Thursday, March 27, 2014

Japan Golden Week - West Tokyo

28-April-2013

Ohayou gozaimasu!  

I woke up early to have advantage of using first the toilet and bathroom, expecting that queue for bathroom will be quite long since we are 15 couch surfers! After bathing, I had an early morning walk around the neighborhood, 

One of the neighbors walking with his pet, first time to see a Japanese Spitz  in Japan!




Some of the neighbors here has this carp fish flag displayed outside the house - Koinbori flag. 



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Japan Golden Week - Tokyo

27-April-2013

After checking out from FirstCabin airport hotel, I went to the basement to have breakfast at McDonald :



 

Then I proceed to the train station to go to the city proper since Tokyo Station is where the meeting point for our CS group.

 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Japan Golden Week - Intro to Couchsurfing

It is a fact that traveling to Japan is relatively more expensive as compared to other Asian countries. Since I got my Japan flight via Air Asia X on promo sale (to get the good date, book your flight at 3 am upon their 12 midnight sale launch), my next concern is the accommodation.  I have been searching for ways to find low cost accommodation for 2 weeks stay in Japan.  Some of my friend recommends sleeping in book shops' cubicles; while others recommends capsule hotels.

Luckily, a friend introduced me to Couchsurfing (CS), and there I saw Mochan's profile.  He organize CS trips around central Japan, and he even drives you around.  Joining his group, I have to pay him 2000 Yen / day =  25 SGD (includes land transport & accommodation).  


Basically, CS is to allow strangers to stay over night in your house (if your the host), so the accommodations we had (as the guests) were mostly with local Japanese who willingly shares their home with us. 

One important rule for CS is to be open minded to get along with different people with different cultures around the world.   But I would also like to remind those interested to do CS to prepare giving some gifts / token as a sign of gratitude to your hosts, it is also nice to lend a hand in doing some house chores (floor swiping, washing the dishes, help cook the dinner, etc.).

Our Itinerary : 


= Golden Week Japan Highlight Trip 2013 =
Apr 27-28     TOKYO (central, west)
Apr 29          Mt.Fuji 
Apr 30          Tea ceremony / ONSEN 
May 01         SHIZUOKA sightseeing
May 02*-03  KYOTO (Day 1, Day 2)
May 04-05   OSAKA/NARA 
May 06*       KOBE/ OSAKA
May 07-08   AMANOHASHIDATE/SAKE brewery 
May 09        SHIZUOKA
May 10        Back to TOKYO
* nights we have to book our own accommodation
So the travel began...



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Batanes - Sabtang - Lost in Time

A visit to Batanes is incomplete without seeing Sabtang. Of the three islands, this is the smallest inhabited.  On our third day in Batanes, we were picked up at 6 am and was sent to San Vicente Port / Radiwan Port in Ivatan, we took the motorize boat: Falowa to Sabtang Island.
 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Batanes - South Batan - Paradise Found

During our second day in Batanes, we visited the South Batan Island. Itinerary for this day was: Basco - Mahatao - Uyugan - Ivana - Mahatao - Basco

The day started with a short stop at Chawa Point viewing deck - it consists of stairs down to sea coast.
 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Batanes - Last Frontier of the North

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The province of Batanes is located in the northernmost of the Philippines, and its smallest province, both in terms of population and land area. Batanes is a group of inhabitant, namely, Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang Islands. With the uniqueness beauty of the Province, it is known as the Last Frontier of the north.


Geographically, it is on the channel where Pacific Ocean meets South China Sea, looking into the globe / map its situated south of Taiwan and north of Luzon.

All flight lands in Batan island, city Basco. Before landing, this is a peek into the plane windows to spot the natural beauty of one of the islands of Batanes,



We took SkyJet airline from Manila to Basco.

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