I am writing this note as requested by other travellers to share itinerary on my recent trip to Japan.
I can't promise how much this sharing will benefit others because I customized this trip for my own need. If you find it useful, I will be very happy :)
Apologize for any imperfection in this article, since I don't have much time to write a good one and to review it.
I will update or improve this article from time to time if time permit, hopefully with some photos.
My trip was on 9th May 2017 - 15th May 2017, Tokyo - Fuji-Osaka-Kyoto. I travelled with my friend (Total of 2 travellers in this trip).
Credit goes to my travel mate for her expertise in exploring local transportation :)
~ DAY 1~
- Flight KL-HK-Haneda (Cathay Dragon-Cathay Pacific Airways) RM1230++ return ticket (Kansai-HK-KL) I found the Cathay Pacific Airways is a great flight, services and food.
Haneda Airport to Shinjuku by Train ¥610
Overnight Airbnb apartment in Shinjuku, 5 mins walk from Shin-Okubu JR train station (Airbnb owner: Singhuel -the apartment is comfortable and nice neighbourhood)
3 nights for RM790 for 1 room shared by 2 person = RM395 each (including additional fees, for example cleaning fees)
Meal: both flight provided main course meal for muslim food.
Took train from Shin-Okubu to Asakusa (On the way to the destination, we can explore some shops at the train station while transit at UENO station. For example: Hard Rock Tokyo souvenir shop)
- Explored Asakusa area
- Explored Tokyo Tower area
- At night : explored the nearby Shinjuku town and meet my Japanese friend. Night walk along 'Korean Town' shops around Shin -Okubu, Shinjuku (walking distance from my apartment)
Meal: Breakfast - simple breakfast (cereal/instant porridge/biscuit)
Lunch : Muslim halal food restaurant at Asakusa (spent for main course ¥700 -1500 yen per head. Usually the portion is big. Surau available in the restaurant)
*Note: in Shinjuku, it is quite easy to find international halal restaurant.
Dinner: Today, we had dinner treat from my Japanese friend at Halal Pakistan/ Nepal restaurant. However, tips for simpler dinner for rest of the days -buy Bread /fruit/try to find halal Onigiri/Sushi. To ensure it is halal we had to analyse the ingredient carefully or do some research on list of halal product/brand in Japan.
Grocery and convenience shop can be easily found in Tokyo /osaka, for example Aeon/Family Mart/7 eleven.
Early morning we departed from Shinjuku to Fuji, Kawaguchi Station.
Took bus at Shinjuku bus station to Fuji, Kawaguchi Station ¥1750 each person one way.
(During peak time travel, we can do online booking or even ad-hoc (but will be in waiting list if the booking is full) Alternatively, we can take train ride till Fuji.
Once reach Fuji, we took take Omni red line bus to explore a few attractions around Mount Fuji, the concept of Omni bus is Hop On and Hop Off (one off fee). The visitor can choose various types of Omni bus (there are 4 lines) based on the destination choice.
We explored a few areas in Fuji:
- Lake Kawaguchi cable car ¥800 to view the lake and Mount Fuji from the nearby hill.
- We just stopped at all and any sight seeing destinations covered by the red line Omni bus.
- Followed the flow - We walked around the Kawaguchi Lake as far as we can, stopped at a few spots to relax, enjoyed the breeze and just listen to the nature. We captured photos of Mount Fuji from a few different angles and views, did some 'hunting' for the remaining cherry blossoms in the end of Spring season...There were some!! .
Solat tips : Mosque can be found in the villages around Mount Fuji area but it require separate transportation. Alternatively, we can pray in the wild accordingly.
In Mount Fuji area, there are less muslim food restaurant. It is recommended if you can bring food/ buy from Shinjuku or bring healthy/'stomach filling' snacks a lottt...
- Returned to Shinjuku, Tokyo by bus. (To explore many areas in Mount Fuji area, it is best to spend more than 1 day there. But we did not have that chance due to our short trip)
- At night, upon reaching Shinjuku, we took a short JR train ride to Shibuya to have a night view at Shibuya Crossing area.
- Took short train ride back to home at Shin-Okubu . Rest
We checked out from our Airbnb apartment in Shinjuku early morning.
Took a short train ride from Shin-Okubu to Shinjuku station.
Bought Shinkansen (Bullet train) ticket for our next destination . Shinjuku, Tokyo -> ShinOsaka (Osaka) ¥ 14,450 the train was scheduled to depart at 2pm.
While waiting for the departure, we put our luggages in the locker located at Shinjuku station ¥500 and then spent quality time to continue city discovery:
- Explored Shinjuku city, government buildings, Tokyo observation from top. Took lift to the top of parliament tower building, (Free of charge and is opened for visitor). Enjoyed the view of Tokyo city from top.
- Surveyed some book shops around this area, walked and enjoyed the city view
Reached Osaka around 4.30pm or 5pm.
Checked in our Airbnb apartment in Shin-Osaka, it is just located at the opposite of ShinOsaka Station. We stayed 3 nights here ¥725 total for 2 person including cleaning charges.
- In the late evening, we bought Kansai pass ticket at ShinOsaka station (with top up value like 'touch and go' card. This pass can be used for any train JR/subways in Osaka and Kyoto. Plus, with this pass, we can get much discount for train fees to Kansai Airport later)
- At night, we took short train ride to Dotonbori, enjoyed the night view of Dotonbori.
(Meal for the day: we did not go specific dine in restaurant today due to our busy travel day. But we did packed Onigiri, sandwitches, buns, nuts, potatos and juices)
~ DAY 5~
In the early morning, departed from Shin- Osaka station to Kyoto by train. Once reached Kyoto station, there were few sight seeing destination options, we took another short train rides and explored some areas:
- Visited Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Arashiyama Bamboo Forest - we explored the bamboo forest, walked to the Togetsukyo River. Relaxed and enjoyed the scenery nearby the river.
- From Togetsukyo River, we walked to Kyoto halal food restaurant nearby the Togetsukyo River.
- Walked around the souvenir shops, around the villages and enjoyed the view.
- Late evening/ night returned back to Osaka , interchanged train at Kyoto train station.Kyoto train station is a big station where we could find shops like Isetan, and other shops. The top of Isetan is connected to the roof top of Kyoto station. Enjoyed the night view of Kyoto, went down using 'grand staircase' with a panoramic lightshow on the staircase. Enjoyed the view.
- Surveyed some book @shinOsaka train station
~ DAY 6 ~
To be honest, We went to the Universal Studio Japan on this day ( full day morning till night)
Actually I excluded this from my RM3800 budget because I think it is very optional that a traveller can skip it, instead, the traveller can explore other areas near to Osaka such as Nara. I visited Universal Studio Japan because of my travel mate wish list and at the same time I did't mind, I enjoyed it too since I had missed my Universal Studio Singapore trip in the past.
If you want to skip Universal Studio Japan, you can go to other places with no entrance fee (or minimum fee). However if you still wish to go to the Universal Studio Japan with this budget, you can plan your travel and pay for a cheaper flight ticket on big deal promo for low cost airline or even for national full service airline.
I took Cathay Pacific (HK national full service airline) during non big sale/promo because of my personal reason. I had to take day flight and reach destination before midnight to get a proper sleep at night due to some health concern for the time being ;)
Just fyi, I also spent some money to buy basic souvenirs and bought mother's day gift for my mom. And..it is included in this budget.
(Meal for the day: packed Onigiri/nuts/fish and chip)
Other tips to save some money, we may take bus from Tokyo to Osaka instead of Shinkansen but it will take minimum 6 hours. Hence, we can avoid spending on Shinkansen (bullet train). If you are okay to sleep overnight in the bus, it is even cheaper that u can actually avoid 1 night accommodation charges for that night.
But remember whatever we do, do not sacrifice our convenience and health just because of to save money. The most effective way to go for a cost effective trip is to CUT waste n luxury but NOT to sacrifice our basic need. Plan accordingly and just go on with the arrangement that our body can take. Travel will be most enjoyable n fruitful when we are fit and healthy.
Do not forget to buy international travel insurance to cover our journey and medical when we are abroad.
It is important to respect local rules, such as accommodation rules, public transportation rules and local culture.
By the way, travel should give us a lot of benefits and not to create a new problem.
Another tips to enjoy our travel in Japan is to learn basic Japanese phrases. The local people are rich of cultures and they show respect to others, they love to greet people. It would be great if we can reply and greet them in Japanese...Who knows we can bond a new friendship tie!
~ DAY 7 ~
Return flight , Kansai Airport - HK - KLIA
(Solat tips: there is a prayer room in Hong Kong international airport)
Goodbye Japan, see you again!