Snippets of my Japan Itinerary

I will be sharing snippets of my Japan Itinerary in this post.

Japan has always fascinated travellers. Mount Fuji, Onsen, culture (yes, anime and cosplay too) and of course the food.

You do not need to understand Japanese language, or enjoy Sashimi to love Japan. If in doubt, just ask and someone will definitely help.

Directions and tips are always helpful on the train subways 🙂

We had bought Klook’s HRA train tickets during our previous Taiwan trip (read 10D9N Taiwan itinerary here). The fuss free experience gave me the confidence to engage Klook again for my Japan trip.

(*Taiwan Klook tickets are not sponsored, only Japan’s sponsored)
Let me share the advantages and tips of booking with Klook.

a ) Convenience

In case you are not aware, most theme parks and attractions in Japan do not sell tickets onsite, you can only buy the tickets online or from Lawson stores (it is like a 7-11 outlets franchise).

Once you locate a Lawson store, buy the tickets at a Loppi machine. You can press for English instruction, then fumble with the menu (day, pax etc).

Imagine, I would need to bring stacks of Yen to buy my Disneyland tickets at Lawson (or use credit card and pay for oversea transaction charges)

Too much hassles and uncertainty, I would definitely prefer to secure my tickets before I leave for Japan.

b) Ease of mind

Download Klook’s app and monitor your Japan itinerary. Read the instructions on where to pickup the tickets.

If in doubt, ping the Online folks at their website. They are quite responsive and were able to provide more tips for me.

Once you reach Japan, most tickets can be consolidated and pick up at Haneda or Narita counter. Do take note they are only open around 0830 (why not 7×24 ?)

c) value for money

I did some comparisons and Klook sometimes offer cheaper tickets through promotions.

When I was researching for my options at Klook website, I came across more suggestions and recommendations. These tips were helpful for my itinerary planning.

Mount Fuji
Just enjoy Fuji san in Japan, do not worry about tickets

Some of the services (total 5) which I utilised for Japan (Hakone, Tokyo and Kamakura) are listed below. Take note these Klook services are sponsored.

*Just click on the links for more details and booking.

#01-Wifi Router

I chose a  9 days Wifi package for about  $36. Network was always strong and the router can support up to 5 devices. Wifi router can last me 5 hours before recharge.

*Once you collected your Wifi router, just turn it on and hotspot away. No further configuration (APN etc ) needed).

Do not rely on the “Free Wifi” at F&B outlets or malls, you need a reliable Wifi to help with Google search and navigation.

Tokyo is a packed metropolitan but it is ideally designed for walking. The cool weather, wide pavements allowed me to walk leisurely and explore the city by foot. If I am tired,  the mesh and convenient subway and train network is always punctual and convenient.

Trust me, DO not save on Wifi 🙂

Being Online allows me to contact my family and to share my Japan itinerary on the move. You can browse my Instagram posts at this hashtag  #SengkangBabiesJapan

Japan Itinerary
Japan Itinerary

 

I can always Google for nearby Food, Shopping, Attractions and even Sento!

Yummy Ippudo Ramen

Picture below, Sento at Jakotsuyu 蛇骨湯 (35.712036, 139.792607). I can do this Japan bath everyday!

 

Thank you Google for the tips and navigation!

Donki and Bic (Camera) will offer you hours of cramp shopping :p

Weather forecasting for my Hakone detour…

Takeshita street (GPS 35.671579, 139.703142, next to Harajuku station) is my favourite in Tokyo, so many things to spot and eat, and nostalgic souvenirs too.

Spotted Goku and Ultraman! (at Bandai HQ, Asakusa. GPS 35.707284, 139.794763).

Be it famous Sensoji Temple (at Asakusa) or Anime (at Akihabara), Google directed me to more fun.

Video (Youtube link) : Try to scramble across the famous Shibuya junction! (GPS 35.659528, 139.700534)

Treats from Google map, pictures below L Dandelion Chocolate (35.703599, 139.789618) . R Iwata Coffee‘s pancake (Kamakura, GPS 35.319482, 139.551468)

 

#02-Tokyo Subway Ticket-Unlimited Rides

Save some money and headaches, I picked the 72 hours package for 18 SGD. First timers to Tokyo will be intimidated by the Train maps!

 

To and fro, the train tickets might be seemingly affordable (100 to 300 Yen one way), but they add up pretty quickly for a family, especially if you keep making mistakes 🙂

Fortunately, Klook’s 72 hours unlimited rides cover 85% of my city itinerary. Thank you!

Part of the Fun (and challenge) in navigating Tokyo’s maze of train networks is getting LOST! haha.

I only wish the unlimited rides would cover the “circle” JR Yamanote train line.

Tokyo train map

I will try to share additional tips about Tokyo’s train networks in another post. In the meanwhile, always plan 30 minutes extra to your commute time.

Be prepared to get lost in the maze!

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#03 – Doraemon Museum

A little out of place, but definitely worth the SGD 17 ticket.

If you are 小叮噹 Doraemon fan, add Fujiko F Fujio Museum to your Japan Itinerary. (川崎市 藤子・F・不二雄ミュージアム, GPS 35.610148, 139.573652)

 

Once you booked a ticket, Klook will follow up with detail instructions on collection and usage of tickets.

Doraemon is one of my favourite cartoons. I spend two hours at the museum and appreciated the artist (Professor ) passion and imagination(the ingenious gadgets!).

My childhood memories!

Doraemon museum Japan

Professor Fujiko is the creator of the cute Robot Cat anime series.

 

#04-Tokyo after 5-follow the locals

This is Fun and memorable. A local guide will bring you through the alleys of Tokyo. Small eat, drafts and history-lessons 🙂

Japanese like to destress and chill after work, and some do not even bother to go home. They will sleep in pub, karaoke or Onsen areas before heading back to work the next day.

My friendly host, Tatz brought us to Ginza and Tsukishima. Delicious yakitoris, expensive strawberries and fun cooking my own Monja 🙂

If you love craft beers or sake, there are Klook packages just for happy-hour drinking :p

After Tokyo, I headed South to 鎌倉 Kamakura. This is one of the popular
day-trips out of Tokyo.

Enoden train

Famous for the Buddha and numerous Shinto shrines, we heard Samurai culture started from Kamakura.

Pictures below, praying for peace at the famous Buddha statue (Kōtoku-in 鎌倉大仏殿高徳院, GPS 35.316811, 139.536262).

And beautiful Enoshima island! (sea candle and beautiful lightups, GPS 35.299738, 139.478732)

Kamakura attractions

One of the reasons I choose Kamakura is because of the trains! They have the nostalgic Enoden (running along the sea) and inverted “Shônan Monorail”!

Thanks to Google, I discovered more Kamakura attractions, and bought a bundle Enoshima-pass for both trains (Choose discount ticket 700 Yen for unlimited day rides on Shonan and Enoden ).

Check out my fun train experience on Instagram below!

 

Sunset at Kamakura, can you spot Mount Fuji at the right?

#05-Skyliner to Narita airport

Narita is further from Tokyo, compared to Haneda. And Skyliner service shorten my journey to 45 minutes.

Ticket will allow you to travel one-way from Narita to Tokyo (Euno) or vice versa. See the link above for the comfortable interior.

Trains (in Japan) are extremely punctual and runs every 20 minutes. Do not be late!

For trains to Narita, do take note you have to change your Klook voucher to real train tickets at Ueno Keisei Station or Nippori Station.

*Klook website had indicated Ueno station for ticket collection, which is a separate train station 300m away

We would like to thanks Klook for the tips and recommendations, do checkout their Website and Facebook for the latest promotions and Japan Itinerary planning.

Disclaimer : Klook services mentioned above are sponsored.

Do pop by my favourite activity in Japan (Tokyo Mario Kart)

Fun Mario Kart Tokyo with Maricar!

If I can recommend only one activity, go for GoKarting with Maricar Tokyo !

It is seriously FUN!
I first came across Maricar Tokyo from Mashable (link), how cool is that!

Some folks dressed in their Mario characters and drifting driving in Metropolis Tokyo! When I saw this YouTube clip, I was flabbergasted.

.. flashbacks of the fabulous scenes from Tokyo Drift  Fast and Furious, drifting through the crazy crowd at Shibuya Crossing! (YouTube link)

Maricar please take my Yen and give me a Gokart!

..nah the first rule of Maricar is NO Drifting (and no throwing of bananas :p) . You may overtake when it is safe, but I already had so much adrenaline driving on Tokyo street. Safety is our No1 priority.

YES, GoKarting at 60kmh on the street is already super COOL !

 

 

Maricar Tokyo Gokarts
Maricar Tokyo Gokarts

 

Take note there are 8 Maricar outlets in Tokyo alone, and there are franchises in Osaka, Yokohama and Okinawa too. Besides Maricar, there are many other vendors who do GoKart on the streets (price, costume and routes differs).

My experience is based on the Shinagawa Outlet #01 (GPS 35.621081, 139.741621 ) , Facebook link  (General Maricar website)

..before we drove off, we already had so much fun dressing up and playing our role, and wefie!

I am Luigi

First thing first, these are the few steps which you need to fulfill before heading down.

Registration and Booking

-Choose your  Maricar Tokyo outlet (out of 8) . Different outlets have different routes

-You can book through their Facebook app too. Maricar Facebook response is fast, they will advise you on the logistics

-Choose you package (1, 2 or 3 hours). Fee starts from 7000 Yen (estimated $85 SGD), please choose minimum 2 hours package

-Go and register your International Driving Permit (IDP, aka License) from AAS ($20, on the spot)

-Beg a Gopro and strap from your friend (or you can rent on the spot). Do not selfie while driving.

On the actual day

– Registration and payment might take up to 15 minutes, choose your costume (another 15 minutes)

** I would recommend you to go 1 hour earlier, cater for train and navigation delays. If you reach early, you can pick your choice costume too

-Safety briefing and GoKart mechanics, your GoKart comes with signal lights, head light, hand brake and horn too

We are ready to roll in Mario Kart style!

-There will be a front and rear guide. They will take photos and Airdrop to you at the end. Ramie was my guide at Shinagawa.

The cool Spyder (bottom right) is for those who prefer to “pillion” or who do not have driving license. Fees apply.

My 2 hours package brought me to Tokyo Tree and Shibuya crossing! Checkout my Maricar video below (Facebook link).

 

Our Maricar Tokyo convoy of crazy characters ! Bowser, Mario, Luigi, Mr Potato, Angel and MonsterInc’s James. I spotted Nemo, Sesame Street and Minions in other convoys too! (more costumes at this hashtag #Maricar )

We will just pose silly at every stop, or wave to the other road users and pedestrians.

Yoshi costume is cute, and Mushroom (Toad) is not available today.

My trusted GoPro 5 session kept the Fun rolling (for extra juice, I would recommend the ultra slim 6700 mAh Ravpower 6700)

Maricar Gokart Tokyo feels exhilarating, you get to see the city from another angle!

Look, Tokyo Tree!

Shibuya crossing!

Hello Mario brother! My kids were mad jealous when they saw my GoKarting video!

Other tips to enjoy MariCar GoKart in Tokyo

 

a. I cannot emphasize enough, go Early. It is not easy for tourists to navigate Toyko subway :p

b. I chose the earliest package at 1000, so I could finish in time for lunch.
Some might recommend a 3 hours package from 4 to 7pm, so you get to play in the day and night too. Shibuya in Neon should be spectacular!

*c. Choose the package which has Shibuya Crossing! (only three outlets) Other outlets might offer circuits with icons Ginza, Skytree,  Ueno, Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba.

d. You need to bring along your Passport, Driving licence, and IDP

e. There is a small pouch in your GoKart for a few loose items (phone, passport, Driving license) Leave everything else in the locker.

f. You can rent a GoPro (and strap) at Maricar

g. Maricar GoKart Tokyo adventures are weather friendly (sun or rain), unless it snows

h. If you are going during Winter (0 to 10 degrees), layer up, I got 6 layers under my Luigi costume. Extra Jackets and Glove are available from Maricar, while stocks last

*i. Make sure you clear your bladder before riding off. It is no fun to peel off the layers in a public loo. Those with 3 hours package definitely need to go to the loo once.

j. For a even better experience? Gather your friends or spouse along!

k. Keep smiling! At every junction, someone will be curious enough to take photo of your Mario Kart gang!

l. Be vigilant and look out for each other. We are driving on the road and GoKarts’ lower profile might be harder to spot . Have Fun but Be Safe!

j. As long as you keep to your lane and do not perform stunts, Maricar Tokyo is relatively safe

Maricar karting in Tokyo is One of the craziest things I have done in my life. YOLO!

-Nintendo had earlier sue Maricar for brand infringements
-We heard Police will enforce laws to mandate Helmet and seat belt in the future.

Meanwhile, participants can still ride and enjoy the street adrenaline!

 

Checkout our kids Mario Kart experience at Permas Jaya (photo above)and Mario Kart Wii . Japan experiences are documented on Instagram hashtag #SengkangBabiesJapan