For some unexpected reasons, I had to go to Kyoto in July, then Osaka the next week. The easiest solution? A two to three hour ride in the Shinkansen (bullet train). How much is a ride? ~JPY13,000 one way to Kyoto. That’s the end of my plans to ride the Shinkansen. Time to bring the cheap accountant out.
What are my options? Shinkansen, normal train, bus and plane.
Shinkansen is JPY13,000 one way, around 2-3 hours.
Normal train takes around eight hours, the cheapest I found was JPY9,000.
Bus ranges from JPY5,000 to 14,000 depending on the type of bus. The sleeper, high end bus is of course the most expensive. You can do the overnight one, to make the eight-nine hour travel less useless.
Plane can be as low as JPY4,000 (Jetstar, Peach, Vanilla) to JPY20,000 (ANA), and less than an hour.
However, one should include the travel time to/from the airport and the cost.
Based on this, plane rides can only go as low as JPY6,000 and takes around four hours
JPY1,000 ticket to Narita
JPY1,000 to Osaka from Kansai airport. It’s JPY3,500 from Kansai Airport to Kyoto, though there’s a JPY1,700 option with multiple transfers
It’s a no brainer – it has to be a bus if I’m going to Kyoto, but I have flexibility between flying and using the bus to Osaka.
I used Willer Bus, and lucked out. They had a sale! I paid JPY5000 for this bus, at probably around 50% discount. The meet up point is about a block away from Kyobashi Station of Ginza line – they do provide a google map accessible link in their email.
We left at 21:12ish, then arrived 5:48 the next day.
The entire seat inclines (yes, the entire seat). It’s a decent imitation of a lazy boy. I’ll give it a 7/10 in imitating the lazy boy.
Going back, I took a different bus (because this one is not on sale anymore), and that was a painful trip. The seat reclines a lot, yes, but it’s pretty narrow and, well, basically the pains we had to go through with a normal long bus rides. I don’t wanna go through it again. T.T
So for my Osaka trip, I just booked flights. Maybe next time I’ll still book flights for Kyoto trips, or hopefully, have my company pay for my Shinkansen tickets.
A trek alongside the river and falls of Mt. Kawanori is just the thing to do in summer. As a training hike for Mt. Fuji, my friend and I decided to go up Mt. Kawanori, which, based on the blogs, requires a 6-7 hour hike overall.
Our Actual Itinerary
5:15 leave home
6:46 take rapid line to Okutama station in Shinjuku. This is the earliest train.
8:21 arrive at Okutama station, the last stop. Take a bus going to Kawanoribashi (Bashi is Bridge). This bus is right in front of the station. Take note though, a lot of people take this bus so if you are willing to stand, the just go in. This will take less than 10 minutes.
8:45 start hike. We ate a quick snack, took some photos, applied sun screen etc. Take note, somewhere on the hike, you’ll have to choose between going straight to the summit (the tourist way) or pass through the falls (the hiking way). We took the right turn to the falls.
10:00ish we arrived at the Falls
12:00ish summit. We stayed for a quick 20 minute lunch, and photo ops, then went down. Some of our friends who walk fast got there 40 minutes before us.
15:30ish at the station
15:45ish back at Okutama to take the rapid line to Shinjuku
Train from Shinjuku – JPY 1080 (1hr)
Bus to jump off – JPY260 (or 280?)
We had a side trip, but I figure the return trip should be more or less the same.
An archery range nestled in the mountains, this archery experience is way better than the traditional Japanese one I had and the archery lessons in the middle of the city.
So, what to do?
Step 1. Reserve a spot online here. If I remember correctly, they only have two slots during the day, with each slot accommodating four people.
Step 2. Go to… Huh. I don’t know. Ok, I’m stopping the tips part, coz I just remembered a friend organized this for us. Basically it took us one hour to get there. I suggest you work your google maps skills.
I’m a student, and a first time guest. I was charged a JPY2,500 flat rate. My friend was a second user and he was charged JPY500/hour.
July 20, 2017
I love nature trips. With the increasing people density though, the “nature” part is quickly being contaminated. People like this is aggravates the situation.
In the midst of the beauty of Arashiyama’s famous Togetsu River, he just threw a water bottle. Then he sat down and smoked. Littering and smoking – I don’t know which made me angrier. (If you don’t know much about Japan, note that smoking is only allowed in designated private spaces.)
I wonder where this guys is from. A crazy Japanese or one of those universally considered rude tourists?
The Subaru factor is far from Tokyo. Well, I can’t really complain – it took me more than two hours to get to the factor in Gunma for Subaru, and it’ll take me longer to go to Panasonic. A, the things we do to visit these esteemed companies.
A pretty good perk of studying are company visits – we get to see the inside of companies we otherwise would not be allowed to see. You can’t exactly knock on a factory and ask “can I look at your operations?”
So. Who is Subaru?
They are an plane manufacturing company that decided to use the jet engines to cars.
Yes, you’ve read that right. Planes. Jet Engines. Cars.
That’s basically it. They’re not really out to be the next Toyota. They are happy in their own world. Heck, they keep their production in Japan and USA, not really the ideal places for cheap production. It’s because they are not after cost – they are after quality with exceptional standards on safety. Yeah, yeah, that’s sales talk right there and I was convinced.
The visit was highly interesting. All I could think of is “robots, robots, ROBOTS!”. To be clear, robots are not necessarily terminator type robots. Robots can simply be one arm that handles the welding of the car door. We saw how cars are made from rolls of steel to that couple of million yen cars. Yes, from rolls of steel. We saw how they stamped, welded and assembled the cars. We saw the conveyor “belts”, and transmission “robots” that facilitated all product transfer.
Japanese companies are at the top of their fields when it comes to manufacturing. I got a peek at it. Wish pictures were allowed. 😦
Since I’m going to Beijing for an exchange and Filipinos need visa to go almost everywhere, I had to apply for my Chinese visa.
Accomplish the online form (just google Chinese visa application form, there’s one site applicable to all countries). You’ll have to tick which type of visa. In my case, they refused a tourist visa (which was recommended by Peking University). They (the consular) wanted a short, non business visa. Guess who wins?
Fortunately, the type of visa you selected in your application form can be changed manually, so it’s pretty convenient.
Prepare your requirements:
Photocopy of invitation letter
Photocopy of resident’s ID
Yup, that’s it.
The Tokyo visa service center is about 15 minutes walk from Toranomon station, Ginza line. Go in the building (it’s in the 8th floor), fall in line at the counter, and they’ll tell you what to do. At this time (July 2017), there’s a Tully’s Coffee at the ground.
It’s like the US visa, they have a quick “interview” then you are told whether the visa will be granted, and told when to go back. Regular processing is around 4 days, and payment is made when claiming the passport. I need to pay JPY9,400 (If i remember correctly).
So after my entire offboarding story when I was in Netherlands transiting in Xiamen, China, I’m now going back, this time armed with an actual visa! 😀