I visited Japan on last May and i had a great time. One of the input i have from friends is they want to know more the story during traveling, not only the travel itinerary. Therefore, i present this edition as a series, as my appreciation for you who always support me. Don’t worry! I will post more compact to-do-point edition for travel itinerary and tips. Hopefully, all of you enjoy it!
Some time in January 2015…
It starts here. The discussion to travel to Japan was initiated by my traveling partner when i visited India last year. If things permit, we will go to Japan together on 2015. Plan is always a plan and life always has its mysterious plan lay down for us – without us knowing. This time, life is bringing her to Sweden to start her journey in reaching her dream. I am proud of her, really proud. This means the plan should be postponed until she is available for traveling far.
The intention to visit Japan always hang in my mind. I don’t know when exactly it born but it just seems the right place to go. On some time this month, with a “lot” of consideration especially travel safety, i bought tickets to Japan. This will be my first solo backpacker traveling. How i feel now? Nervous but excited. :’)
Before departure in May 2015…
The real preparation to go to Japan starts this month. I finally get my visa (with a bit hiccup in the process). Itinerary is ready one week before the departure date. I won’t say much in this stage, but i let you know that i will be visiting Kyoto and Tokyo. The rest will be revealed soon in the story.
I don’t speak or write Japanese language. Yes, i have no idea on how i will communicate with local people. Frankly, i do not think much about this. This is not the first time i visit a foreign country with foreign language. I will learn along with the time i will spend in Japan. It will be a valuable learning, i believe.
My colleagues who know i will travel solo tease me with a few things, especially within this period. They are teaching me some words. It is both good and bad one, like aishiteru – i love you and sumimasen – excuse me. One of them even says that i need to meet Japanese male artist. He mentions one name that i always can not remember and i always mention other name, Takeshi Kaneshiro. I remember his role as Zhu Ge Liang in one of Three Kingdom movie. Please don’t this wrong. They are the great people that i will certainly miss. They are funny and sincere. Thanks for your support, guys!
A few days before 14th May 2015..
Something urgent comes up in the agenda. I need to attend something. The given schedule is the same schedule as my Japan holiday. And, no, it can not be rescheduled. As the result, i need to delay my trip for a few days. I am not saying that this is a disaster; disaster is a pretty strong word for this. But, there are a lot things that need to be done.
If somehow you experience the same thing like I do right now, always try to reschedule the flight first. Depend on your ticket class (this is not the flight class), you may not need to pay any penalty. In my case, the policy says that i can still reschedule my flight 48 hours before departure and i reschedule my flight on 52 hours before departure – with its consequence – more cost.
The next thing i need to do is change all bookings i made. I am lucky because the two bookings that i have made are accommodations, one in Kyoto and one in Tokyo. I did not booking anything else, such as transportation, tour, etc. However, i am not that lucky. Both of them not fully available on the rescheduled date. One accommodation also has strict cancellation policy, meaning that i can not get full refund. I need to be creative and make other bookings. I only have a few days to rearrange the whole plan. I can’t afford to overthink the accommodation options. All accommodations that has great rating in booking website along with my “great” instinct become the top choices. I end up booking two hostels in Kyoto and one hotel in Tokyo.
One of the accommodation i booked provide mobile wifi in their package. Unfortunately, they don’t have available room in the rescheduled date. I need to cancel the booking and find the replacement for the mobile wifi. Because of this, roaming is not the option – it is too expensive. I do a quick research in the internet and rent a mobile wifi. From the website and customers’ testimonials, they seems reliable. I purchase the service online and pay via credit card. They will send the device to Kansai International Airport Post Office. It should be ready on my arrival, or not. Like i said before, there isn’t much time to overthink this. We will see on the arrival day. Finger-cross.
Other than rearrange the trip, i also need to take care the urgent stuffs, negotiate meetings’ timing and deadlines. All i can say is it is quite a busy and tense week.
Wondering how it will turn out? Stay tune for second edition! :’)