Hello to all my freaks!
Today I’m going to write about something that has never been mentioned on my blog before; it’s about traveling. Since I was little, I was lucky enough to have my parents bringing me to different countries in the Southeast Asia area for basically almost every summer trip. I might not realize my passion for food sooner in the past but I knew for sure that I want to see the world. That’s kinda the reason why I studied abroad in the U.S too.
Looking deeper at traveling and food, I could see a tight connection between both of them. For example, the food in Northern Vietnam is lighter and less spicy than the food in the Central or in the South. Food is different everywhere and if I don’t travel to others places, I would miss all the fun.
Eating chili crab in Vietnam and in Singapore is completely two separate experience. Not only the ingredients and spices are different but if you eat chili crab in Singapore, you would understand why it was made that way since you learn about their culture. I really hope that this new series on my blog called “Get your freaky suitcase ready” will urge you to travel and help you along the way.
Recently, I got to visit Tokyo, Japan. Never would I have thought that I would get to see Japan this early in my life. Don’t worry, I won’t go into the detail of how this trip was made and planned but I will show you how to have the best time of your life in Tokyo.
Things you need to prepare before the trip
1. A flight ticket
I picked Nippon Airways and flew to Haneda airport in Tokyo. Haneda airport is actually closer to the city than Narita. The food on the plane was AMAZING compared to other airline food. They have 2 menus: Japanese style or Western style that you can choose. The movie collection is another plus point since they have all the latest movies.
I would suggest an Airbnb instead of hotels just because of the experience. Our Airbnb in Harajuku is quite small for 5 people but the location is perfect. It’s right by Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street, Meiji Shrine, and Yoyogi part.
Best areas to stay in Tokyo: Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya.
3. Wifi router rental
DO NOT BUY A SIM CARD. You will not need it at all. Instead, right after you get out of immigration and get your luggages and before going out of the airport. Ask for the counter that they let you rent the wifi router. In this case, at Haneda airport, we rent it at Ninja Wifi. Honestly, this device is life saver at Japan. Rent it and you’re good to go 🙂
4. A light research about Tokyo subway system
Tokyo subway/metro system is no joke. EVERYTHING IS IN JAPANESE (except for some touristy stations like Shibuya). It took my a couple of times of doing wrong and going to the wrong direction to get a grip of the system.
So in order to buy the ticket, you have to search for the number of the station you’re going to. Let me be more specific real quick. Pretend like you’re at Harajuku station and you want to go to Shinjuku station. First you have to know that you’re take the JR Line (Yamanote Line) (please use google for this step). After you arrive to the JR line, you have to buy the ticket at the machine. In this case, you’re going to Shinjuku and according to the board above from the ticket machine, the number for Shinjuku is 140. You press 140 and pay. And there you go!
Remember, do not throw the ticket away because you will need it to get out of the station. If you have to transfer, go ahead, transfer but before you’re going out, go to the machine called “Fare Adjustment” and pay for the transfer ride.
Don’t be stressed out too much because even if the subway staffs cannot speak English, they sure still be able to help you in the best way possible. How? Let me tell you. We got to the wrong line and looking all clueless but there was this cleaning old lady. She didn’t speak English at all but she understood where we wanted to go so she took my hands and led us to the right line. Bless her!
5. Understand Japanese culture
I find that it is important to read and learn about the culture of the country I’m going to visit so I won’t offend or be disrespectful there. Please read this article for more information.
6. Learn to SLURP (optional)
This is exclusive only to my Asian sista and brotha out there. I challenge you to slurp ramen like Japanese does. Trust me, it’s not easy as it looks (it gets quite messy actually).
This post is getting really long so I’m going to stop right here. Hope you’re not overwhelmed yet because the best is not yet to come. I think if you’re well prepared then your trip is going to be so smooth that you’re going to be like: “Damn! I’m good!”
Until next time, stay freaky
For the past couple days, I’ve been trying to figure out WordPress. Oh man! WP is now in a whole new level that I can’t catch up. But don’t worry, I’m trying my best to make this blog better everyday caz this gal promises to herself and to all of you to do so.