Japan Part 1- Tips, Asukasa and Shibuya

Friday, 20 December 2013

First of all, here are some tips for Japan first timers:

1. Your travel money card (Mastercard) will not work to withdraw cash from most ATMs as we have painstakingly found out. Today we went from convenience stores to banks then finally a post office before we could get any cash out! 

2. If you got a Japan rail pass (cost us over $330 AUD each!), it only works for some rail lines as we found out to much dismay :(. You will still need to pay to ride on certain lines eg. Ginza line. Vair vair expensive. 

3. This goes for all travel I suppose, but get a backpack and store ALL your shopping in it! We have already lost two bags of shopping from carelessly leaving the plastic bags in dressing rooms, restaurants etc. Including my brand new beanie I bought today, I am so heartbroken :(.

Other than that, Japan is amazing! The people here are so lovely- we had to take the train for an hour to Asukasa and then walk to our hotel with 2 large roller suitcases each. We asked a couple for directions and they took the the time to look up the address on their phones, walk us to the lobby and even helped us carry our bags! Furthermore, every store attendant has been either extremely cute or extremely energetic, I love how they talk away in Japanese as they process your purchase or order, it makes me smile :).

We are staying at the Blue Wave Inn in Asukasa, 5-7min walk from the Asukasa train station. The rooms are extremely small but that’s ok considering the price (under $50 AUD a night!). I expected Tokyo to be bustling and crowded but Asukasa is a quiet place. The main attractions are the temples from the Edo era and the Sky tower which can be done in less than a day. I wouldn’t want to stay in Asukasa again, I would recommend staying somewhere on the JR line.
Btw, this is what the Tokyo rail map looks like: 

Ahem, just slightly confusing. Asking and pointing at the map is the best way to get around, you will definitely get lost otherwise and you’ll end up being cold and grumpy with sore feet. 

IMG_4668I’m not fussy with food at all and like to pick things that I have never tried before/have no idea what it is. I just point at any line of characters or any picture and I haven’t been disappointed yet!

IMG_4669This is the ramen we had on the first night after flying for more than 12 hours and lugging our bags to the hotel. We walked into the nearest restaurant and the ramen was amazing! I’m going to be sad every time I go back to Kai in Perth because everything in this was just so darn tasty. It cost around $8 AUD.

Looking pretty worn out, but so happy to be in Tokyo! 

IMG_4673Ah another of my Tokyo loves, convenience stores! I just love looking in them and finding all sorts of things. I don’t know why but I found this one cup sake interesting. I must have been overtired. 

IMG_4674I have been having this every morning for breakfast! These can be bought from any convenience store. The onigiri (?) is 105-130 yen which is around $1.50 and is much more delicious than it looks. Each store has a fridge full of beauty drinks… Or at least I think they’re beauty drinks because a few of them advertise collagen as an ingredient and have a photo of a pretty girl on it. I have tried 3 different kinds so far and they have all been lemon flavoured. I don’t think they have made me more beautiful though if my flaky skin is anything to go by –_-.

My FOTD- this is more make up than I’ve worn in the last month haha!The next few photos are of and around the Sensoji temple. Apologies in advance for the touristy photos!

IMG_4679IMG_4684 IMG_4686 IMG_4687IMG_4681My OOTD. My legs still look quite ‘stick-y’ regardless of my diet. I suppose I’m lucky eh. I got these red jeggings from Uniqlo and I loved them so much I bought another in grey as well! They were around $20, but they are really nice quality and warm enough for Tokyo! 

IMG_4691Yanto’s turn. These shops were all incredibly specific, eg. one shop only sold fans. Another seemed to only sell umbrellas. We didn’t buy anything lol.

IMG_4693At Mister Donut, I found the donuts to be quite ‘bready’ like most Asian donut places, it was still delicious.

IMG_4695 The infamous toilets! Almost every toilet I have been in here has the options of washing your frontal or bum area and a waterfall sound effect (so people don’t hear you pee/poo?). I had fun pressing all of them. You can even adjust the power of the stream and volume! 

IMG_4696We ate this in one of the vending machine restaurants. You pay and order via a vending machine and the food comes out of the kitchen within 2 minutes! This tempura and soba meal cost $6, just plain soba cost $2.80! I honestly don’t think food is expensive in Japan and the servings are very decent!

IMG_4698 More for my reference- this shop sold the cutest home decor items and everything was ~$3.

IMG_4699Yanto’s first ever Starbucks- some sort of dark chocolate shake that he said was delicious. Then he got a lactose stomach ache lol. 

IMG_4730My first beauty haul and many more to come. The pink bottle is my favorite beauty drink so far because it has a jelly texture. The Fasio mascara is ok (mini review coming) and I don’t particularly the BB cream. I am most excited to try the Canmake ‘gel’ top coat (top right) which is supposed to give your nails the 3D look of a gel manicure which I love!   

Day 2

IMG_4738 Breakfast time at the temple next door to the hotel. We spent the day in Shibuya and had no time to go to Harajuku which was quite sad. It was a grey, cold day so we most of our time was spend indoors at the famous Shibuya 109 men and women department stores. 

IMG_4742 IMG_4744 So grey and gloomy…. Just like our moods after looking through both buildings. I was quite unimpressed to be honest. The clothing was all very similar from store to store and the quality did not seem that great. Plus everything was expensive! The cheapest coat I saw was $55 and most other coats were over $100. Y tried on a vest which ended up costing over $300! I have only ever bought one item over $100 before so everything to me was way out of my price range. I think I have bought most of my clothes so far from Uniqlo haha. Shibuya 1o9 is not worth the visit if you’re on a budget.

IMG_4746 Lunch- sushi wrapped in cute paper. The sushi itself was strange and tasted like pickles, I didn’t like it but I finished it anyway.

IMG_4750 Dinner: another vending machine restaurant. I have been craving bitter gaud for years so I had to have it. All of this cost $10. The bitter gaud was good, not amazing but I was still really happy with it.

Buys from the first two days- argyle green sweater from a store called Right On ($30), Tokyo beanie ($9) and Uniqlo jumper ($20). 

More updates coming soon, tomorrow we are going to Kyoto!

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