Taiwan Travel Guide

It has been almost a year since I went to Taiwan. My apologies for this extremely late post. 😦 My old lappy got damaged so I bought a new one just few weeks ago. However, I’ve been quite busy with public service these past few days. Wow. Public service! 😀 Well, enough with all my excuses. HAHAHA

If you ask a Filipino where would s/he like to go, Taiwan would surely be a very unusual answer. Within Asia, most Filipinos prefer Hongkong, Japan or Korea. Taiwan is actually the 8th country in Asia I’ve been to because I honestly thought it doesn’t have much to offer. It’s a very small country and before I went there, the only thing I know or I can associate with Taiwan is… (drum roll please) Meteor Garden! (singing) Oh baby baby baby, my baby baby. Wo jue bu neng shi qu ni. Ni shou xin, ni sheng ying. Hai zhan lin wo de xin zen neng wang ji. Xiang ni jiu xiang shi hu xi. Bet you just sang it! HAHAHA 😀

AIRLINE. The following are the airlines that offer direct flights from Manila to Taiwan and vv:
air asiaPalCeb Pac

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While from Cebu to Taiwan and vv:

air asiaCeb PacEva air

Lastly, from Puerto Prinsesa to Taiwan and vv:

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Among these airlines, the cheapest one is Air Asia but I wasn’t able to catch the promo fare for Taiwan because I was on another trip that time and mobile data sucks so I lost the battle. LOL But Cebu Pacific announced their seat sale weeks later and as luck would have it, I grabbed four seats for P21,000 something so that’s roughly P5,250 each for a round-trip ticket. Not bad, right?

Our departure flight was 5J310 which embarks at 10:00 pm while our return flight was 5J311 which departs from Taiwan at 01:25 am. Approximate travel time from Manila to Taiwan is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

VISA APPLICATION.

Starting from November 1, 2017, Philippine passport holders who intend to visit Taiwan for the purpose of tourism, business, visiting relatives, attending functions or events can enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan for a duration of stay up to 14 days. This visa-free initiative shall undergo a 9-month trial period until July 31, 2018 as part of Taiwan’s goodwill and efforts of the “New Southbound Policy” to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between Taiwan and the Philippines. (Source)

Upon the implementation of the foregoing, Visa-Exempt Certificate (Travel Authorization Certificate – holders of visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States ) and E-Visa (Online visa) are no longer applicable for Filipinos.

To enjoy the visa-free entry, a Filipino visitor must have a passport with remaining validity of at least six months (diplomatic and official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment); a return ticket or a ticket with visa if needed for the next destination; no criminal record in Taiwan; and a proof of accommodation. If I may add, you should not also have a criminal record here in the Philippines because you might be in the Watch List Order (WLO) or Hold Departure Order (HDO) list of the Philippine Immigration. Duhh, obviously. 😀

Those who intend to stay for more than 14 days to study, work or do other activities are required to obtain the appropriate visas before entering Taiwan. For more details, visit the official website of Taiwan Cultural and Economic Office in the Philippines.

TRANSPORTATION. Taipei, for me, has the most tourist-friendly transportation. Majority of their train stations are named after nearby tourist spots. For example, if you wanna go to Taipei Zoo, just alight at Taipei Zoo station. Or if you wanna visit Longshan Temple, simply take the train to Longshan Temple station. Highly impossible for you to get lost, right? LOL
Metro Taipei Map

I suggest you download Taiwan or Taipei train apps or use Google Maps. 😉

TIME.  UTC/GMT +8 hours. Taiwan has the same time zone with Philippines.

SEASONS. Winter: December to February; Spring: March to May; Summer: June to September and Autumn: October to November. April is the best month to visit Taiwan because it’s not so humid and not as hot as it gets during summer. Furthermore, it is when Taiwanese celebrate one of their major festivals: the birthday of goddess Mazu who is the Chinese patron goddess of the sea. Nonetheless, if you want to witness Lantern Festival which is celebrated annually to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations, February should be your choice (exact date varies every year, kindly tap Google). On this month, you’ll also be able to experience the  internationally famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

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(Photo credit)

ACCOMMODATION. I always prefer AirBnb over hotels because of its convenient location, cheaper rate, household amenities and interaction with the host or owner. Also, it lets me live like a local. 🙂

Our host for Taipei was Henry. He was very helpful and friendly. The price of the room per night is around P2,500 and it can already accommodate 4 adults. The building is kinda old but the room is cozy and squeaky-clean. It’s conveniently located near Zhongshan Elementary School Station (Exit 4). But the best thing here is the free pocket wifi! We brought it with us during our entire trip in Taiwan. I gave Henry five stars for that! HAHA Check his space here.

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LANGUAGE. The struggle was undeniably real. HUHU Most of them can’t understand English. So as tourists, of course we have to adjust. 😀 Google translate to the rescue! Travel tip: there are many tsinoys in the Philippines and I’m pretty certain you have even just one tsinoy friend, so you might as well tag him along. Just make sure s/he speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese though. LOL

NEW TAIWAN DOLLAR. 1 New Taiwan Dollar equals 1.71 Philippine Peso. I bought my NTDs at NAIA Terminal 2 Currency Exchange (arrival area). Not sure though if it’s cheaper than others.

ELECTRICAL PLUGS OR SOCKETS. They are using types A and B. Type A is a two flat identical sized parallel prongs and this is what they mainly use while type B is a two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin.  In the Philippines, we also use Type A so you no longer need to bring an adapter. 🙂

WI-FI. During our entire trip, we weren’t able to connect to any Wi-Fi networks in public places such as malls or restaurants. But they have Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi Access where you have to apply or sign up for a free account before you may enjoy the free service. For more details, kindly visit their page. In our case, like I mentioned earlier, we have pocket Wi-Fi from our AirBnb so updating our followers was no biggie at all. LOL

EASY CARD. EasyCard is a ‘touch-and-go’ IC ticketing system for Taipei Metro, bus services, designated car parks, convenience stores, zoos, museums, Ubikes, Maokong Gondola and government agencies. For a complete list of its accredited shops or services, visit their official website. An EasyCard can be used for years and any unused cash can be refunded. Its main goal is to allow locals and tourists to travel throughout Taiwan with only one card.  This card costs NTD100 (P100) and you can deposit an amount up to NTD10,000 (P17,100). EasyCard can be purchased at any convenience stores or any information counters in all Taipei Metro stations.

Easy Card

TAIPEI PASS. Taipei Pass is a “touch-and-go ” IC ticket for transport in Taipei. Holders of a valid Taipei Pass can use it for unlimited rides on Taipei Metro and on Taipei City and New Taipei City buses. One-day pass costs NTD180 (P308). This is available at any information counter in all Taipei Metro stations. For more details, visit their official page. 

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taipei pass price

YOUBIKE (UBIKE). UBike uses an unmanned automated management system to provide a bike rental service. It allows commuters to rent from one station and return at another. You may use your EasyCard to rent a Ubike. The rates are the following: NTD10 (P17) per 30 mins. within the first 4 hours, NTD20 (P34) per 30 mins between 4 to 8 hours and NTD40 (P68) per 30min exceeding 8 hours.

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NIGHT MARKETS. Experience best nightlife in Taiwan in their food markets. There are more than 100 night markets in Taiwan where you can try their local specialty and street food, shop until you drop and buy great souvenir items. My favorite street food is TORCHED BEEF! Some of the famous night markets are Shilin, Raohe and Ximending.

 

That’s all for now, dearest! 😉 I will share my daily itineraries on my next posts. Xie xie! :*

Watch the teaser for our travel video by clicking the image/link below! 🙂

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Here’s our full travel video entitled “4ne1 in Taiwan”. 😀

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Xoxo,

Kulit.

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DAY 7 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Shibuya District, Don Quijote “Donki” and Narita International Airport

Minasan, konnichiwa! 🙂

I can’t believe it! It’s DAY 7 already! HAHAHA I just realized that it took me almost a year to finish blogging about my Japan trip. I’m not that busy! LOL

I mentioned in my previous post (DAY 6) that I’ll include Shibuya and Don Quijote on this post since DAY 6 is very lengthy already. LOL

DAY 6.2

Our last stop on our 6th day was actually in Shibuya District. And the photo below is the very famous Shibuya crossing which is tagged as the world’s busiest intersection or pedestrian crossing (not that obvious in this photo though haha)

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Hachiko is definitely one of my favorite movies. It’s a heartbreaking drama based on the true story of an abandoned dog named Hachiko which was eventually adopted by a college professor. Hachi would escort his master to the Shibuya station every morning and return every afternoon to greet him after work. Until one day, his master did not return from work. He suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died. However, this loyal dog still waited for his master at the train station for almost ten years and that only stopped when Hachi died. 😥 So as a tribute to this legendary dog, a statue was erected near the Shibuya station (Hachiko Exit).

Being a fan of this dog, a photo with his statue is definitely a must! 😀

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Don Quijote “Donki” is a very famous shop in Tokyo with over 160 stores. The one we visited is in Shibuya, just in front of H&M store. Donki sells almost everything! It’s a great place for souvenir items, chocolates and snacks like Kitkat and Oreo matcha, cosmetics, bags, shoes, gadgets, liquors and so much more. And I’m very sure you’ll like this, they are TAX FREE!!! 🙂 Just present your passport and pay at their cashier designated for foreigners. Prices indicated below are the prices per item. 🙂

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Oreo matcha soft cookies 148 yen (P65)

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Kitkat green tea 298 yen  (P130)

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Oreo matcha bar 298 yen (P130)

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Cheapest one costs 97 yen (P43) and the most expensive one costs 199 yen (P90)

I honestly don’t know what these dried snacks are hahaha But I guess they’re all squid. LOL Slices, coated, shredded and strips! HAHAHA

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Seasoned seaweed 98 yen (P44)

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1 kg of chocolate pair (This is YUMMY! ) 1,300 yen (P580)

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Doritos Mix 129 yen (P58)

Disney pens 99 yen (P45)

Japanese lady pen 648 yen (P290)

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Pores Cream 980 yen (P440)

Side ami supporter 600 yen (P270)

Masks 100 yen (P45)

I saw a lot of beautiful items in Shibuya and I really wanted to buy  ’em all!!! BUT. There was no enough money left in my pocket. 😥 HAHAHA

On our way to our AirBnB, we saw a mini resto and decided to try their ramen.

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DAY 7

Kotake to  Ikibukuro 170 yen (P75)

Ikubukuro to Nippori 170 yen (P75)

Nippori to Narita International Airport 1,030 yen (P460)

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Obviously, my favorite. 😀 Takuyaki!!! 550 yen (P245)

Bought these from a souvenir shop at the airport.

Ref magnet trio 486 yen (P220) 

Shot glass for a friend 540 yen (P240)

And the famous Tokyo Banana! 🙂 Click the left photo for the prices.

That’s all for our last day in Japan. 😦 Thank you for reading! 🙂 I’ll upload our Tokyo travel video in my Youtube account very soon! :*

Sayonara and domo arigato, Japan! 🙂

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 6 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Akihabara “Akiba” and Ueno Zoo

Hello everyone! 🙂

FINALLY!!! You’re now reading my Day 6 itinerary in the Land of the Rising Sun! 😀 Some of my friends have been waiting for this post because they are certified OTAKU. Hahaha

Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom. (Wikipedia)

So I guess you already have an idea on where did we spend our 6th day in Japan. 😉 But since we really wanted to see a panda, we decided to also include Ueno Zoo on this trip.

DAY 6

We started this day with a quick visit to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The nearest stations to this place are:

  • Otemachi Station (Exit C13B): 5-minute walk
  • Takebashi Station (Exit 1A): 5-minute walk

From Kotake-mukaihara station, which is the nearest one to our accommodation, to Takebashi, the following would be the route and total fare.

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200 yen (P90) – 27 minutes

The Japanese Imperial Palace Gardens are open to the public daily except Mondays and Friday. Admission is free. Yey! 😀

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“Be careful of heat stroke” We didn’t take this warning seriously. We were so unprepared. Hahaha We felt we were being roasted while walking through that very huge park!!! We went there last August 2016 so ’twas summer.

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We did a lot of walking because the place is really big. Look how dead tired my companions were. HAHAHA We all slept for 30 minutes. I strongly suggest you wear light clothes and comfy shoes. And don’t visit this place during summer. 😀

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That lady with ‘ella was obviously the only girl scout in our group. HAHA

Next stop was the Anime and Manga capital of the world – Akihabara or popularly known as “Akiba”. This district located in Central Tokyo is also famous for its many electrical shops, hence it’s also called Tokyo’s “Electronic Town”.

Takebashi Station – Kayabacho Station – Akihabara Station (Exit 5)

170 yen (P75) – 25 minutes

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Time to refuel. HAHAHA

Long beef sandwich – 490 yen (P220)

Cheese bites – 100 yen (P45)

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We walked for almost ten minutes before we reached the center of Akiba.

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I noticed that some Japanese still prefer flip phones than smartphones. Well personally, I also prefer flip phones. I used to have LG Lollipop (blue) which was being endorsed by my dear hubby Lee Min Ho before. HAHAHA Korea’s and Japan’s flip phones are so kawaii.

Took these shots using one of the tablets being displayed in this shop. HAHAHA I didn’t delete the photos so proof of shamelessness is still there until now, I guess. LOL

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There are so many electronic shops and dozens of stores that sell manga comics, video games, cosplay costumes, figurines, card games and other anime collectibles.

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We saw some cosplayers in the streets. I wasn’t able to take a snap of ’em though. There are also different anime cafes where waiters or waitresses dress up like anime characters.

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That’s all for Akiba. We haven’t bought anything because everything is a bit pricey. HUHUHU

From anime to animals. 😀 Our next stop was Ueno Zoo.

Akihabara Station – Ueno Station

140 yen (P65) – 13 minutes

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While we were on our way to the zoo, we saw these temples below.

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We were also able to witness a fun performance by this amazing juggling artist. 🙂

A mini theme park for the kiddos. 😀 We tried their matcha ice cream! 😉

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Almost there…

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Yeyyy!!!! Oh my!!!! Oh my!!! Oh my pandaaaa!!! 😀

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Entrance Fee: 600 yen (P270) 

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Welcome to Ueno Zoo! 🙂

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Ueno Zoo is the oldest one in Japan. For me, it’s a world class zoo with more than 500 species from around the globe. I saw some endangered species and a lot of wild animals for the first time but there was only one animal which I was most excited about and that was…… PANDA! 😀

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Awww. Look how he stares at me! HAHAHA

I’m not really a fan of zoos because I love animals. I feel that those who are kept inside the zoos are denied of everything that make their lives meaningful and enjoyable. However, I appreciate the staff and management of this zoo for providing an environment to the animals that is similar to their natural habitat. I just hope that they continue to take care of all these beautiful animals. 🙂

Our last stop for DAY 6 was Don Quijote in Shibuya for “pasalubong” or souvenir shopping but let me just include that on my DAY 7 instead since we also bought some souvenirs at the airport. 🙂

Thank you for reading! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 5 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and Tokyo Disney Sea

Hello guys! 🙂 Gomenasai!!! 😦 I’m so sorry for the late update. Got very busy with Korean drama. HAHAHA I just finished 10 series in two months!!! Whew! Can you now imagine those dark circles and shameless zits on my face? LOL

DAY 5

I love watching Disney movies. One of my childhood dreams was to have a Disney-inspired 18th birthday party and guess what??? It did not happen! 😀 So I told myself that I should visit any Disneyland theme park before reaching the age of 25. And guess what??? It also did not happen. HAHAHA Because I was already 25 when I went to Tokyo Disney Resort. LOL

Tokyo Disney Resort is a very huge theme park and resort located in Chiba, Japan. The nearest station to this place is JR Maihama. So from Kotake-mukaihara station, which is the nearest one to our accommodation, to Maihama, the following would be the route and total fare.

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440 yen (P200) – 50 minutes

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This resort was created on 1983 with Tokyo Disneyland as its only theme park and this was actually the first Disney theme park opened outside the United States. Amazing Japan! 😀 It was then developed into a resort with two theme parks and nine hotels (3 Disney hotels and 6 Non-Disney hotels). Can you just imagine how big this resort is?! WOW! Very amazing Japan! 😀 You may check the resort map here.

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If money is not a problem, we should’ve visited both theme parks. But our fairy godmother was not with us that time so we need to choose just one. Of course we chose Disney Sea because it’s the ONLY Disney Sea in the world!!! LOL So for now, just let me have this picture Disneyland. HAHA But I promise to come back for you! :*

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If you were able to check the map, Disneyland is the nearest theme park to the resort entrance. You just have to walk. But since we chose DisneySea, we need to ride the beautiful Disney train. 🙂

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Click each photo to see the train ticket prices and guide map. 😉

We purchased a single train ticket for 260 yen (P120). But before heading to Disney Sea, we found a beautiful castellated hotel at the back of the main station. It’s the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel or TDH for short. 😀

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We really felt like we were inside a castle! 🙂 Everything is so beautiful. And while I was trying to find the room rates for this hotel, I found out that they offer four types of fantasy-filled rooms themed to the Disney characters!!! 🙂 This would undeniably give the guests especially the kids a very memorable stay and an unforgettable feeling as if they’ve stepped into a world of the Disney films. Wow! 😀

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Other guest rooms have designs of Mickey Mouse or other Disney character motifs. I know you’re curious about this… The price ranges from huhuhu to HUHUHUHUHUHUHU!!! 😀 Kidding aside, it’s from 37,000 yen to 100,000 yen (P17,000 to P45,000) based on average rates for a standard room. Whaaat?! Told yah! 😥

So now, let’s just proceed to the highlight of this day! 🙂 Where Adventure and Imagination Set Sail… The Disney Sea!!!

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This is one of the two iconic parts of the theme park – The DisneySea Aquasphere.

One day pass for adult is 7,400 yen (P3,350).

Check the DisneySea map here.

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There are coin-operated storage lockers inside and outside the park. The following is the list of prices:

  • Small 300 yen (P140)
  • Medium 400 yen (P180)
  • Large 500 yen (P230)
  • Extra Large 700 yen (P320)

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Before starting your tour, make sure to drop by the information board to know the list of attractions and the estimated waiting time for each ride. Don’t hesitate to ask these very friendly ladies anything about the park such as the schedule of parade and other shows, most thrilling ride and the like.

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Photo Credits to Curtis and Juanita (via Flickr)

This is Mount Prometheus, the second iconic part of DisneySea. It blows ball of fire every ten minutes, I guess, then you will hear screaming folks on a mining vehicle coming out from that hole you see on the right side part of the mountain. It’s the most famous attraction in the park so we decided to try it first. It’s called The Journey to the Center of the Earth which is part of the Mysterious Island.

Before entering the cave, you’ll already have an idea on how long the waiting time would be. In our case, we waited for almost two hours. 😦 If you bought an express pass, the waiting time would prolly be reduced to half.

Cameras are not allowed during the ride so allow me to somehow describe it. LOL. Well, ’twas really like a journey to the Earth’s core. You will see a lot of bizarre creatures, oozing lava and amazing smoke and light effects. To sum it up, it was such an incredible ride with a superb combination of light, sound and 4D effects. Def worth the wait! 😉

Time to feed the hungry creatures in New York Deli located in American Waterfront. I’m very much happy with their service! Here are the reasons why. First, the manager is very handsome. Second, he is really handsome. And lastly, did I already mention he’s so handsome? HAHAHA. Seriously, he granted our request of strictly no pork or any pork-related ingredients in our meal. He doesn’t speak English that well but we saw how he really tried to understand us. Aww, he’s so sweet. hahaha

1,300 yen (P585) 

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Second attraction, Hightower Hotel a.k.a Tower of Terror.

The queues here moved faster than the first one because the ride lasts for only 3 minutes. This is actually a drop tower dark ride with seven drops.

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Others would consider this as DisneySea’s most thrilling ride but for me it isn’t. Maybe because I’m already used to this kind of attraction. LOL You should still try this though and tell me about your experience! 😉

This is in Port Discovery but we were not able to enter the place because Broadway sounded a better idea. 🙂

Free reserved seat tickets are required to see Big Band Beat. The tickets are being distributed hours before the show or like in our case that day, we just queued outside the theater. If my memory serves me right, they perform only twice a day.

Big Band Beat is a group of talented singers and dancers. You get to witness amazing performances by the Disney friends and my favorite part of this 30-minute show is when Mickey Mouse was hitting the drums! HAHAHA It was just so cool to watch him playing those drums perfectly! 🙂 Please please make this a part of your DisneySea itinerary. 😉

I’m sorry but I forgot the name of this place but I guess it’s part of Mysterious Island.

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Toy Story Mania in American Waterfront. Not really a fan of this show so we stayed for a few minutes only.

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While waiting for Fantasmic to start, we explored  Mediterranean Harbor. 

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Fantasmic is a nighttime show that takes place on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor. It features Disney heroes, villains and princesses with amazing water effects, pyrotechnics, creative boat floats, lasers and fireworks. I am not sure if you have noticed it but I’ve been using the word “Amazing” for like a thousand times already. HAHAHA I find this word synonymous to “Japan”. LOL I was not able to take good pictures during the show so just wait for my Tokyo travel video instead. 🙂 These Fantasmic photos were taken from the official website of Tokyo Disney Resort.

Obviously, a day is not enough to explore this beautiful place. We visited only few parts of American Waterfront, Mediterranean Harbor and Mysterious Island. We haven’t been to Lost River Delta, Mermaid Lagoon and Arabian Coast. 😦 We haven’t tried DisneySea Transit Steamer Line, Venetian Gondolas, Electric Railway, Big City Vehicles, Aquatopia and a lot more!!!! 😦

Among all the theme parks I’ve been to in Asia, Tokyo Disney Sea is the most amazing one! It brought me to a totally different world. Everything was meticulously designed. All the seven uniquely themed areas or ports of call can turn all your childhood imaginations into reality. Hats off to all those brilliant people behind this magical adventure! 🙂

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That’s all for DAY 5. Thank you for reading and I’m sincerely looking forward to hear your own amazing DisneySea experience! 😉

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 4 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Osaka to Tokyo via Shinkansen (Bullet Train), Tokyo Skytree and Shibuya Crossing

Konnichi wa guys! 🙂 Osaka and Kyoto itineraries were already posted on my DAY 1, 2 and 3.

DAY 4

On this blog entry, I’m gonna share how I got to Tokyo from Osaka. There are actually 5 ways to travel between Osaka and Tokyo, and these are the following:

By bus

Duration: 8 hours

Price: Regular bus costs 3,520 (P1,550) while Premium bus costs 10,000 yen (P4,400)

By airplane

Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Price: 6,000 to 20,000 yen (P2,500 to P9,000) There are more than 60 flights per day operated by multiple airlines. It’s recommended to book months ahead to avail cheaper fares.

By car

Duration: 6 hours

Price: Expressway toll costs 10,000 to 12,000 yen (P4,400 to P5,300).

By local train

Duration: 9 to 10 hours, 4 transfers

Price: 3,000 to 9,000 yen (P1,300 to P3,900)

By Shinkansen (Bullet train)

Duration: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Price: 13,620 yen (P6,000) for a non-reserved seat and 14,200 to 14,500 yen (P6,300 to P6,400) for a reserved seat on a Nozomi train. You can also try Hikari and Kodama trains if you are using a Japan Rail Pass.

We took the bullet train because it’s one of the things we’ve been wanting to try in Japan. It’s also the most expensive one though! HUHU More expensive than our plane ticket. HAHA

But before heading to Namba station, we had our first meal at Pepper Lunch. This one below costs 780 yen (P350).

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The Shinkansen’s gateway to Osaka is Shin-Osaka station. From Namba to Shin-Osaka, the fare costs 280 yen (P125). The picture below is my bullet train ticket. It’s a non-reserved seat via Nozomi train.

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Our AirBnb in Tokyo is quite far from the center so I don’t really recommend it. But Niki, the owner, is really nice and friendly. Her space is also clean and very secured. The security lock for the locker was a bit challenging. HAHA For more details about her room, check my Japan Travel Guide here.

We arrived in Itabashi-ku (AirBnb address) at 4pm and decided to leave for Tokyo Skytree at 6. The nearest station from our accommodation is Kotake-mukaihara. And the nearest station to Skytree is Oshiage.

Kotake-mukaihara -> Ikebukuro -> Otemachi -> Oshiage  for 240 yen (P105)

You can actually use Google to look for the best or fastest route. Just type “origin station to destination station”. See pictures below.

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Choose the train option and it will give you different routes with duration and total fare.

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Click your chosen route and it will show you the number of transfers and the stations.

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Skytree is the tallest building in Japan which gives you a breathtaking view of Tokyo. The highlight of this tower is its two observation decks located at heights of 350 and 450 meters respectively. We paid an observatory admission fee of 3,000 yen (P1,300) each for Tembo Deck (Floor 350). For more details about Tokyo Skytree and ticket prices, you may check their website here.

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Our last stop for Day 4 was the famous Shibuya crossing. From Oshiage to Shibuya, the fare was 240 yen (P105). And from Shibuya station to Shibuya crossing, you still need to walk for 7 to 10 minutes. Shibuya is one of the busiest districts in Tokyo which has a lot of department and fashion stores, nightclubs and restaurants.

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I mentioned in my previous post that Japan is expensive. Thus, the pizza above was my only dinner for Day 4. HAHAHA In fairness, it was already enough. Wasn’t even able to consume it all. But the price? Shall I still mention it? Haaay. Alright. I paid 740 yen (P330) for that small pizza. HUHUHU

We enjoyed walking around Shibuya, jumping from one store to another without minding the time. That was why we forgot that the last trip for the train leaves at 11pm. 😥 We had no choice but to ride a cab and paid the most expensive taxi fare  we’ve ever had – 5,680 yen (P2,500)!!! That time I really wished I have wings! HAHAHA

To sum it up, DAY 4 is the most expensive day of our Japan trip. HUHUHU It’s actually breaking my heart while writing this post and remembering how expensive this day was. HAHAHA

I hope this will make you realize to save a lot of money before going to Japan for you to really enjoy the country and every amazing thing there! 😀

Domo arigato! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 3 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Kyoto

Hello there guys! Happy happy New Year! 🙂 I’m so sorry for posting this late, hello 2017! HAHAHA

Before reading my Day 3 itinerary, I hope you’ve already read my DAY 1 and DAY 2. *winks*

DAY 3

We spent our third day exploring the cultural center of Japan – KYOTO! 🙂 Kyoto is famous for its classical Buddhist temples and imperial palaces. This is where I had my authentic Japanese culture experience which I will forever treasure and laugh about! HAHAHA To know why, keep scrolling! 😀

Kyoto is an hour away from Osaka. From Namba, take a train to Minamikata station for 240 yen (P100). Then transfer to Hankyu Line which is actually outside the station, maybe just a 2-minute walk. You may ask the officers for direction. Mwaah! When you reach Hankyu, you will see the HELP or INFO machine (see picture below), use it to start a video call with the assigned station officer. Uhhmeyyzing! 😀

Take the train going to Kawaramachi for 400 yen (P165). Initially, we just took the regular train but during our trip, we were able to talk with a local and he said that we may transfer to an express train going to Kawaramachi for FREE. If my memory serves me right, it was at Ibaraki-Shi station when we transferred to the express one. 🙂

After almost an hour, tadaaaa! Konnichi Wa, Kyoto! 🙂

Before leaving the station, we went to Hankyu Tourist Information Center to get some maps and travel guides -DIY travel essentials. HAHA

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KYOTO Tourist Spots Map

I don’t know but we instantaneously felt a totally different vibe when we arrived at Kyoto. Prolly because there are only few skyscrapers and a lot of locals are wearing their traditional costumes while walking down the street. The main roads are not that wide and there are  numerous historical buildings everywhere.

Before we started our Kyoto tour, we must fill our tummy first. HAHAHA Burger King was our savior! LOL (can’t find the pictures, Gomenasai!)

Since we saw a lot of Japanese girls were wearing Kimonos, we asked them where we can rent such OOTDs. 😀 We really didn’t understand the direction they gave us but we easily found one. There are a lot of rental shops actually but the one below was the first one we saw. 🙂

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Dress: 3,000 yen (P1,300)

Hair: 1,000 yen (P440)

Ribbon: 500 yen (P220)

Tax: 360 yen (P160)

TOTAL: 4,860 yen  (P2,120)

We’re so lucky that we chose this shop because the owner/stylist was very nice and so friendly! 🙂 His name is Ryo. He’s very amazing because he finished styling or fixing my hair for just ten minutes! Woaaah! Kindly follow him on Instagram @ryo.first18 and @ryo.11.12 to see more of his beautiful hair creations. 🙂  Domo Arigato! *winks*

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How do I look? 😀 We didn’t expect that we could wear this Kimono for the whole day around Kyoto for FREE! Unlike in South Korea, we only had our photo ops inside the shop. So yeah, we got really excited! Hooray!!! 🙂

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First stop: Yasaka Shrine “Gion Shrine”

They said if you will visit this shrine, your body and mind will be blessed with beauty. Furthermore, if you will wash your hand and face with the “beauty water”, your heart and skin will also be beautified. ‘Twas too late for me to know about this, thus, I was able to wash only my hands and not my face (the reason why my face is not yet beautified atm haha)

I swear this is my favorite street food in Japan! Giant crab stick for 500 yen (P220). So delicious!!!! Oishi!!! Thank goodness I don’t have any food allergies! 😀

‘Twas so funny because while we were eating this, two Chinese tourists asked us to have pictures with them. HAHAHA I posted the video on my personal Instagram account but below are the screenshots. LOL

We decided to just walk going to our next destination not knowing that it’s very far! hahaha But it was still worth it because we were able to observe and discover many things along the street.

Second stop: Kiyomizu Temple or Kiyomizudera Temple “Pure Water Temple”

After more than 30 minutes of walking, we finally decided to take a bus.We took bus No. 100 and alighted at Higashiyama Gojo bus stop. Fare was 230 yen (P100). However, we didn’t know that it’s a long uphill walk to the temple plus the road was a bit crowded that time.

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Yey! After ten attempts, I finally had a photo with only few photo bombers. LOL

There are a lot of Matcha, maaatcha, matchaaaa, MATCHA!!! and souvenir shops in the area. Some sell fruit shakes and ice drops to beat the heat. But this one below caught our attention. It’s called Iced Kuzu Mochi– a new sensation of Japanese sweets!

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This is the entrance of the temple. We actually saw the temple from afar but were already too tired to go up because of the scorching heat of the sun. Entrance fee btw is 400 yen (P174).

Third stop: Fushimi Inari Shrine “Tori Gates”

ICYDN, we were wearing these traditional Japanese slippers called Geta while doing the deadly walkathon. LOL

We took bus No. 5 and the fare was 230 yen (P100). This bus ride was really unforgettable because a group of Filipinos thought we were pure Japanese. HAHAHA Their convo went like this…

Pinay 1: Girl, papicture ka dyan sa katabi mo (referring to me) para may panghawakan tayo na nakapagpapicture ka sa isang local.

Pinay 2: Nakakahiya girl at saka baka di nakakaintindi ng English.

Pinay 1: I-selfie mode mo lang phone mo, magegets nya na yan

Pinay 2: Wag na, nakakahiya.

HAHAHA We were going to the same destination so my travel buddy Naima and I decided not to speak Tagalog or Filipino anymore. LOL.

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Wasn’t able to try this 😦

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We weren’t able to see the whole place because it was already late and we must return our costume before 7pm. We took a cab from Tori gates to Kawaramachin (where the rental shop was located) for 1,200 yen (P500).

Tomodachi de itekurete arigatou Ryo! 🙂

Before leaving Kyoto, we looked for a resto that serves white rice! HAHAHA

Did this answer our prayer? LOL

Their Tandoori chicken was really good that we forgot to take a snap of it. 😀 Tandoori chicken meal costs 980 yen (P420).

Unexpectedly, we passed through this food festival something, I obviously don’t know what this is. HAHAHA

There were actually a lot of street food being sold but my phone battery didn’t want to cooperate. 😦

Time to say “Sayonara” to Kyoto! T____T One day was indeed not enough. We weren’t able to visit the famous Golden Pavilion. Well, it’s alright, at least I have another reason to go back to Osaka,  Japan! HAHAHA

Kawaramachi (Hankyu Line) to Umeda (Limited Express ) : 400 yen (P174).

Umeda (Midosuji Line) to Namba : 240 yen (P100)

I made a short travel video for Osaka, just click this link! 🙂

That’s all for now tomodachi! 🙂 My apologies btw for the poor resolution of some photos (ALL photos I think hahaha) Thanks for reading! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 2 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Universal Studios Japan (USJ), Osaka

Check my DAY 1 itinerary in Japan here. 🙂 Domo Arigato! 😀

DAY 2

One of the major reasons why we decided to also visit Osaka is their Universal Studios where the famous Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be found. 🙂 We spent the whole day exploring this amazing theme park and I’m already excited to share my USJ experience with you! 🙂 So just continue scrolling, darling! :*

We started this day with a light breakfast because we’re penny-pinching like that. HAHAHA

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Pasta 498 yen (P225) and Flavored Water 118 yen (P55)

From Namba station to Nishikoju station 200 yen (P90). From Nishikoju station to Universal City station 160 yen (P72).

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We got so excited upon seeing Harry’s face in the station! Waaaaah! 🙂

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Meet my Japan travel buddies Naye and Princess! Before reaching USJ, you will pass through their official hotel named The Park Front Hotel and a lot of restaurants.

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Welcome to Universal Studios Japan!!! Fortunately, this year is their 15th anniversary! 🙂

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Obligatory shot with the iconic globe for the 2nd time. 😀

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Entrance Fee (with tax): 7,400 yen (P3,350)

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To reduce your waiting time for popular attractions, you may purchase an add-on which is an Express Pass. Express Pass for 7 attractions costs 6900 yen (P3,100) while for 4 attractions costs 4500 yen (P2,040).

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Of course, our first stop was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! 🙂

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Remember this? 😀 Well, I don’t even know what this is. HAHAHA Not a fan, tbh. LOL

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(singing) On the brooms of love up and above the clouds, the only way to fly is on the brooms of love…. harhar! 😀

Didn’t miss the chance to taste the popular frothy drink in the wizarding world – Butterbeer! 🙂 600 yen (P270)

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It’s time to try the motion-based dark ride of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey! 🙂 We initially planned to buy an Express Pass but the number of this kind of pass being sold was very limited and we arrived a bit late so we spent almost TWO hours queuing. HUHUHU

There are lockers provided and strictly no phones and cameras are allowed during the ride. If you want to have a souvenir,  you may purchase a picture which was snapped during your ride and you’ll be given a claim stub like the one posted below.  The staff had a hard time looking for our picture in their computer, she just then offered us to have another ride without the need of queuing up again provided that we will purchase the picture which costs 2800 yen (P1,300). Of course without thinking twice, we happily agreed! HAHAHA Halerr? That’s way cheaper than going back to Osaka! hahaha We really enjoyed the ride! The only thing we didn’t like was the characters were speaking Japanese! We couldn’t understand a thing. hahaha That’s no biggie though, so don’t leave USJ without trying this!!! To all HP avid fans out there, you’d surely love everything inside the castle! I promise! 🙂

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There are soooooo many Harry Potter merchandise or souvenir items being sold inside the castle. Pens, towels, notepads, robes, magnets, key chains, wands, chocolates and a whole lot more!!! They’re very pricey though. 😦 So I only bought two sets of playing cards which costs 2,300 yen (P1,000) each.

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“Wingardium Leviosa!”

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Which wand do you want? 🙂 Cheapest one costs 3500 yen (P1,500).  There are actually few areas in the park where you can use your wand to do some spells and tricks. I even saw a young boy who got so amazed with the power of his wand. HAHAHA Credits to the special effects! LOL

After spending almost three hours in Harry Potter’s world, we proceeded to the next popular attraction. We queued for almost two hours just to try THE FLYING DINOSAUR which is considered as the world’s longest Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster, according to the park. This was such an over-the-top, thrilling experience! I certainly felt like I was flying the whole time and was spinning 360 degrees on air! HAHAHA So unforgettable! Been praying a lot of times during the ride. LOL This was actually the first attraction to mark the park’s 15th anniv. 🙂

I love this unique frozen mango! 🙂 It’s very cold (duhh! frozen hahaha) but soft on the inside and very sweet. So delicious! 🙂 Bought this for 500 yen (P225)

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While I was looking for my companion, I passed through this Jurassic Park Ride and noticed that there were only few people in the queue, so I decided to try it alone. HAHAHA I didn’t know though that I will get very soaked after. As in head to toe! T_T

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We really wanted to try the restaurants inside the park but our wallets only said “Yes!” to this chocolate churro. HUHU hahaha 480 yen (P215)

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I truly had an unforgettable experience in this park but the only thing I forgot was my companion! hahaha We separated ways inside the park and forgot to agree about our meeting time and place. Princess and  I spent almost an hour waiting for Naye at the park’s entrance while Naye was waiting for us on the other side. HAHAHA Because we were both confident of each other’s capability to go home just by ourselves, we both decided  to leave the park when ’twas already closed. And yes, we were all able to arrive home safe and sound. 🙂

That’s all for DAY 2. Thank you for reading! I’ll post my DAY 3 itinerary pretty soon! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.