6 Days Vacation in Tokyo

Travelling Date: 10-16th March 2016
Total Expenses: about RM3,000

Main Expenses
Air ticket RM 800
Accommodation (6 nights) RM 533 (YEN 15,000)
Disney Sea Entrance RM 245 (YEN 6,900)
Train (Metro line unlimited day pass for 6 days (2 x 3 days) + Pasmo) RM 177 (YEN 3,000 + YEN 2,000)
Japan SIM card RM50 (YEN 1420)

There rest are food, entrance fee and souvenirs. In order to get a cheaper air ticket, you need to buy it early. We bought the ticket about 9 months in advance. My friends got it at RM500 plus but bought it 1.5 year in advance. Accommodation is normal budget hostel for twin sharing.

For city train cost, it is recommended to buy Metro line unlimited pass. This subway (underground train) covers 14 lines which is enough for city travelling. Pasmo is like our Touch N Go card for backup.

It is also recommended to order Japan SIM card in advance (at least 3 days before the travel date). When you order it, you can set the your hostel as delivery address. This SIM card is really useful especially to find the place you want to go via GPS which needs Internet connection. You can also get free Internet access in the train station. But you need to register first. For me, I sharing the SIM card cost with my travelling buddy since we travel together.

For food, you can allocate 1000 Yen per meal. But you want to go economical, you can opt for onigiri which is only 100 Yen per piece. Take 5 pieces only cost 500 Yen per meal.

IMG-20160323-WA0007Travelling Dates – We went on winter month (March is end of winter). So it is super cold. Morning is 7-8 degree while night is 2-3 degree. If got wind, you will be freezing 🙂 So, if you opt for winter months, then do prepare enough winter wears like thick coat, thermal wear, glove, scarf and mask. Yes, mask. Otherwise, the strong dry wind will make your lip so dry that it will ‘break apart’. April is the best month because Spring season starts in April and you can see very beautiful Sakura (Cherry Blossom). But the air ticket for April will be expensive too.

Direction and Solo Travel – Tokyo is very safe for solo travel even for ladies. There was a moment I was lost Akihabara. I could not find my travel buddy. After 30 minutes waiting, I decided to go on my own (solo). I ask train officer at the train information counter for which station should I take. Bear in mind, according to wikipedia, public transport within Greater Tokyo is dominated by the world’s most extensive urban rail network (as of May 2014, the article Tokyo rail list lists 158 lines, 48 operators, 4,714.5 km of operational track and 2,210 stations [although stations recounted for each operator]). But don’t worry, you just need to show your Metro pass to the train officer and tell them where you want to go. So, if there is one location you should not forget is the place you stay 🙂 And the train officer understand basic English will guide you and even provide you a location map to the right train platform.

What I miss out – I believe there are many things I miss out but here are some. Onsen and Odaiba. There was a day that I have to decide to go to Kawaguchiko to see Mount Fuji or follow my travel buddy to Odaiba. I went for the first choice. So, for the next trip, I will go to Odaiba. Then, in Kawaguchiko, we didn’t experience onsen (hot spring bath) too because of time constraint. Next trip, I want to go to Hakone pulak to view Mount Fuji and to experience onsen.

Here are some photos taken during this vacation. Happy travelling 🙂

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Realize that they put all sort of things in their sandwich including mee

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Many Japanese line up to eat this.

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Decided to have lunch in this sushi restaurant in outside Tsukiji Fish Market because we saw some local queuing up there.
Indeed largest in the world
Tsukiji Fish Market – Indeed the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. Need 15 minutes just to walk around.
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Nice and fresh sushi. Cost is 1500 Yen
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Cheese hamburg steak – only about 650 Yen

Disney Sea, Tokyo – 6900 Yen

Lesson learned - Don't go during their school holiday and reach there as early as 6.30am to get the Toy Story Mania fast pass.
Lesson learned – Don’t go during their school holiday and reach there as early as 6.30am to get the Toy Story Mania fast pass. Lastly, do checkup the weather forecast. The whole week no rain except the day we went to Disney Sea.
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Disney Sea, Tokyo – 6900 Yen
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Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Crystal Skull
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Found a crashed plane!

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Toy Story Mania FAST PASS
Toy Story Mania FAST PASS
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Toy Story Mania – This is the reason people are queuing up as early as 6 AM to get the FAST PASS. Well, I went twice 🙂

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Mr Potato Head singing performance. Below I took some video.

Big Band Beat
Big Band Beat
Big Band Beat
Big Band Beat

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Big Band Beat entrance
Big Band Beat entrance

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Kawaguchiko – 2 hours by bus from shinjuku, Tokyo

Kawaguchiko - 2 hours by bus from shinjuku, Tokyo.
Kawaguchiko – 2 hours by bus from shinjuku, Tokyo.

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The previous day snowing
The previous day snowing
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Sign board super clear. Sure can find the lake from the train / bus station.
Beautiful Mount Fuji view from Lake Kawaguchiko. We have 20 minutes ferry tour.
Beautiful Mount Fuji view from Lake Kawaguchiko. We have 20 minutes ferry tour.

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Another beautiful view - Nearby the lake, you can take the cable car to a little hill for one of the best Mount Fuji view and photo taking.
Another beautiful view – Nearby the lake, you can take the cable car to a little hill for one of the best Mount Fuji view and photo taking.

Tokyo Imperial Palace, Chiyoda

Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace

Other places

Tokyo SkyTree
Tokyo SkyTree
Robot Cafe
Robot Restaurant – I didn’t go in though. By the way, beware of this ‘red light district’
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Sensoji (浅草寺, Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) – also walking distance from the place we stay.
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Tokyo National Musuem – In Tokyo, there are countless musuem for you to visit. So, you might want to pick your top choices to visit due to time limit.

Short but Wonderful Family Penang Trip

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13/2/2015 – To my ashamed, I can’t remember when is the last time I travel outstation with my parents. Glad that it happens last week. Although the journey is about 4-5 hours, we are not so stressed out or tired because all of us took turn to drive. Most of the time, I will be the navigation since I am more familiar with use smart phone to navigate via Waze / Google Map.

When we reached Penang island, we tried to go to this place called “Island Glades” as arrange by my friend. Following the Google Map GPS, we went to another “Islands Glades”. Lesson learned – Use common sense and communicate more to double-confirm the actual distance. But good also, so that we know another place in Penang.

One of the oldest temple in Penang - 216 years old!
One of the oldest temple in Penang – 216 years old!
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First time to this Taman Negara Pulau Pinang. It is very nearby Batu Ferringhi beaches. Here you can rent a boat to have some activities. Boat rental is RM 30 per boat which can cater for 10 pax.

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There are many hotels along Batu Ferringhi beaches and this Hard Rock Hotel is one of the most luxurious. About RM500++ per night!
There are many hotels along Batu Ferringhi beaches and this Hard Rock Hotel is one of the most luxurious. About RM500++ per night!
This hotel even have their own home-made-private beach with sand
This hotel even have their own home-made-private beach with sand
The beaches are open for public use.
The beaches are open for public use.
Golden Sands Resort - Another nice resort
Golden Sands Resort – Another nice resort
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The Ship Steak House in Batu Ferringhi
Gurney Drive (Anjung Gurney) - a famous spot for many hawker foods
For dinner, we makan at Gurney Drive (Anjung Gurney) – a famous spot for many Penang hawker foods. We realize that for non-spicy food, Penang’s food is not as tasty. Perhaps not suit our KL taste bud. But spicy food is good I heard although we didn’t try much because we can’t take much spicy food.

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Then, we then explore Esplanade which is just nearby and then ‘supper’ at this place below.

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Supposingly meeting up with my consumer to bring her to ShuangHor Opportunity Preview Meeting but she couldn't make as her relatives came over for wedding function. But, I still go to least check out the location of this Penang branch.
Supposingly meeting up with my consumer to bring her to ShuangHor Opportunity Preview Meeting but she couldn’t make as her relatives came over for wedding function. But, I still go to least check out the location of this Penang branch.

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As I reflected today what happened that time and this trip, I felt so emotional because I didn’t realize that my parents already aging. My father is now so-called retired while my mom’s knee is weak. My parents are the persons who love me the most in my life. I am glad this I can have this trip that we can spend quality family time. I shall always remind myself to love and appreciate them more and plan more family trip while they are here and still able to walk.

I would say that their so-called most famous bak kut teh can't compare with Klang's bak kut teh at all. It is quite expensive too. Seem like this a bak kut teh jalan because seem like every stall just sell bak kut teh only. This jalan is same with the Gurney Drive.
I would say that their so-called most famous bak kut teh can’t compare with Klang’s bak kut teh at all. It is quite expensive too. Seem like this a bak kut teh jalan because seem like every stall just sell bak kut teh only. This jalan is same with the Gurney Drive.
After breakfast, we proceed to Penang Hill. Using GPS might lead you to wrong road. So you might need to ask the locals. Once you reach, you can park your car there. First hour is RM 2. Subsequent hour is RM 1.
After breakfast, we proceed to Penang Hill. Using GPS might lead you to wrong road. So you might need to ask the locals. Once you reach, you can park your car there. First hour is RM 2. Subsequent hour is RM 1.
Third generation of cable car. Adult with Malaysia IC is RM 10 for 2 ways. While my parents as senior citizen is RM 4 for each person.
Third generation of cable car. Adult with Malaysia IC is RM 10 for 2 ways. While my parents as senior citizen is RM 4 for each person.

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The previous time my father ride the cable car to Penang is 50 years ago and this is the first generation of cable car.
The previous time my father ride the cable car to Penang is 50 years ago and this is the first generation of cable car.
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All three generation of Penang cable car / train since 1923 until 2015 (present).
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One of the most enjoy of this Penang trip for my mom is during Penang Hill because it is cooling there.
The Owl Museum
The Owl Museum

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You can stay a night there too. The only hotel in Penang Hill is Bellevue Hotel. Standard room is about RM 300 per night.

Next, we makan lunch in Taman Islands Glades. Suppose to makan with Darick, our brother in Christ who lead Penang church but couldn’t happen due to time limitation as we need to rush to Bukit Mertajam to visit a cancer patient.

p/s – Time Machine, bring me to year 1991-1992.

More historical and unique places to visit in Penang.

Short Langkawi Trip with some church buddies In February 2015

Click to view all the images and short caption.

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You can rent a car there. We rented a new model of Toyota Vios at RM220 for 3 days. Once you reached the air port, you will see many car rental counters there. For best deal, ask a few counters to compare the best package.
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First day we did island hopping. Each person is RM 30. You will be hop up to 3 island within 4 hours. This is the first island and we swim for a while there.

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This is Cenang beach, one of the most popular beaches in Langkawi. The good thing is we stay nearby and can just walk over to this beautiful beach.

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Wonderland Restaurant, one of the oldest and most popular restaurant in Kuah town. Famous of their signature tiger prawn. ‘Smaller’ size prawn is RM15 per piece while the ‘bigger’ one as in the photo is RM21 for 100 gram. And interestingly, many restaurant here are halal I guess because Malay also eat in all these Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, all of us complain that the food is not fresh and not much taste. Later, we realize that quality of the food has dropped a lot after their main chef left to open another restaurant last month. Lesson learn, during the first day, ‘interview’ some nearby local to get a quick review first.

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Photo just for fun only. We didn’t drink that much 🙂
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Black sand beach where we have our morning devotion.
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Cable car, another famous spot. RM 20 per entry. Recommended to go if you never tried before but can be a struggle if you are afraid of height.

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Telaga Tujuh. Entrance is free.
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Chased by wild monkeys 🙂
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Tanjung Rhu beach, another beautiful beach. My friend who swim said that the water is much clearer in this beach compare to Cenang beach.

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20 years long-lost twins found at last.

First Portable Home Bus in Malaysia?

I just came back from NHNA carnival. Thought of returning the Immunology book I borrowed from the library but it closed today. Found this interesting “Portable Home Bus” for display

Entrance stairs
Entrance stairs
Dining table 2
Dining table 2
Dining table 1
Dining table 1

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Living room sofa?
Living room sofa?
Everything you need like fridge and even washing machine are available
Everything you need like fridge and even washing machine are available

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Couple size bed. Not sure King or Queen size though.
Couple size bed. Not sure King or Queen size though.
Stairs to toilet / wash room.
Stairs to toilet / wash room.
The 'toilet-stairs' leads to this toilet - basin.
The ‘toilet-stairs’ leads to this toilet – basin.
The 'toilet-stairs' leads to this toilet
The ‘toilet-stairs’ leads to this toilet

The whole “Portable Home Bus” is so comfortable and it should fit at least eight person. The sales person said that this concept is common is oversea and claim that this “Portable Home Bus” is first in Malaysia. With this bus, you don’t need any ‘fixed’ home and can travel anywhere without paying anything for the accommodation. Those adventurous people surely wish to have this.

But hey, guess how much is this “Portable Home Bus”? A staggering mind-blowing of RM 800, 000 ++  If this figure is unthinkable, there is a smaller size bus which is cheaper and fully ‘customizable’ too. Otherwise, you can DIY your avanza / exora / alza – more economical. Personally, I thought this “portable-home” idea is highly achievable and so cool 🙂

Short Trip to Langkawi

Overall, I would say that Langkawi Underwater World is a mild version of combination of Aquaria KLCC and KL Bird Park. Some photos and videos which I took to share to all. I have edited the video to show the gist of it. Enjoy!


 

Langkawi Cable Car - RM15 (with MyCard). Worth to go especially if you have never been there.
Langkawi Cable Car – RM15 (with MyCard). Worth to go especially if you have never been there.
Since there is no time limit, you can relax, lepak, or read books or journaling there too with a cup of coffee :)
Since there is no time limit, you can relax, lepak, or read books or journaling there too with a cup of coffee 🙂
We saw this sunset while we travelled back from cable car to Pantai Cenang.
We saw this sunset while we travelled back from cable car to Pantai Cenang.
After googling, we found out that people recommended a restaurant called "Wonderland" which is located at the town area. But because of 'econimical' reason, we ended had our dinner at the restaurant besides it. At the end, the food is below than average.
After googling, we found out that people recommended a restaurant called “Wonderland” which is located at the town area. But because of ‘econimical’ reason, we ended had our dinner at the restaurant besides it. At the end, the food is below than average.
Black Sand Beach - Indeed it is true. But after looking back some photos I found from the Internet many years ago, the beach looks so much more like a 'black sand beach' than now.
Black Sand Beach – Indeed it is true. But after looking back some photos I found from the Internet many years ago, the beach looks so much more like a ‘black sand beach’ than now.
Interesting to find out how and why this beach is black.
Interesting to find out how and why this beach is black.
All photos from now onward are taken at Underwater World which is located at Pantai Cenang. Entrance fee is RM30. Overall, I would sum up that it is a mild version of combination of KL Bird Park and Aquaria (KLCC). But the uniqueness of this Underwater World is ...
All photos from now onward are taken at Underwater World which is located at Pantai Cenang. Entrance fee is RM30. Overall, I would sum up that it is a mild version of combination of KL Bird Park and Aquaria (KLCC). But the uniqueness of this Underwater World is …

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... there are penquins here!!! But one thing I have learnt is to come during the feeding time (i.e. 3 PM). There is a tunnel for you to see those penquins dive under the water. We don't see them dive much maybe because no a feeding time.
… there are penquins here!!! But one thing I have learnt is to come during the feeding time (i.e. 3 PM). There is a tunnel for you to see those penquins dive under the water. We don’t see them dive much maybe because no a feeding time.
I think besides penquins, there rest of the creatures over here can be seen at Aquaria too.
I think besides penquins, there rest of the creatures over here can be seen at Aquaria too.

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This crab is unbelievably HUGE.
This crab is unbelievably HUGE.
Creature from the outer space?
Creature from the outer space?

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Another odd fish which I have never seen before.
Another odd fish which I have never seen before.

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