, I just want to share that my budget was divided into two. Pre-trip expenses and During trip expenses. The Pre-trip expenses include airfare, accommodation and booked tickets. Basically, anything that has to be pre-booked was under Pre-trip expenses. During trip expenses cover food and transportation within Japan. In other terms, this is my ‘pocket money’.
Alright, so let’s begin. Below would be an overview of my expenses and I will create a separate post to further discuss each.
Alright, I am one of the guilty users of #OOTD. Hahaha! I love seeing photos of my outfits and I enjoy posing for my OOTDs (I even have my own trademark OOTD pose lol). So far, the place where I have the most number of OOTDs is in Taipei. And I would share below the best places to take your OOTDs when in Taipei. (Jeez, I just used the word OOTD five times.)
DISCLAIMER: You will see my face in almost all the photos. So unless you can take it, you can press the back button NOW. :p
Finally! I found the time to share my Taipei itinerary.
Few months back, Taiwan remained to be just another country for me. I didn’t know a lot of people who have visited Taiwan, compared to those who have gone to Japan or Korea. But what convinced us to book a trip to Taiwan? What did we do there? Where did we eat? What are my tips to those who will be visiting Taiwan soon? I will answer everything below. 🙂
The budget shown above doesn’t include the total amount we loaded in our Easy Card (MRT Pass). We bought the Easy Card in 7-11 and it can be used to purchase food and other stuff. Getting an Easy Card costs 100 NTD, then you can reload it for another 100. In total, I think I have spent 500 NTD for the card and the load.
The hours specified above includes the travel time and queuing time (if applicable).
Approximately, I have spent more of less 12k for the entire trip (minus the airfare), with the airfare, probably around 15k.
My friends know how fond I am of creating itineraries and researching activities for my trips. Recently, we flew to Hong Kong, and I promised myself that I would do the things I did not do during my first visit. (Back story: My first trip to HK was in 2013, and we availed a packaged tour: HK Disneyland + Shenzhen + jewelry shop and other places I am not interested in).
This time, I wanted to go to The Peak and try the Ngong Ping cable car. Luckily, I found an app where I can book these activities at a discounted price: Klook. I learned about Klook while I was browsing posts in DIY Travel Pilipinas (posted by Mr. Richmond Difuntorum Cruz). I was curious, so I downloaded it and gave it a shot. I was hesitant at first, because I never heard of it before. But then, it turns out to be a really good app and I can’t stop recommending it to people, who just like me, like to customize their itinerary.
Here’s what I booked:
This is the activity that you booked.
Number of tickets you bought
Total amount of the activity.
Discounted amount because I have a referral code. You can use mine to get a discount for your 1st purchase: ZLI88
The new amount of the activity
This is where you can see the voucher. It will also be sent via email
The usual round trip ticket to the Peak is 88HKD (545Php). But you have to fall in line for about 2 hours. The one I purchased through Klook was a Fast Track, meaning we got to skip the 2 hour queue and went straight to the tram. And that is only for 508.50Php. HOW.AWESOME.IS.THAT?
Overall, I really love my experience with Klook. That’s why I am sharing it to you. I can’t wait for my next travel, just so I can book with them again.
Download the app and see it for your self (this is not a sponsored post, haha!) They currently have vouchers for Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Phuket, Bali and even Boracay.
Don’t forget to use my referral code: ZLI88 for you to get a discounted price on your first purchase! 🙂
When we booked our tickets for our Vietnam – Cambodia trip, we already decided that we were doing a cross-country trip. We booked a ticket from Manila to Ho Chih Minh then Siem Reap to Manila. We had no choice but to do our research on how to get from Ho Chih Minh to Siem Reap. You are probably reading this because you, too, are planning to do a cross-country trip from Vietnam to Cambodia.
One crucial factor of creating my travel itinerary is choosing the accommodation. Last December, my family decided to spend the holidays in Baguio. This is something big for me because we never go out during Christmas. My dad always prefers to spend the holidays at home. So when I learned about our first Christmas vacation out of town, being the lakwatsera that I am, I took care of planning the itinerary and booking the accommodation.
Good thing, I stumbled upon TravelBook.ph when I was looking a good yet affordable hotel in Baguio City. After looking at a lot of options, we finally decided to book Albergo Hotel. We made the payment at SM Payment Center, after which we received the hotel voucher. It was a smooth transaction.
My life has changed since then. Whether it is for a staycation in the city or an out of town, I always use TravelBook.ph for booking my accommodation.
I received a lot of questions via email and comments regarding my VietCam trip last year. The Rappler article really helped to spread my article! I think it is now time to write about our trip in detail.
Date: July 24 – July 31 | Group of 3: Me, Krissy and Bea | Budget: P25,000/pax
We booked our flight to Taipei last December to fly in July. Since there is a visa for entering Taiwan, there was a risk when we booked our tickets. But I just did my research and prepared the requirements, then prayed that I hopefully pass the application.
I actually am late in processing my visa. My target was early June (You can start processing your visa 3 months prior to your trip). But it’s hard to complete my requirements especially I just transferred to my new work. So, with only 3 weeks before our flight, I went to Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in RCBC Plaza and submitted my requirements. I am so happy because when they checked my documents, they did not ask me anything, so I take it as I submitted all the needed documents. And then after 3 days, I went back to RCBC and ta-da, I got back my passport with this!
I would like to go through some common points mentioned in the comments of my article:
Point # 1: 25,000 is expensive for a 6-day trip to 2 cities.
The article I shared was the itinerary we (my friends and I) created which suits our preferences. We are NOT backpackers but we don’t want to travel luxuriously as well. We want to travel within our budget, which is 25,000.
Our itinerary can serve as a sample itinerary or a guide to those who want to do DIY itinerary. I am not saying that you do all the activities we did or visit all the places we went to. I broke down all my expenses, so it’s easier for the readers to determine what they can adjust to fit their budget.
So, if you are asking, “Is it possible to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia with less than 25,000?” – the answer is YES.