Part 2 of 7 of our Japan Diary: Gotemba Premium Outlet, Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Tower

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.

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2nd day OOTD

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.

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Yey, expressway bus terminal!

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.

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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.

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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

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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…

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These are their photos that I took…

Diba, somehow visible naman si Mt. Fuji. Then here’s my photo…

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Ano besh? Asan si Mt. Fuji dyan?

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)

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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).

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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…

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That is Tokyo Skytree from afar

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)

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Here’s my total damage for the day:

Breakfast: JPY 373
Gotemba roundtrip: JPY 2880
Mcdo Lunch: JPY 550
Tokyo World Trade Center: JPY 620
Dinner at 7-11: JPY 654

Food Allowance: JPY 1577 (I have a budget of JPY 1750 per day)
Others: JPY 3500
Day 2 Overall: JPY 5077
*did not include the Michael Kors bag I bought from Gotemba because it was paid by my mom.

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 Day 3 Preview:

Tsukiji Fish Market
Senso-ji Temple
Shinjuku Bus terminal
Transfer from Tokyo to Osaka

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TravelBook.ph: My Go-To Travel Buddy

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.

Get to know my go-to travel buddy!

Continue reading “TravelBook.ph: My Go-To Travel Buddy”

Travel Diary: Vietnam

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

Continue reading “Travel Diary: Vietnam”

Preparing Your Taiwan Tourist Visa – For Filipinos

And it’s legit, I am flying to Taiwaaaan!

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!

Continue reading “Preparing Your Taiwan Tourist Visa – For Filipinos”

A Response to the Comments on my Rappler Article – Budget Itinerary: 6 days in Vietnam, Cambodia for 25,000.

You can read the Rappler article here.

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.

How?

Continue reading “A Response to the Comments on my Rappler Article – Budget Itinerary: 6 days in Vietnam, Cambodia for 25,000.”

How to be Pretentiously Artsy in Pinto Art Museum

I didn’t know that we have a Museum Month here in the Philippines. But in time for that celebration, I would like to share some photos from my favorite museum: Pinto Art Museum.

I have always enjoyed going to museums. I’ve been to Negros Museum, Metropolitan Museum, National Museum and War Remnants Museum in Vietnam to name some. But Pinto Art Museum is my favorite so far. I first saw it from Tracy Ayson’s blog early this year then it has been all over my feeds since then. So last April, I went to see it for myself. And I was not disappointed.

Here, let me share some of my photos…

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Things to do in Bacolod City

 

Yes, I am bitter over the fact that Masskara Festival just happened there in Bacolod and I was here (in Manila), stuck behind my laptop, finishing my deliverables and strolling through my feeds seeing people enjoying the festival. As much as I would like to be there and celebrate my favorite festival, I cannot do anything but reminisce some good ‘ol memories from the City of Smiles.

I didn’t really know what is in Bacolod until I was lucky enough to be asked by my sister to come with her last October 2013. It was on time for the Masskara festival and after our 1 week stay in the province of Negros, I was more than glad to return anytime soon. So if you find yourself booking a ticket down the South, try to put Bacolod in your to-go list, too.

Here are some of the things you could do to maximize your stay in Bacolod:

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Photo Blog: Flotsam and Jetsam

There are times when you just want to get away from the city and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Manila, but you don’t have time to book tickets or plan your itinerary. Good thing, we have nearby provinces that you can go to by bus and just be spontaneous: no itineraries, no plans. That is what we did exactly on that weekend in La Union.

Me and my friend, Krissy, like artsy stuff. So when we saw Flotsam and Jetsam in our Instagram feeds, we both knew we have to go there. So let me take you to that one weekend getaway to La Union’s Flotsam and Jetsam.

Continue reading “Photo Blog: Flotsam and Jetsam”