We are Going to Tokyo!


In case you haven't seen the countdown banner in the right hand panel of my blog, OUR NEXT STOP ISSSSSSS... 


... TOKYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!


We've never seriously discussed Tokyo as part of our travel plans but we were trying to decide between London or South Korea for our next destination recently when Saliheen suggested the idea: 

"What do you think of going to Tokyo?"

Told him I hadn't exactly thought of it but totally open to the idea! He did mention Japan once because he heard the song Rather Be by Clean Bandit and said "Eh kita pergi Japan ah... our holiday video boleh pakai lagu ni haha" but I obviously thought he was joking haha - guess he wasn't and the idea somehow manifested in his head!

We've now deliberated and decided we'll go to London another time (We want to travel and visit his brothers at the same time but turns out their exam period is in January. Meh.) and between South Korea and Japan, the latter seems to be more..... attractive? The only reason we're interested in South Korea is because we love Running Man and K-pop lol

We've already booked our hotel and flight tickets - we scored discounted ones at S$550 per pax on SQ! Which is cheaper than its usual $600 to $800, I think? This is one of the things that I will miss if we ever have children one day - having the luxury and freedom to purchase non-June and non-December flight/hotel tickets which are on sale hehe.

Anyway, all we're left to do is to plan our itinerary and pray tiada aral melintang within the next 5 months! Insya Allah we'll be going to popular sites like: Shibuya Crossing, Tsukiji Market, Ginza, Roponggi Hills, Tokyo Tower, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Ueno Park, Ameyoko Market, Kabukicho, Senjo-ji Temple, Asakusa, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Onsen and Odaiba and it already looks like we'll have enough to keep us occupied during our vacation.

We are also planning to watch a sumo tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan and travelling to Mount Fuji via a shinkansen (bullet train) whereas we are still 50/50 on DisneySea, the capsule hotel experience and a tea session with geisha due to time constraints. Seems like a lot of people we spoke to also recommended going out to Kyoto but I really don't know if we can afford the time - we'll be there for a week and I seriously don't want our itinerary to be too tight. Any tips or recommendations are still welcome, though! Arigatou gozaimasu! (Ah dah start ah step berbual Jepun)

8 comments

  1. Hi, I've been reading your blog since Kahwin Khronicles and it seriously helped me during my wedding. So when you asked for help with Japan, I thought I could repay the favour since umm, I've lived in Japan + speak the language lol

    Anyway, some points:
    * If you get the JR Rail Pass, then I recommend you maximise its use by visiting Kyoto/Osaka. Or if you feel that's too far, I recommend Kanazawa. I went a few days ago and I think it makes a good 1.5 trip out of Tokyo! (Personal recommendation: Myoryuji Temple in Kanazawa, also known as the Ninja Castle)
    * Tsukiji - wake up at 6 a.m. and queue up for Sushi Dai. Ridiculously fresh and good sushi
    * Akihabara - try a maid cafe experience. Sounds like a weird thing to recommend but the experience captures otaku culture in Japan
    * Capsule hotels - most are men-only. Very few allow women. Also, they tend to reek of smoke since capsule hotels tend to be a thing for Japanese salarymen...
    * Any experience with geisha - can be gimmicky if you don't get the right provider. The fact is that real maiko/geisha are very busy and tend not to pander to tourists since they have their own (rich) clientele.
    * Sumo - book in advance if you're headed at a time when the matches are ending! Even if you don't speak Japanese, I recommend mid-range seats because you can really *feel* the impact of sumo wrestling.
    * Tea ceremony - yes! please do!
    * Accommodations - hotels in Tokyo are crazy, crazy small. Personally, I recommend Airbnb apartments instead.
    * Other interesting areas in Tokyo - Kichijouji for the Ghibli Museum!

    I hope some of the stuff I highlighted was useful to you. I'm always happy to help if you have any questions
    ^-^

    H.

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    1. This is AMAZING, thank you so so much!!!

      - I haven't researched enough about the transportation passes for travel around Tokyo, is the JR Rail Pass something I should purchase? I read about Suica and Pasmo cards in passing but decided to just hand over the pass names to my husband and let him figure out transportation hehe

      - Seems like Sushi Dai is most recommended place in Tsukiji Market! Read that the queues can stretch up to 2 to 3 hours long though, will need to decide whether we want to spend that much time in a queue.....

      - My husband and I was just watching about maid cafes in Akihabara on Youtube yesterday! Seems really interesting! Don't know if we're game enough for it though! We were laughing so hard at people's expressions hahaha

      - Ahhhhh, on your point on capsule hotels, I guess that makes sense! Since they're big on drinking and getting night-time entertainment outside of work, might miss a train or two so capsule hotel is the answer.....? I've been looking at the one in Narita Airport though since that particular one would cater more to tourists.....

      - Yes! The geisha session that I saw online seems very commercialized and gimmicky, and not located in the area that is known to have geishas. Guess I'll give it a miss.

      - Thank you for your tip on the sumo tournament! Will try to convince my husband to get the mid-range seats!

      - Do you have any recommended tea ceremony places? I've Googled it up but there are so. many. options. And I don't know whether I should look out for the commercialized touristy kinds or traditional kinds (is there even such a difference?)

      - Wish I could try out AirBNB but my husband insisted on a hotel so we've booked ours! I did do some research and you're right, AirBNB is actually much bigger and in that sense, much cheaper! Better luck (for me to convince him) next time.....

      - Ok thank you, I will read up on Kichijouji for the Ghibli Museum!

      Thank you once again for taking the time to leave your comment, babe, I really appreciate it. Especially useful from someone who has lived in Japan <3

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    2. I'm glad you found my comment useful!

      * I guess a JR Pass is worth it if you plan to do a day trip out of Tokyo. Otherwise, you can just get a SUICA/Pasmo card. There are also subway passes (not JR!) which cost about 500-1000 yen for unlimited rides (depending on which line you take). For reference, the general cost of taking a train from one station to another is about 200 yen so it can be better value than a SUICA card where you'll be paying the full price. The only trick is deciding which subway line you plan to travel on. Everyone usually talks about the JR Yamanote Loop line, tapi sebenarnye the subways tend to cover greater areas.

      * I haven't tried commercial tea ceremonies (only the ones in temples heh) before but my friend went to Ippodo Tea Shop and from what he described, it seemed like a good experience (http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/en/shop/marunouchi-tokyo.html).

      * You're right, Sushi Dai is crazzzzzy. My husband and I thought we were very clever, going at 8 a.m. tapi the queue was so gila - we waited until 12 p.m.! But still, one of the best sushi I've eaten in Japan!

      * Really random, but this cafe just opened in Tokyo: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/08/17/our-reporter-visits-kawaii-monster-cafe-in-harajuku-a-kyary-pamyu-pamyu-esque-world-of-cuteness/
      I haven't been but it looks mad! Which sort of describes what Tokyo is like >_>

      * Oh if I can give you one more pro-tip for eating out; use Tabelog (http://tabelog.com/en/). The reviews are in Japanese but they give a good indication of what's tasty and what isn't in Tokyo. Btw, one very important phrase especially for Muslim people is "Buta niku nuki" which means "no pork please". (For reference, "buta niku" means pork and "nuki" means to remove.) Especially when ordering ramen in Japan because even if you order a shoyu-based one, there will be slices of pork. Alternatively you could visit these restaurants:
      - http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/05/01/halal-ramen-comes-to-tokyo-with-asakusa-restaurant-and-its-so-good-anyone-will-enjoy-it/
      - http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/04/06/vegetarian-ramen-in-tokyo-not-only-is-it-available-but-its-also-apparently-incredibly-delicious/

      Nothing beats a good bowl of ramen in winter!!!

      H.

      (Btw, your comment below says you're going in January? I hope it's not like Christmas/New Year cos almost every shop will be closed for winter holidays, save for 2 January when shops start lucky pack sales. Which happens to be my favourite time in Tokyo for shopping :P )

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    3. Thank you for your follow-up comments! I'll check out the tea shop and monster cafe you mentioned (I saw the latter in a Youtube vlog, looks so crazy and colourfulllll)

      And thanks for the tips on eating halal too!!! I look forward to that good bowl of ramen in winter hehe. I did a quick Google search after you mentioned pasal the Christmas/New Year period but seems like shops and attraction places will open after 4th January? Phew, I'll only arrive on 8th January so hopefully Tokyo will be up and running by then :D

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  2. Ahhh so happy you are planning a trip to japan because I am planning one too so can exchange what we have found out hehehe! I am thinking of heading to Matsumoto (the scenery is omg mashallah!)
    Are you guys gg in Jan?

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    1. YAY BEST NYA! I just Googled Matsumoto, omg the scenery looks impressive already in pictures! Mesti lagi lawa in real life.......... <3

      And yes, my husband and I will be travelling in January, we are hoping to catch some snow! Are you going in January as well?

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