(Nov 26, 2013)
Besides travelling to Europe, Japan was another country on my must travel list after getting an AU passport (no visa required anymore).
So when I found out that some uni friends from the Philippines were planning to go as well in Nov, we ended up organizing a group travel to see Japan during autumn! I was super excited not only because I love Japan, but also because I get to travel with friends that I haven’t seen for at least 10 yrs.
We didn’t join a tour group and just planned the itinerary ourselves. Me and 2 other friends (one of who is currently living in Japan) did the planning and research for the sights and accommodations. The itinerary was for a 2 week trip, with some people from our group arriving or leaving earlier throughout the trip. But before we began, everyone first met up in Tokyo for dinner in a themed restaurant 😀
First thing we did upon arrival at the airport was get a wifi rental. Each group booked from different rental websites, but for our case I got our wifi rental from here. You can reserve it ahead of time and just pick it up from the airport upon arrival. We did a lot of travelling to different prefectures in Japan, so this was one of the providers where the wifi worked for all of the locations we visited.
Next we had to figure out how to ride the train to get to our accommodations. At this point it was just me and 2 other girl friends, so we were on our own trying to figure out how to get to our hotel. You can ask the info booth in the airport (they can speak in English) what train to take to your accommodations. In our case, our hotel was in Toyocho station so we took the Keisei main line to Ueno, then we had to then transfer to another train to get to Toyocho station.
The tricky part is figuring out how to buy tickets for the 2nd part of our train ride. There were ticket machines you can buy from and they were in English, but it doesn’t say in the screen what amount to choose! So we were scratching our heads trying to figure out what button to press.
I only figured this out later on, that though they don’t specify the location in the machine, when you check via hyperdia it tells you the amount value for a specific route. I didn’t know this at that time, so to play it safe I picked the cheapest price here. Then when that wasn’t enough to exit out of our station, we went to the staff near the exit, showed our ticket and paid the difference between what we have paid and the actual price.