Konnichiwa from Japan everyone!
This marks the start of our 16 days trip (from 22 Dec to 6 Jan) in the land of the rising sun. Although not the most ideally planned, still gonna pen our itinerary down for yall to consider.
To start off, we booked a return flight to Osaka with Singapore Airlines without much thoughts on the itinerary. It would be much efficient to fly in from Tokyo and out from Osaka.
Our itinerary: Osaka – Hakone (1N) – Tokyo (4Ns) – Kyoto (4N) – Hiroshima (3Ns)- Osaka (4Ns).
What to bring?
We start off with the necessities. Dec in Japan is winter (my first winter experience).
Clothes – Heattechs from Uniqlo (super impt), winter socks, a thick winter jacket, a lighter winter jacket (in Tokyo its not all that cold), a good pair of boots (I got mine from Timberland), a couple pair of good pants/shirts, gloves and a beanie.
Luggage – I know some people like bag packing, but usually I’d do with a luggage. Get those 4 wheelers and try to carry light because in Japan, it is mostly stairs, stairs and more stairs. It is quite difficult to find a lift / escalator at rural areas.
Beauty products – Bring a good moisturer. You’ll need it as your skin dries up and crack . I am using Nivea lotion for body. My usual Bioterm face moisturer for face. You can buy a few masks in Japan too and use it at night to hydrate your face.
Gadgets – I got a handy wifi device from Happifi. Super useful during your travels and their service was excellent throughout the trip. Bring a good portable power bank too to charge your phone as well as the wifi device. The wifi router can last about 7-8 hours.
If you’re looking to capture scenery, a good camera will come in handy. We’re using a Sony A5000 and a go-pro to capture video moments.
Pre-holiday items – A JR pass is a must if you’re travelling through different states. We bought ours from Changi Recommends. Depending on the time of year, I’d recommend you to compare from a few places.
I’d also suggest buying some tourist passes from travel experience websites like KKday. We got a 72 hours Tokyo Metro Pass which is very useful when you travel around Tokyo. The pass allows you to travel at all non-JR trains in Tokyo. Do note that JR trains in Tokyo as well as for the big cities are very limited. We got passes to Tokyo Sky Tree as well as transport passes in the Kansai Region (Kyoto, Osaka).
What to take note of?
- The Japanese are mostly polite and soft spoken
- It is hard to find a bin so be mindful of your litter. Most bins can be found at 7-elevens so keep your eye out for those convenient stores
- Prices are usually slightly more expensive than back in Singapore (cater more budget on your spendings)
- Stairs everywhere
- The public transport and people here are very punctual
- Google maps can be your best friend but don’t trust it completely. There are usually better route alternatives so keep your eyes pilled at signs and boards.