Despite only a 15 day difference from this post and the last… a lot has happened in that gap of time. I must say that it was something which I didn’t expect to happen so soon. If I was born in a different family, I would never be allowed to go on this trip but thankfully, the family is modern and accepting of the events. After this trip, I need to decide what to do with my future…
I booked my tickets with Cebu Pacific last March 2016 for a trip this March 1, 2017-March 9, 2017.
I left my house at 11:05am via Grab. Actually, the Grab I got was 4 stars (which was rare since I usually get 4.5-5 stars) so I was a bit worried. I mean why would this Grab get a 4, right? My flight time was 3:05pm at Terminal 3. I arrived at the airport on 12:10pm which just makes it an hour travel. Paid via debit card and used a promo code for VISA.
As usual, I paid the travel tax first via debit card priced at 1620php. Lady asked whether I checked in already, I said I’ve already web checked-in (I find it extremely pointless if I checked-in, go to travel tax and then return to the check-in counter again).
During my turn at the check-in counter, I handed the lady my booking itinerary and passport. This is the smoothest check-in I had, no questions asked expect if that was my only baggage. I saw some Departure cards at their counter and got one so I can fill it up before I go to immigration.
I went to have lunch and decided to dine at Tendon Akimitsu (the one together with Ramen Nagi) since I haven’t tried the place. (Pretty ironic that I went to eat Japanese food for a flight going to Japan…)
After eating, I went to immigration and waived the departure card to the person asking me if I got a departure card and went to fall in line.
The male immigration officer asked me two questions : “When will you come back?” and “Where do you work?”
I answered March 9, 2017 and something along the lines ‘I’m looking for work but decided to take a vacation first’.
After that he was looking to stamp the departure stamp at the first page but was a bit surprised (?) that it’s full so he stamped the next page.
For me, since the Japanese embassy did give me a visa, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t let me out for a short vacation.
After that, final X-ray and I waited at my boarding gate. I was pretty much with my phone the whole time so my battery was draining pretty quick. 1 and 30 minutes before boarding I decided to go to National Bookstore (since it is a rare normally priced store) to buy a usb cable (since I saw a SMART and GLOBE charging stations) . My real charger was at my check-in luggage but my phone’s port have charging problems so my purchases weren’t even used.
I decided to stand-by by the gate and wait for boarding.
The plane ride was pretty smooth and I didn’t even expect that they would be giving out 1000 Get go points that day. When I heard the prize, I wanted to get all the vouchers but of course I can’t be greedy.
Arrival to Japan was pretty smooth. It was the first time I passed by immigration where they have a lot of specialized machine for pictures and fingerprints. Pretty amazed since even HKIA is not like that.
It’s also the first time where I got questioned by their customs officer. I mean we had a 5 minute talk. It even had a belly inspection. I even thought that she would be inspecting my things so I was going to carry the bag at the table but she was just actually checking the weight. (I know I shouldn’t be surprised since there was a customs form given on the plane).
Since I had an evening arrival and had no idea how to go to my hotel. I went around the arrivals area for a few minutes. There were vending machines for prepaid sim card but I didn’t purchase one since it was expensive and I wasn’t sure if my Xiaomi would work since I read China made phones don’t work with the sim cards.
At NAIA 3, I was looking for ways to get to my hotel and since I wasn’t able to get Klook’s deals for this trip, the easiest and fastest way to go to Shin-Imamiya was HARUKA + ICOCA promo. But it didn’t list where exactly to buy?
I decided to go to where the train is since there was a high probability that the ticket is there.
I also did look at the Kansai Tourist desk in the arrival hall but felt that I didn’t need anything there so I left. They were selling various passes which I didn’t have a lot of time to look at. I also saw Airport bus but I didn’t have enough information about it so I still went with the HARUKA ticket.
After going out the airport, it was so damn COLD. COLD, as in COLD but in a way, comforting. Coming from a tropical country, it’s been a long time since I’ve experience a weather like this so I really wanted to go all out and not wear a jacket but I couldn’t stand it so I opened my luggage and took out my jacket. To be honest, I wasn’t prepared for the weather. The winter wear I brought in Osaka was a jacket which can heat you up in a 22 degree Celsius environment and not in a less than 10 degree Celsius. I also brought a wooled cap which somewhat protected my head from the cold. I loved the icy feeling that was passing thru my face.
I found the ticket vending machine and was amazed with the map on top of it. But I didn’t have the time to look at it since rushing to the hotel and cold weather. Around the same time I saw the HARUKA+ICOCA stall so I decided to line up there. I got the HARUKA roundtrip and ICOCA with a 1500yen balance for 4200yen.
I went to the train gates and luckily the HARUKA train hasn’t departed yet. It was a smooth ride and the conductor goes around to check if you have a ticket. The only thing I didn’t like at the train was the after smell of smoking. I went down to Tennouji and transferred to Shin-Imamiya.
Following my printed map, a foreigner (I think?), guided me to where my hotel was. I was actually in the correct street but I thought it was at the next.
I arrived around 10:30 pm (UTC +9) and checked-in. Paid 18,500 yen as what’s written in my booking.com itinerary. There were some reminders (paper note was also given) but I didn’t understand the first one and I’m still wondering what’s it about.
After placing my luggage, I decided to head to Family Mart for a quick evening snack. I bought Gyoza and a 2L bottled water.
And that ends my Day 1.