JAPAN: #KANTOGOALS Sightseeing at Nation’s Largest Plain

Promo fares can be tempting, but I gave in. Since I wanted to have a memorable birthday vacation, I planned to extend my East Asia solo trip by adding two more countries after China. Hence, it became Fancy Asia Triplets: China-Japan-South Korea! I’ve been to Tokyo and Kansai Region before so this time I sought to explore the heritage sites, nature spots and animé locations within Kanto region, Japan’s largest plain and home to a third of country’s population.

kanto
The prefectures of KANTO Region
inCollage_20191011_195029983-00 CHUBU REGION
Yamanashi Prefecture, though part of CHUBU Region, is included in JR Tokyo Wide Pass itinerary

Hence, my itinerary was helmed as #KANTOGOALS after the Kantō 関東 region (‘east of the border’), perfect to accomplish my different interests like riding a shinkansen, see Mount Fuji and authentic onsen experience. Scoring promo airfare,  then passing the complete requirements at Reli Tours Agency at Dusit Branch Makati, everything else followed. Presenting my Kanto Itinerary below:

èjtp map2
Kanto Travel Map with highlighted destinations using JR Tokyo Wide Pass

Kanto Region 関東地方 Highlights per Prefecture :

Tokyo Metropolis 東京都
🗼 TOKYO 東京都 ‘eastern capital’
Tokyo Tower (Kamiyacho)
Zojoji Temple
Shiba Park
Tokyo Cathedral (Gokokuji Stn)
Starbucks Reserve Roastery (Naka Meguro Stn)
Tenki no Ko (Weathering With You) Animé Pilgrimage:
-Manboo Shinjuku Yasukuni-dori
-Hina’s part-time job McDonald’s Seibu Shinjuku Ekimae
-Tenka Ippin Kabukicho
-Torii (Japanese traditional gate) above Yoyogi Kaikan Building
-Tabata Station South Exit
-Shiba Park and Tokyo Tower

Yamanashi Prefecture 山梨県
🗻MOUNT FUJI World Heritage 富士山 ‘wealth master’
Chureito Pagoda (Shimoyoshida Station)
Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine
Oshino Hakkai
Fujisan World Heritage Center
Lake Kawaguchiko
Fujisan Station

Tochigi Prefecture 栃木県
NIKKO World Heritage日光市 ‘sunshine’
Toshogu Shrine
Shinkyo Bridge
Shoyoen Garden
Rinnoji Temple
Rinnoji Treasure House
Futarasan Shrine
Taiyuin Mausoleum

Gunma Prefecture 群馬県
♨️KUSATSU ONSEN 草津町 ‘grass ford’
Yubatake
Sainokawara Park
Sainokawara Rotenburo

Kanagawa Prefecture 神奈川県
🏛KAMAKURA 鎌倉市 ‘sickle warehouse’
Great Buddha of Kamakura
Kotokuin Temple
Hasedera Temple
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

🎡YOKOHAMA 横浜市’horizontal beach’
Bungo Stray Dogs Animé Pilgrimage:
-Sacred Heart Cathedral
-Motomachi Shopping Street
-Yokohama Chinatown Suzak Mon
-Yokohama Marine Tower
-Yamashita Park
-Water Guardian Statue
-NYK Hikawamaru
-Yokohama Museum of Eurasian Cultures
-Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall (The Jack)
-Yokohama Customs Museum (The Queen)
-Zounohana Park
-Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
-Cosmo Clock 21
-Yokohama Landmark Tower
-Minato Mirai 21
Masobyo Temple
Osanbashi Pier
Kanagawa Prefecture Hall (The King)
Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum
InterContinental Yokohama Grand
Queen’s Towers
Kishamichi Promenade
Nippon Maru Memorial Park
Yokohama Port Museumèjtp map3

1ST DAY: CRK Departure and NRT Arrival
0700H FLIGHT
1230H JAPAN ARRIVAL. Claim KLOOK Passes at Claim at EASY GO Counter Terminal 2 Main Building 2F. Walk to Lawson T3 2nd floor and claim Japan Wifi. Walk back to T2 for train ride
1400H Go to JR East Train Service Center. Buy JR Tokyo Wide Pass. Claim tickets for reservation on 3 rides: Shinjuku-Kawaguchiko, Fujisan-Shinjuku, Ueno-Utsunomiya.
Use SUICA card to ride train to Keisei-Ueno Station.03IMG20190910010610-02
Ride at Narita Airport Terminal 2 3 station.
1727H KEISEI MAIN LINE ACCESS LIMITED EXPRESS train ride to KEISEI-UENO station (Use SUICA; charge is JPY1235).
1835H Use now Tokyo Subway ticket to ride train to Iriya Station. Get Tokyo Guide Maps at Ueno station.
1900H 1 NIGHT 1980 HOTEL CHECK-IN (3D2N) (Capsule Reserved via Booking.com)
DINNER
Start Japan Night Tour: Tokyo tower (Kamiyacho), Shiba Park (Weathering With You) locations, Starbucks Reserve (Naka Meguro)inCollage_20191012_103031870inCollage_20191012_105016514
REST

2ND DAY: MOUNT FUJI DAYinCollage_20191011_195029983-01BREAKFAST
0600H Use Tokyo Subway Ticket. Ride train from IRIYA. Alight at AKIHABARA. Walk to IWAMOTOCHO and alight at SHINJUKU. Go to JR SHINJUKU station. Show the JR Tokyo Wide Pass and the Shinjuku-Kawaguchiko reserved seat ticket for FUJI EXCURSION 1 train.
0830H Ride at SHINJUKU station.
1022H Arrival at KAWAGUCHIKO station.
Buy ticket for Mt. Fuji World Heritage Loop Bus (¥1030 good for 2 days) to go to 1. Chureito pagoda (Shimoyoshida Station), 2. Fujisan World Heritage Center 3. Lake Kawaguchiko then back to 4. Fujisan stationinCollage_20191012_084408141inCollage_20191011_195029983-02
1746H ETD Mt. Fuji station. Show the JR Tokyo Wide Pass and the Fujisan-Shinjuku reserved seat ticket for FUJI EXCURSION 3 train.
1927H Arrival at JR SHINJUKU station.
2000H DINNER at Afuri Tsukemen Chicken Sous Vide ¥1280
Tenki no Ko (Weathering With You) PilgrimageinCollage_20191012_103031871inCollage_20191012_103625070
Tokyo Cathedral
Alight at JR UGUISUDANI station. Walk back to hotel and rest.

 

3RD DAY: Nikko Sightseeing Tour and Kusatsu Onsen
0500H BREAKFAST then check-out. Ride at Iriya then alight at Ueno (you can use SUICA card with load).
0600H Go to JR UENO station. Show the JR Tokyo Wide Pass and the Ueno-Utsunomiya reserved seat ticket for YAMABIKO 201 shinkansen (bullet train).IMG20190911062440-01
0610H Departure at UENO station
0714H Arrival at UTSUNOMIYA station
0740H Transfer to JR Nikko line and alight at NIKKO station.
0824H ETA Nikko StationinCollage_20191012_085116365
0900H Buy ticket for World Heritage Tour Nikko Loop Bus to go to 1. Toshogu Shrine ¥1300 2. Shinkyo bridge ¥300 3. Shoyoen Garden and Treasure Museum ¥300 then back to JR Nikko station. *Optional Rinnoji Temple and Taiyuinbyo ¥900

inCollage_20191012_085116366
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikkō encompasses 103 buildings or structures and the natural setting around them, such as the famous Tōshō-gū 東照宮 shrine 

inCollage_20191012_085809224-min
1200H LUNCH
1310H ETD Nikko station
1351H ETA Utsunomiya station. Transfer to JR UTSUNOMIYA station.
1420H Ride Nasuno 276 train bound to Tokyo. Alight at Omiya(Saitama).
1450H ETA Omiya Station.
1506H Ride Toki 325 train bound to Niigata. Alight at Takasaki.
1529H ETA Takasaki station. Transfer to JR Ryomo Line bound to Oyama(Tochigi).
1543H ETD Takasaki
1554H ETA Shinmaebashi.
1621H Transfer to JR Joetsu line bound to Manzakazawaguchi. Alight at Naganoharakusatsuguchi.
1735H ETA Naganoharakusatsuguchi Station.
1742H Ride JR Bus to Kusatsu Onsen ¥700
1814H ETA Kusatsu Onsen Bus StationinCollage_20191011_193226208-01
1830H Check-in: Kusatsu KOTODAMA JPY4000 (1night) single room. *Optional ¥500 yukata rent, ¥100 bathtowel rent.
Explore Kusatsu Town at night. Check Yubatake Hot Water field.
DINNER. REST.

4TH DAY: Kusatsu Onsen, Kamakura and Yokohama Tours
0600H BREAKFAST. Then morning walk towards Sainokawara Park.inCollage_20191011_193226208-02
0700H Sainokawara Rotenburo for authentic onsen experience. Buy ¥320 for towel and rent ¥100 locker (optional) to store belongings.inCollage_20191011_193226208-03
0900H CHECK-OUT Kusatsu KOTODAMA.
0925H Ride JR Bus to Naganoharakusatsuguchi station ¥700.
0953H ETA Naganoharakusatsuguchi Station.
1008H Ride at JR Agatsuma line and alight at Takasaki.
1135H ETA Takasaki. Transfer to Hakutaka 558 Train bound to Tokyo.
1146H ETD Takasaki.
1230H ETA Ueno. Transfer to Yamanote line.
1244H ETD Ueno
1247H ETA Uguisudani. Walk towards hotel and check-in. Otherwise, take LUNCH.
1349H ETD Uguisudani.
1400H ETA Tokyo. Transfer to JR Yokosuka Line bound to Kurihama. Alight at Kamakura.
1408H ETD Tokyo.
1503H ETA Kamakura. Ride Enoden train to Hase station ¥190. Walk towards Kotokuin temple for Great Buddha ¥300.inCollage_20191012_092800965
1600H Ride bus back to JR Kamakura Station ¥200
1630H Ride at JR Yokosuka Line bound to Tsudanuma. Alight at Ofuna.
1637H ETA Ofuna
1640H Transfer to JR Keihintohoku Line-Negishi Line bound to Omiya(Saitama). Alight at Ishikawacho.
1703H ETA Ishikawacho
Start of Yokohama Walking City Tour (Bungou Stray Dogs Anime Pilgrimage)
YamateinCollage_20191012_092800966inCollage_20191012_092800967inCollage_20191012_093702366inCollage_20191012_101009651inCollage_20191012_102516358
2033H Ride at Sakuragicho station in JR Keihintohoku Line-Negishi Line bound to Omiya(Saitama). Alight at Uguisudani station. Walk back to hotel and rest.
2126H ETA JR UGUISUDANI station.
Last Minute shopping at Don Quijote Ueno 24hrs near JR Okachimachi station.

5TH DAY: NRT Departure and CRK Arrival
Check-out and breakfast
Keisei Limited Express (if from Ueno Station) or
JR Narita Line Airport Rapid (if from Tokyo station)
Drop iVideo wifi at any postbox in Lawson stores
Use all coins to buy souvenirs and food from 7-11
1315H FLIGHT
1700H PH ARRIVAL (intended but instead, I flew to Seoul, South Korea)

kantosouvenirs
Souvenirs from Kanto region. This started my mission to collect bottles from different cities.

⛩️🏛️🗼🚇🚅📺🗻♨️🎡
🗾#KANTOGOALS SIGHTSEEING TRIP🇯🇵
#Tokyo #MountFuji #Nikko #Kusatsu #Kamakura #Yokohama
September 09-13, 2019 (Tokyo, Japan)
1¥ = ₱0.4947
Itinerary and Expenses (5D4N)
Airline: Cebu Pacific
One-way Fare: ₱4676.39 CRK-NRT-CRK (₱1598 promo base fare Jul072019)
CRK Terminal Fee ₱600
P2P Bus NAIA3 Arrival Bay14 to CRK: ₱380
Visa processing fee: ₱950 Reli Tours at Dusit Hotel, Makati
BPI Bank Cert ₱200
Travel tax: ₱1620

Transportation:
¥10000 – JR Tokyo Wide Pass valid for 3 days purchased at JR East Train Service Center at NRT airport. (now ¥10180 as of Oct. 01)
₱375 – Tokyo Subway Ticket 24 hours via KLOOK ₱1035 – Suica IC Card (Tokyo Pick Up) with ¥1500 load via KLOOK
¥1400 – JR Bus to Kusatsu Onsen roundtrip
¥190 – Enoden train Kamakura-Hase
¥200 – Bus Great Buddha-Kamakura
¥2000 – Suica IC Card load for travel to Narita airport

Activities:
¥1030 – Mt. Fuji World Heritage Loop Bus ticket
¥500 – World Heritage Tour Nikko Loop Bus ticket
¥1300 – Toshogu Shrine
¥300 – Shinkyo bridge
¥300 – Rinnoji Treasure Museum and Shoyoen Garden
¥600 – Sainokawara Rotenburo
¥300 – Kamakura Great Buddha Fee

Accommodation via Booking.com:
¥6420 – 1 Night 1980 Hostel Tokyo Asakusa Simple Stay (3nights) single room
¥4000 – Kusatsu KOTODAMA (1night) single room

Pocket Wifi: ₱962.01 – 5days Japan WiFi booked via iVideo https://www.ivideo.com.tw/english/japanwifirental

D1: NRT Arrival and night self check-in (used SUICA IC Card for Keisei Limited Express and Tokyo Subway 24hrs for night tour)
D2: Iriya to Shinjuku (Tokyo Subway 24hrs) and Mount Fuji Tour (JR Tokyo Wide Pass Day1)
D3: Nikko Sightseeing Tour and Kusatsu Onsen (JR Tokyo Wide Pass Day2)
D4: Kyoto Sightseeing Tour (JR Tokyo Wide Pass Day3)
D5: NRT Departure (loaded SUICA IC Card for JR Kanku Rapid)
JR Tokyo Wide Pass on D2-D4. It saved us especially on long distance travels below:
Shinjuku-Kawaguchiko (reserved seat) – ¥4130
Fujisan-Shinjuku (reserved seat) – ¥4000
Ueno-Utsunomiya (shinkansen) – ¥4280
Utsunomiya-Omiya(Saitama) (shinkansen) – ¥3210
Omiya-Takasaki (shinkansen) – ¥3210
Takasaki-Ueno – ¥4280

TOTAL EXPENSES (EXCLUDING AND SHOPPING): ₱20,057.71

Notes:
SUICA IC CARD CHARGES:
¥1235 – Keisei Main Line Access Limited Express train ride to KEISEI-UENO station
¥165 – Iriya to Tokyo Station using Tokyo Metro
¥1320 – JR Narita Line Airport Rapid to Narita Airport Terminal 2 3

1. Because CebPac’s Promo fare booked last July 2019, even with Php1598 base fare, I booked it already. It was my 3rd time in Japan so I felt at ease, feeling local…hehe 😊
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. Trains are very frequent, even the transfer itself is in same platform lang. Be aware on what train to ride (local, express, semi-express, limited express, rapid express, etc) and correct platform to get on destination. Japan travel App and Google Maps are there to guide you.
3. JR Tokyo Wide Pass truly PAYS OFF for 3 days on Shinkansen bullet train rides alone! Imagine Ueno-Utsunomiya costs almost ¥5000 then Utsunomiya-Takasaki is ¥7440 (whereas JTP costs ¥10000 only)!!! Those are rides for one-day only and you won’t feel the ride too long because of comfortable seats except when full, especially on rush hour. For FUJI EXCURSION, make sure to reserve seats as they’re limited. Check the website to reserve: https://www.eki-net.com/…/…/English/wb/common/Menu/Menu.aspx. Shinkansen bullet trains have their own platforms so if you feel lost, just ask the train station officers.
4. Have a break at 7-11, Ministop, Family Mart and Lawson and buy snacks or meals not more than ¥400. Items in konbini have tax (now 10% as of October 2019), so look on the price below published price. I usually buy 2L water as it is cheaper then refill and keep some in hostel so you can own drinking water in your room. Also, I buy snacks the night before since I hit the road in morning. Sometimes I eat at restos like tsukemen at Afuri Shinjuku worth ¥1280. A bit expensive but delicious.
5. Highly recommended to visit a natural hot spring like in Kusatsu Onsen. I tried jjimjilbang in Korea but it was different when natural…hehe. As in boiling sulfuric waters nearby at the smell, though it is safe to take bath. Feel the ambiance when you rent a yukata. Optional to buy towel and locker rent. You can also bring own toiletries (like others do). Be aware of onsen etiquette. No photography allowed inside…you know all are butt-naked inside…hehe
6. There is more to Japan than Tokyo! Since Kanto region is the scope of JR Tokyo Wide Pass, I researched the must-visits using the pass, so it became a combination of city, heritage and nature tours, with animé pilgrimage within Tokyo and Yokohama. You can customize yours  to enjoy your Japan trip. 😊
7. Survival apps: MAPS.ME, Japan Travel App by Navitime (for train routes) and Google Maps for Navigation. I use Japan Travel App often because I can see already JR routes since I’m using JR Tokyo Wide Pass. For bus pass naman in Mount Fuji Five Lakes Area, I realized it was better to use IC card like SUICA card with load since I rode bus a few times due to rainy weather. Recommended to stay a night at Nikko for onsen and heritage temples, if you won’t do onsen in Kusatsu town.

Kanto region of Japan is rich in ancient (UNESCO World Heritage) and nature spots. If I can go back, I would like to roam more on Nikko and visit other onsen (hot spring) and old towns like Manza, Hakone, Kawagoe, Mito, Karuizawa and Kawasaki.
I hope this post will help you exploring Kansai region. For those planning to visit this area, research first before purchasing any pass (JR Tokyo Wide pass or separate passes per destination), so it will pay off. With various options on transpo, accommodation, attractions, food and shopping, You can do it! Enjoy your Kanto trip! (n_n)
#SharingIsCaring #JapanJapanSagotSaKahirapan #JapanJaFun #solotrip #TenkiNoKo #WeatheringWithYou #BungoStrayDogs #AnimePilgrimage #autumn201900

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