Let’s take off to the next part of my Mei-ed in Nippon series with this entry! The big day! I actually drafted one when I was still in Japan but my laptop decided to die on me at the last minute so here’s a new version of the entry!
After some rushed preparations in my part and all that the very week I got my visa, the day before my trip finally came since my flight leaves super early from NAIA Terminal 1 the next day. I remember my mum making sure I have everything and grilling me as to who I will be meeting and what. This is my first trip out of the country alone so I could understand their worry. Luckily for me, I am well researched with my trip and I had my trusty WiFi from my travel agency of choice and my JRPass. The fact i can understand and speak Japanese a little bit is also a big bonus.
TIP: When travelling to Japan and you know you will travel a lot in trains across the country, best get a Japan Rail Pass. This will allow you to use the JR trains for 7 days or more without extra fees and even the Shinkansen lines. Ask your agency if they offer this service. Friendship Tours did so I ordered from them, saving me a lot of money in the process. You have to remember this pass only works for the JR lines. For other areas, you would need to get their local ticket pass so research before purchasing one! In my case, I used the JR Pass for the Shinkansen (Twice), JR Lines around Tokyo and Shizuoka, and the Narita Express.
It is also best to get a pocket WiFi if you do go to Japan since this will be a lifesaver when walking around the area. You can buy those disposable data SIM Cards in the airport, but if you are like me who had to post a lot of photos for my folks and walked around Japan like madness, a pocket WiFi is the best option
I was driven to the airport after all the rush by a family friend since my parents couldn’t take me due to work. Manila had an odd way in sending me off though, a 4 hour traffic and in rain too… sigh Manila.
The airline I used for my trip is Jetstar Japan. It is a subsidiary of Australian budget airline Jetstar and their Japanese sector just started this month. I selected Jetstar because of their consistent promo fees and the fact their flight schedules would allow me to maximize my trip to the fullest since I can start very early for day 1 and do everything I could possibly think of for day 6. They also have a variety of ticket price plans fit for your needs. They are very strict though with payments, luggages and others. But, apart from that, they leave on time and give quite a service. Plus, if you are indeed flying through them, their staff is Japanese so practice run if this is your first time to their country!
The flight I selected would leave NAIA around 1 am and land in Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya around 530 am Japan Time on September 10. Since check in time is around 3 pm and the concert is around the same time, this flight would help me at least roam around Nagoya in the morning and learn my way around which I did without regrets. Plus, Nagoya is closer to Shizuoka by an hour in comparison to Narita, which leaves at the same time and travel time would have been 2 full hours through the Shinkansen and a connecting train.
Here are some photos to tell you what transpired on my first day in Japan!
Pen is from American Airlines and the passport cover Im using is actually my previous Hobonichi cover. It actually works!
This is what a manaca IC card looks like. You can load this card from 1,000 yen to how much amount you want in thousands. 500 yen is left as a deposit and if you don’t want to use it after your trip, return it and you get the 500 yen deposit back. This thing lasts for 10 years so if you will go back to Japan, this card should be with you since you can reload it at any train station.
Touchdown in Nagoya. This mural is close to the Sakura-dori line which is close to my hotel in Nagoya. Although the Meitetsu line is also close in another side. Everything is connected in Nagoya’s train line so you have to be very aware of your surroundings.
Cutting your Mei-ed in Nippon backtracking right here. Part 2 is in the next post and I know people who have been itching to read it will finally stop hounding yours truly for it. I have to admit, writing the next post got me all crying for more.