This time last year, I remember praying everyday that I get to see sakura in Japan. LOL. With sakura season coming again, I thought I’d take a break from my Morocco posts to talk about one of my favouritest destinations in the world – JAPAN!!
Japan is one of those countries where, you just wanna go everywhere and visit EVERYTHING. SEMUA kan di aga – so confusing and rambang mata. But I love everything about this country and wish I can go there more often – and in fact this sakura trip is my 4th time there!
I realise the key to enjoy Japan is:
- Don’t pack too many activities in one day.
- Wake up early! Japan is also a country of early risers, so join them and start your day early.
- Allocate some days to experience their groceries – maybe for breakfast! Stuff like – butter made from Hokkaido milk, their yummy eggs, strawberries, plums, so much more!!!
- Immerse yourself in their habit of making things easy for other people – whether it’s carrying your thrash in your bag 20km before you see the next tongsampah, or simply cleaning up your tray after you eat at McDonald’s.
- Join them in their peace signs, selfies, and cutesy clothing! It’s the only place u can do haha.
- Learn the language! Don’t worry about speaking broken Japanese!
During our trip, we went to follow the JR Pass route to hunt down the beautiful sakura: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya. For those who are wondering, a JR Pass is like a ticket for the whole of Japan – it enables u to travel on the Shinkansen (bullet trains), or go on the Hiroshima-Miyajima Ferry, most subway lines.
Need inspiration on creating your itinerary? Check out our itinerary below!
|Day 1||10:00pm Arrive in Haneda International Airport*^ via ANA|
Off to Beagle Tokyo Hostel – in Otorii area near airport to stay the night
Check in and rest#
* In hindsight this is an awful airport hahaha.
Soooooo crowded especially this time of the year.
Try and opt for Narita International Airport.
^ Upon baggage claim, we picked up our Mifi as well – the 5 of us
shared 2 Mifi devices between us to save cost
# FYI most hostels in Tokyo only allow check in till 10pm –
please take note if you are arriving late at night to always check
the timings (also they are very strict – they won’t let u check in
even 1 minit selapas 10pm)
|Day 2||After breakfast and check out, take train back to nearest JR Office |
in Haneda International Airport to activate our JR Pass and
reserve seats for our trip to Kyoto.
Board train at Shinagawa Train Station and catch the Tokaido
Line going towards Shin-Osaka (Bullet Train) – Get off at Kyoto
Find way to Guest House Kete & check in
Sightseeing and exploring – walk all the way to XXXXX Kyoto
Dinner at Ayam-Ya Ramen (Halal)*
*So apparently Ayam-Ya has closed down omg! Sayang! The ramen
nyamannnnn. Bah siasiapun saja kamu
|Day 3||Take train to Fushimi Inari Shrine|
Explore the area near Fushimi Inari & eat a lot of streetfood
from the streets sana – NYAMAN!
Wagyu Dinner (Halal) at Naritaya*
*Nyaman berabis di dunia – btw this Japan trip is a bit of a foodie
trip cause ada si Marul – kan makan saja kami! And wajib ada
makanan in the itinerary.
|Day 4|| Check out from Guest House Kete|
Visit the Kyoto Botanical Gardens for sakura!!!!!
Pick up bags from Guest House Kete and catch shinkansen
to Nagoya (Tokaido Line)
In Nagoya, check in Hotel Abest Osu Kannon (the only hotel we
stayed in on this trip – highly recommend cause of the location)
Dinner at Maruya for Hitsumabushi* (See other recommended
*Hitsumabushi is a specialty of Nagoya. Nyaman berabis – eh
semua jua nyaman!
|Day 5||Take train to Fujigaoka to visit the Toyota Automobile Museum|
Back in Osu Kannon, explore the Osu Shopping District
|Day 6||Check out from Hotel Abest Osu Kannon|
Take Shinkansen back to Tokyo (Tokaido Line) to Tokyo Station
Make way to Setagaya-ku* Station
Check in our Airbnb**
*FYI Setagaya-ku is the birthplace of Ultraman!
**Ever since our visit, Japanese Government has made it tough for
Airbnb owners to host. Read more here. It’s a shame because we
love our apartment – they even provide basikal for jalan-jalan and
a Mifi! Sayang! They have now removed their listing.
|Day 7||Take Chuo Line – Super Azusa – Kaiji Line to Otsuki for |
Shibazakura Festival in base of Mt Fuji
Spend day there
Dinner in Gyoen Ramen Ouka (Halal)
*Jauh! Just spend whole day sana and enjoy! BTW when we
were there, aiiiii hujan and sajuk berabis di dunia. Frust!
But still siuk pasal kami ketawa ketawa.
|Day 8||Explore the Tsukiji Outer Market (Makan whole day)|
Visit and explore Shibuya (Hachiko Statue)
Also take pics at the famous Shibuya Crossing
|Day 9||Visit and explore (and shop) Harajuku & then Omotesando|
Explore Odaiba – a man made island in Tokyo Bay!
|Check out from Airbnb|
Depart to Kuala Lumpur
BTW we only specifically did sakura viewing in Kyoto. Pasal apa nah, everywhere else, sakura is literally on side of roads!!! Hehehehe… Also, for this trip, we didn’t really go all touristy visiting palaces and shrines – only because it’s my 4th time there and I wanted to focus more on sakura and things I’ve never done/seen.
Something about planning a trip to Japan, when planning, we have to take into account journey time, and since we’re Bruneians, when the guide says 5 minute walk that usually means 10 minute walk.
We also need to leave some time to be baffled and confused by signages and whether we’re on the local or express or semi express trains, and most importantly- leave sometime to singgah kadai (especially drugstores) and of course take photos!
Tapi most important of all, EAT A LOT!!!!!
Hope this helps!