My first blog entry is about our recent travel to Tokyo. It is only about 5 hours after we landed back here in Singapore and so I decided to pen down every moments of out trip as fresh as they are by blogging which I always wanted to do for every new experience but sadly, I just couldn’t find time to write. This time, I am still on leave until tomorrow so I guess I will just make use of this time to refresh, relive and write.
I started planning this 1 week holiday back in December 2016 by first checking the Ministry of Education website on which days are the school holidays. I marked all the school holidays down on my calendar and slowly considered all possibilities into planning. This will be our first school holiday since my Lil’ Miss started in Primary 1 and so I better make use of the resources while we can.
Me and my wife always loved travelling but ever since we have become a family, everything became too limited. My wife had to stop working and look after my daughter. There were lots of things to consider primarily the finances being the sole source of income in the family. Secondly, we would want to have our next child soon as we are not getting any younger and my Lil’ Miss is turning 7 years old next month! So before all these things and while we still can, let us make the most of the school holidays.
Tokyo, Japan it is. It is perfect for a family trip and the attractions are balanced for adults and kids. It is time for the Tokyo Marathon too but I didn’t know about the lottery so it would have been the best runcation as well. Initial things on our bucket list were the cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji and of course Tokyo Disneyland. Since the school holiday is just a week and there are a lot of things to do in Tokyo alone, one day is packed with activities with loads of walking and I kind of worry about my Lil’ Miss.
Well, first things first. I checked Skyscanner for cheap air tickets to Narita from 11-19 March (school holidays). Later I realized, I registered my wife and friends to an all-women race (Venus Run 2017) happening on 11 March and earlier on that day is my cell members Men’s Encounter where it has been our culture in the cell group to send the member to the venue. Moreover, later that day I am scheduled to still do a night shift on that day since my work leave officially starts only on the 13th! Anyways, I managed to survive. Going back to planning, I was redirected to CheapTickets after I decided to take the cheapest fares. Booking was fast and reliable although I was quite reluctant on online third party transactions at first but immediately after all the confirmations I have received my itinerary and I checked through the airline website to double check as well.
I like to put everything down into a spreadsheet as I plan specially this is a free and easy tour. I liked it this way. I want my travels to be on my own pace. I want to take control of my itinerary. It wasn’t easy as I had to carefully arrange everything from transfers to meals to accommodation. My initial timetable was like this:
As I went on arranging the tour, I realized Japan is not like your usual tropical country and like all other travels, you need to consider the weather too! Japan around these days were like very cold from average 10 degrees during the day to 3 degrees at night. I relied on AccuWeather for this. The first 2 days seemed to be not a good day outside since both days are cloudy with showers. That also means that I had to rearrange my Hakone Day trip as the shy Mount Fuji will never show up during cloudy days according to my research. It is not good to be at Disneyland when it is raining as well otherwise it will spoil the only activity for my Lil’ Miss where she is most excited about. Luckily, the last 3 days were mostly sunny even in Hakone-Yumoto area. Accommodation was through AirBnB. We are budget travelers and for me, the least of the budget should be at the accommodation. I don’t prefer staying at luxury hotels. My preference is that as long as it is accessible and very near main points of transportation and as long as it is comfortable, it doesn’t have to be way too expensive. I’d rather spend on activities, food or shopping rather than on accommodation. That’s is my idea of travelling. So our entire Tokyo Timetable was jumbled to this.
Helpful links and blog sites that had helped me throughout this planning includes:
Please support my cause as I run the New York City Marathon with Team For Kids.