Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Heading to Tokyo!


The limbo. After an exciting 2 days in Kyoto, on our second night we made a more economical and adventurous choice: To take the night bus.


But first of all, there are different transportation options that you can take from Kyoto (or Osaka) going to Tokyo. The popular one must be the Shinkansen, or "bullet train", which my sister and I tried last year (more of that HERE).

We paid 13,080 Yen (or Php 5886) for the ticket at a vendo machine, and had a good 2 hours and 26 minutes ride to another side of Japan. Although a bit pricey and almost the same price as airplane tickets, riding the famous Japan bullet train is already an experience in itself and worth the money.



But riding the night bus is also something that I will recommend to those who want to save a few bucks. We only paid 6,800 Yen each (or Php 3,060), and waived a supposed one night hotel stay since our late travel time is perfect to catch some sleep. We booked our night bus HERE, as recommended by my friend @AshleyDy (thank you!).

Waiting game. Spent a few hours at my favorite train station (Kyoto Station) before heading to the bus terminal. 

Mister Donuts - na super sarap sa ibang bansa! Try this one (glazed) if you have the chance! I'm not into breads, but I love this!

Nighttime fell. Hello Kyoto Tower!

Although with lots of time to spare (our scheduled bus is at around 11:30pm pa), we decided to make room for mistakes and immediately took the train to the bus terminal (Located at Kyoto Kamogawa Jujo, so we went off Jujo Station).

Okay, so it's not exactly a bus terminal, but just some open space bus stop! Good thing we went there early, asked help from a stranger who was kind enough to check our printed tickets, and showed us the way. When we were sure where our bus will pass by, we walked back and had a heavy meal at a Domino's pizza place. I also freshened up a bit in a nearby minimart's public toilet (wala nang hiya-hiya!), and was ready for a nice, long sleep at the bus.


It was extra cold, and we were extra giggly that night, hehe!

Because we can't understand a thing, I constantly approached nalang itong si kuyang naka red. Okay nang may recall na makulit, kesa maiwan ng bus!


Finally settled, and with no uncomfortable middles seats! We got the normal bus with separated seats and a space for our luggage below, at the bus compartment. 

A small pillow and blanket were provided:

Studied the literature in front of me:

How to recline the seat and foot rest, turn on the personal lamp, etc.

I also have a socket next to me!

The bus toilet, na hindi naman namin ginamit. There's one stop-over, but I was in the middle of my sleep when I felt the bus pulled-over so hinayaan ko nalang.

The best part is this full curtain enclosure for each seat. I saw other night bus photos online na parang payong lang yung divider, but this option gave passengers more privacy.


Ready to sleeep! Good night, middle of nowhere!


I woke up and it was daytime already. I took a peek curious of what's outside and saw either uniformed houses or just a long, never ending granite wall. When I saw the Akihabara sign where some of the passengers took off, I opened my window curtain wide enough to take in the view. Tokyo never fails to give me the goosebumps, one of my favorite cities!




Hello Tokyo na talaga!


So our bus' final drop-off is in Shinjuku, where we just took the train to our Airbnb area in Shibuya.

Groggy and even with our maletas, we ran and paid tribute to Hachiko! Ang saya ko na that we chose Shibuya!



Right in front of the monument is the tourist information center:




Even in the morning, ang dami nang nangyayari sa Shibuya!


We passed by the famous Shibuya Crossing or "The Scramble", and did so everyday for the rest of our stay in Tokyo! These intersections are said to be the busiest in the world, and had appeared in several movies set in Japan.



You know you're in Tokyo when...


You see Mario and Luigi Cosplayers in fun karts driving legally around the streets!

We were about to attempt to look for our Airbnb on our own, but decided against it based on our past experiences (haha). We took a cab and was in front of our building in no time!


I like this Airbnb home! Ang dali nyang tandaan because of its popular landmarks (Shibuya 109 and H&M), and it is just a few blocks away from the main road.

Some of the nearby stores include this liquor shop:

A "Tomboy" bar:

This hipster cafe:


And, the make or break, a Lawson convenience store! Woot!

So here's the facade of our building, with vendo machines right in front!

Instructions emailed by our host were very specific - from the directions, to how we can get our room key (we never met him / her).

Place is also very secured with all the number codes you need to input before you can get in. Kahit kami nalilito, hehehe.


Parang vault daw, haha! So here's where we stayed for three nights in Tokyo:




My favorite from all the rooms that we stayed in! Aircon is fine, toilet is clean, and airbed and extra mattresses, blankets, and pillows were available. In our host's email, he even indicated that we can take anything from the supplies cabinet! These are plastic umbrellas, random pens, travel sized toiletries, paper and eco bags, boxes of tissue, hangers, office supplies, and other knick knacks that were left by past tenants.


Clean towels were provided, and restroom is filled with bottles of body wash and shampoo:

The only downside for me is that the pocket wifi provided was suuuper slow! Anyway, we only paid around Php 3000+ per night (or Php1000+ / head!), and location is really good, so all is well! Sa Lawson nalang kami nakiki wifi, hehe! 

Actually, we (I think jokingly) agreed on not sharing this place on our blogs for selfish reasons, hahaha! Baka mahirapan na kami ibook uli, lol. Seriously though, I prefer staying in this room again if ever I go back to Tokyo. Shibuya is the best! For the love, you can check out this listing HERE.

After freshening up, we were too excited to explore Tokyo to even rest in our beds. So off we go! We had lunch in this restaurant at the Shibuya Station.

Mali-mali ang order namin nung dumating, but it's fiiiine...

Then we figured out the best subway ticket to purchase. Here's a list I saw at the station:


By asking for tips at the tourist information center in front of Hachiko, the kind sir lead us to MODI building at HIS Traveling Agency.

They sell this 72-hour unlimited Tokyo Subway Ticket (for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway) for only 1500 Yen (Php 675 for 3 days). Super nasulit!

Another plus point is that we discovered the other services and offerings of Shibuya's HIS Travel Agency. Unlike the common connotation where travel agencies will only take a percentage of your money so it's better to DIY your tour, we actually got discounted tickets for the Robot Restaurant through HIS! Their staff were all pleasant and super helpful with ALL our questions (even ones that are not related with our purchase).



After that, we found our way back to the subway, Hachiko's paw prints leading us to our first Tokyo destination...

To be continued... 


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6 comments:

  1. You should have gotten the JR Pass hehe. It was for about 14000php but it's unlimited ride sa JR Trains including the Shinkansens.

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    1. Maybe next time I wanted to try and experience their night bus :)

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  2. Hi Ana! Thank you so much for all the helpful tips. Also for the generosity in providing the listing for your airbnb place in Tokyo haha! I'm going back to Japan end of March and we booked that place as per your reco! :) May I just inquire--how slow is the "slow" pocket wifi? I'm wondering kasi if we should rent mobile wifi as back up from the airport, given your review in that regard. :) Thank you again!

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    1. Yehey thank you! I am happy to read something like this when I got online. :) During our stay, Internet is suuuper slow wasn't able to even upload Instagram photos - have go out and connect in Family Mart HAHA.

      This was during our stay, hopefully they fixed this na! :p Unusual to for Japan baka nagkataon lang samin huhu!

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    2. Hahaha am even happier reading and re-reading your japan posts! Can't wait to go back. Last time I went, we also did Kyoto-Osaka-Tokyo. This time Tokyo na lang. :) Babalik-balikan mo talaga ang Japan ano? :) Anyway, thanks for the additional info re: the free wifi. Yes, I agree that is very unusual for Japan. My friend and I were discussing how slow it could possibly be prior to asking--we were wondering pa nga baka naman by Philippine standards, keri na. But apparently not! Haha. We'll probably rent na lang wifi from the airport. :)

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    3. Diba! Super hindi makatarungan, walang internet time at night pinapa rest na kami agad haha!

      And super true.. it's my second marathon (lol) osaka-kyoto-tokyo, but I wish I'll also have a solo Tokyo trip din like yours someday. :)

      Enjoy!!!

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