8 Days in Japan Itinerary with Budget & Lodging Details

Oh my! Is it my first blogpost in 2018?? I feel so bad for neglecting this blog. Quick updates, I feel so much happier nowadays than the end of 2017. Maybe because I choose not to overthink, live 'slower', and just go with the flow! 

As some of you might already know, last month I went to Japan  (Tokyo, Disneysea, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa) for 8 days. Here, I want to share my 8 Days Itinerary in Japan. You can use it for your future trips! I visited quite a lot of places in 8 days, so this itinerary is perfect for those who enjoy walking. 

BUDGET (major expenses):
- JKT-NRT-JKT return ticket by JAL : IDR 4.500.000
- 7 Nights Lodgings (airbnb, hostel, hotel) : around IDR 3.500.000/person (decent hotels/airbnb's price is around IDR 1,5mills/night. I divide it within 3 people)
- JR PASS 7 days : IDR 3.700.000/person
- Suica Card (e-money) to ride subways which were not covered by JR Pass : IDR 500.000/person
- Disneysea : IDR 971.000/person
- Pocket Wifi : IDR 200.000/person (IDR 650.000/ 3 )
- Meals & Snacks : around IDR 4.000.000/person (we spent around IDR 500.000/day on food. This can be less if you don't eat a lot. lol.)

TOTAL: Around IDR 17.000.000/person without shopping.

For shopping (clothes , makeup, cosmetics, etc) it really depend on each individual. I won't share how much I spent on clothes as it's a private matter! :)

27 Feb - 2 March: AirBnB at Shin-Okubo, Tokyo
(review: 2 mins walk from station, but the station doesn't have elevator hence we had to carry our luggages up and down the stairs. The apartment fits for 2-3 people. It's clean and modern. The host gave clear directions to the apartment & easily contactable.)

2 March - 4 March: Backpacker K's House Hostel Kyoto
(review: 8-10 mins walk from station. We booked the 4 beds in 1 Mixed Dorm room, but since there's no other guest in the room, it became a private room for the 3 of us. Bathroom & toilet were very clean, but we shared it with other guests in the hostel (each floor has 3 bathrooms/toilets). The staffs can speak English well & greet you warmly everyday. They can give you tourist informations too. Recommended for youngsters (not for elders).

4 March - 5 March: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa
(review: quite spacious for 3 people. I booked the deluxe room with twin beds. It's very close to Kanazawa Station, around 1 min walk.)

5 March - 6 March: AirBnB at Ikebukuro, Tokyo
(review: 5mins walk from station, very spacious for 3-4 people. The apartment is modern & clean, but too bad the host didn't give clear direction to the apartment (& was not reachable when we needed him).

Pocket Wifi: Rent from @jetfi.indonesia 

26 Feb : 
-Night Flight from Jakarta to Tokyo (Narita) by JAL. 
It was my first time taking a flight with JAL. I was surprised with so many food they gave us during the flight. I got 1 full set of meal, 1 snack, and 1 bread. I literally was so full & slept almost throughout the flight. LOL. They got lots of new box office movies too!


27 Feb : 
-Arrived at Narita Airport around 8am
-Went straight to the airport's train station, exchanged our JR Pass (we bought 7 days package for IDR 3.7 millions from HIS Travel Jakarta. You must purchase it before your flight as it's cheaper. But you can only activate the pass at the JR Ticket Office (read more on google))
-Took NEX (Narita Express) Train from NRT Airport to Shinjuku Station (covered by JR Pass).
-Changed line to JR Yamanote Line and went to Shin-Okubo Station (our AirBnb's location).
-Went back to Shinjuku, had lunch at Hachidaya Omurice (it wasn't that good).
-Explore Shibuya (Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko Statue, went up to Starbucks Shibuya to see the crossing from above, shopping at Shibuya 109)
-Went to Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa. Tried the Kagutsedo Melon bread, Cremia Ice Cream
-Went to Harajuku (Omotesando Exit) (Shopping and had dinner at Ichiran Ramen & supper at Luke's Lobster).


28 Feb :
-Went to Shinjuku, ate BAKE Cheese Tart (South East exit of Shinjuku Station), late breakfast or lunch at the most delicious Gyu-Katsu Motomura (you should never skip this one)
-Went to Hamamatsucho Station to visit Zojoji Temple & Tokyo Tower
-Went to Ginza (shopping at Dover Street Market & Uniqlo)
-Went to Harajuku (again....) . This time we visited both Omotesando (shopping lots of SANRIO goodies at Kiddy Land, ate Gindaco Takoyaki) & Takeshita Street (Tried the crepes, Purikura photobox)
-Went back to our AirBnB and bought our dinner from 7eleven & Family Mart nearby.

1 March:
-Breakfast at Yoshinoya, in front of Shin-Okubo Station. (the menu has wider range of options, price start from around 350 yen)
-went to Tokyo Disneysea the whole day! I also bought the ticket from HIS Travel Jakarta for around IDR 900k (1 person, 1 day only). Theme parks in Japan are always CROWDED even during weekdays. Therefore, it is recommended to buy your tickets daysss before your departure.

NOTE: There's NO FAST-TRACK/FASTPASS ticket that you can buy like the one from Universal Studios at Disney. This is a system that lets you minimize the amount of time waiting in line at certain attractions by assigning you a specific time to enter the attraction (It's like making a RESERVATION.To receive a FASTPASS ticket, just go to the FASTPASS ticketing machines near the entrance of the FASTPASS attraction you want to ride and hold your Passport ticket under the reader. Then return during the time period printed on the FASTPASS ticket and enjoy the attraction without the wait. READ MORE HERE

-Left Disneysea at 7pm, went back to Shinjuku Station to make a ticket reservation for our Shinkansen to Kyoto the next day (it is also covered by JR Pass, you need to go to JR Ticket Office at major train stations to RESERVE your seat. (Small train stations like Shin-Okubo don't have JR Ticket Office.) You don't want to stand during the whole train ride, right?)
-Bought our dinner from 7Eleven again~ (It's cheap, delicious, has many options!)

2 March:
-Check out from Shin-Okubo Station, headed to Tokyo Station (took Shinkansen to Kyoto Station)
-Arrived at Kyoto Station and went to K's House Hostel
-Went back to Kyoto Station and took the train to Inari Station to visit Fushimi Inari (Ate Manneken Waffle at Kyoto Station, ate lots of snacks such as Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, Kaarage, Yakitori, and many more at the temple)
-Went to Arashiyama to visit the Bamboo Forest 
-Went to Gion and explored Hanamikoji Street 
-Had our dinner at Soup Stock, Kyoto Station.


3 March (on this day, we did a day trip to Nara & Osaka)
-From Kyoto Station, we took a train to Nara Station and explored Nara Deer Park (yes, the deers roam freely around the park & you can purchase the 'biscuits' to feed them for 150yen). NOTE: Nara is a small town near Kyoto, so a day trip is enough to explore the city.
-Had late breakfast/lunch at Coco Curry Ichibanya
-Left Nara for Osaka (Nara Station - Tennoji - changed to LTD.Express train bound for Shin-Osaka station)
-Went to Osaka Castle (ate snacks such as dorayaki, kaarage, and takoyaki at the park)
-Went to Shinsaibashi & Dotonbori to shop till drop ! (Had dinner at Gyoza No Osho, Dotonbori)
-Went back to Shin-Osaka station, changed train (shinkansen) to go back to our hostel at Kyoto Station


4 March:
-Check out from hostel and took shinkansen to Kanazawa (bought our breakfast at Kyoto Station's mini markets)
-arrived at Kanazawa station & check in at Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa

Actually we wanted to do a day trip to Shirakawa-go (we just need to ride a bus from Kanazawa Station, but sadly the bus ticket for that day was sold out, and we only stay there for 1 night). So we cancelled the plan and decided to explore Kanazawa.

-Higashi Chaya District (we took the bus no.4 from Kanazawa Station, we thought it'd bring us to Kenrokuen Garden, but after 30 minutes or more, the bus was going to different direction. Turned out we took the wrong bus. But luckily the bus driver dropped us off at Higasichaya District, which is an old district , similar to Gion in Kyoto.). We tried Ville de Croquette and Miso Soup-flavored Ice Cream. There are many gold-sprinkled soft serve ice cream there, but i think they're too expensive ! (950 yen for a soft serve?!! I'd rather try weird-flavored ice cream!)

-From Higashi Chaya District, we found out that Kenrokuen Garden is only around 1km away. As the queue for the bus was too long, we decided to walk there. Kenrokuen Garden's view was breath taking!! We were so happy to see thick snows there. The weather was hot, but the snow hadn't melted yet.

-From the garden, we went to 21st Century Museum on foot. It's around 1km walk. The famous art object was the Leonardo Elrich's swimming pool. They have free & paid attractions. You can see the pool for free, but to be inside the pool, you need to purchase a ticket.

-As we had NO IDEA on how to take a bus back to Kanazawa Station, we decided to go back all the way to our hotel (which is next to the station) ON FOOT. It's around 2,5km walk from the museum to station. LOL. 
-We had dinner at a department store connected to Kanazawa Station. It has many restaurants and shops! We had amazing Omurice at Pomme's. (I tried this resto 3,5 years ago in Takeshita Street. I was so happy to find this place again. The portion was so big yet we finished our meals without any crumbs left as we were so tired after exploring the city on foot all day long!!)


5 March: (This was our last full day. We didn't go to any sightseeing spot, because we chose to eat & shop till drop. lol. You can change this to a Mount Fuji Daytrip*)

-Check out from the hotel and took shinkansen to Tokyo (had our breakfast from Kanazawa station's 7eleven on the train.)
-Arrived at Tokyo Station, changed to JR Yamanote line to go to Ikebukuro Station (Our AirBnB's location). Since we could only check in at 4pm, we had to store our luggages at Coin Lockers, it's located next to Ikebukuro Station)
-After storing our luggages, we took train to Harajuku Station (agaaaiiiin....) to shop & eat all things we want before going back home the next day. We ate Luke Lobster's again (it's expensive but it's really worth the price), Croquant Zaku-zaku (at Takeshita Street)
-From Harajuku, we went to Shinjuku to go to Don Quijote (to buy snacks as souvenirs for our friends), did some last minute shopping at Uniqlo, ABC Mart (they sell Nike, Adidas, Vans, Reebook sneakers and manyyy more), etc.
-Dinner at Menya Musashi Ramen, Shinjuku
-Went back to our AirBnB at Ikebukuro Station 

*For a day trip to Mt.Fuji:
-Take the earliest shinkansen from Kanazawa to Tokyo (7am departure, 9.32am arrival at Tokyo Station. the ride was around 2,5 hours). 
-The soonest you arrive at Tokyo Station, go to Shinjuku Station & head to the Shinjuku Station Expressway Bus Terminal. 
-Purchase the 2 way tickets (so you won't miss the returning bus) to Kawaguchiko. (3400 Yen/person 2 ways).  Store your luggages at Shinjuku station's coin lockers. 
-Once you arrive at Kawaguchiko (around noon), you can explore Lake Kawaguchi, Chureito Pagoda, or go to the Shibazakura Festival with the local bus from the station. READ MORE HERE
-Remember to set an alarm 1 hour before your returning bus' schedule, so you don't miss it. If I'm not mistaken, when I went to Mt.Fuji last year, my returning bus was around 5.30pm. I arrived back in Tokyo 2,5 hours later.

NOTE: There's a drama during our check in to this AirBnB. It was raining when we arrived at Ikebukuro. We took our luggages out of the coin lockers and went to search for our AirBnB. The direction to the apartment wasn't clear enough, plus it was hard for us to drag our luggages with such a heavy rain. 

After we found the apartment, we couldn't find the key (the host told us that they put the key at the apartment's mailbox). The host wasn't reachable no matter how many times I messaged him. We were hopeless and didn't know what to do after searching the key for 1 hour. Then a Japanese passed by the lobby (she lives there) and I showed her the address of the AirBnB (it was in japanese, I could not read it).

and  guess what.......she pointed to the back side! (She couldn't speak english but she meant..... the correct apartment is the one behind the one we were stupidly at!!!!). Japanese apartments are SUPER DIFFERENT with the ones in Jakarta. They RARELY have huge signs in the buildings, they don't have lobby / even a receptionist, the design of japanese apartment's buildings is VERY SIMILAR. So.. my TIPS are:
-Ask your AirBnB host for a clear picture of the apartment's building (Front, side, back if possible) OR at least the surroundings. Some hosts will give you clear pictures (like the 1st apartment I stayed at Shin-Okubo, she gave me clear picture of the building before I checked in. It was my fault too for forgetting to ask the pics of the 2nd AirBnB).
-Always read thoroughly all the informations /details the host give you after you booked their apartment, so you can ask for more infos you need out of what they provide, before your stay. 

Actually, it would've been a nice stay if the direction was clearer & more detailed, and the host was reachable when I needed him. The apartment was really spacious for 3 persons and not that far from the station. I didn't have any issues too during booking. The host immediately sent me directions to the apartment after I booked too. Up until now, the host didn't even send me any apologies.. wtf! I even messaged him informing "I've finally checked in, I've checked out, etc...."

6 March:
-Before we checked out at 1pm, we went to explore nearby department stores in Ikebukuro to did another last minute shopping.
-Had breakfast at SUBWAY near the station
-Took the Keisei Skyliner to Narita Station (our JR PASS was already invalid on our 8th day. Hence we paid around 2000 yen for the ticket)
-As our flight was at 4pm, we had plenty time to buy souvenirs like Tokyo Banana, Tokyo Milkcheese, Kitkat, Pocky, and the other famous Japanese delicacies at the airport. It's recommended to buy these at the airport because they have SHORT EXPIRY DATE! 
- Last, we board the plane that took us back to Jakarta. The meals during the flight were super delicious. I had Chicken Oyakodon, Panacota, Pumpkin Salad, Haagen Dasz Caramel Ice Cream, and other snacks till I felt really full. Seriously, JAL did awesome job on creating delicious in-flight meal! 

We arrived in Jakarta on 7 March, midnight! 

That's all for my 8 Days in Japan (Tokyo, Disneysea, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa) Itinerary. It was full of eating and shopping! Actually you can  do a day trip to Mount Fuji on the second last day. But since we chose shopping, we skipped it. 


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