Saturday, November 02, 2013

7 Days Wandering Solo in Summer Japan

Hiroshima - Tokyo - Kinugawa - Hakone - Kyoto - Himeji - Nara - Osaka
May 28 to June 04, 2013

“Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing.” - Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Company.

My 17th country to visit, 24th solo backpacking trip, 4th visa application for tourism on entire single page, and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure.

The "Land of the Rising Sun" is a country where the past meets the future. Japanese culture stretches back millennium, yet has also adopted (and created) the latest modern fashions and trends. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the sixth largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. After Singapore, Japan has the lowest homicide rate (including attempted homicide) in the world.

Seasons in Japan are scheduled annually as follows;
Winter: December, January, February
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Autumn: September, October, November

"the past meets future" concept of Tobu World Square in Kinugawa

majestic Mt. Fujiyama view in Hakone

huge torii gate in Miyajima Island, Hiroshima

This another race against time, very short backpacking researched in somehow detailed manner has a compressed itinerary designed as follows: 

May 28 Tuesday: 2100H ETA Osaka Kansai International Airport 
TOTAL BUDGET : PHP52,723 = USD1,318 (14.33% went to plane ticket)

famous dog Hachiko in Shibuya station of Tokyo city

ultimate torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

Himeji Castle, Japan's best castle

Basic Words to Remember;
hello - konnichiwa;   thank you - arigatō;   I love you - suki desu;   goodbye - Sayonara!
sorry - gomen nasai;   please - kudasai;   excuse me - Sumimasen!
toilet - toire;   train station - Tetsudō no eki;   airport - kuukou

timezone - +0900H UTC;   capital - Tokyo city;   language - Japanese
currency - yen 1JPY = 0.40 PHP 1USD = 100 JPY
visa - Filipino's need to apply first before travel (how to apply tourist visa in Japan?)

Interesting Facts about Japan:
1. Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%.
2. More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes. Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, is an active volcano.
3. Sumo is Japan's national sport, although baseball is also very popular.
4. Japan is the largest automobile producer in the world, the world’s largest consumer of Amazon rain forest timber and  has the world's largest fish market (Tsukiji market in Tokyo).
5. The term karaoke means "empty orchestra" in Japanese.
6. Geisha means "person of the arts" and the first geisha were actually men.

shogunate's set of armors in Odawara Castle

Terracotta army reproduced in Taiyo Park of Himeji

exclusive train for Universal Studios Osaka

Osaka Kansai International Airport arrival at night;
My flight arrived almost an hour late from NAIA Terminal 3 due to traffic jam as advised by air traffic controller. Osaka airport immigration officers are great compared to other international airports, Philippines being as hard as usual. After around 30 minutes, I was already in JR office Osaka Airport branch (opens until 2300H) to convert my Japan Rail  (JR) pass exchange order (purchased online) into their 7-days acceptable card pass. I put intended dates I required which will start the next day. The fare I used from this night is ordinary train bound to Fukishima station where I booked my hostel for the night. 

Anyways, I divided this wonderful journey into different set of posts to be more specific on its content;



  1. Kakainggit! Hindi ba bitin na you only spent 1 day per area (1 day Kyoto, Osaka, etc)? DLed your itinerary thanks!! Fnally alam ko na rin saan yung may unli tori magsandamakmak na vanity shots ako when I visit there. haha

    1. @Mariane; di naman, kasi yung mga main prospect ko which are there main tourist spots na-visit ko naman lahat, di rin naman kasi worth-it yung iba for me... nag-act video din ako dyan sa unli torii, nungkang madaming dumadaan, hehehe !!

  2. Ganda ng photos mo.
    Level up yong kagustohan kong bumisita ng Japan.
    Someday.. someday. ^_^

    Laagholic Buyog

  3. Japan!!! Been wanting to visit this country. Someday I shall. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your picture of the Terracotta army makes me want to go there too!


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