[VLOG] Travel with me to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan // Kyle Alexandria

japan

My family and I went to Japan last May 4, 2018 after my debut celebration and we explored the cities of Tokyo and Osaka for 8 days. Watch my vlog to find out more about our trip!

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Watch it here: Travel with Me to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan

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Getting Lost in Japan: Tokyo

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Narita Airport

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for God knows how long. Prior to this vacation, I had my debut celebration so our itinerary was all messed up [ugh, regrets!]. Our flight was (May 4, 2018) 6:40 in the morning and we had to wake up at around 2:00 am to get dressed and go to the airport. From luggage check-in to immigration, everything went smooth. Boarding time came and I can’t help but be very excited. I had Chicken Curry for my inflight meal and can I just say Philippine Airlines is really the best?

Fast forward to when we arrived at Narita Airport. Upon our arrival, I already thought that Japan is soooo beautiful and an 8-day trip won’t be enough to explore its beauty. Ok so the first thing we did is we went to the immigration. I was really amazed when I saw a lot of old people (like, literally old!) working at the immigration. It was hard conversing with them but it went well anyway. We proceeded to the carousel to get our suitcases and then my mom, grandfather, and I went to buy Suica cards for the rest of the family. Suica cards are like beep cards in the Philippines and it’s been really helpful during the entire course of our trip. We headed to the platform where we will be riding our train going to our Airbnb house. It took us 1 hour and 40 minutes from Narita to Shinkoiwa. My aunt got us an Airbnb in Shinkoiwa (it’s also in Tokyo) and it’s really nice and clean. The host even lent us a pocket wifi. What we did during the first day is roam around the neighborhood we’re living in and go to Ueno Park. It was very late when we arrived at Ueno Park so we didn’t enjoy the place much. Talking about our neighborhood, I really wished I can just live there forever. All houses, buildings, and establishments are painted pastel. It’s a legit pastel heaven and it’s really an eye candy. What’s also nice about it is it’s very peaceful there. You can’t hear any honkings and it’s a perfect place to take a stroll.

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Shinkoiwa, Katsushika-ku

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As I’m writing this part of the blog, I’m feeling very very very nostalgic. Take me back to Japan please ugh! Anyway, our first full day in Japan (May 5, 2018) was very tiring. So, the plan was to go to Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya Crossing, and Takeshita Street but life is indeed full of surpises. We were only able to go to Sumida Park, which is completely not in the itinerary, and Shibuya Crossing. Nonetheless, I was able to take nice pictures. You may be wondering why? what happened? Ok so, we got lost on our way to Tokyo Skytree so the family just decided to go to Sumida Park and it was around lunch time when we arrived Sumida so we had to eat. We ate at Suke6 Restaurant and to be honest, I really didn’t like the food at all. It’s an English brunch restaurant and it was the only restaurant around that area and everyone was hungry that time so we had no choice but to eat there. I forgot to mention that we also took pictures there with Tokyo Skytree as our background. After Sumida Park, we went to Shibuya Crossing. We took pictures in the middle of the road (for the gram! hahaha) and we also went to see Hachiko’s monument. The whole day consists of walking. Expect that you’ll really be walking a lot when you’re in Japan. We rode a train going to Harajuku because we were supposed to go to Takeshita Street but we were so tired we weren’t able to go to there anymore. We just went to Tokyu Plaza in Harajuku and did some window shopping around the train station. After that, we went straight home because we’re supposedly going to Mt. Fuji the next day so we had to sleep early. Again, supposedly.

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Shibuya Crossing

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The dilemma has started. I opened Klook to book a Mt.Fuji and Hakone tour but to my dismay, there’s no tour for the next day and it really annoyed the hell out of me. So we were thinking if we should just buy tickets Dineysea tickets for the next day and just go to Mt. Fuji on the other day but hell must really love me, there’s really no Mt. Fuji tour for that week. So TIP: If you’re going to Mt. Fuji, book a tour from Klook or Kkday ahead of time, like 2 weeks prior to your trip. It’s really a mistake I’ve been regretting until now. So anyway moving on, we decided to just go to temples the next day.

The following day came (May 6, 2018), we left the house very late (like 12 nn already). We first went to Tokyo Imperial Palace. Nothing much happened we just spent 2 hours there taking pictures and we headed to Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa afterwards. I was really hungry when we arrived in Asakusa but ya girl has to keep her hunger because the temple closes at 5 pm and it’s already 4:30 pm. We walked along Nakamise-dori and my siblings and I bought 3 boxes of 600-yen Takoyaki. Ugh, Takoyaki will forever have my heart swear! After eating, we went inside the temple and I was in awe after I set my foot in. Senso-ji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and it does not disappoint! We took quite a few pictures but it’s really packed with a lot of tourists so I didn’t get to enjoy much. It was fun, nonetheless! The others went home after that but my mom, brother, my aunt, my cousin, and I decided to go to Takeshita Street because we can’t leave Tokyo without visiting that shopping street. We just had to return to Harajuku! It was past 7 pm when we arrived at Takeshita Street and again, it’s packed with a lot of people. Harajuku is known for its colorful street art and fashion scene. It’s fun to see people with different fashion sense. We went to different shops and everything’s soooo expensive. My mom and brother bought a few stuff from American Eagle Outfitters then we went home after that. We arrived at our house around 11 pm already but no regrets!

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Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa

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The next day, we went to Tokyo Disneysea. Everybody was on a rush because the bus will leave at 9:40 am exact and the station’s a 10-minute walk from our house. Fortunately, we arrived on time and nobody’s in the bus but us so we have it all for ourselves. It’s an hour drive going to Tokyo Disneysea and when we arrived, it was very windy. I checked the weather forecast and I found out it’s going to rain in the afternoon. We took a lot of pictures then we started riding attractions at Mysterious Island. After some time, we ate lunch at Casbah’s Food Court located in the Arabian Coast. Food’s expensive but it gave justice! I ate Beef Curry and it did not disappoint. After that, we rode more rides but it started pouring. I swore a lot in my mind thinking, “Of all the days we’re here, why does it have to rain today???”. Because of the pouring rain, we had to go home at 6 pm and when we reached Shinkoiwa, it’s very chilly we could pass out. We arrived at our house and we started packing our luggages as we will be riding shinkansen (bullet train) going to Osaka the next day. Overall, Tokyo is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to. You’ll never run out of places to visit and it’s not just the tourist spots you’ll fall in love with but also the people. Japanese are the most polite people I’ve met and they’ll be really glad to help whenever you’re lost. Although everything in Tokyo is expensive, you won’t regret spending every yen you have. We spent our last 4 days in Osaka and our trip there will be on the next blog. Stay tuned!

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–Kyle Alexandria