Category Archives: Japan Trip 2014

My family trip to Japan in May/June 2014.

Docklands Summer Festival and Japanese Lesson

Impulse purchase. Everyone is guilty about it. Consumerism has taken over our life that it’s hard to imagine life without it. Everywhere we turn, it has left its mark there. On the webpage, in the magazine and even the email, the only way to conquer it is to actually use it. That’s why Ben and I went to Thunder Road Cafe on Saturday for lunch, to use the voucher she bought months before. Paid €28 for a €60 value meal, do we feel bad about it? Not quite, the meal was delicious. We had the sweet chilli battered prawn, garlic bread with cheese, prawn fajita and vegetable burger. We were so stuffed, we decided not to get the dessert (I still have vouchers for froyo). Didn’t even use up the full €60 value for the meal.

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Afterward, Ben headed to watch Godzilla in cineworld while I head towards Grand Canal Dock for Docklands Summer Festival. The weather was warm and sunny, it feels wasteful to spend the day indoor. Sitting next to the dock and hanging your feet at the edge while watching wakeboard surfers performs, it hard not to notice that summer has finally arrive in Ireland. The charity duck race didn’t quite live up to my imagination, but it’ll do.

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I recall bumping into Benny Lewis, a globe-trotter who started up Fluent In 3 Months website, on Thursday. What a luck as I only went into Easons that day to browse for more travel books. His website encourages people, not only to learn foreign languages but also to open their life for new cultures and friendship from around the world. That is exactly what I’m passionate about and so I signed up for a language exchange program Italki. So far I’ve had 30-min Japanese trial lessons from 2 teachers; Tomoko sensei and Rinko sensei. Previously I had believed I’ve conquered the basic pronunciation of the Nihon go I can use to converse with Japanese locals. I was wrong. As soon as we started the Skype lesson, I went stumped. I couldn’t make my message across but they were so kind and helpful to assist me starting up again. If I had more time before leaving on Saturday, I would schedule another session with them and make it into a full hour. Wish me luck!

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Japan Guide Books

Planning for a Japan trip

In November last year, my elder sister mentioned she was planning a trip to Japan with her family. Since Japan has been in my travel bucket list for years, I jumped at the idea of joining her. After requesting her flight details, I immediately made a booking from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka with Malaysia Airlines.

Japan Guide Books

There is no such thing as too much readings!

Next stop is the planning. I’ve travelled so many times around the world before but usually alone or with friends. The last trip I went with my elder sister is in 2008 to Bali, Indonesia. I don’t usually make detailed planning when I travel, more of a get-there-and-decide-then type. Since this is a family trip, I have to turn my lone traveller mode off, especially since my mother also had decided to come along.
8 days and 8 nights. Technically it’s 9 days but since our flight home on the last day is at 11am, I don’t consider it part of the main trip. Places to visit will include Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and Hakone. To cover the train rides I purchased a 7-days Japan Rail Pass at cost €194 from Japan Experience.

Japan Rail PassMy sister first suggested we book hotel rooms throughout our stay, even made an initial booking to Chisun Inn Umeda. I scratched the idea straight away, suggesting we find accommodation through AirBnB site. Her first question, “What’s a BnB?”. Oh, we do have different travel styles. I normally would stay at hostel instead, but since this is a 7-people trip, with an age range from 1 year to 60 years old, a B&B is more suitable. I doubt the rest of my family has ever stayed in hostel before.

We made bookings in 3 places, Habikino House in Osaka, Yayoicho Apartment in Tokyo and Nikko Kansai Airport Hotel. 3 different accommodation types,

Japan Accom

Guess which is which?

Our trip plan now consists as follow:

Day 1: Nara, Tempozan Harbour Village
Day 2: Kyoto
Day 3: Arashiyama and Osaka city
Day 4: Osaka in the morning and travel to Tokyo in the afternoon.
Day 5: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Akihabara
Day 6: Tsukiji, Ikebukuro, Asakusa, Odaiba
Day 7: Hakone and Mount Fuji viewing
Day 8: Travel back to Osaka (time split between Tokyo/Osaka)
Day 9: return to Malaysia

So far, everything has been paid for apart from the hotel. Flights, train and houses are all paid in advance. So at times, I’m saving for food, tours, intracity travel and souvenirs. Looking forward to May 2014!

Juliana