My 12-Day Japan Summer Itinerary – 4 Cities, 3 Towns, 2 Mountains

Posted on July 29, 2017

One person asked on Instagram: “Can you PM me your itinerary?” I figured it would be better to make a separate blog post for everyone to see, so I’m publishing it here. For 12 days, I was able to explore 4 cities, 3 towns, and 2 mountains: Osaka – Mt. Rokko – Arima Onsen – Yuasa – Harie – Kyoto – Nagoya – Mt. Fuji – Tokyo. NOTE: Given this itinerary, I’m glad I didn’t purchase a JR Pass. ReadRead More

Shibuya Crossing Tokyo

My Tokyo List: Crossing Off Popular Districts and Streets

Posted on July 29, 2017

I love exploring cities on foot (e.g., Gion in a yukata and geta sandals). I can walk for hours and still want more, and this is true even under the sweltering sun. The only exception is if the heat is too much to bear, or if it’s raining. I chose to spend the remaining two days of my Japan trip in Tokyo, walking some of its popular streets and districts. Here’s a list of where my feet have taken me.Read More

Jr Ticket Machines Japan

JR Pass: Should You Get One? I Didn’t, But It Was Okay

Posted on July 28, 2017

Daniel, a guy I trained muay Thai in Bangkok with, looked at me in disbelief when I told him I wasn’t going to buy a JR Pass. “But it’s expensive,” he said nicely, referring to the train fares in Japan. To show my gratitude for his concern, I smiled and said, “How about this. If on the first three days, the train tickets are draining my funds, I’ll get a pass.” “But you can’t get one when you’re already inRead More

Hiking in Japan? Don Quijote May Help with Your Last-Minute Supplies

Posted on July 28, 2017

Don Quijote, or Donki for short is “the biggest discount store in Japan.” They have basically everything, from chocolates to beauty products – even Louis Vuitton bags have their own glass cabinet! Of course, I didn’t want to leave Japan without checking out Donki in Shibuya. And of course, I wanted to see if their inventory included outdoor gear and equipment. Here are some images of what I found. Compression pants, quick-drying long-sleeve shirts, and running shorts – The shirtsRead More

Capsules for Men 9 Hours Shinjuku North

Where to Stay in Tokyo: Nine Hours Shinjuku-North Review

Posted on July 28, 2017

Shinjuku or Shibuya? This is the question I asked myself when searching for a place to stay in Tokyo. From one of the forums, I found my answer – Shibuya is where the action is; Shinjuku offers cheaper hotels. So I booked at Nine Hours Shinjuku-North, a capsule hotel within a 2-min. walk from Shin-Okubo Station. How was my stay? Overall, it was a pleasant one, but I didn’t like their check-in/check-out rules. Location It has the best location, asRead More

Entrance of East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Inside The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace – What to See

Posted on July 27, 2017

I didn’t have a reservation with the Imperial Household Agency to visit the Palace Grounds, so the next best thing was to check out the East Garden. At least it’s still part of the Palace, and entry is free. From my 30-minute batto class at HiSUi Tokyo, I did a leisurely walk toward the Garden. I first caught a glimpse of it on the bus when I arrived from my Mt. Fuji hike, and I thought it would make forRead More

When in Tokyo: My Batto (Sword) Experience at HiSUi Tokyo

Posted on July 27, 2017

I had less than 2 days to explore Tokyo, and I made up my mind to attend a batto (Japanese Swordsmanship) trial class with HiSUi Tokyo, a multi-art school within the shopping district of Ginza. A month before the class, I made a reservation via e-mail and agreed to pay the hefty sum of 14,040 JPY (10,800 JPY for the class + 3,240 JPY for the Hakama) upon arrival. I felt nervous and excited at the same time. It wasRead More

Salomon Speedcross 4 Review

Review: Salomon Speedcross 4 for Hiking Mt. Fuji

Posted on July 27, 2017

I love my Speedcross 3. It was reliable in Mt. Agung, and it helped me get through my first winter trek in India. But it’s time for an upgrade. It’s time to say goodbye. I’m glad Salomon introduced Speedcross 4, the improved version. I bought a pair purposely for Mt. Fuji, but before the trip, I was able to test these shoes’ performance during the following treks and tours. – Ho Chi Minh walking tour (concrete roads and flat surfaces)Read More

Hiking Mt Fuji July

Mt. Fuji Hiking Tips for First-Timers

Posted on July 27, 2017

Early in the morning of July 11th, I was at the summit of Mt. Fuji, together with hundreds of other hikers. We were all waiting for the sunrise, and as it was a beautiful day, we weren’t disappointed. Since I started hiking last March 2016, one of my goals was to hike Japan’s tallest mountain. So when the climbing season opened, I of course had to go. Hiking Mt. Fuji soon? Here are some tips. Don’t pay if you canRead More

Hiking Mt Fuji Solo

Hiking Mt. Fuji (3,776 masl) Solo

Posted on July 26, 2017

I waited months for the climbing season to start (July to early September), so when my visa was granted, I immediately booked a flight to Osaka following my one-week muay Thai session in Bangkok. To prep for the climb, I did a DIY day-hike in Mt. Rokko (931 masl) a week before. Although the trails of this much smaller mountain are different from Fuji’s, they did their part to make sure I was ready to tackle Japan’s highest peak. Here,Read More

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