D9: The Unparalleled Sight (Shirakawa)

Hello again everyone! It has been a wonderful trip so far. Time sure flies, it feels like we have just arrived but in fact we’re already nearing the end of our trip 😦 Today’s highlight will be Shirakawago, one of the tourist attractions in Gifu Prefecture.

We started the ninth day early, because we have booked a bus to Shirakawago at 9.10 AM. The one way ticket from Kanazawa Station to Shirakawago Bus Stop costs ¥1850 per person and takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach. You can see the schedule and book the ticket here. However, if you book via the link we gave you, the only method of payment is credit card. After you completed your payment, the e-ticket will be sent to your email and simply show it to the driver before boarding the bus.

For your information, there is also a hotel that provides a half day tour to Shirakawago with bus, but it departs from Takayama area. The name of the hotel is J-Hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse. However, since there is a direct bus from Kanazawa Station to Takayama, tourists often visit Takayama area before Shirakawago, which makes the half-day tour popular. The tour costs ¥4400 per person, but if you stay at J-Hoppers Guesthouse, you will get an additional discount of ¥500. You can check it out here.

Continue reading “D9: The Unparalleled Sight (Shirakawa)”

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D8: The Unpredictable (Kanazawa).

Hi, good morning everyone. I watched a video yesterday by Nas Daily on Facebook. It reminded me that if you keep trying to do the same thing, you will get better on it. That’s why I will keep trying to share about my experiences in Japan. So, Let’s begin!

Our itinerary today is supposed to be exploring the Alpine Route. Unfortunately, yesterday night we saw an announcement on its website, saying that the Snow Wall Walk “Yuki-no-otani” is closed due to bad weather. So, we have to re-arrange our itinerary to make sure we still visit this place. The bad news are we have purchased a ticket for tomorrow’s trip to the majestic Gifu area and can’t reschedule those since all of the tickets on later date have sold out. In the end, we decided to sacrifice one day in Kyoto for the Alpine Route.

So, given the fact that we are unable to visit Alpine Route today, we take our time enjoying our remaining time in Meguro area, where we will leave Mr. Sasaki’s apartment to move to our new apartment in Kanazawa area. Thanks for the great stay, Mr. Sasaki! We definitely recommend his apartment if you want to stay around Shibuya or Meguro area. It also has a 5G Wifi connection, ultra fast! Check it out here.

We checked out and rode a Shinkansen to Kanazawa Station for free using our Japan Rail Pass. For your information, JR Pass can only be purchased outside Japan and by non-Japanese. We bought a 7-day ordinary one, which is priced at ¥29110 each. Prior purchasing the pass, we have calculated our transportation fees and compare it. It turned out that we could save a lot using JR Pass, hence, we bought them.

If you plan to visit only major cities, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, we believe you don’t need this pass. It would be way cheaper to purchase the round trip ticket instead. Kindly note that JR Pass doesn’t valid for the fastest bullet train type, which is Shinkansen Nozomi.

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The view on our way to Kanazawa Station. We can already see the Mount Tateyama from here. We have moved the schedule to visit it the day after tomorrow.
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It took us about 3 hours and 10 minutes to reach Kanazawa Station.

First thing that we did after arriving in Kanazawa Station was…. taking a picture of it… Nah, nope. We went to Tourist Information Center and asked about the bus fare and schedule, since we have communicated with our new host in Kanazawa that the apartment is within walking distance from the famous Hiroko-ji bus stop. This bus stop is the nearest to Kanazawa’s Ninja Temple as well.

We then took a Kanazawa Loop Line Bus to get to the bus stop. There are 2 types of Kanazawa Loop Line Bus, the Kanazawa Right Loop Bus (Red in Color) and Kanazawa Left Loop Bus (Green in Color). Right loop is leaving from Kanazawa Station while Left loop is coming towards Kanazawa Station. For Kanazawa Loop Line bus, you don’t need to buy the ticket. You simply hop on the bus and take the ticket in the bus. Then you exit through front door after putting the money on the box beside the driver. However, if you plan to tour around Kanazawa area, you can also buy the one-day pass for ¥500.

We missed the bus stop, we weren’t sure why. Since the bus in fact didn’t stop at Hiroko-ji bus stop. Maybe since nobody went off there, or we didn’t listen to the announcement. Hence, we had to get off at the next station, and walk a bit to the apartment. We had a difficulties finding the apartment since the maps given from Airbnb was not accurate. After winding up here and there, finally we requested an assistance from a friendly Japanese. He looked at the address in Japanese writing and said he will walk with us to the apartment. Wow.. He was about to go jog with his friends, but decided to help finding the apartment for us??? All hail Japanese kindness!!!

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Nishi Chaya District
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My girlfriend took a picture of this earlier but we passed through this alley. Eventually got back here since the apartment is in this alley. Holy molly…

The apartment was brought to us by the squad that called themselves Omotenashi Alliance Team. The apartment sure is cozy and had a nice interior. It has 4 japanese-styled beds, a small dining room, free wifi, TV, a toilet and a bathroom. The price is affordable too.

Due to our itinerary changes, we tried to contact our host for the possibility to extend the stay into 2 days. Unfortunately we couldn’t. The next day has been booked by other guests. The host was very helpful too, she provided us with the details of the apartment, the appliances, wifi password, key locker and many more before our arrival and also, helped us to find another accommodation by telling her Omotenashi Alliance team. This made us think that our plan might not run as how it should have been, but then there is always something else to be grateful for.

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The room looks like this. Interested? Click here.

We have bought our dinner at Lawson just before, so we had our dinner in the dining room, watch TV, and rest for our trip to Gifu area tomorrow.

Basically that’s all. Today is about how we rest in Kanazawa, hehehe… Stay tune for tomorrow’s big day!! Alpine route here we come!

Cheers,
Charlie Pramana

PS:
Get a discount of $13.5 (IDR 181,000) for your next booking on Airbnb! Use the link to register yourself! Share for your loved ones too! 🙂

 

D7: Beauty & The Best (Sakura & Pagoda).

大家好! Hello again everyone! It is our 7th day in Japan and probably the best Thursday ever! Today we visited 2 landmarks: Lake Kawaguchiko & Chureito Pagoda. As I mentioned in my previous post that the surroundings were magnificent, so we started the day by exploring the villa as our checkout time is 10:00 AM.

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Good morning sunshine 😀
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Villa Ausblick
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The host planted flowers in front of the villa.
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The view right outside the villa.
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Sakura tree near the villa.
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Front view of the villa. In the morning clouds usually cover the top of Mount Fuji, as you can see in this photo.
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An Eagle piercing through the sky. Japanese called it TAKA.

After taking enough photos of the surrounding, we called our host, Mr. Hiroki to tell him that we’re checking out soon. After we gave him the key, he thanked us for staying at his villa, and said he is going to drive us to Lake Kawaguchiko, just across the street. “The sakura blooming only lasts a week”, he added. Woah, what a blessing for us to witness such phenomenon that happened only once a year.

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Took photo in front of the villa with our superb host.

Then he drove us to Lake Kawaguchi and told us to enjoy ourselves. He gave us 20 minutes to stroll around Lake Kawaguchi, where the festival took place. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of Fuji Five Lakes and considered to be the best among them all. Basically if you plan to visit it from Kawaguchiko Station, there are city tour buses that operate around Kawaguchiko Area and take you to each tourist attraction. For Lake Kawaguchiko, you can hop on Kawaguchiko Retro Bus Line. It departs every 15 minutes. Kindly note that there is also a Fujisan Station in which you can also catch a bus there. You can buy the ticket and see the schedule at both stations. The unlimited 1 day pass for the buses costs roughly ¥1200. By the way, you can also use Fuji-Hakone Pass for buses in Kawaguchiko Area.

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Started Lake Kawaguchiko exploration with a low Sakura tree that is touchable from the ground.
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Bicycle prop.
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Hold your smile baby, I am setting the exposures still 😛
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There are also food stalls here, allowing us to enjoy the lake even longer.
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Going to the lake.
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Here we are! There are lots of Sakura trees here.
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2nd take out of 9999 takes.
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Lake Kawaguchiko.
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Panoramic view of Lake Kawaguchiko.
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Enjoying the fresh air & the smell of the lake.
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It was cold but insisted not to wear her jacket till photo session is completed. Hahaha
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Doing her best because she sincerely believed that all pose should be attempted.
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Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?
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Finally wore her jacket back, resulting in my favorite shot of my favorite person on earth 😀
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IT’S COUPLE PHOTO TIME! *drumrolls*

The 20 minutes given ended in a flash, but Mr. Hiroki allowed us to enjoy the lake longer, and when we got back to the car, he said “Charlie-san, I can drive you to Kawaguchiko Station or near Chureito Pagoda”. Wow, this guy is something else. His kindness is very special. We thanked him again and again, because he saved both our time and money. Our initial plan is to get him drive us back to Kawaguchiko Station and then we buy a railway ticket to the nearest station to Chureito Pagoda, the Shimoyoshida Station. But again, God is good, with His will our life is made easier. Praise and Glory only for His name.

Hiroki-san then drove us to Shimoyoshida Station, where Chureito Pagoda is now within walking distance. We told him that we’re speechless to explain how thankful we are for his hospitality and kindness before we finally parted ways. Before climbing to Chureito Pagoda which is 10 minutes away (by foot), we decided to get ourselves some nice breakfast. Fortunately, there is a cafe in Shimoyoshida Station. After a while, I realized that I left my handphone in Hiroki-san’s car! DOH! How forgetful I am. Soon after, I sent him an email that we used to communicate from booking.com and he drove back to Shimoyoshida Station to bring my handphone. Woah! A Man of VIRTUE! I really can’t thank him enough.

Continue reading “D7: Beauty & The Best (Sakura & Pagoda).”

D6: The Shibazakura Festival.

Hello everyone! Today marked an end of long holiday in Indonesia, as our Muslim friends celebrated Eid Al-Fitr. But don’t worry be happy, because our stories haven’t ended yet. In fact, now we are going to share our sixth day in Japan. Are you ready guys? I can’t hear youuuuuu~ Fine, Let’s roll!

Our itinerary today is to visit Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Fujikawaguchiko. Why only one you ask? Well, because it is quite a distance and we wanted to enjoy the festival to the fullest. For your information, the festival doesn’t open all year, it opens only from mid-April to end of May. This year it opens from 15th of April to 28th of May. We suggest that you if you plan to visit the festival, come in between those dates. Keep in mind that at the end of April till early May is the Golden Week, which is one of the busiest holiday season in Japan because there will be 4 national holidays in a week! Any tourist attraction spot will be very crowded at those dates.

Today, we decided to use bus as our method of transportation. There are two bus terminals in Tokyo that could take you to Kawaguchiko Station: Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal & Shibuya Mark City Bus Terminal. Since our apartment is the nearest to Shibuya Station, we chose to depart from there.

At first we were confused to locate the bus terminal, since our initial plan is to depart from Shinjuku. The bus terminal in Shibuya is located at the 5th floor of Shibuya Mark City, a mall complex. So you have to go upstairs and you can find it there.  We bought only a one way ticket for ¥1800 per person. You can also check the schedule and buy the ticket online here.

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The ticket looks like this. Ours depart at 10:40 AM. The bus stop is right in front of the ticket office, and you can also wait inside before your bus reach.

The trip takes around 2.5 hours and when we have departed for about 1.5 hours, we can already see the majestic Mount Fuji.

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Taken from inside a moving bus. Precision at its finest 😛

From then, the Mount Fuji stand still and you can view it along the way to the Kawaguchiko Station. Upon arriving in Kawaguchiko Station, you can see that the station design is unique.

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There are 7 bus stops in total. With each stop have different destination/arrival. As for our destination, the ticket is sold in bus stop no 7 (seven). So, we went there and to our surprise, the staff told us to look at 2 important notices:

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So, the flower is not blooming yet, and this resulted in free admission fee. So, we kinda ‘saved’ up ¥900 for the admission fee, and only need to pay ¥1000 for the return trip transport.

The trip to the festival site almost take up an hour from Kawaguchiko Station. Our schedule is at 1:00 PM, and it was 12:40, so we have to wait for around 20 minutes. Dang, it was windy and cold while we waited. Hence, to help us to neutralize it, we took a walk and captured several photos around the station.

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Can you see the bus stop around?
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Some bus wanna run it all, some just want nothing at all~~
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Fuji mineral water.

And finally our bus arrived! We queue up and ride it to the festival site. Oh yeah, you can check the schedule for Shibazakura buses here. Make sure you come early to get on your preferred schedule, since there will be lot of people if you queue too near to the departure time. After purchasing the ticket, around 10-15 mins before your departure make sure you come near the bus stop and wait (there are limited seats) there.

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Welcome to Shibazakura Festival of 2017!! This year it celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
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Greeted by this lake view from Shibazakura festival site.
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The Shibazakura (Moss Phlox) as informed haven’t bloomed yet. It would be very majestic if we have the full set.
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Of course we have to snap one for memories of the lifetime!
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Now the couple picture 😀
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The view was splendid, so we took it seriously. Let us check the photos first to make sure everything is under control.
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You kissed the Mt. Fuji???? What about me???!
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How about this one?
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Mother and son sure looks good together in a photo.

Continue reading “D6: The Shibazakura Festival.”

D5: The One and Only (Disney Sea).

Good morning everyone! How are you doing today? Hope you are fine. Are you still excited about Tokyo Disney Land? We still have its companion to share! As the post title said, it is the one and only Disney Sea Resort in the world. Yep, it is located in Tokyo. How lucky are we? Hehehe… By the way, if you haven’t read our post regarding Tokyo Disney Land, you can check it out here. We highly recommend you to do that since we have covered how to get there, especially the main transport: Disney Monorail Resort.

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Road to Tokyo Disney Sea. There is always time to take photo.

Today’s weather is a bit cloudy, not as bright as previous days, and the weather forecast says it’s going to rain too. But thanks to God’s grace, we made it to Tokyo Disney Sea without A single raindrop. We used the same 2-day pass to board the Disney Resort Line, and get down at the last station from Resort Gateway Station, which is Tokyo Disney Sea Station. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that there is a shopping complex in the Disney Resort. It is located next to the Resort Gateway Station. It goes by the name Ikspiari.

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Go to 4th Floor to board the monorail. Go to 2nd Floor for shopping spree.
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The Disney Resort Line, the monorail master.
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Managed to squeeze to the front seats. You can already see the famous trademark of Tokyo Disney Sea.
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Arrived. Let’s get inside!
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The signboard sure helps.
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Hello there, may I ask something?
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Oh, there you are!! Let’s get inside!
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Left side view.
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Right side view.
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Front view. Welcomed by the giant globe.
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Waiting for our turn to take photo.
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Wohoo!!
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Lift it up baby!
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with Goofy.
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Heeey lovely Pluto 😀

If you go right after the giant globe, you will find the entrance to the Main Square. Similar to Tokyo Disney Land, you will find shops in both left and right sides. You can then go straight and reach the Main Square in no time. There you can see the famous Mount Prometheus. In addition, just right before the main square, you can see the park schedule board on your left.

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Main Entrance with extra Easter vibe.
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The iconic duo.
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You can see the event and rides schedule here. Also, you can ask for a map from the staff.
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Hello there Mount Prometheus!
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More Mount Prometheus..
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Closer look of it.
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Thanks to the friendly staff for taking our photo.

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It feels like Venice, isn’t it?
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OOTD.
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Unique wall design. Captured one for collection.

It was about 20 minutes prior to Fashionable Easter festival when we decided to eat our lunch. As you can see, the Tokyo Disney Sea is Italian-themed, so there are lots of Italian restaurant inside. We chose to dine in at Zambini Brother’s Ristorante. On the right side of the Main Square. By the way, you can also download the park map from the website. Here is the direct link. Perhaps you wanted to take a look to make your time efficient in the park? We didn’t, but if you did it sure is gonna be useful.

We went in and ordered. In this restaurant you have to order and pay at cashier. You will then be getting your food shortly after, then you take our own food to the table. The food tasted good! But then, the forecast turned to reality!! It was only 5 minutes left before the festival when the rains began to fall. The festival started anyway, with them characters wearing transparent raincoat. Hehehehe…

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Rain didn’t stop people from watching the festival.
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Nice view isn’t it? Would be nice to ride a boat and enjoy the voyage together. From now to forevermore.
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Bye bye~
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What does that gesture mean? You want hug?

The rain did slow down for a while, right after the festival nearing the end. But it went hard big time soon after that. So, after finishing our meal, we went back to the shops. Guess what? ITS SHOPPING TIMEEE! My girlfriend wanted to buy a jacket since she didn’t wear any that time and wanted to add original Disney Jacket to her collections, so we searched for them before ultimately bought one that she loved. In addition to that, she also bought Minnie’s Scarf and Name Tag. I personally bought 3 T-shirts for my brothers and I.

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Nah.. nope. Too big :O

AN HOUR LATER………….

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Yay, Mickey Jacket is in da house!

The weather got very cold due to the rain, so we decided to head back to the apartment and end the day early. We have got quite a trip tomorrow. One thing to note is that in all your trip, don’t ever blame anyone, especially God, when your plan didn’t go well. Remind yourself that He is preparing something waaaaay better for you. Relax and let the wonder happens!

That’s all for the fifth day, enjoy reading! If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me. Stay tune for more!

Cheers,
Charlie Pramana.

PS:
Follow us on Instagram:
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2. Pricilia Saud

D4: The Fairy Tale (Disney Land).

Hello everyone, I am back! I am very excited to continue sharing about our Japan trip. Today I will describe our 4th day. We visited a total of 2 landmarks: Tokyo Disney Land, and Tokyo Tower. All hail Tokyo!

On our 4th day in Japan, our initial plan is to enjoy Tokyo Disney Land the entire day. But we ended up visiting Tokyo Tower in the afternoon. To be honest, both of us haven’t visited Tokyo Disney Land everywhere in the world. Actually, we have planned to visit Disney Land in Hong Kong, but we haven’t been able to realize it until today. So it’s our very first experience visiting this theme park. At this point we are very thankful to God, as He is so good, who would expect that we had this opportunity, visiting a Disney Land located ±3600 miles away from our country. For those who wanted to visit this theme park, we prayed that you will get there soon. Keep trying! 😀

By the way, the nearest station to Disney Resorts is Maihama Station. We went from Shibuya to Maihama with JR Keiyo Local/Express. It will take you around 30 minutes all in. When you reached Maihama Station, exit and go to the Resort Gateway Station and purchase the Monorail ticket to get to either Tokyo Disney Land or Tokyo Disney Sea.

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Signboard to Maihama Station.
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Mickey welcomes you!
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Exit through South Entrance and head Northwest to reach the Resort Gateway Station.
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There you are, muhahaha *evil laugh*
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Quick shot to start the day 😀

When you get it to the Resort Gateway Station, make your way and purchase the monorail ticket first. The monorail runs every 6 mins and cost ¥260 one way. We bought a 2-day pass monorail ticket at ¥800 since it is cheaper because we need to use the monorail 4 times (¥260×4). The resort was celebrating Easter when we got there, so we could choose a regular ticket or Easter themed ticket. You guessed it right! Of course we picked the Easter themed one!

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Easter special monorail ticket! You can see the type, expiry date and the price.
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Done purchasing, before we get to the monorail, let’s take another picture!
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Hmmm one more please, with wider smileeeee 🙂
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Happy Easter 2017 from Lee-Saud 😀

The departure is at 4th Floor, so you can either use escalator or passenger lifts. The monorail runs in an infinite loop, it goes from Resort Gateway Station and ends at the same location. If you are staying at the hotel in Resort area, chances are you will make your stop at Bayside Station. Because that is where almost all the hotels are located. It is one of the 4 stops, as you can see in the map below:

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Monorail covers 4 stations: Resort Gateway Station, Tokyo Disney Land Station, Bayside Station and Tokyo Disney Sea Station.
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Waiting for the monorail to come… 6 minutes feels like an hour :p
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Hello there! Finally you came!
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The seats inside the monorail was nice and soft.
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Let’s kill time by taking each other’s photo.
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Once arriving in Tokyo Disney Land Station, we need to get downstairs through the designated exit.

Continue reading “D4: The Fairy Tale (Disney Land).”

D3B: The Stroll Continues.. (Ueno, Asakusa & Tokyo Skytree)

Good morning people of WordPress! This post is the continuation for D3A: The Stroll. In case you haven’t read it yet, it would be better to read it first. Just click here. So, we have visited 4 notable landmarks up till now, but we are not done yet. As mentioned before that we still have 3 more places to visit, to which we will describe them down below. Are you ready to read more? Make some noisesssss!!!

We hopped to Yamanote Line from Harajuku Station to go to Ueno Park. There are 2 types of Yamanote Line though, Inner Loop and Outer Loop, to keep it simple, the  Inner Loop is the one going to Tokyo, and Outer Loop is the one departing from Tokyo. Nearest station to Ueno Park is of course Ueno Station. It costs ¥200 and 30 mins to reach Ueno Station from Harajuku Station.

When we reached Ueno Station, one thing to notice upon exit is the renovation that is currently took place. This will affect us though, and that I will explain it at the later part of this post.

Ueno Park is also considered to be a great place to view cherry blossom, but unfortunately, on our arrival the cherry blossom is at minimum. Lots of them have turned green, but no problem, the park itself is still great! God’s creation never cease to amaze us.

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Still lots of people sitting around.
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Light up the sky.
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Ueno Zoo is inside the park, it is closed when we arrived though.
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Enjoying mid park pool.

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Tokyo National Museum is just across the midpark pool.
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Dearest signs where do we have to go? Please enlighten us! 🙂
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Eventually decided to sit down and relax, with some Starbucks around, things made easier!
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Any idea what drink are these? Because I have forgotten 😀

In short, Ueno Park will be great if you plan to visit on the end of March or early April, since Hanami Festival is held there. Oh yeah, Hanami is the tradition to see cherry blossom in Japan. It was almost 7 PM when we decided to move to our next destination, the Asakusa. To reach Asakusa, we are using Tokyo Metro Subway, Ginza Line from Ueno Station. As mentioned earlier, the renovation caused us to walk extra mile. The access to Ginza Line is closed temporarily in its previous location, so we need to walk up to the bridge across Ueno Station, cross the bridge, and get down to the Ginza Line which is located underground. It is subway, bro!

Continue reading “D3B: The Stroll Continues.. (Ueno, Asakusa & Tokyo Skytree)”

D3A: The Stroll (Meguro, Shibuya & Harajuku).

Hello guys, greetings from North Jakarta!! Hopefully you guys enjoy my previous posts. Now I am going to describe our second day strolling in Japan. This day is particularly hectic. Not in a bad sense though. As mentioned before that we didn’t have enough time to cover all landmarks written in our itinerary, so we packed them up to this day.

So, brace yourself guys, it is going to be a looooooooong post! 🙂 However, it was very memorable and fun! We even broke our steps record with 24500 steps, previously at 16000. Since we need to cover quite a lot of areas today, we agreed that we need to start early. We went out at 9 AM, bought some onigiri for breakfast on our way to Gakugei-Daigaku Station and hopped a train to Naka-Meguro Station. It costs ¥130 and only 4 minutes away.

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This Grandma asked us where do we want to go and told us to enjoy ourselves. We pray that God keeps you healthy 🙂

Arriving in Naka-Meguro Station, we used google maps to know which direction to head to. It turned out that we need to walk 5 minutes to reach our very first landmark of the day, Meguro River. Since we have read that Meguro River is one of the best spot to view the cherry blossom, we walked there happily. The weather was good, God’s blessing upon us was magnificently satisfying 🙂

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We passed through Naka-Meguro Gate Town en route to Meguro River.
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Posing in front of Naka-Meguro Gate Town.
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Not forgetting a snap for OOTD picture 😀

Finally arriving in Meguro River! The cherry blossoms weren’t as many as those in Himonya Park yesterday, lots of them had come off and fell to the river. But.. IT WAS STILL PRETTY NICE! Sorry for the caps, can’t contain the excitement. Hehehehe… If you plan to visit Japan at Spring, you definitely should come here.

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Ta-dahhhh! Meguro River in a glance.
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Notice the pink river? Huh? Can’t see it clearly? Scroll down then!
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Nah.. I said they fell to the river. Notice it now?
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Taking photo with Meguro River as a background is a must.
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The Riverside walk also has lots of cherry blossoms around
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*clicks*

After enjoying Meguro River for 30 mins, we walked back to Naka-Meguro Station to move onto our next destination, Shibuya. Yes, we haven’t had chances to explore it yet, so we are doing it today. Our first target is Hachiko Statue, to which the infamous Shibuya Crossing is only across the statue. So we took a Tokyu-Toyoko Line for another ¥130 to Shibuya Station, and look for Hachiko Exit in Shibuya Station. Yes, Hachiko was soooo famous that he has its own Exit. When you found the Hachiko Exit, the Hachiko Statue is on the left side of it.

Continue reading “D3A: The Stroll (Meguro, Shibuya & Harajuku).”

D2: The Arrival.

Good morning everyone, wherever you are in the world. We have finally arrived in Tokyo, at Haneda International Airport in Japan. After quite a long haul flight, which is 7.5 hours.

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Walking to Immigration Counter…

So, first thing first, we are preparing ourselves to clear immigration upon landing. The distance between arrival terminal to immigration counter is quite far. If you walk slowly you might need 5 mins or more to reach it. And upon arriving one thing to notice was, the Japanese walk very fast. I am not sure but I was trying to keep it up with them and meh, never mind that. I’d rather enjoying myself, no point in rushing though. At least that’s what I first thought of.

When we reached the immigration counter, the queue was already quite long. But since there are 5 or more counters, it helped to halve the waiting time. “First time to Japan?” the friendly staff asked. “Yes, with my family”, I replied politely. “Have a nice holiday”, he added. Well, the level of their hospitality is shown even in immigration counter, totally not a wrong choice!

Now, onto the second step. Waiting for our luggage. Our expectation matches the reality. Since we flew with Garuda Indonesia and landed at Japan, of course we expect it to be fast and efficient, aaand it happened. We retrieved the luggage and walked out to the arrival lounge.

Now, I took out my phone and checked our custom itinerary to determine what to do next. I decided to collect our pocket wifi first, in the domestic terminal. It is easy to get there from International terminal, there is a shuttle bus that operates between them. It runs every 7 minutes.

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Well, just follow this sign and it will get you to the waiting place for the buses.
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Here it comes……

So I took the bus, collected the wifi from the post office at Haneda Domestic terminal. We rented from Japan Wireless for 11 days. It is very convenient, since you can return it H+1 after the rent expires and just drop it at any post box in Tokyo.

Continue reading “D2: The Arrival.”

D1: The Flight.

Hello everyone! What a lovely night we are having! The good thing is, my mood to write is here! Light it up everybodeeeh!

Starting off the post by thanking God, because only by HIS Grace and Protection we can make it back and forth. After 5 months of waiting (we bought the ticket on November, while departure month was April) we finally are heading to Japan! Our flight is at 23:45 PM. Due to uncontrollable excitement level, we arrived 2 hours prior to departure, and decided to eat a late… late dinner after clearing the immigration.

By the way, it was our very first experience using e-passport to travel. We were very worried at first, since e-passport uses chip for everything. We have been keeping our passport very carefully since we had it. Well, given the fact that e-passport is very convenient, we can’t help but LISTEN to it. No heat, no water etc. Oh yeah, by listening I didn’t mean it literally. It was written on the passport, so we simply followed them rules.

In addition to e-passport, there is another equipment that we brought to ensure memories preservation. And he is *drumrolls* FUJIFILM XA-2 Mirrorless camera. Bought it too early, could’ve got a XA-3 instead. But still, this guy rocks!

Fujifilm XA-2 Mirrorless
Travelling buddy is ready. Bought an extra battery to make sure we capture all moment.

With these in our hands, hopefully everything goes as per plan. Fingers crossed!

We went to the waiting room after eating our late dinner. Waiting impatiently for the flight announcement. As a result, we made a round trip back to toilet twice. Not sure if nervous, or too much water.

Aaaand the wait is now over! Flight announcement for GA-0874 to Haneda has been released and another round of waiting game started. Ugh, lots of people are queuing. With knowing that our seats are at the back, we question ourselves: “Should we queue now? Should we queue later?” Nah, I am kidding. Of course we queue now!

In short, we made it to our seat after a prolonged battle… Nah nope. The plane took off, piercing through the night skies, under the moonlight. Now, Japan and us are 7 hours away. Curiosity kept us awake for an hour, but then… we failed to stay awake (why would we stay awake in the dark though??)

Hmm.. That’s it for this post. We are flying on a plane right? Let’s continue upon landing. Stay tune for more!

Cheers,
Charlie Pramana

Time in Japan is of NO REGRET!

Hello, in this post (and some other more) I will share my experience travelling to Japan for roughly 10 days with my girlfriend.

Japan has been our target country for a while, when we decided to look for the airplane ticket, we waited for GATF to start. However, since we were too eager to visit it, we decided to buy a return ticket @ IDR 6.000.000 each. By the way, return ticket from Jakarta-Tokyo usually priced @ IDR 4 million to IDR 5 million. There goes my money…… Nah, nope. Travel while you can, you get to experience something that lasts a lifetime. Money can be sought. So yeah, you know what to do with your live, I am just stating my belief 🙂

Apart from deciding to buy a return ticket to Japan, we both also decided to go on our own. The idea is to get lost while enjoying the breathtaking scenery there. So, we didn’t join any tour group. We spent almost 6 days (No worries, only Saturday and Sunday) preparing our itinerary. Of course I am up for the challenge. Read a lot and downloaded some apps to help plan the travel.

Continue reading “Time in Japan is of NO REGRET!”