Are you planning for your Japan Trip and do not know where to start? I am sharing some of my personal experience below, which may help you to get started.
Before anything else, you need to check whether you need a VISA to visit Japan. While others do not, Filipinos other than Southeast Asia countries need visa to almost all destinations. Sad but true. Visa requirements are available in Japanese Embassy website. I will not include the requirements here as it is better to get the information from their official website in case there are changes on the requirements.
Visa application is usually done 2 months before your planned departure date.
Note: In order for you to get the cheaper air fare, you need to book your flight ahead of time (I prefer to book 6 months prior to planned departure). However, some may need to consider and weigh the risk in case of visa rejection.
While waiting for your visa, you can start to plan your itinerary. Since Japan has a lot to offer and with limited time, we only chose Kyoto and Tokyo. You can actually cover more if you intend to have a very packed itinerary.
Our Itinerary from 27 April to 3 May 2013 (with Labor Day Holiday)
Tips: If you are working, always find the date with holiday so that you won’t get to use all your vacation leave. That works for me.
Day 1 – Departure from Changi Airport to Narita Airport via Delta Air
Day 2 – Tokyo DisneySea (only 3 of us went to DisneySea, another friend went out with his relatives)
Day 3 – Departed for Kyoto around 7 AM and we there before lunch. Since hostel check-ins normally starts at 2PM, we dropped off our bags at K’s House Hostel where we will be staying for a night then headed to our first adventure.
Day 4 – Our last day at Kyoto and off to our next adventure, Mount Fuji.
Day 6 – Tokyo City
- TRAVELING WITH FRIENDS? You can check this out!
Different interests, one itinerary. It is necessary to plan ahead if you are going with a travel companion. It is worthwhile to put your time, thought and effort in planning your itinerary that suits at least most of your bucket lists and that will let you enjoy each other’s company without so much bickering.
- Identify differences. Agree on budget, daily departure time, food choices and places to visit. Compromise is the key to a harmonious travel with a travel companion.
- Check each other’s saturation point. Some may have a higher energy level and you should consider this when you make the itinerary. There were a lot of long walks in Japan, and when you are with somebody, you have to be aware and sensitive about their stamina and energy level. If your travel companion is not into long walks, rest in between has to be included.
- Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! Traveling with companion really differs from solo traveling as you take charge in every decision you make and suffer all the consequences. With travel companions, decision making should be shared amongst all of you. Allow others to speak their mind, reach to a consensus then agree. As difficult as it may sound, but you’ll get through it.
- It is OK to have your own itinerary if you would like to break out from the rest. You need to tell your companion about it.
- BOOK AND BUY
After planning and deciding on the places, now you can start booking your accommodation, buying JR Pass and Travel Insurance.