Thursday, 20 March 2014

trip to japan 2014 - day 1: ueno park & sakura frappucino.

after check-in & leave our luggages at kimi ryokan, we headed to the first stop in our day 1 itinerary - ueno park & ueno zoo! lol why zoo? cause tonbd wanna see panda, her ultimate fav animal (because of jun. k obviously) haha ok jk. it's.. just because.

we took JR train from JR ikebukuro station to JR ueno station, which is just 8 stations apart. and we went there with teshy's friend, mujigae-san. she is so nice, although it's a little bit hard to communicate (sometimes we even have to use google translate OTL) but.. whatever. hehe.

JR ueno station

the first thing we saw was starbucks ueno park! we were dying to try sakura latte/frappucino and yes finally we're able to taste it! i had sakura chocolate frappucino with strawberry flavor topping, tall size, for 510 yen. and it's really niceeeeeeeeee, the best frappucino i ever had in my life lol.

my sakura frappucino!

and there were sakura (or cherry blossom) trees outside starbucks too so we were a bit high and excited cause... it's sakuraaaaaaa. you can't see it in malaysia! lol. took a few pics then we headed to ueno zoo, which is also located in this ueno park.

with sakura tree

ueno zoo's entrance fee is only 480 yen (~ rm 15.70) for foreign tourist! cheap is it? just show your passport :) i'm not really a big fan (?) or animal lovers but i enjoyed this zoo trip too (a bit~ lol) cause there's panda & polar bear! 

seeing the real panda for the first time in my life lol

then we back to stroll around ueno park again (when we're supposed to catch time and head to the next stop but this place is too breathtaking we can't leave this place too soon~ lol)

it's so beautiful i wanna be here again in.. spring? ㅠㅠ

this ojisan just use his umbrella with sponge attached to it, and a bucket of water to make an awesome floor art!

one of his floor arts kkk

statue of the imperial prince komatsunomiya akihito

toshogu shrine

how to go to ueno park/ueno zoo:

1. get off at JR ueno station
2. ueno park is located just in front of park exit

coming up in my next post - day 1: asakusa. til then, bubye~

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

trip to japan 2014 - day 1: check-in at kimi ryokan.

our accommodation in tokyo for 3 days 2 nights was.. kimi ryokan! fyi, 'ryokan' means japanese-style guesthouse which uses tatami floors, futon mattress. even their staffs wear yukata! we made a right decision to book this place, cause it was really nice! worth every single yen and very suitable for budget travelers like us. kkk. booked this hotel through its website - few months before our trip.

the first thing we saw............. the entrance door is there.. STAIRCASE??? OMG

the lobby (?) lol

small kitchen area. there's microwave, hot/cold water dispenser & fridge

lounge area~ can watch tv here

we took '6 mat room for 3 guests' type of room. it's quite small, but still can fit in 3 of us (and our luggages lol). there is no bathroom in your room, ofc most hostels/guesthouses practices shared toilets/bathrooms. if you're not convenient with this condition, this may not be a good option for you. kkk. our room is located on the 3rd floor. but yes they do have elevators! well that is the mosttt important thing any hotel/guesthouse should have (LOL don't let me start with our osaka hostel that doesn't have elevatorsss!!).

elevators! no need to worry about your 40kgs luggages lol

our futon mattress

there's yukata for you to try too kkk

summary of what we have to pay for our 3 days 2 nights stay here :-
'6 mat room for 3 guests' room: 9500 yen (per night)
TOTAL for 2 nights: 19000 yen
TOTAL for 2 nights (with 5% tax): 19950 yen
TOTAL for 2 nights (per person): 6640 yen (~ rm203.70)

a bit pricey~ but since our budget is rm100 per night, so it's still considered OK! hehe. plus we don't have to pay any deposit to reserve. full payment is only required upon check-in :)

another extra point about this hotel is.. they do have a storage room! we arrived there around 11am, but their check-in time only starts at 3pm. so we can leave our luggages first in the storage room (for free ofc, and don't forget to lock your luggages lol). and they can help us to print our flight itinerary too, for free (maybe if you just need to print 1 copy lol). just email them things you need to print and they'll help to print it for you.

our luggages stored in the storage room

there's a shared pc in the storage room (the OS is in japanese btw, change it to english or use your common sense to locate the right button/function lol)

anddd.. it is located just few mins away from ikebukuro station. well ikebukuro station which is known as the 2nd busiest railway station in the world after shinjuku station, serves multiple lines e.g JR yamanote, narita express, seibu, tobu tojo, tokyo metro marunouchi subway etc etc. so it's really convenient cause basically you can use any line to get here (and can save time used to change train instead). yup it's complicated at first, but getting easier after few days.

how to go to kimi ryokan (from ikebukuro station):

1. look for C6 exit (it's few mins walk underground if you get off from JR line/narita express cause basically this exit is closer to their tokyo metro subway line).

C6 exit

2. walk straight for few meters (you will see 7eleven & family mart on your left).

family mart on your left

3. walk again until you see a main 4 junction (pasela restaurant). cross then turn left.

cross this 4 junction (there's another 7eleven there too lol)

4. walk straight and turn right at the 3rd intersection (mevius cigarette store).

turn right when you see this cigarette store

5. turn left at the 1st intersection. kimi ryokan is on your left.

turn left at this intersection

welcome to kimi ryokan!~ lol

to make reservation, just search for room availability on their websites then email them -

btw kimi ryokan, this is not a free promotion, so please give me a free 1 night stay in my next trip ok LOL. coming up in my next post - day 1: ueno park & sakura frappucino. til then, good night!

Friday, 14 March 2014

trip to japan 2014 - day 1: arrival at narita airport, pick up pocket wi-fi & buy suica n'ex pass.

hello peeepurr i'm back to write about my recent trip, which is.. JAPAN TRIPPPPP! lol i'm still excited about this trip and still has fresh memory about it, so.. i better write about it now. it's like, NOW or never. tsk.

so the planning for this trip began when my 2 hottest friends; tonbd & tesh discussed about their intention to go to one of 2PM arena tour 2014 stops (which is osaka) and i suddenly feel like.. omg this is it! this is the only chance for me to fly to japannn! again, it's like NOW or never. lol stop it. and finally it leads to this trip; kuala lumpur --> tokyo --> osaka --> kuala lumpur. just the 3 of us? omg! sounds awesome? tokyo & osaka in 7 days? ofc like the other previous trips, we just travel by ourselves, plan everything ourselves, arrange everything ourselves. not using agencies cause u know, it'll be a granny-ish trip then lol. yes yes i admit we didn't really complete visiting each and every interesting places due to lack of time but.. i feel satisfied :)

i) departure (KUL-NRT)

ok let's start. our flight to tokyo was scheduled to depart from KLIA on 28/3/2014 11.00pm. this is my first time flying with malaysia airlines (still.. let's #prayforMH730 everyone ㅠㅠ) so i was a bit excited. cause we got 30kg free check-in luggage, 2x meals, watch movies onboard etc! lol jakun. the bad thing is.. we are too cheapskate and as usual, always opt for any available random seats. so i end up sitting in the middle of 2 japanese guys (1 man & 1.. cute guy LOL). i should just pay extra to get a better seat (e.g next to window/aisle etc) hurm. summary of my KUL-NRT flight :-

flight tix: rm689 (bought during promo)
free 30kg check in luggage
free 2x meals

my KUL-NRT flight itinerary~ yup bought it during some random promo. same price with AA tix :p

me and my luggage(s) lol surprisingly i didn't bring so many unwanted stuffs like my previous winter trip to seoul (lesson learnt~ ㅋ)

with trip mates, tonbd & teshy :)

gambar wajib setiap trip lol

so what did i do during this 7 hours flight? i watched moviesss! there are so many new movies available omg so i decided to watch this korean movie, the face reader / 관상 (starring lee jong suk, awwhh). it's really good (although i fell asleep in between.. a few times lol). then i re-watched the hunger games too, as if there's no other new movies i could watch eh.

watching lee jong suk as jin hyung in the face reader XD

nasi lemak yg masih 'telan****' katanyehh. but whatever, bersyukur jelah masih ada rezeki nak makan kkk

ii) arrival at narita airport

then we reached tokyo (narita airport terminal 2) at about 7.00am JST (fyi, for air asia flights, they arrive at haneda airport, not narita). the first thing i realized was, they didn't give me the immigration form! lol clueless me (never be this clueless before, so shut up). so i asked one of the FAs (he looks like a filipino but he suddenly speaks malay lol) and thank god they still have one extra form. so i managed to fill in the form (using pencil.. cause that's what i only got LOL) while waiting for tesh to finish her business in toilet. haha. and when we arrived at the immigration counter, guess what, the staff asked me to re-write the form using a ball-pen! 헐 i feel so stupid. gomennasai.. ㅠㅠ so everyone, don't forget to always fill in your immigration form onboard, with a ball-pen ya. lulzzz.

welcome to japan! konnichiwaaa~

narita airport~ (jakun mode)

iii) pick up pocket wi-fi

the first thing we did after that was.. look for QL liner counter! ok forgot to mention about this earlier. since we are really.. SNS-type-of-people so we CAN'T live without internet. even for a second. so then we decided to rent mobile/pocket wi-fi. after few months (? LOL) of researching, it looks like this site - offers the most interesting & convenient packages. then we immediately book through this website. they do provide excellent service, in less than 15 mins they will e-mail you the invoice and ofc, use your credit card to make the payment, then finished!~

we took 6 days 21mbps pocket wi-fi x3, with premium delivery option (cause by default, the pick up location for narita airport terminal 2 will be at the post office but it only opens at 8.30am. since we arrived a bit earlier we have to choose premium delivery option - which they will deliver our devices to the QL liner counter that opens as early as 6.30am). it's easy to return this device too, just put it inside a provided envelope and leave it at any post office box (we leave it at kansai airport post office box on our last day ^^). summary of what we have to pay for this pocket wi-fi :-

6 days 21mbps pocket wi-fi: 4650 yen x3 = 13950 yen
premium delivery option: 525 yen
TOTAL: 14475 yen
TOTAL (per person): 4825 yen (~ rm157.30)

my pocket wi-fi set, it comes with the charger and user guide

well it's equivalent to my monthly tm unifi bill lol but who cares, as long as i got my internet and i can post my pictures to instagram, tweet and spazz about 2PM concert, everywhere anywhere, YES WE LIVE A TRAGIC LIFE SO JUST BEAR WITH IT. it's really worth it (besides the fact that i can still communicate thru whatsapp with my mom~ ㅋㅋ). and oh, this premium delivery pick up location (QL liner counter) for narita airport terminal 2 is located at the 1st floor (same floor with arrival floor). when you walked out of the arrival gate, just turn to your left and walk straight til the end. the counter is located between exit 2 & exit 3.

QL liner counter map

there it is, QL liner counter~

iv) buy suica n'ex pass

the next thing to do is.. to check in (our luggages) at our hostel! we opt to ride narita express (n'ex) to our hostel since it is located near JR ikebukuro station (one of n'ex stops) so.. yes, suica n'ex pass is a must-buy! this package is a special offer only for foreign passport holder. you can read more about this pass from jreast website (*it mentioned that suica n'ex sales will be ended on 31st march 2014! oh thank god!*). basically narita express is like our klia express/klia transit, while suica card is like our touch n go card. easy right? summary of my suica n'ex round trip pass :-

suica n'ex round trip pass: 5500 yen
what you will get :-
1) n'ex departure ticket from narita airport station (to any n'ex stops)
2) n'ex return ticket back to narita airport station (from any n'ex stops) *open date ticket
3) suica card (already pre-loaded with 1500 yen)
4) suica n'ex user's guide booklet

my suica card and n'ex ticket

just like touch n go card, you can use this suica card to ride any type of train around japan. for example, JR train, tokyo metro subway, toei subway, even osaka subway etc etc. just make sure that it has sufficient balance before you tap this card. lol. it's easy to reload your card too. just look for any ticket machine at any stations, they have english version too don't worry~

and also please take note that your n'ex return ticket back to narita airport station (from any n'ex stops) is an open date ticket. you have to reserve your seat for the return journey by inserting this ticket into JR ticket machine, do the reservation things and it will provide you another ticket (with date, time, seat number etc). just read the user's guide booklet and look for any JR ticket machine to reserve your return journey's seat.

we immediately look for narita airport T2 JR station (cause basically n'ex is under JR~) which is located at the B1 floor. the staff can speak english so there's no issue to buy it. just say you wanna buy suica n'ex round trip pass and show your passport :) btw, we had this conversation while queueing to buy the tix, like questioning ourselves.. why we're the only weird-looking-faces here?? (in malay) and started talking in malay like a boss. LOL. then suddenly this guy who stand in front of us look at us and said.. "orang malaysia ek?" (you guys are malaysian?) lol then we found out that he's a chinese guy from malaysia! (but he looks like a japanese ok not gonna lie, that's why..) /facepalm

the long-a** line at narita airport T2 station to buy suica n'ex pass lol

riding n'ex train is really cool~ it's just like klia express. ok nope. klia transit maybe. about 1 hour from narita airport T2 station to JR ikebukuro station. it stops at few other stations too (the route depends on the train schedule). look for the n'ex schedule HERE. we took narita express 8, depart at 8.53am from narita airport T2 station, bound for JR ikebukuro station 10.26am.

the punctual n'ex which arrived at 8.53am lol

inside n'ex

where was this? i don't even know~

as i mentioned earlier, the route depends on the schedule. this train did not stop at shinagawa station

just the 3 of us inside this cabin (?) cause most of the other passangers get off at tokyo/shibuya/shinjuku station lol

believe me, this is japan. they are VERRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYY punctual. if it says train will be arrived at 8.53am, yes it will be arrived at the freakin 8.53am. so don't expect a delayed train and always be early so you won't miss your train ㅋㅋ omg I REALLY MISS THIS PLACE AND ITS PUNCTUALITY !! ㅠㅠ

coming up in my next post, day 1: check-in at kimi ryokan. til then, bye bye!~