I head out on my solo adventure to Japan tomorrow! There’s been so much excitement but also more nerves nearing the day of departure. There has, however, been a change that struck me earlier this week as I do not know what I’ll be coming back to when I arrive back home in early May.
To put a long story short, I’m being moved to a different project because of a significant reduction in work for the coming months. As a result, I’ve been given my 30-days notice earlier this week and I will have to be assigned to another project on my return from Japan. I am still working for the same company as an apprentice but there are a limited amount of available projects at my current work location which has led to me possibly being moved all around the country and not close to home. Staying at hotels during the week is not something I will want to do, so this has limited my available options. But this has made the process more stressful as I need to get this sorted and accept a project before I leave on Wednesday, otherwise, I do know what I am coming back to on my return.
I want to make sure that this situation does not affect my travels in Japan but it is difficult not to ignore. I’ll just do my best and enjoy the trip as much as I can.
Apart from that, I’ve been very busy, hence the late post, doing packing and further research on my destination. Tomorrow’s the big day so I will share my finalised itinerary and budget before I depart:
Haneda Airport -> Kamakura (2) -> Nagano/Matsumoto -> Kanazawa (2) -> Kyoto (5, inc Nara) -> Osaka (2) -> Hiroshima (1) -> Miyajima (1) -> Fukuoka (1) -> Nagasaki (2) -> Tokyo (4) – Haneda Airport
(In brackets includes the number of nights I will be staying at each location.)
I feel that this itinerary is the most suitable because I get to hopefully spend enough time at each location while covering enough ground as I can using my JR Pass. I’ll be staying in Kyoto and Tokyo for the longest and although they’re the most touristy, they’re touristy for a reason and there’s plenty to do throughout my time there. The route from Osaka to Tokyo will be very fast paced but that’s also another challenge to move from place to place.
To put it simply, I’ll be budgeting for £20 (¥2800) for accommodation, £20 (¥2800) and £10 (¥1400) for activities and miscellaneous purchases per day. From all the blog posts I’ve read, I believe this to be manageable and I guess I can only find out until I get there. Transport is already paid for by purchasing a JR Pass but I may also buy other bus tickets and rail tickets not covered by the JR Pass which will go under miscellaneous purchases.
I’ll be sure to provide you guys of a breakdown of my actual costs when I am back from Japan.
iPhone Installed Applications
This was initially planned to be in a separate post, but since I leave tomorrow and didn’t have enough time to write out a full post, I will list the specific travel apps that I will be using for Japan:
- Google Maps
- Google Drive
- Google Translate
- XE Currency
- Trail Wallet
This is only a brief list without any further explanation, but I will save my reasons for another day. Feel free to search for these apps yourself and you’ll wonder why I chose them.
Last but not least, I’ll share with you the itinerary for the next 36 hours or so!
05:00 – Get up
06:40 – Catch bus to London Heathrow Airport(LHR)
07:48 – Arrive at Terminal 2 and head to Terminal 4
08:30 – Hopefully reach Terminal 4 by this time
11:50 – Depart London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
14:10 – Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
17:20 – Depart Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
12:15 (D+1) – Arrive at Haneda Airport (HND)
Tasks for when I land in Tokyo:
- Insert Data SIM card into iPhone and configure settings
- Find ATM for MasterCard and withdraw cash
- Exchange JR Pass at the JR East Travel Service Centre
- Head to Kamakura using Google Maps to navigate with
- Find some food and get some rest at Kamakura
After settling in at Japan, I also hope to implement some challenges that I can make this trip even more interesting. Such challenges that I came up with includes not using my phone for the whole day, ask a local for directions, randomly spark a conversation with a local, learn 10 phrases and use them in the day, and try to not speak English for a whole day. This will definitely be fun and I hope to share with you what I come up with during my travels.
I will be away for 3-weeks so I may not be posting anything until I come back from Japan, but even after then I will plan to write a series of my journey and this may also take some time. I’ll be posting again soon in May and I hope that you will enjoy the new and revolutionised upcoming posts!
Well, there you have it! It’s not the most detailed post but after so many months planning this trip, I’m so glad that it’s finally becoming a reality. Doing this solo will be so rewarding and challenging at the same time and I hope to come back as a rejuvenated person with amazing stories to share.
Thank you for following me on my journey and I look forward to sharing my travels on my return.
Until next time,