Japan: my ultimate East Asian destination. My love for animé, J-dorama and food makes me wanna visit this country. Perceived by many as an “expensive” tourist destination, at first I was frightened to book a roundtrip ticket but promo fares came and luckily, I was able to book using flight points and one way flight back to Manila for JPY1000 base fare only! After booking flights, I checked and passed the complete requirements at Reli Tours Agency at Dusit Branch Makati. In less than a week, I received my passport and got my first Japanese visa. Thorough planning on my itinerary and expenses followed, to make sure every cent will be well spent, despite of only two whole days sightseeing. I chose to start my adventure in the capital of Japan, Tōkyō 東京 (‘eastern capital’) or officially Tokyo Metropolis 東京都, a city of contrasts: traditional yet modern, filled with busy people yet disciplined.
Without further ado, I’m sharing my first trip last June 18-21, 2018 at the Land of the Rising Sun: JAPAN 日本国 (literally ‘origin of the sun’)!
Highlights per Special Ward 特別区:
-Nakamise Shopping Street
-The Ueno Royal Museum
-Hanazono Inari Shrine
Azumabashi -Asahi Beer Tower & Super Dry Hall (Flamme D’Or)
Oshiage -Tokyo Skytree (world’s tallest tower)
-Gundam, AKB48 & Maid Cafes
-AKB48 theater (within Don Quijote Akiba)
Kanda -Kanda Myojin Shrine & Nikolai-do
Chiyoda -Imperial Palace (avail afternoon FREE Tour by JNTO. Reserve first)
-Tokyo Station Brick Building
-Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
-JNTO for FREE Yukata Costume Experience
Yurakucho -Godzilla Statue prime
Hibiyakoen – Hibiya Park for Dr. Jose Rizal monument in Tokyo
Nagatacho – National Diet Building
Hayabusacho – Supreme Court of Japan
-Uniqlo Flagship Store
Akasaka Palace – State Guest House
Shimbashi – Nippon TV Tower’s Giant Ghibli Clock
Tokyo Tower – iconic landmark featured in anime
Odaiba -Statue of Liberty, Fuji TV and Giant GUNDAM!
Suga Shrine (Kimi no Na Wa location)
Tokyo Metropolitan Building (FREE Observatory. Check schedule per tower which is open on that day)
Shinjuku Chuo Park – watch skating exhibitions near a waterfall
Kabukicho – Robot Restaurant, Godzilla, love hotels, etc!
-Tokyu Plaza Omotesando
-LINE Friends Flagship Store
-Takeshita Street (fashion street, crepes, and many more!)
Shibuya Scramble – famous crossing featured in animes
Yebisu Garden Place – Jdorama location of Hana Yori Dango and Hana Nochi Hare
Anime Tourism Information Center
Akihabara Store for Free Taste of Cheesecakes, etc.
Japanese Culture Experience Counter (Free of Charge)
2045H JAPAN ARRIVAL. Claim Tokyo Subway ticket
Walk from T2 to Lawson at T3 to claim Japan Wifi. Walk back to T2 for train ride.
PASMO card (with JPY500 deposit)
2134H KEISEI LIMITED EXPRESS TRAIN RIDE TO UENO (Use PASMO; charge is JPY1025). Walk from Keisei-Ueno to hotel.
2315H 1 NIGHT 1980 HOTEL CHECK-IN (4D3N) (Capsule Reserved via Booking.com)
2ND DAY (TUESDAY)
0500H Walk to ASAKUSA then to TOKYO SKYTREE.
0745H Use Tokyo Subway Ticket at OSHIAGE station
0810H Alight at AKIHABARA.
0900H Explore then visit Kanda Shrine and Nikolai-Do.
0930H Ride at OCHANOMIZU station.
0944H Alight at TOKYO station. Go to Imperial palace, visit Ichigokan Museum then to Marunouchi Nakadori for FREE Yukata Experience at JNTO.
1100H Walk to Yurakucho to see Godzilla and Jose Rizal statue at Hibiya Park.
1140H Ride at HIBIYA Station. Alight at SHIMBASHI station.
1200H LUNCH at Ichiran Shimbashi
1250H Visit Nippon TV Clock. Ride at SHIMBASHI.
1310H Alight at HIGASHI-GINZA. Kabukiza and explore GINZA. 1315H Visit Wako, Nissan and UNIQLO flagship store. Ride at GINZA station.
1400H Alight at KOKKAI-GIJIDOMAE. National Diet Building, Prime Minister Residence, Supreme Court. Ride at NAGATACHO.
1440H Alight at YOTSUYA. Walk to Akasaka Palace.
1451H Then to Suga Shrine (Kimi no Na Wa location). Ride at YOTSUYA-SANCHOME. Rest a bit at Ministop where I bought DISNEYSEA TICKET (original price JPY7400)
1545H Alight at MEIJI-JINGUMAE. Explore Harajuku: Tokyu Plaza, LINE store, Takeshita Dori. Then visit Meiji Shrine. Back to same station.
1715H Alight at TOCHOMAE. Rest at Shinjuku Chuo Park. Free observatory at Tokyo Metropolitan Building. Back to same station.
1830H Alight at SHINJUKU. Exit at Kabukicho and explore: Godzilla, Robot Resto, etc. Back to same station.
1905H Alight at SHIBUYA. Exit at Hachiko Statue. Shibuya Crossing then view at Mark City bridgeway. Back to same station.
1945H Alight at AKABANEBASHI. Walk to Tokyo Tower. Back to same station.
2030H Alight at EBISU station. Walk to Yebisu Garden Place (Hana Yori Dango & Hana Nochi Hare Jdorama location). Back to same station.
2100H DINNER at Family Mart in Ebisu
2220H Alight at IRIYA. Walk back to hotel and rest.
3RD DAY (WEDNESDAY)
0515H Ride at IRIYA and alight at UENO. Expore Ueno Park. 0522H Visit Hanazono Inari Shrine. Ameya Yokocho near station.
0610H Ride at UENO-OKACHIMACHI and alight at SHIODOME.
0645H Ride at SHIODOME station of Yurikamome Line using PASMO IC card. Alight at DAIBA Station.
0705H Explore Odaiba: Statue of Liberty, Rainbow Bridge View, Gundam Statue! Back to SHIODOME using PASMO at Yurikamome Line.
Ride at SHIODOME station and alight at SHIN-KIBA using Tokyo Subway Ticket.
0821H Ride at SHIN-KIBA station of JR Keiyo Line and alight at MAIHAMA station using PASMO IC card
0830H Walk to Disney Resort Line. Ride at Resort Gateway Station and alight at Tokyo DisneySea Station still using PASMO IC card.
0900H Enjoy DisneySea! Use FastPass on rides/attractions with long queues. Eat your baon/snacks inside.
1800H Walk back to Tokyo DisneySea Station and alight at Resort Gateway Station using PASMO IC card.
Walk back to MAIHAMA station of JR Keiyo Line and alight at SHIN-KIBA station still using PASMO IC card
Ride at SHIN-KIBA station and alight at NAKA-OKACHIMACHI using Tokyo Subway Ticket.
1920H Shopping at Don Quijote Ueno branch (pasalubong shopping)
2145H Ride at UENO-HIROKOJI station and alight at IRIYA station. Walk back to hotel.
4TH DAY (THURSDAY)
Ride at IRIYA station and alight at TOKYO station.
0700H Exit at Yaesu side. Drop the Japan Wifi on attached post envelope at Lawson.
0730H Ride KEISEI Bus. Show the reservation email.
0840H Arrived at NARITA Terminal 2. Explore airport.
0925H Anime Center and free taste of various goods after check-in and immigration.
1720H PH ARRIVAL
Itinerary and Expenses (4D3N)
Airline: Cebu Pacific
Fare: PHP4108.04 RT (with 15kg baggage pabalik)
Visa processing fee: PHP950 Reli Tours at Dusit Hotel, Makati
Travel tax: PHP1620
PHP506.10 – Tokyo Subway Ticket 48 hours via KLOOK https://www.klook.com/activity/1552-subway-ticket-tokyo/
JPY3000 – PASMO IC card (with JPY500 deposit)
JPY900 – Keisei Bus Ticket from Tokyo Station to Narita T2 (booked online here: http://www.keiseibus.co.jp/inbound/tokyoshuttle/en/)
JPY5520 – 1 Night 1980 Hotel (4D3N Capsule Room reserved via Booking.com)
Pocket Wifi: PHP750 – 4days Japan WiFi booked via iVideo https://www.ivideo.com.tw/english/japanwifirental
DisneySea Ticket: JPY6400 (35th Anniversary promo on Weekdays; bought at Ministop in Tokyo)
TOTAL EXPENSES (EXCLUDING FOOD AND PASALUBONG): PHP15654.19
PASMO IC CARD CHARGES: JPY2491
JPY1025 – Keisei Limited Express Narita T2 to Ueno
JPY308 – JR Keiyo Line Shin-Kiba to Maihama (roundtrip)
JPY638 – Yurikamome Line Shiodome to Daiba (roundtrip)
JPY520 – Disney Resort Line Resort Gateway to DisneySea (roundtrip)
1. Because of CebPac’s GetGo Promo 500points last Nov 2017, at Feb2018 JPY1000 base fare promo NRT-MNL, finally I was able to go to the Land of the Rising Sun. Even I have 2 wholedays soghtseeing (because I just came from Seoul few days ago), I made ends meet with tight budget and initial pocket money of dalawang lapad JPY20000, so my itinerary was jampacked (see Tokyo Travel Map). You can customize it like I did. Rest a while between stops.
2. Be mindful of train etiquette. Please be quite inside trains as some are sleeping. Priority seating for seniors, buntis, with kids. When in escalators, stand on LEFT and walk/run on RIGHT. As in every transfer from one line to another, even every 2 minutes there’s train, everyone seems in a rush, and so I did. Whew!
3. Most attractions are FREE, like Yukata experience and Observatory in Tokyo Metro Building in Shinjuku. Walk all your way to see the sites. Visited shrines and temples, even anime/Jdorama locations I dreamt visiting. Just visit JNTO at Marunouchi for more travel tips. They also offer FREE Imperial palace tour when you reserve on first come first served basis. I even asked them the nearest branch Ichiran. They are very accommodating!
4. Take a break as much as possible. Tambay sa 7-11, Ministop and Lawson and bought snacks, meals not greater than JPY400. Items in konbini (convenience stores) have tax, so look on the price at the bottom. My splurge moment for food is in Ichiran ramen JPY890 and Disney Fish Meal JPY1930!
5. Survival apps: MAPS.ME and Google Maps for Navigation, Tokyo Subway App for Metro Trains (see screenshots of ALL Metro routes I rode), Japan Travel App (for non-Tokyo Subway routes like Yurikamome and JR Keiyo lines).
I hope this post will help you exploring Central Tokyo. Tokyo subway system is complicated at first glance but research first before purchasing any pass (Tokyo Subway or JR pass), so you can get most out of it. With many options on transpo, accommodation, attractions, food and shopping, you can do it! Enjoy your Tokyo trip!