JAPAN REHASHED

I’m going back to Japan!
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.

Flying with Qantas on an Airbus A330-300
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.

MyCube by MyStays at Kuramae
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.

9h Nine Hours Capsule Hotel
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.

This could be the reason I’m returning to Japan…
Here is my playlist of my last trip to Tokyo

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49 thoughts on “JAPAN REHASHED

  1. Your planning looks perfect so far for the Top League. Qantas have one of the best reputations in the airline industry so it’s excellent you found a good flight at a price you can pay over time, plus you got a student discount! The pod style hotel you’ve chosen will be a good experience and if your team are somewhere else it’s good you can cancel too.

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    1. I am a frequent flyer of Qantas, so I know what their reputation is like. I definitely know that the matches are either a Saturday or Sunday, it’s just a point of where will they be played as their home base is in Ota City in the Gumna Prefecture in Japan, which is about a 1.5 hour car ride away from Tokyo

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  2. I’ve never flown with Qantas but have heard only good things about them. I had no idea paying off little by little was an option with STA?! That’s game changer for me big time! I’ve always wanted to try out one of those capsule hotels but haven’t ever visited a country where it’s a thing – maybe I should give Japan a go!

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    1. I am a frequent flyer of Qantas on domestic and short haul international so I am looking forward to seeing what their long haul international service is like.

      STA Travel in Australia has had the layby option around for several years now. I’ve used them previously when I went to the USA. Student Flights have now followed suit as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you won’t get disappointed by flying with Qantas as it’s one of the best airlines out there. I do want to try it out someday too. I’m quite surprised that the hotel you stayed in Japan before was disgusting, I thought you won’t find such places there, clearly – I know nothing about Japan. Lol. The capsule rooms look scary to me, I’m a bit claustrophobic. I’ll probably just visit it and take a look but then move on and stay in a bigger hotel with bigger rooms. :p Have fun in Japan!

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  4. I have never taken Qantas airlines but I have read they are the best of the best. I am glad you got a seat on standby and they offered you a relatively cheap price and few months to pay off. The capsule hotel sounds tempting too. I will keep updated with your blog about your experience in Japan and your whole capsule hotel, as it is such a unique place for overnight stays.

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    1. I’m not on standby, I’ve got a booked and confirmed flight which is on lay by, a NZ and Australian term where you pay a deposit to secure an article for later purchase.

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  5. I loved Japan its a great country to visit. I have never flown Qantas, too far out of my price range but maybe one day I will get there!! I would love to try the pod hotels, it would be a great experience though am not sure if it would feel claustrophobic. I normally stay in hostels as they are cheap and also the social aspect which I am guessing I would miss in the pod hotel, I would like to try it though.

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    1. I stayed in a capsule hotel in Tokyo in September and it was just like being in a hostel plus it was cheaper than the “hostel” style accommodation as well. I didn’t feel there was any difference socially between a capsule and a hostel.

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  6. The capsules hotels looks just fab. I now see why you decided to choose capsule hotels throughout your trip. I would suggest you avoid using abbreviations such as BNE – NRT. There would be many people who would not recognize these places

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  7. I always use Booking.com too. Their free cancellation is so handy! Especially when you see a better price and want to rebook. I think I’d be too claustrophobic for a capsule hotel but I’d love to see one just for the experience. I really want to visit Japan so I can’t wait to read your posts when you return.

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  8. Wow the capsule hotels look so interesting and like a great money saving option if you dont need all the extras. How cool is it that you can pay your flight off, totally something worth knowing about.

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  9. I am very happy for you. Japan is one of those places I have always wanted to visit. The capsule hotel looks really interesting and futuristic and so very Japanese in that sense! Safe flight and have an amazing holidays!

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  10. Lucky you!! Japan is on my bucketlist. My boyfriend has already been there twice, that lucky sod. The capsule hotels look like a very interesting experience – and sooo Japanese! I’ll have to try that once I visit Japan.

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  11. Oh, I’m so jealous. Japan is such a cool country, I’d love to return. Capsule hotels are definitely an experience. Compared to the budget airlines Qantas will be great to fly with. Enjoy your trip!

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  12. I hav never been oversea, but we have a family member who has spend the last two years in Korea, it is so interesting to see his pictures and those of people like yourself to see the similarities and differences!

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  13. Japan would be so awesome to explore. I think capsule hotels look neat but I LOVE my space and not many people so I would probably stick to a hotel room on my own! But it looks neat.

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  14. I’ve heard great things about Qantas Airline! Excited for your flight with this airline. You’re going to love the Kansai region of Japan. I didn’t like Tokyo that much but fell in LOVE with Kyoto and Miyajima. Enjoy your travels!

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  15. Wow, hays totally amazing that you’re going to Japan, I would seriously love to go! It sounds like you got a good deal and you are stopping in a great place. Have a fab time in October!

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  16. Qantas is one of the world’s best airlines although I have never flown on one. I always use booking.com and it’s awesome to know that like-minded travellers also use it, I must be in good company. I’ve never been to Japan but would love to visit someday. So far, it’s the only country that I’m aware of where you can stay in capsule hotels.

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  17. Japan sounds so amazing, I’m sure you’re going to have a blast! The hotels you picked sound SO interesting, especially the capsule hotel. Cool!

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  18. I used to fly Qantas almost exclusively so that I can rack up the points but my last two international flights with them were disappointing so now I do almost anything not to fly Qantas. I agree the low cost carriers do have extras but they still work out significantly cheaper and Jetstar often has free returns from Japan from the Gold Coast which I would have waited for if I was in your neck of the woods. For me in Sydney they are no direct Jetstar flights to Japan but I live in hope. I really hope you have a much better experience with Qantas than I have had and I look forward to reading your review.

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    1. I previously flew Jetstar to Tokyo, but once the add ons are added up including transport to the airport, as I live closer to the Sunshine Coast than the Gold Coast in Brisbane, it would cost about the same as it would be flying Qantas. Also as I mentioned about location, it takes me 2 hours by car and 4 hours by bus + train + bus to Gold Coast Airport, so it’s not really worth it when it comes to travelling all that way just to fly on an LCC.

      I am putting out a couple of videos in the near future which may interest you on my experiences flying LCCs internationally as I’ve done the OOL-NRT leg + ICN – KUL, KUL – SYD leg on an LCC and honestly, after flying Qantas a few weeks prior to see my partner in Christchurch, I should of just paid the extra $200 to fly Qantas into Narita at the time because, that was swallowed up in extra fees in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree you have to weigh it all up. That’s the biggest reason I haven’t done the Jetstar trip to Japan. The layover in either GC, Melbourne or Cairns has just not been worth the cost savings. I’ve used a few LCC’s (Air Asia and Jetstar mainly and will be trying VietJet in May) and have generally had good experiences. Will be sure to check out your videos when you post them as I always love seeing others experiences 😀

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    1. This is my second trip to Tokyo because the culture fascinates me so much, I’m kind of glad I have more of a reason to go visit Japan

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  19. I’m so excited for you, you’re going to have a lovely time! I’ve never been to Japan but it’s definitely a place I’d love to visit one day:) x

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  20. Japan is on our list too but the flights are way too expensive. Wish you have an amazing trip and I need to check flight fares too in case we can get a deal too. Booking.com is our fav too.

    PS : The adv are super annoying, I had to mute the video so many times while reading your post 😦

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    1. Definitely check out skyscanner that’s how we get cheap flights usually but most travel agents these days can compare prices with another competing travel agent.

      The adverts on the videos is how I get paid to be a YouTuber on a full time basis. As much as they are annoying to a degree, I need for people to watch them so I can get paid!

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  21. Japan would be an amazing place to visit. I have Tokyo on my travel bucketlist so hopefully I will get there some day. I have actually never been to Asia at all but I want to really bad. I haven’t used booking.com for any of my trips but the commercials kind of make me want to

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  22. Japan is an awesome country and it is on our radar list too. You seem to planned so well and those capsule hotels really look cool.. Even I will love to experience the stay there once.

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