We have been together to Japan two times before, in Osaka with our kids, and in Tokyo with the whole Padilla family. I was in Nagoya, Japan a long time ago for AIESEC in College (but this is another story).
So when the trip to Tokyo was planned, we were very excited to go! And this time, we could try different activities since the kids wouldn’t be with us (hey, we need some couple time too).
It was great timing for our 13th Anniversary as well! We are lucky 13, babe!
Sharing the itinerary we made, in case you want to try it out. I think it turned out pretty well, since we were able to get to all these places and enjoy everything. A lot of walking, though, so be prepared!
1:50PM Arrive in Narita via Delta Airlines.
We decided on taking the Limousine Bus since it would bring us straight to the hotel, and we could book the return trip already as well. Check the website of the Limousine bus for promos. Because when I booked it in the airport, they did not mention the discount. When I mentioned it, she gave it. Saved a lot of money!
We also rented our own pocket WiFi, which could be returned via mail. If you book an AirBnB they usually include a pocket WiFi, but we booked a hotel this time. It ended up the same cost as an AirBnB. We stayed at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, which we booked through Booking. Much better rate!
The hotel is in Shinjuku, near the Shinjuku station. The rooms are nice and cozy. With a bathtub and strong WiFi. All that are essential. Lots of shopping all around the area too.
Since we got to the hotel dinner time already, we just went around the area, a mall, and dinner.
We got an experience through Voyagin, which I really recommend to everyone! A Sumo Wrestling early training session! You don’t engage in the training, you watch it! The call time is pretty early – 7:30am – so we ended up taking a taxi from the hotel. Otherwise it would take us forever to get there (including getting lost, and all that).
But the 2 to 3 hour training session is such an immersion into Japanese culture. It was worth it! No videos in the session, but we took a lot of pictures. You get to meet the sumo wrestlers after too.
Intense. Super intense.
We took a stroll through Asakusa after that, before making our way to Ginza. In order not to be late for the Food Tour in the evening. Des stayed hours in Itoya. A stationary store. Why do they even have a 12 story store full of paper? They need a new business model.
We made our way to the meeting place in Ginza for the All Star Food Tour. I booked it directly through their website (Arigato Japan) so it came out cheaper than through the other websites.
They say it is a walking tour, but it REALLY IS A LOT OF WALKING. 3 to 4 hours of walking! But the information you get is great, and the food, well, the food is awesome! You have full bellies, a buzzed brain (I had beer and sake), and tired legs … and the whole body actually.
Well worth it! We were offered to be part of their promotional video, but the scheduled taping the next day was cancelled due to rain. Oh well. We would have been stuffing our faces even more.
We had two more fun experiences in store, and the first one was teamLab Planets. It’s not about planets, though. It is more a bunch of rooms offering sensory experiences. What a trip! It was definitely different. It is a bit far out of Tokyo, and you have to choose different kinds of trains, so plan ahead.
Should you get one ticket for the whole trip? Depends on where you are going. If you aren’t going to use the trains that much, then buying that all-in ticket isn’t worth it. Also, there are three kinds of trains: Metro, JR and that New Line. So sometimes the cards they offer don’t cover all. I would recommend just getting single trip tickets. Just plan your itinerary to be near each other.
Des and mom went shopping after that in huge malls, while dad went to the Samurai Museum (the day before he also skipped shopping and went to the park. And saw the bust of Jose Rizal. Of course he had no camera).
Then we all met up for the Robot Restaurant! WHAT A SHOW. I would definitely recommend this for everyone. If you think Japanese culture is interesting. The campy style. The game show vibe. Then this is for you. Not many robots, but definitely a show to watch. Get tickets from third party sellers, for discounts like this. Definitely loved it!
By this day I was smelling like salonpas, and with aches and pains all over my body. Just woke up late, strolled out for breakfast and took the 11:00AM bus to the airport for the 4:00PM flight back to Manila.
I really do love Japan. We all do! And having gone there a few times, and experiencing new things every time, it is exciting to see what else we can do in the future. Check out our video and enjoy!
I love you babe, happy 13th anniversary!