Here are some of the things I learned or discovered during our Japan trip. Some tips and should've, would've, could've. . 

  1. Always look out for Cebu Pacific’s seat sale promo. Don’t just rely on their Piso fare. We got our ticket during their 499 and 999 promo.
  2. If you really want to catch full bloom sakura, please check out this SITE from time to time. They gave cherry blossom blooming forecast – where to catch, when will be its first bloom and its full bloom. But if you don’t have free time to check out the site regularly, last week of March until first week of April is the safest travel dates for your Japan trip.
  3. Download GOOGLE MAPS. I cannot stress this enough! Google maps is a life saver! We use them everyday and everytime we hop in from one train to another, wait for the next bus and the exact location of almost all the tourist spots in Japan.
  4. For USJ and DisneySea tickets, make sure you booked them beforehand to save you a lot of time. We bought our USJ ticket online. As for our DisneySea, our Willer Night Bus from Osaka to Tokyo arrived near DisneySea so we were able to buy our advance ticket there.
  5. For Pottermores like me, if your sole purpose of visiting USJ is the Hogwarts and you don’t have the Express Pass (like me), please be at the theme park very early. You need to get your queuing number first before you can enter the Hogwarts. The slip has a queue number and a time where you are only allowed to enter the Hogwarts. The staffs there are strict so you need to follow the time indicated. For example, the time indicated in your queue number was 11AM. So you need to wait until 11AM before you can enter the Hogwarts. So please be on time and go straight to the queue line. And oh! Always have your DisneySea ticket in your pocket. You need that to get your queue number.
  6. For AirBnb, check in time is usually 3PM. If you want an early check in, please advise your host in advance if it’s possible. If you’re travelling during a peak season, be sure to book in advance to avoid higher rates. We book our accommodation seven months before our travel dates since the last two weeks of March is considered peak season. As a result, we only spend Php3,500.00 each on our accommodation for the whole duration of our Japan trip.
  7. Another tip for AirBnb guests, some of the hosts provides pocket wifi in their property. You can ask the host if it’s possible for you to bring it outside and during your day trip. We did that with our Kyoto and Tokyo hosts and they were kind enough to grant our request.
  8. During our trip, we stayed overnight in Kyoto before going to Osaka. I realized during our trip that you can go directly to Osaka and skip the overnight stay in Kyoto since travel time from Kyoto to Osaka (and vice versa) is just thirty to forty five minutes. This is also to avoid the hassle of transferring from one place to another with your luggage.
  9. If you’re on a tight budget like me, never ever take a cab in Japan!
  10. Make sure to choose your accommodation near subway or train stations.
  11. Arashiyama is a big place. It’s best to rent a bike if you want to cover the whole area as much as you can. It’s less tiresome as well.

So there! Hope this tips and insights will help you on your much awaited Japan trip!

Let me know how it goes!