Artsy Ava in Japan - Day 1 Osaka!♥

Before I officially begin writing a series of my recent trip to Japan, I just want to let you, guys know that this will not be about budget...

Before I officially begin writing a series of my recent trip to Japan, I just want to let you, guys know that this will not be about budget traveling for the sole reason that it was my Mom who spent for us during this trip. It was an early 81st Birthday gift for my Lola and a late graduation gift to me, so I'm really sorry if I won't be including a full expense explanation on my blog. :) But, I will share our itinerary, which I made and how we conveniently processed our visa!

We stayed in Japan for exactly one week and i'll be blogging all our activities for those 7 days. Hope you, guys enjoy this! It has been 6 years since I last traveled abroad, so I was pretty excited for this trip! Especially that Japan has been on my bucket list since I was in Grade school.  :)

 
VISA

We have an agency that we've trusted ever since I was a kid. We would go to them to process all my Taiwan visa up until I was 22 years old, which is also the same year I stopped traveling. Even my Mom would get plane tickets from them. But when we decided to go to Japan, they made it seem like it was hard to get a visa and had complicated requirements and this got us really disappointed cos we were already pressed for time. My Mom is only allowed to leave for work for a max of one month. They said a minimum of 7-10 days was required for the processing. We wanted to leave for Japan on July 25, 2017 and the time we were inquiring to them about the Japan Visa was around July 10.

From there, I started asking my blogger friend Ana and Pax, who had already been to Japan. :) They recommended FRIENDSHIP TOURS to us and boy! They are highly recommended for any of your Japan trips, because their specialization is really Japan Travel.



They're conveniently located at the 3/F of Dusit Thani Manila Hotel in Makati. If you already want to know the requirements before going to their office, they have everything written on their website, so check that out - http://www.visa.friendshipmanila.com! :)

The application fee of tourist visa is Php 1,200 and they told us, there was a 7 day waiting period for the processing of the visa. But guess what! In just (2) two days our visa already came out!!^_^ 

As soon as we got our visa, we immediately booked our plane tickets and AirBnB! For our airline, we picked Jet Star since it was much cheaper than the others we encountered for a very last minute booking. We also picked them for their direct and early morning flight. Flight duration (MNL to JPN) is around 3 hours. Our stay in Japan was from July 24 - 31, 2017. :)




HELLO, OSAKA! :)

This is my first time to actually do and plan a whole trip out. My mom placed her 100% trust on me to get us to the places we needed to! Plus, one of the requirements for a Japan visa is having an itinerary. So, I was really nervous and made sure I tried my very best to iron out everything. Hence, this is me as a tour guide...


I printed everything! Haha! But I don't regret it cos this was really helpful in finding every location in our itinerary!

FYI, Osaka is really humid during July. So pack really light and cool clothing. :)

We landed at Kansai Osaka airport and it was perfect cos they already had the train station at the 2nd floor. :) We didn't need to walk far anymore. The train was our main mode of transportation when we got to Japan and luckily I already researched most of the stops or else we would have gotten more confused and lost! >_< Haha!





I have a love/hate relationship with the trains of Japan. Love ~ cos they are really organized and everything is almost machine operated, so no need to worry about lining up. I never stress about lines there and you will never get late. Why hate? Cos their train lines are SO confusing and overwhelming for someone who is a tourist. Two different trains could actually pass one single railway! They have so many kinds of trains and colored railways, so you always, always have to make sure that you ask station personnel or a conductor if you are riding the right train going to your station. I found myself asking a staff every single time I get in a train - no kidding! But I wasn't hesitant cos the people there are very friendly! Even if some can't understand english, they will still try their best to help you. :)

A single train ride can go for 150 Yen to 300 Yen, depending on the station and transfers you have to do. I believe you can also get an Osaka Amazing Pass, which can save you money, if you plan to stay long. 

The nearest station to our AirBnB at Osaka was Namba Station! Arrived here at around 3:30PM.


AirBnB

Japan is also the very first time for me to book an AirBnB, so before this I was very clueless! Luckily the site was easy to navigate! Just type Osaka on the search bar and it would lead you to many home choices around Osaka and I found this super simple yet cute one in Namba! :)


CLICK >>>>HERE<<<< if you're interested in booking this place too!

AirBnB requires immediate online payments and since I didn't have a credit card, we loaded up my PayMaya virtual card! Super helpful! For 3 days, we paid Php 8,888. :) Not bad!

Our AirBnB is a 20 minute walk away from Namba Station. A bit far, but the area is quiet and safe too. :) Dotonbori was also walking distance from us. I think around 15 minutes, if I remember correctly. :)

After we settled in our AirBnB, we rested for at least two hours and then we headed to Dotonbori for our first adventure in Osaka. 

DOTONBORI



You cannot go to Osaka without seeing the famous Glicoman! :) 


With Lola and Mom :)

Dotonbori was the perfect destination for us on our first night at Osaka, because it's the closest tourist spot to our AirBnB and it's so alive at night! :) There were so many things to see and places to dine at. Food prices can go for 700 Yen to 2000 Yen. It depends on where you will want to eat. :)





They also have alley ways where you can find so many things to shop for from clothes, accessories, knick-knacks and food. :)




Osaka is known for Takoyaki, so expect to see a lot of these cute souvenirs around! :)

While going around, we were fortunate enough to witness one of the festivals that happen in Dotonbori during the summer...


This is what they call the "Dondoko" boats and it's part of the Tenjin Festival. It is said to be important cos it's the mark of the beginning of the festival. The sound of the drums while they paddle back and forth the Dotonbori canal is entertaining. :) 




One of our favorite candy shops in Japan! :) Yummy candies and the cutest interior!

Ended our night around 9:00PM with some food in tow from Dotonbori, so we could rest and wake up early for day 2!


Before I end this post, I just want to say that getting around Japan was so much easier cos of our pocket WiFi from FLYTPACK. We rented the unit for Php 280/day and no regrets! The connection was fast and lasted for at least 8 hours and in case it did get low batt, we easily get to charge it with our power bank! :) Most AirBnB hosts actually provide a Pocket WiFi free of charge, but I've heard from friends that it can be slow sometimes, so this was a better option. :) 

You can check out https://flytpack.com/wifi if you want to know more about their services. Just a note that, I wasn't sponsored by them. We really went to NAIA 3 to rent our a unit cos I heard great reviews about them. :) You can also opt to have the unit delivered, but since we were leaving in just two days that time, we picked it up. 

This ends my first Japan adventure post and Day 1! Will post more in the coming days! Expect 6 more posts to come! :)

You can check out some of my old travel posts below:

http://www.artsyfartsyava.com/search/label/travel
http://www.artsyfartsyava.com/search/label/taiwan

Artsy Ava

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2 comments♥

  1. Hi Ava! Loved reading your post! Ang simple lang ng explanations mo so hindi nakakalito sa mga tao (like me) na hindi pa nakapunta sa Japan. Made me even convinced na parang ang dali lang pumunta at mamasyal sa Japan. Haha. Looking forward to your next Japan post. ❤️

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    Replies
    1. Yey!! Glad you like it, Glaiza! :) Trying to blog it the best way I know how! :)

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