We'll be going through a series of posts about our 6 month travel adventure around Asia (mostly Japan, Borneo, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China). We originally wanted to do this blog while we travelled but conditions were non conducive - poor internet connection/access, inability to process photos quickly enough, fatigue etc... I am very excited about the start of this blog because I get to talk about all the adventures we went through and all the yummy food we ate!
We chose Asia because it was close to us (we were in Singapore) and also because I L-O-V-E Japan! I've already been to it thrice whereas Michael had only been once (he loved it too) but I really wanted to travel throughout the whole of Japan so we allocated 2 months out of the 6 to it. In the end we were there for 2.5 months and the rest of the time was split between the other countries :) Yes, I am totally biased.
We left Singapore on the 27th March to fly in to Osaka. Michael got us cheap tickets via Air Asia and we were off!
Let me just add that the photos coming up won't be the best in quality because at the time that we started travelling, we'd only had our new Olympus EPL6 for maybe 2 months? Michael and I were still playing around with it and we were still shooting in .jpeg
Not many photos in this post, sorry! The main thing we did on the 27th/28th March was flying and once we got to Osaka, we grabbed lunch in one of the airport eating areas then took a bus to downtown Osaka where we caught a long distance bus to head towards Hiroshima.
Tip for those travelling by Willer Express (the long distance bus company that we went with):
- Get there early! The bus from the airport dropped us off in the area near Umeda Sky Building but it was nowhere actually near the bus terminal. Michael had to find the way for us (I'm useless at maps) and it was a 10-15 min walk at least!
- Grab dinner before you get on (if it's an evening bus). Unless you're happy with just buying some food in a convenience store. We actually rushed to find some food (the bus terminal is in Umeda Sky Building Tower East) because there weren't many food places in the area. We ended up in some basement area with a few shops and found a restaurant that was luckily just opening for dinner.
- Be prepared for delays (although they are rare!). Our bus was supposed to be at 17:55pm but it got delayed by 20-30 min I think. Our first experience in Japanese public transport delays!! Never thought that would happen~
- Don't worry about toilets. The bus stops at service areas on the highway every 1.5-2 hrs for about 10 min so that people can stretch their legs, go on toilet breaks, have a smoke or buy something from the convenience store.
Other tips with Willer Express:
- You can save money by getting a Willer Express bus pass if you're planning to be in Japan for more than a month and want to do some long distance travel. There's a 3 day or 5 day option and I think there are certain routes that you can't take but we bought the 3 day pass and paid 10,000 yen for 3 tickets. It allowed us to travel from Osaka to Hiroshima, Hiroshima to Kyoto and Kokura to Kobe.
- The ticket allows for cancellations so you can be flexible with your travel dates. The website has all the info provided so definitely check it out.
- Get overnight tickets so that you save on both travel time and accommodation! Be prepared to be tired though. It's not the best sleep but hey! money saving!!
We chose Willer Express mainly because the website was easy to navigate and they had English! I think there are other companies but because they were all in Japanese, it was harder for us to figure out and I think some companies don't accept foreigners? Not sure about that.
Till next time...