Nov 24 3:52 am
So yes, I am back now (to be more exact, almost three days ago xD). Sadly. Sorry that I didn’t update the blog during the trip as I don’t have any time at all to. I don’t even ahev time to take care of other minor stuff like approve comments (those are time needed for sleep). Well, that and the wifi REALLY suck ass in those hostels.
It was certainly a good trip, but it could have been better. I guess I cannot expect too much from myself seeing that this is the first time that I went to Japan without a tour guide…so here’s a short list of positives, negatives and stuff I could have done better that I can think of so far~
- Learned that my Japanese conversational skills is no-where near the level I want. I mean, I can talk and express myself clearly (thank god for all those verbs I learned), but listening? It was RAPE. But I guess that’s bound to happen if I barely pass the listening section on my past 2 JLPT’s…orz Well at least I was able to get what they say after they repeat once…or twice at most. If more than two times I just give up xDDDDDDDDD Anyway, I am glad to know that I can communicate with them in Japanese, and that’s all it matters. (although yes, I still need lots of improvement)
- Anime RULES in Akiba/Nipponbashi. That’s something that DIDN’T disappoint for sure.
- Love Otome Road. I don’t think I have ever met more than 20 anime-loving girls. And I met more than 200 in a few hours alone there. xDDDDDDD
- Food is GREAT. Even the cup noodles and McDonalds there taste better. Want to give McPork a try? xDDDDDDDD
- Finally got to meet MG in person.
- Went to Mandarake in Nakano Broadway, Akiba and Ikebukuro (aka Otome Road xD)
- Got to see a friend in person that I met in Twitter randomly.
- Finally get to buy the JFA 2010 jacket that I wanted so bad. Huge thanks to MG ^^
- Vending machines everywhere waiting
to rip you off for your business.
- With this trip, I will be qualified for Aeroplan Elite which gives me some very nice benefits for 2011 which means yes, I will be taking some trips next year to take advantage of them xD (DAMN i always wanted to see how nice executive first class is, try priority boarding, relax for free at the Maple Leaf Lounge with my mother, get my Aeroplan Elite luggage tags, get my personalized Aeroplan Elite card…blah blah blah…)~ OH YEAH~
- …oh and yeah, Air Canada was running a promo where I can get 7500 bonus aeroplan miles for taking this round trip. OH YEAH X2. (well too bad they are not status miles, but it’s not like I will qualify for superelite if they are anyway so it’s ok~)
- Big thanks to my imouto-chan. Since she works for Air Canada, she was able to get me a deal on a direct flight to Narita that’s even cheaper than other indirect flights *stares at Continental and United*, and she also gave me a deal on her yen! She saved me almost $200 before I even started the trip! HUGE kudos to her~
- Umeda Sky Building is WONDERFUL. Certainly better than Tokyo Tower imo. In fact, I think Osaka is better than Tokyo.
- …and did I talk about how much nipponbashi and akiba rules?
- Trains have SO MANY PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME THAT IT’S MURDER. Even worst that HK! orzzzzzzzzzzzz
- Trains eat up ALOT of time. Like, ALOT, as in maybe 1/4 of the trip.
- EVERYTHING is expensive. GOD DAMN EXPENSIVE! (re: vending machines)
- Too much damn walking! orzzzzzzzzzzzz Makes me love my car even more now!
- Internet connection SUCK ASS in those hostels.
- Hostel rooms are SMALL, more on that below.
- Den Den town in Osaka is very BLAH. Good thing nipponbashi is right beside it xD
- Didn’t get a chance to go to Kyoto and meet my other twitter friend.
There are some mistakes that can certainly be avoided if only I have done my research properly…such as:
- a JR pass doesn’t mean EVERYTHING for railroads. I learned that the HARD way. At the beginning, I thought that JR is the ONLY railway company in Japan, and OH DAMN how wrong I was. There’s Keisei, Tokyo Metro, Odakyu Odawara Line…blah blah blah. And ALL of them do not take JR pass. Ouch, ouch ouch. I really think it’s not worth it and should have just pay regular fares instead. I also got tricked thinking the pass is for a week (Sunday to next Sunday), but it’s actually only for 7 days (Sunday to Saturday)! Made a big error that costed me around $160…also, I guess my friend and I didn’t realize that the JR pass doesn’t work with Nozomi Shinkansen only, as we spent around 9 hours taking the local trains from Hakone to Osaka. It was PURE hell. We could have taken the Hikari Shinkansen for free and it only takes 4 hours (and then pay 300 yen for local trains)…Oh well what the hell, I won’t get the pass again if I go, so it doesn’t matter anymore…
- Hostels are SMALL, SMALL and SMALL. Even smaller than a prison cell. I thought at the beginning they were just like motels, just more run-down/downsized. And OMG did I get OWNED. But I mean, if I am paying 1500-2500 yen as oppose to 7k+ for a night, I can’t really complain…
- Should have printed maps for every train/subway that I am planning to take. It’s hard to believe that JR actually don’t give out route maps $%#$^#*&%)&%
- I should have asked my friend to let me check over the transportation and trip-time arrangements before the trip…totally my fault for not doing that since I knew I could have made some drastic improvements (as I excel in finding shortcuts for trains and plan time better than her imo). Lesson learned.
So that’s about it for now…will do a day by day summary later this week.