Back in Japan

Finally, I’m back in Japan for the second time with the fambam and Ynne!  We decided to visit Japan again from May 4 to 12, 2016 and roamed more around Japan’s cultural places like Hakone Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, and back to Tokyo.

The whole gang was with me during this trip including my dad, step-mom, little brother, aunt, and of course Ynne. It was also my aunt’s second time in Japan but first out of the country for my 11-year old brother.

We first landed in Tokyo as this was the easiest city to flew in. We decided to hustle our way to Don Quijote because we were looking for loots that are very affordable. At DQ, they offer everything from cheap stuff to give away as gifts to your friends back at home. You can buy branded clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories, gadgets and more are available here. Plus, if you are a cosplayer, this is the best mall for you to buy your costumes.

If you are the game seeker, then you would enjoy playing at Joypolis, Odaiba. It is a Japanese Arcade that has 4 floors of authentic Japanese arcade games and a lot more of non-stop entertainment. We enjoyed our day here as well.

If you just want to have a good time and bond with friends,  have a drink or two at Izakaya, a local Japanese drinking place in Tokyo. We had a great bonding time with our friends in this pub.

I enjoyed visiting Kyoto out of all the places in Japan I’ve been to so far. During this 4-day vacation, I got to feel and experience it’s amazing nature-filled locations. Plus, we were able to go to Hakone at Mt. Fuji view area for the whole day and just stared at God’s beauty from within. This is was a great and unique day for us, as all of us was seeing the area for the very first time. Though, it was a bit a downfall at the latter part as we weren’t able to see the full view of Mt. Fuji because of the foggy weather on that day.

What got my hopes up and my adrenaline pumping was the bullet train! For a Filipino used to the MRT and the bad transportation in Manila, I really felt great to ride the bullet train going to Kyoto. But most of all, I really enjoyed the tourists spots in Kyoto is very different from the commercial and busy streets of Tokyo.

Kyoto has plenty of temples and shrines. But out of all those culture feels they have to offer, below are my top 3 choices:

  1. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

  2. Kinkakuji Temple

  3. Fushimi Inari Taisha

Here’s a list below of the wonderful destinations we visited during our 9-day trip to Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto:

May 4 Tokyo

  • Arrival in Narita with the whole family
  • Airbnb check in
  • Shinjuku evening dinner at a random ramen house

May 5 Happy Birthday Daddy!

  • Odaiba – Aqua city, Statue of Liberty, Rainbow Bridge, and Gundam Statue
  • Met with Ynne at Shibuya
  • Hachiko Shrine and Shinjuku crossing
  • Dinner at a Japanese pub to celebrate dad’s birthday
  • Met with Ynne’s friends living in Japan
    • We drank beers at the sidewalk of Shibuya, one of the most memorable moments in our Tokyo travel.

May 6 Hakone Prefecture

  • First bullet train ride to Hakone
  • River Cruise in Hakone
    • 20-minute cruise along the lake
    • Great view of the mountains
    • Ship was an old British type battleship
  • Met with Repizo family to have dinner at Ginza Lion

May 7 Kyoto Prefecture

  • Second bullet train ride off to Kyoto
  • Arrived at 3PM in Kyoto
  • Airbnb check in
  • Chion-in Temple
  • Gion District – BBQ dinner

May 8

  • Kyoto’s Imperial Palace Garden
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha
    • Rented Japanese Kimonos for the afternoon
  • This place is the definition of Japan because you’ll see a thousand Torii gates lined up to make one of the greatest feats in Kyoto.

May 9

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Kinkakuji Temple
  • Local Beers at Airbnb

May 10 Tokyo (again)

  • Bullet train back to Tokyo
  • Harajuku Ichiran, Strolled Harajuku
  • Met with Sir Ahj again and our friend Mj in Shibuya to have local beers and experience an izakaya(Japanese Drinking place)

May 11

  • Don Quijote Shopping

May 12

  • Goodbye Japan

Japan is gem in my heart. If I have a choice, I would go here as often as possible if money and schedule permits. If your next destination is Japan, make sure to add Kyoto and Hakone on your list.