So after a bit of deliberating and also thinking about it, I’m heading to Japan in October. I booked my flight on Saturday and I’m now confirmed to go!
So I’m flying Qantas from BNE-NRT on 3 October then on 19 October I return NRT-BNE. It was the most direct and cheapest flight I found. The other benefit of flying with Qantas is that luggage, food and entertainment is included in the price, which is great because the low cost carriers I have flown with long haul have been known to sting you with excess charges with the extras.
This will be the first time I’ve flown Qantas long haul international so I will be interested to see their flight service compared to short haul international, plus also I’m quite excited at flying Qantas especially since they refurbished their long haul fleet in recent years, so I am looking forward to reviewing the flight.
Motivation to book flights came only a 3 weeks ago when I was down at the Panasonic Wild Knights fan activation evening for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and I was talking to my friend Berrick about coming back.
I always had these dates in my mind already but I needed to get around booking it. The main reason I was holding off was the money side of things. Not saying Japan is expensive, as I went there and spent less than $200 on a 5 day holiday in September 2016, but I took a risk once I returned to work less hours to focus on Kiwi Rugby Travel Stories. As much as it’s now starting to pay off now, I sacrificed a lot to get to where it is.
So when I last spoke to Berrick in person, I said to him “I’ll try my best to get up there in October” and I also relayed that same message to his wife, Bec as well a few days later.
So last Friday I got to a point that I got sick of holding off any longer and I emailed STA Travel as they have a lay by special for selected flights, to see if I could get a flight on lay by and if I was an eligible student with my media studies.
I then got contacted by Yasmin Byrne at STA Travel Knox City in Melbourne, to which she confirmed not only could I get the direct flight on lay by but also that I was an eligible student, which is great because I save a few more dollars on the flight as well!
So immediately I put a deposit down and I pay off a certain amount a fortnight, which is great because I certainly didn’t have $900 up front to pay. The great thing is I have til August to pay it off which is a bit of a piece of mind thing when it comes to finances.
The other great thing about my holiday is I booked my first lot of accommodation in Tokyo through Booking.com. At the present I don’t have confirmed dates of where I’ll be until I have confirmed dates of where the Panasonic Wild Knights will be playing when I’m in Japan, so I’ve booked the first 4 nights in Tokyo, which has free cancellation until 3 days prior to arrival, which is great because until the Top League rugby draw is released I can’t confirm where to travel until then.
I generally book my accommodation through Booking.com, mainly because most of the time you can book with your credit card details and not need to pay until you arrive.
Booking.com also rewards you for your loyalty as well! Click on this link and sign up to Booking.com, book a room, you get a AUD$20 refund on your credit card, how cool is that!
CLICK ON THIS LINK HERE: https://www.booking.com/s/f4f231ca
So where am I staying in Tokyo? I chose MyCube By MyStays at Kuramae for my first few days, it’s in the Asakusa district plus it’s a lot nicer than Ace Inn Shinjuku, where I stayed in September. Ace Inn was completely disgusting and I want to do the capsule hotel experience throughout my travels in Japan, because not only cheaper, it’s a rather interesting experience.
As mentioned before, the Top League draw has not been released yet, so I haven’t decided when to go to certain cities. I’ve got Hiroshima, Kyoto and Osaka on my places I want to travel to. I am intending to purchase either a 7 or 14 day Japan Rail pass so I can experience the Shinkansen and be able to travel to the cities I want to go to as well however it depends entirely on the draw as I may have to travel to Ota to see the Panasonic Wild Knights play.
I am planning when I am in Kyoto and even when I return to Tokyo to stay at 9h Nine Hours capsule hotels, I’ve seen these a lot lately on YouTube, in particular the Tokyo Narita hostel which Kim Dao reviewed in December where it looked exceptionally modern and really clean. There’s one due to open later this month in Shinjuku so I will definitely book for my last few days in Tokyo. As mentioned before I want to do the whole capsule hotel experience and see if I can do it throughout Japan.
But yeah, I’m quite excited to be going back! I have missed the convenience stores, matcha lattes and rice balls, but also that I really hope that I am able to see more of Tokyo as the weather ruined a lot of my plans last time.
During the next few months, you’ll see more posts coming up of my trip to Japan, and also my other trips for Rugby as well. I am going to Melbourne in May and Sydney in August for Rugby so I am looking forward to sharing my stories with you.
Here is my playlist of my last trip to Tokyo