Friday, December 16, 2016

Travelogue: Itinerary summary for Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo) 12 Days Trip 2016 December


I went on a semi-solo trip to Japan for 12 days and here I am back with loads to share! I can't wait to pen down all my experiences!

Alright, let's get straight to it!

*Disclaimer:  Everything is based on my own experience in my own words which may differ from yours.


I bought my tickets way in advance so I had a really good seat and price! Got the tickets in April and flew in November, a good 6 months in advance!

I flew with All Nippon Airways (ANA) part of the Star Alliance group. Paid SGD 651 for a return flight.

I totally, loved my flight over to Narita because I got lucky! I got bumped up to Business Class! (Okay, for those who takes business class every trip, pardon my excitment) It was awesome, like totally awesome. I was popping champagne in my heart but my face was expressionless when I got informed over the check-in counter regarding my upgrade. Well, why got the upgrade? I don't know, they said that the flight's really full so they bumped me up! (which I reckon there should be some economy waiting list... so I'm just really lucky, but thank you ANA.)

My flight was 0630 to Narita and can you imagine how tired I was? I barely slept the night before cause technically I've got to be a the airport at 0430 and leave my house probably 0400 and wake up at 0315 latest.... So yeah. You understand why I was so delighted when I got bumped up because for the first time in my entire life, I'm going to sleep 180degrees FLAT.

Japanese Breakfast

Ippudo Ramen as Light Bites

Alright enough of the flight. I've got a emergency seat when I came back on Economy (hooray to leg space) and nope, I didn't had to pay extra for it. So benefits of booking it early? You get to choose awesome seats at an awesome price!

Thank you ANA and you've been awesome!


Not the first time traveling with Airbnb and once again loving my choice!

I was in Japan for 12 days so I decided to stay in Osaka for 6 days, and the other 6 in Tokyo.

Osaka Apartment by Sunny Corner
If you're interested to see more, you can click on their Airbnb link here. Total SGD 564 for 6 nights, SGD 94 per night.

A comfortable 19sqm room well equipped with washing machine, balcony, small queen size bed, hair dryer/hair curler (so thoughtful for female travellers), bandages, full length mirror, fully equipped kitchen, tons of hangers and wardrobe, oven, mircowave, flask boiler and some morning tea/coffee for you.

You'd be surprised how comfortable that small area is for 1 person. Could be a little cramp for both though. I could open my luggage if I sacrifced some walking space though.

Tokyo Apartment by Tokyo Guide
If you're interested to see more, you can click on their Airbnb link here. Total SGD 709 for 6 nights, SGD 118 per night. 

Smacked right behind Shibuya109, this apartment is alot more spacious than the one I stayed in Osaka. Spacious 25sqm was a little too big for me alone but definitely great for 2, a little cramp for 3 because the additional bed is probably a futon on the floor as there's only a queen size bed.

For the location and the price, definitely worth it to stay there.


Japan's subway, trains and buses line will literally make you go bonkers. Trust me, it took me a really long time figuring out what's what. I spent alot of effort studying and understanding the basics of getting around before I head there.

Of course there were times I got lost, I boarded the wrong train, I alighted at the wrong station and more. It was part of the experience and I'm glad I did get lost.

When you are traveling alone, the most important thing will definitely be the Wi-Fi router and your power bank that has enough power to charge both your router and your phone. There were times where I was out too long and my router died on me. Wi-Fi was the number 1 essential thing for me on this trip because I relied heavily on Google Map. Not just getting the routes to my destination, it was really handy for telling me which train to board at what time, how many stations and which platform. The most important thing was the platform to board the trains and the timing that never goes wrong.

The same platform can have so many different trains that arrives at different destination, so just make sure the train you board has that same exact timing shown on your Google Map and chances are you'd get to your destination.

For local subways, I relied mainly on Google Map and for Shinkansen, I relied on Hyperdia. (You must use this if you're traveling within states like I did.) It's quite complicated to use this as well, but just remember to uncheck 'private railways' and 'nozomi line' and you'd get all the routes possible by using your JR Pass.

I got the 7 days JR Pass at SGD 387 at JTB located at Takashimaya (you can get it online too but I chose to go there as I got my pass less than 7 days before my trip and also I got DisneySea tickets together).

Traveled to Osaka upon arrival and took day trips to Kyoto and Nara and finally on the 7th day before the pass expired, I departed for Tokyo. On a rough estimation, I probably spent not more than SGD 150 for the rest of my journey. (That includes everything from Narita Airport on departure to everything else I had to pay)


Here's the main gist. I covered bits of Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Tokyo. I will update separately for the individual days and the attractions. Definitely it wasn't enough to totally cover every 'must-go' tourist spots but I guess I did cover a fair bit. (leaving the rest for another solo trip to Japan perhaps? :3)

Click on the dates to read more about the days.

30 November 2016, Wednesday

  • Arrived at 1420, Narita International Airport Terminal 1
  • Took the Shinkansen over to Osaka
  • Tokisushi as Dinner

1 December 2016, Thursday

Since I just arrived in Osaka after a long day yesterday, I decided to go easy on myself and sticked to exploring Osaka for today.
  • Instant Noodle Museum @ Ikeda
  • Harukoma Sushi @ Tenjinbashi-suji Street
  • Tenjinbashi-suji Shoppnig Street

  • Osaka Museum of Housing and Living @ Tenjinbashi-suji Street

  • Pokemon Center @ Daimaru Umeda Store

  • Hankyu Entertainment Park (HEP) @ Umeda

2 December 2016, Friday

Rested well yesterday and headed to Kyoto today.
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple

  • Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka preserved districts

  • Nishiki Market

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha

  • Piccolo Curry House

3 December 2016, Saturday

Since I had a long day yesterday, it's back to Osaka today.
  • Osaka Castle

  • Shinsaibaishi Shopping Street

  • Dotonbori

  • Ichiran @ Dotonbori

4 December 2016, Sunday

Again, off to Nara today.
  • Todai-ji Temple

  • Nara Park

  • Higashimuki Shopping Sreet

5 December 2016, Monday

It was a short trip to Nara yesterday so it's Kyoto for today.
  • Tenyru-ji Temple

  • Arashimaya Bamboo Grove

  • Iwatayama Monkey Park

6 December 2016, Tuesday

Good bye to Osaka, I departed for Tokyo today.
  • Character Shopping Street @ Tokyo Station

  • Alice in Wonderland @ Shinjuku

7 December 2016, Wednesday

  • Spent the entire day inside DisneySea!

8 December 2016, Thursday

  • Reptile Cafe @ Yokohama Subtropic Teahouse

  • 天下寿司 @ Ikebukuro

  • Swallowtail Bulters @ Ikebukuro

9 December 2016, Friday

  • Tsukiji Market

  • Maid Cafe @ @home cafe

  • Owl Cafe @ Akiba Fukurou

  • Tokyo Tower

10 December 2016, Saturday

  • Gyoza Station 餃子の王将道玄坂店 @ Shibuya
  • Ra.a.g.f Rabbit Cafe @ Harajuku
  • Tamagotchi Shop @ Harajuku

  • Takeshita Street @ Harajuku

  • Goku-tan Gyu Masamune @ Shibuya

11 December 2016, Sunday

Went to Shibuya Starbucks for the famous Shibuya Crossing until it was time for me to leave for Narita.


To make it easy for your reference, here's the rough estimation for 1 pax.

Air ticket: SGD 651
Accommodation: SGD 637
JR Pass: SGD 378
General Transport: SGD 150
Attractions: SGD 130 (includes DisneySea SGD 102)

Total: SGD 1,946

Will update again and hopefully before I fly for Taiwan!

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