Thursday, 3 September 2015

Japan 2015 Part 1

Here's a little preview before I start the post!
This is going to be a crazy long assed post so consider yourselves warned!
Didn't want to split it into parts because... 
I feel like I will lose the blogging momentum lol.

So! Back in June,
Daniel had the idea to go to Japan.
He was going to redeem his MAS points for the flight.
Siet Yen just went to Japan this year, and she fell sick 
during the trip so she wasn't into the idea at first.

But after a while, she got into the idea lol!
She's basically the tour guide of the trip,
she did most of the stuff like booking our hotel and accommodation.
A big thanks to her! Hehe.
If not for her I don't think this Japan trip would happen.

She booked this trip before I decided to go to UK.
Hence now I just got back from Japan but in about 11 more days,
I will be flying to UK to study abroad. 

Just one year. IDK if I will come back during holidays,
we'll see. Since I'm just going one year lol.
I definitely want to travel around Europe!!!
Paris Disneyland! Greece Santorini! Italy Portofino! 
Amsterdam Tulip Fields!

Hehe okay back to Japan.
I really love travelling recently!

A summary :

Day 1- Flight in the morning, transit in HK, reach Japan around 12AM/1AM,
walked around Shinjuku until 4AM plus lol.

Day 2- Shibuya 109, Genki Sushi, Disney Store

Day 3- Asakusa Temple (my fav!), Tokyo Skytree

Day 4- Tsukiji Fish Market, Yodabashi, Akihabara, Shinjuku

Day 5- Harajuku, Shibuya

Day 6- Tokyo Disneysea, Sheraton Grande Bay Hotel

Day 7, Flight back home, Transit in HK.

Without further ado, let's get started!

We took Cathay Pacific to Japan,
and there was a transit in Hong Kong International Airport.
The original transit wait time was 3 hours, but became 5 hours due to delay.

I do not recommend taking transit flight to Japan. Lol.
It's not that far, just 7 hours plus if direct flight.
Plus, I don't like Cathay Pacific/ Hong Kong.
Delays, expensive food, rude people.

The food at HKIA was crazy expensive, 
HKD68 for a bowl of plain soup. HKD40 for a MCD set.
There was delay on both our arrival and departure flight.
There was also a rude flight attendant at HKIA on my way back to Kuala Lumpur.

Several years back, my family and I would go to Hong Kong quite often,
almost every year. I think I've been to HK about five/six times.
It was near and the shopping there was great.

However, I feel like now everything is much more expensive,
and the people seems more stressed and hurried.

HAHAH OKAY. Sorry for the rant.

In-flight meal.

I miss being a kid and getting kid packs on flights! 
Do they still do that? :(
My favourite was a Bratz disposable camera which worked
with a 35mm film hehe. 

I also love it when they serve ice cream om nom.
There was banana cream haagen dazs ice cream
on my flight from Hong Kong to Japan.

Actually, I think a toilet says A LOT about a country.
About how civilized and advanced a country is.

This is Haneda Airport's toilet.
With the infamous bidet of course lol.
KLIA Airport is damn dirty, that I can say.
Looks like nobody cleaned it for one week.

15km! Lol.
This was at Disneysea, Day 6.

To put things in perspective,
an average high school marathon is 5km.
15km in a day is a lot!

I really like the subway system in Japan :(
Everything is so convenient. Hong Kong is like that too.
In Japan everyone is polite. I think they have a very 
unselfish and community-based kind of spirit.
It's obvious they love their country!

Oh yeah, there was one or two people who were rude in Japan,
but... everyone else was so polite and helpful.
Or maybe when Japanese are angry they don't show it?!
They smile but inside they're thinking I'm gonna kill you?!

We reached Haneda around 1AM,
then by the time we reached our "hotel" it was about 2AM.
Almost 2AM? Cannot remember HAHAH.
Japan's time is one hour earlier.

Xuan and I walked around Shinjuku until 4.30AM.
We kept trying to find 24 hour sushi which we saw on our way to the "hotel".
We asked some locals and they told us by the time we reached
Kabukicho which is where the sushi is, it would be sunrise.

Which was true! Japan's sunrise is so early! 
Like 4.30AM the sky was getting bright.

Our "hotel" was a six person studio booked through Airbnb,
about ten minutes walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station.

It was quite fun actually and I quite prefer studio rooms/serviced apartments
compared to hotels if staying for longer periods in groups.
More time for bonding. HAHAH.

Every night though, the radio would start automatically.
That radio being Qi Yao's snoring, which never failed.
Every night.

As is customary, no shoes in living area!

I would like to try staying at a ryokan!
Like a traditional one with hot springs hehe.
Stayed at one in Korea before but it was only for one night!

The toilet is small, but functional.
Of course, have to take turns to shower
with a ratio of five people to one toilet.

Washing machine and cleaning supplies.
Even had Tsubaki shampoo provided! 
They also provided us pocket wifi.

The room was about RM740 for five nights per person.
Which I think was really worth it!
The location was convenient and fit five of us comfortably.

Though it got very messy...

Qi Yao, Siet Yen and Daniel took this area.
There is a small balcony outside.
Daniel is the one sleeping on the floor.
HAHAHA. Thank you for taking one for the team.

This area is also damn damn cold, 
because the air cond was facing them.

This is where Xuan and I slept, I took the bottom bunk.
At first I was attracted to the novelty of the upper bunk
but after trying to climb up and down I wasn't too fascinated lol.
I used to have a bunk bed with my brother when I was a kid.

The table on the right is our dining and make up area.
Plenty of cup noodles and onigiri session.
My breakfast was always onigiri, kagome vege drink, and a packet
of japanese nuts and rice crackers. YUM.

I love love love their 7 Eleven and Family Mart.
For 100-150 yen, you could get many types of onigiri.
Two is enough to make me quite full.
100 yen is about RM3.5, since our currency has dropped.
Just cancel the last two figures and x 3, 
with a bit more allowance for the currency drop.

For example, 100 yen is RM3.5,
1000 yen is RM35,
1500 yen is RM50 ish.

My rate was pretty bad because I changed a day before the trip.
I mean my dad changed it for me. Because I hadn't got my passport back.
I think my dad was thinking I couldn't make it in time.
I was too. LOL. Basically, I handed over my passport for the priority UK visa.
They were late by a day. If they were late two days, I would not 
catch my flight to Japan AT ALL.

I prayed really, really hard. At the last minute, about 5.58PM,
I got the email saying my passport was ready. PHEW!

Anyway, I changed about RM5000. I mean my dad.
Which got me 140 000 yen. Not good lah the rate.
Divide by 28. Usually is divide by 30.
Siet Yen got her rate about 29.
If I changed while 29, I would get an extra RM200 worth.

But oh well! 

Anyway. Fact sheet, I spent about RM1380 for return flight,
booked about three months in advance. RM740 for five nights thru airbnb.
RM110 for the last night at Sheraton Grande Bay (near Disneyland).
So flight plus accommodation was approx EM2230.

I changed RM5000, left about 11 000 yen
which is about RM400. 

So... altogether I spent RM6800 for this trip.
Which I think is damn bloody worth it.
It could've been RM5000 and less if I resisted 
buying so much useless crap lol. 

I spent an average of RM650 a day not 
including flight and accommodation.
Actually you could do fine with RM200 a day also.
Food is not that expensive, you can survive on RM60 a day if you choose carefully.
Ongiri is 120 yen average. Sushi box is 400 yen average.
A set meal is 680 yen average.

And the food are all really good.
You also have to spend a bit on transport, 
which is your pasmo card for the subway.
I didn't refund it. Because I plan to come back to Japan in the near future :D

Maybe Hakone hot springs? Or Osaka in the winter?!
Snow crab?! Or Hokaido?

And everyone there was so polite.
I have to say I became more patient and polite too during my stay.

Day 1! Lots of vending machines like these.
They even use it for ordering ramen, ice cream, cigarettes.
Mostly, it's drinks. About 100-150 yen a bottle!
I usually buy green tea.

With the gang! Hehe.

Doing lots and lots of walking.

Brought high heels, did not even wear once.
Wore sport shoes all the way.
Slippers gave me blisters around the toe.

Also whoever said summer in Japan was hot, !?!?! 
I felt so conned! I brought summer clothes,
but it was so windy!!! I did not come prepared.
I only had two flimsy jackets.

Bought another one from Uniqlo there.
A parka with hoodie because it kept drizzling.
But, overall the weather was really pleasant.
Like Genting in Malaysia.

Malaysia felt so hot like an oven!!
When I just touched down back from Japan

Very gungho taking pics the first three days.
Then after that got lazier. HAHAHAH.
Also got lazier to make up.

And!!! I vouch for mini crossbody bags when travelling!
 I brought my medium sized Prada bag which could fit a 1000ml bottle.
The first two day I carried it. The remaining six days,
I carried my Olympia Le-Tan/Le Sportsac crossbody

Could not fathom bringing a big bag!!! It hurts my back so much.
I wanted to fit water bottle and camera.
But, vending machines were abundant so no need water bottle.
And for the camera I just used the neck strap.
MUCHHH LIGHTER. A small bag makes a big difference
when you're walking 10km a day!

Damn heavy you know my back hurts at the end of the day.
A lot of zebra crossings, because walking and public transport goes hand in hand.
Public transport is popular, for good reason.
Hong Kong is also similar.

On the road, vans and lorries are common.
Taxis too. Starting fee is 780 yen. Very expensive la,
once you get in it's RM27 already. For the I can go back and forth 1 utama twice.
Rm27 for the first 2km. Don't take taxi unless you travel in a group and really need it.
My dad got charged RM600 for taking a taxi from Narita to his hotel.
Parking is also expensive. Like RM60 a day expensive.
Didn't see that much personal cars until it was night time at Shinjuku.

Ramen! 450-550 yen a bowl.
About RM16? But worth it la, because it's delicious you know!
I love eating their onsen egg. They're so good with preparing eggs!!
Tamago. Inari. Chawanmushi. Omelettes.

You pay for your ticket at the vending machine,
then pass your ticket to the person.
If you don't know what the kiri kuru (Japanese language) is saying,
just look for pictures.

Got my ticket!

Onsen egg with soba noodles!

I ate a lot while in Japan.

Subway time!
Do get their Pasmo card, which is like Malaysia's touch and go.
Otherwise you have to figure out your train cost every day for the ticket.
The deposit is 500 yen, but is refundable.

I didn't refund it. Because I want to come back to Japan HAHAHAH.

Their trains are super efficient, I think like five minutes one train?
It's crazy la how everything runs like a clockwork.
Really such an advanced city lol.

KTM in Malaysia is wayy bad.
I used to take the train to work at Midvalley.
Sometimes, it would delay up to 40 mins.
Crazy right sohem make me late for work.

Our destination for the day was Shibuya 109.
I read about it when I was 13, in this manga about a group of cool
teenagers who hung out at Shibuya. HAHAHA.
Gyaru I think they were called.

And also btw Japanese schoolgirl's uniform is so pretty!
Collar white tee and plaid skirt with high socks.

Actually Shibuya 109 felt a bit like Sungei Wang.
Not much to buy for me.

Hmm, fashion-wise, Korea is a lot more interesting.
Japanese people are actually very plain and functional, vanity-wise.
Like Muji and Uniqlo those style.

Neutral colours, light fabrics with layering.
The women there all look very elegant, simple, fragile.
Very demure la most that I see. Didn't see anyone 
wearing clubbing style. Only lolita lol.

Contact lens.

Lol cue the no photography sign. AHAHAH I didn't see that until now.
I didn't buy any.

Because, duh. I did Lasik so I don't have to.
HAHAHAH if I go back to cosmetic lenses it would defeat the purpose.
But I have to say cosmetic lenses really make your eyes bigger instantly.

Anyway! Update!
My eyesight is totally clear now.
Before this, my left was blur and I kept complaining about that.
I'm sooo happy it's as clear as my right eye now.

I think it's because it was my dominant eye and also higher power,
hence it took longer to heal and adjust to my new eyesight.
So nice to be glasses-free!!!

Hehe. I really hated having to drag myself to take
my lenses out after a long day.

Thank you daddy for letting me do this surgery :3

With the girls. hehe.
Saw them everyday for seven days hahahah

These heart shaped sunnies were sooo cute.
I bought a black and white pair.

Make up haul!!!

Make up was what I had in mind before coming to Japan.
Make up and cute stuffs.

Actually sport shoes are really cheap here too, about RM200-RM300
for a nice pair of Adidas shoes. I think it's like RM400 plus here. 

Popular drugstore brands-
Majolica Majorca, Canmake, Dollywink, Kate,
Esprique, Maquillage, Integrate, etc.

A lot of them are pretty good.
Luckily you can find them pretty easily back home in Malaysia.
Sasa! hehe. A few years back they were harder to find!

But I guess it's cheaper in Japan?
BUT! Actually quite expensive la in the end.
Cos buy in bulk. About RM35 for an eyeshadow palette, drugstore brand.
If you take 10, already RM350 lo. 

I spent about RM500-600 at this drugstore outside Shibuya 109.
It's quite big. Ask for tax free too, they'll deduct 8%.
They put your stuff into a sealed bag tho and ask you not to open
it until you leave Japan. Cos they're afraid you'll open and sell it 
to locals I think. But I did open anyway lol because I wanted
to use the make up. Lucky they didn't ask for it at the customs la.

Siet Yen loves Lush hahaha.

Qi Yao bought this huge tart and we ate it on the street.
Btw it's quite hard to find rubbish bins in Japan.
But. Somehow, the streets are very clean. Lol.

You also can't walk and smoke. Smoking is not that common,
because it's prohibited in a lot of places.

Also, contrary to popular belief, sushi is not that common in Japan!!
HAHAHA. I think the rate of finding sushi is same as Malaysia.
Stuff like set lunch with rice and tempura or saba fish is more popular la.
Or ramen and udon. 

Sushi is more like fast food to them?
Like sushi chains, boxed sushi at marts.
The best place to eat sushi/sashimi is at Tsukiji Fish Market la,
it's really soooo fresh.

Other than that, there's omakase which you can find in Ginza.
Damn expensive la, 10 000 yen upwards.
About RM350 upwards. But you can give it a try if you like it.
Basically, omakase means you give the chef the freedom to prepare anything he wants.
They usually use premium ingredients and serve you dish by dish.

Genki sushi used to be really popular in Malaysia.
Like many many years ago. The one in Japan is different though,
very high tech.

You place your order on the tablet.

Then they prepare the sushi and it flies down the conveyor belt.
Siet Yen was hungry and the sushi kept flying down the conveyor belt
but it wasn't hers. 

HAHAHAHAHAH it was so funny seeing the look of disappointment on her face each time.

When Siet Yen is hungry, everything is Qi Yao's fault ^^
Miss hearing their bickering. HAHAHAHAHA.

Oh yeah btw their tuna is much nicer than salmon!
More flavour. but they tone down their tuna consumption already
due to overfishing.

Tuna and unagi used to be more accessible and affordable.
Remember after a period all menus at sushi resto hiked their unagi items?
Hmm, good also la protect fishies.

Sashimi is something I really enjoy,
for some reason I can't stand steak or pork 
but raw fish is okay. Lol.
I think livestock reminds me of pets a bit too much.
They are like... too big... and too smart..
Like smart enough that you can form a relationship with them???

Keep saying arigato every. HAHAHA.
Common phrases. Mushi mushi. Gomenei. Sumimasen. Dozo.
HHAHAHAH. Japanese sounds so cute and round.

Sushi was so-so, like the stuff you can get in Malaysia.
But their conveyor belt was fun to watch hahahah
Bill was about 700 yen. Okay la, like Rm25.
Japan is not as expensive as you think

Disney store at Shibuya! :3

I told Siet Yen not to wait until that day to avoid the queue.
Also, during peak season tickets might run out!!
We bought our tickets to Disneysea at Disneystore.
I googled it lol.

6900 yen for one day ticket. Almost RM300.
HK is about RM250.
My dad went earlier this year and it was 6600 yen!
Disneyland/Disneysea is really popular la with the locals.
I think they buy annual passes and visit Disneyland often.
Because they have season and special things time to time.
Like Easter, Halloween, Summer Festival.
They change things in the park and have new parade shows.

I've been to Hong Kong Disneyland, California Disneyland,
Paris Disneyland and now Tokyo Disneysea hehe.

I was a bit too young to remember Paris, but I remember California's Disneyland
was really big and magical. The rides were big too.
But, for rides, Universals Studio in California is really really good.
The mummy ride and the lift one. HAHAHAHA.

I would like to visit Paris Disneyland again!
And also the main one, Walt Disney World in Florida. 
It's massive! I would definitely want to stay in a Disneyland hotel!!!
Also, it was so cute seeing all the people staying at the Disneysea hotel
wave to us when we were going back. I didn't know they were upstairs!
Up the shoplots I mean. So smart ah!!!

Halloween! I didn't see them tho.
But I don't like halloween.
I like easter. So pastel and cute.
I hate dark evil stuff hahahhahahaha

originally thought of buying phone covers there
but it's so expensive!!! Little little bit 2800 yen.
Like RM60. I can get nicer ones at Kepong for RM20!!!

But actually quite regret didn't get one from Disneysea HAHAHAHA

Their earring/ jewelry sets.
So cute!! But didn't buy :(
Would definitely buy if I was 13. HEHE

Cute noh!! I love Ariel.
She's my favourite Disney princess.
Because I love the sea, and also I like
how she chases her dreams, even if in a naive manner.

Aww. Dumbo is so cute. 
Sleepy elephant. But I hate watching the movie.
It makes me cry the part Dumbo had to leave his mother!!

I watched Inside Out on the airbus otw to Japan.
HAHAHAHAHA. I cried during the flight.
I was wearing a blankie and used it as a tissue.
Inside Out is so cute! Emotions as character.
Somehow Pixar made it work lol.

I hate Sadness at first because she seemed so helpless.
But I really liked her at the end!


I screamed when I saw this.
For months I have been ranting about tsum tsum in my twitter
and finally I've seen it. HEHEHEHE

I think it's a really large selection of characters tho, quite overwhelming.
UGHHHH. I'm so sad I didn't get another medium-sized tsumtsum.
I bought five small tsum tsum and one medium tsumtsum.

I wished I got another medium one T.T
Maybe Marie or Daisie. I wanted Dumbo!!! But they didn't have!!!!gfirhfuierhfu
So I settled for Pooh. I didn't really like him at first.

BUT. he is my favourite soft toy now.
He grew cuter and cuter by the minute.
And so huggable and kissable!!
The small ones not nice to play one, just good for decoration and to collect.
I want medium tsum tsum!! SQUISHY.

Small is 600 yen, Medium is 1800 yen.
Quite cheap ah actually. Medium is about RM60.
The same thing is RM90 in Hong Kong Disney store.
Also!!! Japan tsum tsum is different from Hong Kong/ US tsum tsum!
Compared my pooh and mine was cuter. 
The face more blur one and the body lighter in colour.

From the internet! Japan stitch on left, US stitch on right.
Japan always cuter !!!

Stitch family hehe. I like!
I bought Scrump and Angel.
Wanted to buy Stitch but I got annoyed that his ears covered his face.

I love the one in bee costume!!
Bought the Piglet and Eeyore.

Sealed bag if you buy tax free

Love this magazine!! A lot of cosmetics.
Japan magazine okay to buy even if you don't understand,
a lot of pictures. HAHAHAH

The powder is so damn cute lol.
Little twin stars


First three tsum tsums I bought!

Messy dining area.

Very fun actually to live in a studio with friends 
instead of separate hotel rooms. But no privacy of course hahahah
Shit together eat together

My bed. HAHAHA. I kick them under the bed when I sleep.
The bags I mean


Bad damage on first day! Because I bought make up and Disney stuff.
About almost RM800 I spent I think.
But okay la... cos I didn't buy any designer stuff this whole trip.

Actually, if you asked me if I want a 20k handbag or go on a vacation
I would definitely pick vacation!!! If two years back I might pick the former hahah.
Cos... handbag die already can't take to my grave, 
but memories will live with me.

I like to take pictures of haul.
HAHAHA. Cos sometimes I buy things and forget about them
which is bad because it means I've wasted my money
if I've forgotten about them.


Glad I got this! Matte brown eyeshadow palette from Kate.
I don't have any whole matte eyeshadow palettes HAHAHA

Blush! Can find from Sasa too in Malaysia but a bit more expensive.
RM50 I think? Bought it for RM30 ish


I like using this! Portable but clamps and curls better than full-sized curlers.

Costume ^^v

Day 3! Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Skytree.

Actually Asakusa Temple really stood out compared to other places.
Especially shopping malls. Shopping malls aren't that special.
But it's so fun la to buy things to take home.

I love historical places tho!
It's really interesting to see different cultures.
Transport back in time. 

First three days, very gung ho dress up.
After that, got lazy. HAHAHAH.
Cos I kept wearing jacket. The weather got colder.

Outside our "hotel". Walked like 1-2km to reach our station each day.
I miss walking :( I love walking. 
I would rather take the subway than use a car.
Unless I have a lot of baggage. 
Otherwise walking is so much more fun.

Talking to Edward here.
HAHAHAH so funny my pouch 

Siet Yen our tour guide ^^

First day excitement going strong.
Haven't feel tired yet.

So many pictures. But I must post.

Ramen for the day!

I know Ramen is really tasty, but I can't really appreciate
it cos of the strong pork flavour.. HAHAHAH
I like udon or cha soba more.

Wasn't too hungry so I had mentaiko rice.
I'm surprised mentaiko actually has a "spicy" aftertaste. HAHAHAH

Didn't finish my vege!!!

HAHAHA. Sorry guys but this Tokyo post ah... really have a lot more to write.
Have to split into parts. HAHAHAHAH

This shall be part one.
Till then ^^

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