Mei-ed in Nippon: Day 1 Part 1

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Konnichassu!

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!

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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!

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Me in Terminal 1 of NAIA. This place is so cold around this time

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My boarding pass and my passport with the sticker of my travel agency :)

Pen is from American Airlines and the passport cover Im using is actually my previous Hobonichi cover. It actually works!

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Inside the plane. Yup, they use an Airbus A320 for their Japan trips. Reminds me of my plane when I went to the Visayas a few years back.

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Chicken curry. This meal was included in my ticket since i gotten a starter pack. You can opt not to have one and just order from their cafe menu.

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Their cafe menu!! I note i should have just ordered on the plane… sigh, the cup ramen looked appealing.

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First glimpse of Japan… is this around the Osaka region already?

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Hello Chubu Centrair International Airport and hello Nagoya! This place has its own island so its separate from the main Nagoya region

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My plane :)

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I got welcomed by this cool light dragon! Sugoi!!

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Map as to where I am in Japan

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This is where I got out. I have to admit the place is too empty, but we were the first flight that arrived in this airport

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After an escalator lift, this is the main station of the trains to the mainland

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This is where you get your train tickets and your manaca IC card (Dead useful if you will go around Nagoya)

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Empty platform… I never saw this in Manila at all at any time. And they have automated doors to this place… sweeet!

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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.

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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.

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Crows and doves in Japan are veeeerrryy big.

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First stop…. Nagoya Castle!

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To get inside this palace, you have to pay 500 yen entrance fee for adults!

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Statue of Kato Kiyomasa, the one who got Nagoya Castle’s walls constructed

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Hommaru Palace. This place is being restored, but you can get in and see the various rooms used by the Emperors in the past

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Example room in the Hommaru Palace. All of them are in gold… though not sure if its gold plated or what. The designs are really intricate

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Nagoya Castle! Crossing this one out of my checklist!

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This is the inside the main castle. You can go inside and explore. I loved my visit here despite the fact you have to do the stairs. Luckily there is free WiFi and airconditioned everything

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In one of the floors, you would see this mini diorama of old Nagoya and how life was like in the past

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A palanquin fit for a princess

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Oda Nobunaga’s mini profile and sketch. He used to live in the old Nagoya Castle

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Hideyoshi Toyotomi

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Ieyasu Tokugawa

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The beautiful view of Nagoya from top of Nagoya Castle!

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Now, where should we go next?!

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.

siggy2

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