Day 1 & 2 in Munich, GERMANY

Munich was our stop for Germany trip. Why we choose Munich? Munich is the capital and the most populated city in the German state of Bavaria, on the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is also the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and the 12th largest city in the European Union.

Bavaria’s capital, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square contains landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.

Things to see in Munich was another reason, we want to see Fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. It is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.

Trip in December 2015  |  €1 = MYR4.60

Flight details:

Departure: 15:05 Helsinki (Vantaa), Terminal* 1
Arrival: 16:05 Riga
Flight: BT304 / Economy class / Basic ticket, E
Operated by: airBaltic, Boeing 737-500

Layover at Riga for 1 hour then catch Air Baltic to Munich.

Departure: 17:00pm Riga
Arrival: 18:15 Munich, Terminal* 1
Flight: BT223 / Economy class / Basic ticket, E
Operated by: airBaltic, BOEING 737-300 (WINGLETS)

Adult/-s Fare: €170.00
Taxes: €31.94
Fuel surcharge: €108.04
Checked baggage: €19.99
Transaction fee: €5.99
Total: €335.96

| 21st December 2015 |

In this page, I will tell about how I maximise 1 day in Munich. On the first day, was traveling day, we flew from Helsinki to Munich via Airbaltic. It was night time once we reach at our accommodation.

6:15pm: Arrived Munich Airport and quickly catch train direct to Munich city then to nearest station to our accommodation at A&O München Laim. Total train journey was 45 minutes. We have to walk  about 8-10 min from the Laim station to our hostel.

A&O München Laim walking map

A&O München Laim walking map

Hotel: A&O München Laim
Address: Landsberger Straße 338 Laim,
München, 80687, Germany
Phone: +4930809475110
Cost: Twin Room with Private Bathroom – €126 for 3 nights

After checked in done, we went out to look something to eat. There are Italian restaurant just across the road named Nuova Italia. You can dining-in or takeaway from this restaurant. They make simple pizzas for takeaway which you can pay cheaper price than dining-in. So we prefer takeaway and eat it at our hostel’s lounge where we can get free flow of coffee and tea. Regular Pizza Tonno e Cipolla at €6.50 only.

| 22 December 2015 |

Today’s plan was visit to Top sight around Munich. We start early morning to visit some places on my wishlist. Never buy special pass for the public transport, we bought normal train and tram tickets throughout the day. Here’s places of interest we got a chance to visit for 1 whole day;

Haus der Kunst

Haus d.Kunst

  • National Museum/Haus d.Kunst

Haus der Kunst in Munich is a key global center for contemporary art located in Munich, Germany. We didn’t visit the interior of the building.

English Garden

English Garden

  • English Garden/Englischer Garten

English Garden is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The layout has undergone constant change throughout the centuries as new buildings and green spaces were added time and again.

Created in 1789 the English Garden is situated in the heart of Munich and offers many leisure activities: Not only is the park used for picnicking in summer by hundreds of people, you can also go for a swim in the Eisbach, an icy stream running through the area, and enjoy a beer in several different beer gardens, such as the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) or the Seehaus (“lake house”) at the Kleinhesseloher Lake.

One of the most special attractions of the English Garden are the surfers in the Eisbach: A stone step constructed under water at the mouth of the stream creates a standing wave that can be used for surfing all year round. Spectators can watch the expert surfers perform daring stunts from a bridge on Prinzregentenstraße. We went on an absolutely freezing day and there were still people surfing

Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower)

Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower)

Lukas Church/St. Luke Church

St. Luke Church/Lukas Church

  • St. Luke Church/Lukas Church

Slightly off from the tourists beaten path, this beautiful church is undoubtedly among the most beautiful in the city, or perhaps better the outside facade and beautiful steeples. Really huge and absolutely a must-see attraction, but only if you have enough time, Munich reserve wonderful surprises, and this is one of those.

Church of St. Luke, also called Lukas Church, is the third Protestant-Lutheran church in Munich. The church was built in 1893-1896 according to plans by Albert Schmidt. St. Luke is the only almost completely preserved Protestant church of historicism in Munich. The location near the river Isar is beautiful, especially when the sun goes down behind the church.

Odeonsplatz

From left, The Feldherrnhalle, The Theatinerkirche and Mercedes-Benz Gallery

 

  • Odeonsplatz

It is used as a central square for the capital city. The square even has political importance: in 1923 Hitler’s coup attempt was stopped here; however, 10 years later National Socialism was glorified. Today the popular Open-Air Classics Concert take place yearly at Odeonsplatz. In the vicinity is the Hofgarten (“court garden”) in which many Munich residents meet to play boules and relax.

Odeonsplatz is also the northern boundary of the pedestrian zone and the starting point of Ludwigstraße. Around the square are the royal residence including court garden, the Feldherrnhalle, the Theatinerkirche, some city palace and the elongated bazaar building.

I should say this is nice spot in Munich to hangout and visit. Here, you will see many people having their a cup of coffee and sitting down watching sunset. You can buy yours at Starbucks and do the same.

Another good place to stop by was Mercedes-Benz Gallery. Not just another outlet of Mercedes Benz but more a real show room with big windows inviting you to stop and take a look. From old timer to concept cars, ever-changing exhibitions show you that cars can be quite exciting.

Don’t forget to get your personalized dummy card for free here. You can treat as souvenir to bring back home.

Done Odeonsplatz, we walk towards Marienplatz, along the way we stop for shopping spree. Among the well-known and affordable brands are H&M, Mango and Zara. During X’mas sale you will get a lot of good deals.

Mercedes Benz Gallery

Mercedes Benz Gallery

 

Marienplatz

Marienplatz

  • Marienplatz

This prominent public square, the largest in Munich, still stands as the center of social activity in the city, much as it has throughout history. From Marienplatz you can perfectly start a shopping spree. No matter which direction you go, there are shops everywhere. The pedestrian zone with the most shops is Kaufinger Straße, which leads from Marienplatz to Karlsplatz (Stachus). I went into my favourite shop, H&M and get a good deals for winter wear.

We went during the Christmas time was for the Christmas markets/Weihnachtsmarkt. The experience was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Christmas. There were many things to look at and buy, the food was delicious and it felt so lively. It’s a very enjoyable experience for us and once again, I would totally recommend going for the Christmas markets.

What will you see around Marienplatz?

  • New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) – Impressive building. Must to see in Munich. Good example of neo-gothic architecture style. You can go also to the tower for nice sightviews of Munich old town. In the building is the city municipal offices, restaurant, clock tower. Went during christmas and it was bustling with people, music and christmas markets!. recommended!.
  • Marienhof (Park Marienhof) – Really nice park with many banches to sit and rest after walking along city streets. Big open green space and relaxing ambient in the middle of the city.Marienhof
  • Altes Rathaus – Town hall dating back to the 14th century with gothic facelifts after lightning damage & bombing.
  • Frauenkirche – Cathedral with 2 towers top, this restored Gothic church, bombed in 1945, known for its legendary Devil’s footprint.
  • Munich Christmas Market on Marienplatz.

     

End for today. Continue reading Day 3 in Germany here.

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DAY 1&2  |   DAY 3   |   DAY 4

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HOME  |  FRANCE | SWITZERLAND | ITALY | SPAIN | PORTUGAL | NETHERLANDS  | FINLAND | AUSTRIA | CZECHIA

FINLAND

Why visit Finland?. Many reason to visit this little hidden gem located far up North. While they might be small in size, they’re big in things to discover. The air is one of the cleanest in the world and landscapes are second to none. You can find thousands of lakes and forests – which are never far away from wherever you are. You also can pay a visit to Santa, admire the Northern Lights or experience the peace of the countryside & cottage life.

Trip in December 2015  |  €1 = MYR4.60

This was unplanned trip since I’m expecting and due in March 2016, my husband asking me “why don’t we travel to Europe?” …. “You will be busy with baby next year”… I put a smile on my face and i quickly do all the bookings and planning within 2 months before the departure.

It was a great experience traveling with baby bump. Did a spectacular walk in cold winter which I never expect I could had done it with 6 months baby belly.

The journey started from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam Schipol Airport, Netherlands back in December 2015. Before fly to Finland, we stayed in Amsterdam for 3 nights. Then we flew with Norwegian Airlines with layover at Arlanda Stockholm Airport for 6 hours, and yeah! we slept at the cafe couch at the Airport since the connecting flight to Helsinki, Finland was at 6:40am next day. Cost of this flight was US$214.08 for 2 adults (baggage 20kg added).

Flight details:
Departing Flight – Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015

Norwegian Air Shuttle Flight 4258
BOEING 737 800 JET Airline confirmation: 7DKTZY
From Amsterdam (AMS) 09:40pm – Dec 16, Wed
To Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 11:40pm – Dec 16, Wed
Flight Duration: 2hr 00min

Return Flight – Thursday, Dec 17, 2015

Norwegian Air Shuttle Flight 4281
BOEING 737 800 JET Airline confirmation: 7DKTZY
From Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) 06:40am – Dec 17, Thu
To Helsinki (HEL) 08:35am – Dec 17, Thu
Flight Duration: 0hr 55min

Arlanda Stockholm Airport

We checked out outside of the terminal for awhile.

In Finland, we only visit Helsinki and Saariselkä, Inari. Helsinki, Finland’s southern capital, sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. Its central avenue, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions including the National Museum, tracing Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Also on Mannerheimintie are the imposing Parliament House and Kiasma, a contemporary art museum. Ornate red-brick Uspenski Cathedral overlooks a harbor.

Saariselkä, Inari is a resort village in northern Finland. It’s a gateway to the trails and ski areas of mountainous Urho Kekkonen National Park. The village’s Destination Northernmost Europe exhibition has a panorama theater with films on the region’s plant and animal life, including reindeer.

 

Day 1 Helsinki | 17 December 2015

8:35am: Arrived Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Kept our luggage at coin-locker store at the airport.  Storage costs EUR 5 / 24 h in a small locker (height 56 cm, depth 56 cm, width 28cm) and 6 €/24h in a large locker (height 86 cm, depth 78 cm, width 36 cm).

9:30am : We took train from Helsinki Airport Station (Lentoaseman Asema), 500 meters from Helsinki-vantaa airport. Train journey was about 40 minutes to the Helsinki City at €5.50 one-way per person. We met nice girl from Malaysia who studied here in Finland. She so friendly and talkative.

Once we arrived Helsinki city, we bought 1 Day tickets for public transport for €9 per ticket.

Places we visited:

  • Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki – Russian-designed Orthodox cathedral. Hilltop center of the Finnish Orthodox faith with an ornate exterior & lavish interior decoration.
  • Suomenlinna – UNESCO-listed 18th-century sea fortress. World Heritage site accessed by ferry, with cannons, tunnels, a dockyard, museums & a brewery.
  • Helsinki Senate Square – Neoclassical architecture in large public square with the cathedral, Government Palace & university.
  • Helsinki Cathedral – Landmark 19th-century religious edifice. Steps lead up to Carl Ludvig Engel’s grand neoclassical cathedral, topped with an iconic green dome.

 

Kauppatori

Suomenlinna

11:00pm : Heading back to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Our stay was nearby the airport about 1km away. Very comfortable twin room with shared bathroom. Per night at €50.40 booked via booking.com

Hotel: Forenom Hostel Vantaa Airport
Address: Ilmailutie 9
Vantaa, 01531, Finland
Phone: +358201983420

forenom_hostel

Twin room at Forenom Hostel Vantaa Airport

 

Day 2 Ivalo – Saariselka | 18 December 2015

 

5:00am : We woke up early to catch an early flight to Ivalo. We flew via Finnair at 5:50am

Departure: Vantaa (HEL), Helsinki, Finland
Date: 12/18/2015 05:50am
Arrival: Ivalo (IVL), Ivalo, Finland
07:25am
Duration 01H 35m
Finnair (AY461)

Once arrived Ivalo airport, We quickly catch a shuttle bus to Saariselka, Inari. Journey about 30 minutes (fare €10 per person).

During our trip, day light hours was only 2 hour. This is known as the polar night when the sun never fully rises. Snow reflects the light, too, so it may seem brighter than it actually is. There is also a so-called blue moment just before dawn and again before it gets dark when the scenery has a blueish tone.

Saariselka

9:00am in Saariselka

As usual, if you are staying in expensive countries, first thing to consider is self catering. So, the tips are book an accommodation with fully-equipped kitchenette and spend time in supermarket to buy some groceries. Mainly, I cooked vegetable soups, stir-fried seafood and grilled fish. I do not practice bringing food from Malaysia except Extra-Hot peri sauce, this will become handy for some extra spicy taste in your cooking.

In Saariselka, there’s only 1 supermarket available, Supermarket Kuukkeli. They have just about everything you need and quite cheap. There is also a good cafe there serving good food and reasonably priced. Staff in the place all very helpful. We spent €14.35 only for 3 nights grocery.

First day in Saariselka, we just checked out the town by foot, buy grocery and rest. In mid night, we took taxi went up to highest point of Saariselka town, Kaunispaa just to check if we get to see the Aurora but failed since the skies so gloomy and snowing heavily. We only waited for half hour because the weather was too cold to be outside and the cafe was closed.

Day 3 Saariselka | 19 December 2015

Today, initial plan was to catch a bus to Rovaniemi, Finland to visit Santa Claus Village. Distance from Saariselka is about 4 hours journey by bus. Bus fare is €46.60 for local bus & €50.20 for Express bus ( per person). Check out here for fares and timetable https://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/. We missed the early bus then decided to go for plan B, took shuttle bus went up tu Kaunispaa again.

Kaunispaa has spectacular view from mountain top. At night it is an excellent place to watch the aurora from. But we failed to see it last night. It has a souvenir shop and a restaurant too. We had a cup of Cappuccino at €3.70 at Huippu Kaunispaan cafe. Spent time playing with snow and snap some photos.

In the late afternoon, we went to Santa’s Hotel Tunturi to have lunch. It’s a bit extraordinary for us to tried out  reindeer meat in Finland. We ordered 1 poro wrap (reindeer meat) at €16.50 and Paivan Kala (fish of the day) at €14.50. vat at 14%, included. Turned out very well taste and juicy. After that, we went back to our “home” to rest before another long night to catch an Aurora.

Saariselkä is an excellent place to set off on the Urho Kekkonen National Park nature trails. The Saariselkä area’s nature trails have their starting point at Saariselkä tourist resort at the Urho Kekkonen National Park gate. The nature trails are marked in the terrain with green poles which carry pinecone symbols.

We went hiking in middle of the night at Iisakkipää Nature Trail, 3 km, leads along the lower slopes of Iisakkipää Fell through a dell with a stream. The nature trail is a circle trail the starting point for which is at Saariselkä tourist resort, at the national park gate near Tunturi Hotel. The boards along the trail have text in Finnish, English, French and German. The trail is suited for inexperienced hikers. During winter the trail doubles as a snowshoeing trail. Means, we didn’t finish the loop. we tracked back our footprints back to our “home”. Yeah! another failed attempt to catch the Aurora light.

 

Day 4 Saariselka | 20 December 2015

Today, we went to Santa’s Home at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort west village.

We took a taxi to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort east village first before heading to west village. Taxi fare was so expensive, €28 one-way.

Kakslauttanen villages

What’s so unique about Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort? Kakslauttanen is one of the best places in the world to see the magical glow of the Northern Lights. The season lasts from late August to late April. They provide the perfect opportunity for observing Aurora Borealis as the season is long, there is virtually no light pollution and very few trees obscuring the sky nearby. And naturally the view from their Glass Igloos and Kelo-Glass Igloos is unbeatable. However, they cannot guarantee Northern Lights or any other natural phenomenon. There are many things that affect the visibility of the Northern Lights like magnetic activity, position of the sun and cloudiness of the sky.

Meanwhile in West Village, you can visit Santa’s Home. After all these centuries, Santa has finally decided to unlatch the door’s of his home to the public.

 

Day 5 Saariselka – Ivalo| 21 December 2015

Woke up early, had breakfast and catch early bus to Ivalo, Airport.

We took bus Eskelisen Lapin Linjat at 8:30am. Fare 1 adult is €10.00 direction Kiilopaa – Ivalo.

Next destination is Munich, Germany. Flew from Helsinki via Air Baltic layover at Riga, Latvia for 1 hour.

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Accommodation

Helsinki:

Hotel: Forenom Hostel Vantaa Airport
Address: Ilmailutie 9
Vantaa, 01531, Finland
Phone: +358201983420
Cost: €50.40 for 1 night – Twin Room with Shared Bathroom

Saariselka:

Hotel: Saariselkä Inn Conference Apartment
Address: Tievapolku 2
Saariselka, 99830, Finland
Phone: +358447290006
Cost: €225.00 for 3 nights – Twin Room with Private Entrance

 

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Pyeongchang Gun, South Korea

Seoul & Pyeongchang-Gun

My trip to South Korea covered some part of Seoul, Pyeongchang-Gun and Jeju Island in 8 days before we fly to Taiwan and spent for another 7 days there. As usual, only both of us were in this trip.

Day 1 – 18 February 2015 | Wednesday

We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon International Airport Via AirAsia.

Flight Details:
2 Guest MYR474.00  – one way
Airport Tax MYR64.00

Services & Fees
1 x Check-In Baggage – up to 20kg MYR65.00
2 x D7 Oriental Cuisine inflight meal MYR26.00
1 x Direct Debit Processing Fee MYR4.00

Total Amount MYR633.00 one way for 2 adult.

Flight time was 5 hours 20 minutes. We Departed at 08:00AM, Then arrived at 3:20PM local time.
From Incheon Airport, we took train to Chungmuro station (interchange in Seoul station), cost one way 2 person was KRW9100. Train Journey was about 1Hour18M. From here, we walked about 2 minutes to Myeongdong Star Hostel. We only sleep for a night here and cost for 1 night was KRW40,000 for double room with en-suite bathroom.

 

Its very basic and small room. There’s some smell came from the bathroom and not very comfortable at first. Since we were arrived at night and the next day was CNY, most of the shop were closed early. We had korean food nearby before checking in to the hostel. It just few step away from our hostel. Our dinner cost us KRW17,000., we had Beef and seafood Kimchi soup. Very nice eating Kimchi soup in a cold weather. End our day 1 in Seoul, it was just for traveling day and we were really exhausted.

 

Day 2 – 19 February 2015 | Thursday

We woke up very early to catch early bus to Pyeongchang-gun (Skiing resort). We left our big luggage at the Hostel because we will come back and stay another 1 night here after our Skiing trip.

Seoul_01

We took train from Euljiro 1 station to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, journey was about 25 min. There’s a street food served vegetarian in front of the bus terminal, we had KRW5,000 breakfast meal there.

 

Bus fare per person was KRW11,600 one-way and it will stop at Jangpyeong bus terminal after 3 hours journey. From here we took free shuttle bus for 30 minutes to reach Phoenix Park skiing area. While waiting for the shuttle bus, we walked to Mini mart nearby. We had ready-made lunch box, rice with kimchi tuna at KRW2,500 per box (total KRW5000) and KRW10,000 coffee. This is the cheapest way to fill up your stomach.

While waiting for our guesthouse host to pick up us from Phoenix Park, we went to several ski shop to survey about ski lesson and rental equipments. We found 1 which was very reasonable price. I would highly recommended for those who are looking for Ski lesson and equipments rental.

The price is lowest from among other shops around and phoenix ski park. We got ski lesson for 2 person at KRW120,000. and ski equipment rental for KRW10,000 1 person for 4 hours and lift pass KRW35,000 per person (40% discount).

Our guesthouse host suppose to pick us at Phoenix Park but he never came. The ski shop owner was so kind to sent us to our guesthouse, 5 km from the shop. It’s also easy for him to fetch us on the next day for the ski lesson since he knew where we stayed.

 

The host welcome us in front of the guesthouse and handed over the room key. The guesthouse name was Beautiful Days Pension, we stayed for 3 nights at MYR877. Very nice room and big. The room equipped with kitchen stove and utensil, water heater, heating, flat TV, sofa and dining table. I fell in love with this room, really want to stay there longer.

What is not good about this place was the distance to the main road, we need to walk about 15 minutes but after awhile, we get use to it and never feel tired walking. Our first night here, we walked to the nearest restaurant for dinner. We had beef soup at KRW18,000 for 2 sets. After dinner we stopped at Family Mart to buy grocery and snacks. We spent KRW16,000 there for our breakfast stocks. Then we walked back to guesthouse and rest early before our exciting activity tomorrow!.

Day 3 – 20 February 2015 | Friday

Woke up early and prepare some breakfast before for long day today. Snowland, the ski shop from yesterday came to pick up us at 8:30AM for ski lesson. Very excited and this was our second time skiing activity after Japan trip back in 2014.

It was full-day activity, we had our quick lunch at the Phoenix Ski area in between skiing lesson and the rest of the day. Very unfortunate, that I’ve lost my Gopro during skiing. All my photos & videos gone just like that. We did report to the Ski resort reception, but until now no news.

Tonight, we had Spicy korean chicken at restaurant nearby. After the long day, we back to guesthouse and rest. There are no nightlife activity around here too, so lepaking at the house and sleep early.

Day 4 – 21 February 2015 | Saturday

Today we spent full day for couple photography around the guesthouse area. Very lucky today, early morning snowing until evening. At night I prepare own dinner at the guesthouse since the next day we will leave the place, so need to finish all the grocery stocks.

 

Day 5 – 22 February 2015 | Sunday

Woke up early morning to catch bus going back to Seoul. The host sent us to Phoenix Park and from there we took the shuttle bas to Jangpyeong bus terminal.

 

Once we arrived Seoul, we spent the day shopping, strolling and eating at Gangnam Street. I love this place very much, at the junction, you will find the Gangnam Style Oppa stage. Just simply press the music button then you can dance like Psy!.

Gangnam_street_01

Day 6 – 23 February 2015 | Monday

Today, we went to Digital store to buy Gopro again since I lost it at skiing resort few days ago. The store located just opposite the bus station, (강변역) Techno Mart 2nd floor A-29 Pro Digital. After that, we took a bus to Gimpo Airport to catch a flight to Jeju Island.

We flew to Jeju Island via Air Busan. Air fare 2 person at KRW105,700 (MYR400) one-way. Departure time 2:30pm → Arrived at Jeju Airport 3:30pm. Will continue at another page of Jeju Island trip. See ya!

 

SOUTH KOREA HOMEPAGE | JEJU ISLAND

 

 

Fuji Lakes, JAPAN

Fuji Lakes was our last stop in Japan. We took a bus from Tokyo Station to Kawaguchiko Station in the Fuji Five Lakes region. Journey by bus is about 3 hours including 1 quick stop at R&R. Bus fare for return ticket per adult is ¥3000. The Fuji Five Lake region lies at the northern base of Mount Fuji about 1000 meters above sea level around the lakes Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance and a good base for climbing the mountain.

Among the lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access and offers the most things to see and do for the average foreign traveler. The four other lakes are less developed than Lake Kawaguchiko and are not as easy to access by public transportation. We stayed in Plaza Inn Kawaguchiko, walking distance from Kawaguchiko Station within 5 minutes.

We arrived at 10:40pm and we walked straight to our accommodation in a cold weather. Although at night, we still can see the majestic of Mt Fuji illuminated by the moonlight. That night the temperature was too cold and we couldn’t stay outside for too long. We did quick stop at nearest mini market and bought some snacks and breakfast for tomorrow.

Trip in January 2014  |  ¥1000 = RM32

Day 1 Fuji Lakes | 19 January 2014

Had breakfast in room before start our own tour around Fuji Lakes.

We bought the 2 days unlimited bus ride for 2 lakes, Lake Kawaguchi and lake Saiko.You can get the tickets at the Kawaguchiko Station. There are several types of ticket to choose according to your itinerary. Just ask them for recommendation and information. Don’t forget to bring along the bus map, so you know where to make a stop for sightseeing spot.

Kawaguchiko Station

First day in Fuji Lakes, we ride the retro bus around lake Saiko.

Fujikyu Retro Bus

In the afternoon, we were back to Lake Kawaguchiko to catch sunset.

Lake Kawaguchiko

 

Lake Kawaguchi

 

 

There’s a mini market near the lake kawaguchiko where you can buy your grocery. We bought some of seafood and added to our ramen for dinner that night.

 

Day 2 Fuji Lakes | 20 January 2014

On day 2, we woke up early to catch early bus. We did survey where is the best spot to shoot a mirror effect of Mt Fuji from yesterday. So, we catched the bus from the station and stop at no19, Sannide mae Nagasaki Koen Iriguchi. Here’s the best view of Fujisan.

Mt. Fuji

 

At Noon, we had lunch at chinese restaurant, Then we continued to Fugaku Fugetsu (Wind Cave). The Fuji Fugaku Wind Cave is surrounded by the abundant greenery of the Aokigahara Jukai forest. Once you enter the cave, it is pleasantly cool even in summer, with an average temperature of 3℃. Up until the beginning of the Showa era, it was used as a refrigerator to store the eggs of silkworms. The cave has also been designated as a Japanese natural monument.

We took bus express back to Tokyo at 5pm after spends last few hours at Lake Saiko.

We reached Tokyo around 8pm then fetched the luggage at locker room and straight went to Chiba by train (30mins).

We stay at very nice hotel but rather small room at level 35 but nice view of Tokyo bay. Hotel name is APA Hotel & Resort Tokyo Bay Makuhari. Our room was comfortable, clean and had wonderful views of the harbor. This hotel located very near to Tokyo Disneyland. Who ever wants to stay nearby Disneyland, this is very good place to stay.

No activity for the night, just had dinner at nearest restaurant.

Last day in Japan | 21 January 2014

Early in the morning we went to in-house public bath. That’s what i like about this hotel. Nice public bath and nice harbor view. Not to forget, they have shuttle bus to Narita Airport.

Til we meet again Japan. Bye.

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Download PDF file for complete here Japan Winter Itinerary JAN 2014

Summary Cost for 2 person:

ACCOMMODATION:

  • Plaza Inn Kawaguchiko : ¥15,000 for 2 nights
  • APA Hotel & Resort Tokyo Bay Makuhari: ¥6,800 for 1 night

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Bus Express to Fuji Lake: ¥6,000
  • 2-day Sighseeing bus: ¥2,600
  • Train Tokyo to Kaihinmakuhari station (Chiba): ¥1,080 (one-way)
  • Bus to Narita Airport: ¥1,800 (one-way)
  • Jetstar flight Narita to Osaka: ¥9,380 (one-way)

MEALS & SNACKS : ¥9,044

SHOPPING : ¥36,973.

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • Entrance fee to Wind cave: ¥560

 

 

HOMEPAGE JAPAN | KYOTOHOKKAIDO | TOKYO

Hokkaido, JAPAN

It’s time for winter moment!.

We took Haruka train from Kyoto station to Kansai Airport early morning to catch domestic flight to New Chitose airport (gateway to hokkaido). Fare per person ¥3250 one-way.

Trip in January 2014  |  ¥1000 = RM32

Day 1 Furano, Hokkaido | 12 January 2014

Flight Jetstar Japan departed at 9:40AM and arrived at 11:30AM. We bought a 2 routes tickets, Osaka – Hokkaido – Tokyo. Fare for 2 person, 2 routes, 2 x 20kg baggage and meals ¥28,560. Average 1 person was ¥14,280.

New Chitose Airport

New Chitose Airport

Take train from New Chitose Airport to Furano about 3 hours, fare per person one-way at ¥4390. Furano located in the center of Hokkaido. During winter, Furano turns into a popular downhill and cross country skiing resort.

Since we arrived late to catch the last bus from Furano Train Station to our guesthouse, we took taxi. Taxi fare for very short distance was ¥1230.

We stayed at Pension Ressha House, the only available accommodation available during my booking. Winter season is consider a peak season here. This guesthouse is 300 meters away from the Furano Ski Area. Cost 3 nights for twin room with shared toilet was ¥19,500. It was cheap but not good place to stay during winter season. The heater not so warm but still manageable. Maybe its too cold during our visit in January.

 

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Day 2 Biei, Hokkaido | 13 January 2014

Pension ressha house

Pension ressha house

Early morning checkout for skiing gear at nearby shop. Once everything confirmed for gear rental, we took Lavender Bus from nearest bus stop heading to Biei. Bus fare ¥620 one-way per person.

Roadside

Furano town

Biei is a small town located in the central part of Hokkaido. Its main industry is agriculture, and wide fields, producing for example wheat and potatoes, spread all over the town. This countryside famous with Lavender farm during spring season. Since my visit was during winter, the farm was covered with thick snow.

Lavender Bus’s last stop is Biei train station. From here, you can catch a Biei sightseeing bus to Shirogane onsen. Bus fare ¥620 one-way per person.

Shirahige waterfall

Shirahige waterfall

Here, another famous spot is Blue pond. Since, snowing heavily we didn’t go there to check out. We sightseeing around Shirahige waterfall and experienced hot spring bath in shirogane onsen. Onsen in Japan is a must-do list!. We spent ¥1100 each person includes small towel to use for bathing.

Late evening, we take last bus to biei station and catch a same bus back to Furano Town.

Topical Sushi restaurant

Topical Sushi restaurant, recommended by the locals.

Topical Sushi's menu

Our dinner in Furano town. Highly recommended.

 

Day 3 Furano, Hokkaido | 14 January 2014

Today, we spent whole day for skiing in Furano Kitanomine Zone. Ski lesson by the Ski school located at Kitanomine Zone rate at ¥4800 per person for 2 hours lesson.

The day before we rented a ski gear from local shop and get a cheaper price from the Ski school. Ski gear rental for 1 day use, ¥3000 (ski set not include outerwear and pants) per person.

In the evening we went to Furano Kan Kan Mura-Snow Night Fantasy. Located at New Prince Hotel. Catch bus from in front of Hotel Naturwald Furano. Bus fare ¥170 per person. Entrance fee for Furano Kan Kan Mura is ¥300 per person.

 

Day 4 Furano – Sapporo | 15 January 2014

Today we ride a gondola up to the top of the Kitanomine Ski resort. Per person 2-ways ticket ¥1800.

Furano

Gondola ride

 

After lunch, we catch a bus to Sapporo city. One-way ticket per person ¥2200. Bus journey is about 3 hours to reach Sapporo Station.

We stayed at Century Royal Hotel for 1 night. This hotel located near the Sapporo Station. Once we arrived Sapporo Station, we just walked from underground tunnel straight to the hotel. The best stay in Sapporo when we were late for check in, they upgraded us to suite room. Its a 4 star hotel we got a best deal from booking.com, price for 1 night was ¥7200.

Since we arrived at night, we just do food hunting. We went 2 very famous restaurants. Highly recommended for Japanese food lover, they are Sushizanmai and Unagi Grill Bar.

 

Day 5 Sapporo, Hokkaido | 16 January 2014

Early morning we checkout from the hotel and leave the luggage at the concierge. Today we catch a train to Otaru. Two-way tickets per person ¥1240. Otaru is a small harbor city, about 30 minutes northwest of Sapporo by train. Its beautifully preserved canal area and interesting herring mansions make Otaru a pleasant day trip from Sapporo.

Otaru Canal

 

While you are in Otaru, seafood is a must-try food. They’re fresh and tasty.

 

From Otaru, we went back to the hotel and fetch our luggage and catch train to New Chitose Airport. Train fare is ¥1040 one-way per person. Our Japan trip continue to Tokyo via Jetstar Japan.

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Download PDF file for complete here Japan Winter Itinerary JAN 2014

TRANSPORTATION COST:

  • Train Airport to Furano: ¥8,780 (1-way)
  • Taxi fare rides in Furano: ¥3,840
  • Furano City bus for 2 days: ¥4,060
  • Bus from Furano to Sapporo : ¥4,400 (1-way)
  • Train Sapporo to Otaru : ¥2,480 (2-way)
  • Train Sapporo to New chitose airport : ¥2,080 (1-way)

MEALS & SNACKS : ¥20,881.

LEISURE:

  • Ski lesson : ¥9,600
  • Ski equipment rental : ¥6,000
  • Gondola Ride : ¥3,600 (2-way)
  • Hot spring (onsen) : ¥2,200
  • Kan Kan mura entrance fee : ¥600

SHOPPING : ¥2,443.

 

JAPAN HOMEPAGE  |  KYOTO  |  TOKYO  | FUJI LAKES

Kyoto, Japan

What bring us here is because of Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves and Fushimi Inari Shrine, its famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates.

We spent about 2 days 2 night in Kyoto. After landed in Osaka Kansai International Airport, we went around Osaka city for shopping and eating then around late afternoon we took train from Osaka station to Kyoto Station.

We didn’t purchase any special train passes for this trip. We purchased one way ticket rapid train from Kansai Airport to Osaka city at ¥1160 per person, journey about 1 hour and one-way train ticket to Kyoto Station from Osaka Station at ¥540 per person.

Our journey begin from KLIA2 at 1am Air Asia Flight. AA flight costs us about RM1360, so 1 person fare was RM680. We purchased 20kg baggage and meals on flight for RM160. It’s normal for us bringing only 1 large bag and 2 small cabin bags. why not just travel light?

Trip in January 2014  |  ¥1000 = RM32

Day 1 Osaka – Kyoto | 10 January 2014

Arrived Kansai Airport at 8:35am. Leave our 2 bags in coin-operated lockers for 2 days. Daily rate for large size locker is ¥600.

Spent a day in Osaka for shopping only.

Train from Osaka to Kyoto station, fare ¥540 per person for an hour journey.

In front of Kyoto Station

In front of Kyoto train station

We stayed at Sunrich Kyoto Guesthouse station, 15 mins walk from Kyoto train station. 2 nights stay at ¥13,600 per room. Nice and cozy guesthouse. Unfortunately, this guesthouse was permanently closed as at today.

 

Day 2 Kyoto | 10 January 2014

Breakfast nearby kyoto train station. What i really like about this restaurant was you can refill steamed rice and green tea.

 

– Catch train from Kyoto Station to Inari station ( nearest station to Fushimi Inari ) approx. 6 minutes. ¥140 one-way per person.

The main gate

Fushimi_inari_04

Torii leading to the outer shrine

Torii leading to the outer shrine

Fox Ema Wishing Plaques

Fox Ema Wishing Plaques

 

  • Train from Inari Station to Saga-Arashiyama station (inter-change at Kyoto station, track no32 sagano line). ¥230 one-way per person.
  • From Saga-Arashiyama station, walk to Bamboo Forest about 600m, approx. 9 min. Suggested tour is 1-2 hour.

Arashiyama walking map

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

 

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

 

We catch train back to Kyoto Station then ride a city bus no 100 to Shijo Kawaramachi. Initial plan was go to Kiyomizudera Temple, since we’re too late, The temple closes at 5pm so we detoured to Kawaramachi street.

Kawaramachi

Kawaramachi is crowded with many visitors and shoppers, all taking in the many department stores and shops that line the streets in this main area of Kawaramachi dori in central Kyoto. The street run north to south, and this is considered the premier center of Kyoto, focused around Shijo Dori.

Places like the Nishiki Market, in existence for over 400 years and the ancient city mall called Teremachi Kyogoku shopping market are very popular with young people.

Kyoto day 2_04

 

Our last stop was Kyoto Tower. We only viewed it from far then we headed back to guesthouse and rest. We need to wake up early to catch Haruka train to Kansai Airport. Next destination is Hokkaido. Fly from Kansai airport to New Chitose airport via Jetstar.

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Download PDF file for complete here Japan Winter Itinerary JAN 2014

Summary cost for 2 person:

ACCOMMODATION: Sunrich Kyoto Guesthouse station – 2 nights ¥13,600 per room.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Rapid train airport to Osaka: ¥2,320 (1-way)
  • Intercity train osaka to kyoto: ¥1,080 (1-way)
  • City trains in Kyoto: ¥1,460
  • Haruka Train Kyoto Station to Kansai Airport: ¥6,500 (1-way)

MEALS & SNACKS : ¥5,010.

SHOPPING : ¥9,630.

 

 

JAPAN HOMEPAGE  |  HOKKAIDO  | TOKYO  |  FUJI LAKES