Sunday, June 18, 2017

Japan Travel Tips: 5 Things To Do Before Visiting Japan For First-Timer

Finally! I get to put other thing aside and write something on adventure travel sections which is my favourite subject to talk about. Actually, I have been keeping this for too long since my Japan trip ended on 10th May 2017! 

From that moment I have always been thinking about Japan and I couldn't help myself plan to write a huge amount of blog post about this country. Without further delay, let's get into it.

Feeding the Deer with their favourite biscuits at Nara!
Before I started, I want to tell you that my tips is very subjectives. It may works for me but might not suit for some other people.

Most of the trips that I went is with my family, and there are six people (5 adults and 1 children below 4 years old) included me went for the trip. 

Plus, it was my first time planning for a trip (99% of it). All I can say is, it was fun journey and what an experienced in making sure that everything will be okay once we get there. Therefore, here are my list-to-do before visiting Japan for the first time.

P/S: I went to Tokyo - Shibazakura Festival in Mount Fuji area (1 Day Trip) - Osaka - Kyoto (1 Day Trip) and Nara (1 Day Trip). Total 11 days in Land of the Rising Sun on Golden Week. 

1. DO A LOT OF RESEARCH

I always bring my laptop on trip. Btw, say hello to my mom!
I get it that there are some people who love spontaneous trip and such (I do love spontaneous trip too!). But, take note that I went with my family so I need to plan something to make sure it will be a pleasant trip for us to explore Japan ULTIMATELY. 

I do write an itinerary, but it was just for a guideline. Most of the times, we change a lot of things because we are always on the same page. 

Research is really important for me because it helps me to know where to start from. There are so many things that I can explore in Japan so I get a little bit overwhelm and confused.

The first thing I did was, joined a Facebook Group called 'Road To Japan'. It's a bunch of Malaysian people who always travel to Japan build this group and share a tons of things about Japan. I found it was a really great start because from this group, I know where to go next (which area should I stay in Japan, recommend food to try, and many more).

I also went to H.I.S Travel Agency for clearer understanding about Japan. Beside that, I visit Japan Guide and Have Halal Will Travel  for additional info about the country.

Alright, let say you have done your research and at the same writing an itinerary, let's go to the next phase.

2. LOOKING FOR PLACES TO STAY

Our Airbnb at Osaka.
Alright, since I went to Japan on Golden Week I need to find places to stay as soon as possible. All of the places will be fully booked especially if you are planning to stay in Mount Fuji.

I do look on other website like booking.com, Traveloka and Agoda but I was more towards staying at Airbnb because most of my friends that went to Japan recommend me to used this serviceSo, I booked our stay at Tokyo and Osaka.

It was very convenient especially for a family. Because at a place where we stayed, the host provide tons of amenities such as towel, shampoo, washing machine & detergent, iron, hanger, pocket wifi and many more. I get all of the amenities for an affordable price, and it feels like home.

My advices is to make sure choose carefully, contact and ask the host a tons of questions. Another thing is please booked as earlier as you can because I encounter a cancelation twice, like a month before the trip. I don't like the situation but at last I get another place booked without any problem anymore.

EXTRA INFO: I want to informed you that Japanese houses is very small. Plus, the toilet and bathroom are seperate which can be quite uncomfortable for the first time, but you will get used to it after two to three days.

3. PURCHASED ALL IMPORTANT TICKETS BEFOREHAND

Younger brother, Afiq & I using Open Dated USJ tickets from JTB Malaysia.
I really recommend this TIPS because I feel like well prepared and doesn't have to rush on anything, especially if your arrival is at night time.

My 11 days trip in Japan is dependable on Suica Card only. Except there were one day where we split up, which one team went to Universal Studio Japan (USJ) and the other used Osaka Amazing Pass.

Basically, Suica Card is like Touch N Go Card (in Malaysia). I decided to purchased Suica Card because it can be used for JR East Trains, Subway, and Buses for all area that I went in Japan, such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. 

There are a tons of fares and passes available in Japan, you need to do a lot of research until you find which one is suitable for your trip. 

Other ticket that I bought in Malaysia is Universal Studio Japan 1 Day Pass. This is optional only, if you want to experienced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter like I do, go get it! The best part about this tickets is, it's an open dated ticket that can be used on any day during the validity of the ticket.

Where do I purchased all of the passes (Suica Card, Osaka Amazing Pass, and USJ)? I purchased it from Japan Travel Bureau Malaysia (JTB Malaysia). 

EXTRA INFO: We did purchased some passes in Tokyo, such as train to Mount fuji for Shibazakura Festival and Bullet Train to Osaka, at JR East Travel Service Center, Shinjuku Station.

4. INTERNET ACCESS IN JAPAN

RM15 per day Pocket Wifi from H.I.S Travel Agency.
Internet access are really important especially if you are dependable on your phone during the trip. There are few applications that I download before the trip such as,  Airbnb,  Halal Gourmet, Halal Navi, HHWT, Google Translate and Google Maps.

Since we arriving in Japan during night time, we need to make sure we have access to internet the moment we touch down. So, we rent pocket wifi from Malaysia and also we have another one waiting for us at Airbnb (both Tokyo & Osaka).

Pocket Wifi that I rented is from H.I.S Travel Agency. For just RM15 (normal price RM30) per day without deposit, you will get a top notch speedy internet. I am very satisfied with it because it last up to 9 hours, can connect up to 10 devices and also have unlimited data usage (mind blowing).

There are also another option like Travel Recommends and Samurai Wifi for pocket wifi. For those who want to used SIM Cards, you can read Tokyo Cheapo article about it.


5. PRE-TRAVEL CHECKLIST

Always double check! Btw, I write a review on Blu Grand M after using it for 11 days in Japan.
Make sure to double check on everything, travel documents, pocket wifi, passes and tickets before you boarding. Since it my first time do all the planning, I did a countless of checking to make sure I didn't missed out on anything important.


That's all the tips and tricks that I can share with you. I still have a lot to improved and for me travelling is about discovering and there is nothing wrong or right about it. Just make sure you are having fun and experienced a lot of things because who knows when you will come back again soon. 

If you want to add on and share some tips, make sure to leave some comment below, I would love to hear from you guys! Who knows we might be travel buddy soon? 

This post have been featured on Halal Navi blog! Click here to read the upgrade article on their site.

We get to try Kimono & Yukata for Free!
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