Mt. Fuji & Hakone Day trip

 

One not to be missed on any visit to Japan is a day trip outside Tokyo and visit Mt. Fuji, the most iconic image of Japan. Seeing the snow-capped peak of Japan’s number one volcano will be at the top of the list of things to do when in Japan.20170420_094837-01-01[1]At 3776m high, Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji) is considered the highest mountain in Japan. Rising high out of the plains of central Honshū, 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, this dormant volcano is climbed by hundreds of thousands of energetic people a year with many thousands more enjoying the majestic view. But it’s always a hit or miss to see its beauty. And Darn! we were too lucky that day with 100% visibility. Hoooray!20170420_094857-01-01[1]There are only 90 days a year to view the beautiful Mt. Fuji since the weather there changes rapidly. One that you should pay attention with is the weather forecast, as the weather is extremely changeable. Many people who went to visit and would want to witness the magical sight of the mountain would end up seeing nothing but clouds. Don’t be dismayed when you didn’t get the chance since there are still many other spectacular sights to see.

Sharing with you all about our Mt. Fuji & Hakone 1 day trip from JTB TOURS SG. And let me start it with a selfie. lol!MYXJ_20170520232459_save-01-01[1]

Our coach bus departed at Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo’s Main Tower in Shinjuku at exactly 8:20 in the morning as per the Itinerary. We were taken directly to the 5th station of Mt.Fuji at an elevation of 2,300 meters. While in transit from Tokyo to Mt.Fuji, our Tour guide “Nana” pointed out cultural sights of interest, entertained us with some Japanese songs and gave us information that helped enrich our Japanese experience. About 2 hours drive to reach the 5th Station yet I actually didn’t notice the time since it was fun on-board. With miss Nana keep entertaining us and a free wifi! What more can I ask?

 

Seeing the majestic view of Mt. Fuji from afar in my window seat. Aye! I’m screaming of excitement inside, I couldn’t wait till we reach the 5th station.20170420_104702-01-01[1]Tadaaaah! Welcome to 5th Station. Almost close enough to grab the summit of Mount Fuji. A great spot for sightseeing. So surreal. Like a postcard, it’s so lovely!20170420_105429-01[1].jpeg20170420_104859-01-01-01[1]20170420_104755-01-01-01[1]

MYXJ_20170520194241_save-01[1].jpegIt badly needs a selfie yet my front cam didn’t gave justice at all. Where’s Mt. Fuji? HAHA!

Though many visitors are adamant to make their way to the 5th station to experience the mountain up close and it’s apparently the closest area to the snow-capped peak, should you really wish to do this, try to allow flexibility in your plans as the weather plays a key role and sometimes, not all tourists get there if there’s too much snow or rock slides._DSC0185-01-01[1]_DSC0179-01-01[1]Awesome, staggering, heaven.  _DSC0180-01[1] How could I stop taking photos with such amusing sight? _DSC0178-01[1]20170420_104052-01[1]Everyone began to get a little peckish, we went straight to the restaurant which was only a few minutes drive from the 5th Station. And there we had a mouth-watering lunch!20170420_120737-01-01[1]The meal which was included in our package will not only tantalize your taste buds but will also stimulate your visual senses with its intricate aesthetic beauty.20170420_120649-01[1]After a nice relaxing lunch, what about some thrilling experience? 20170420_135815-01-01[1].jpeg20170420_135550-01-01[1].jpegWe took Komagatake Ropeway ride which runs from the edge of Lake Ashi to the summit of Mount Komagatake providing views not only of Mt.Fuji but also Lake Ashinoko and the Izu Islands as well. 20170420_141158-01-01-01[1]20170420_141514-01-01-01[1]The total length of the runway is 1800 meters and boasts the highest vertical distance of any aerial tramway in Japan. For some of the finest panoramic views of Hakone, this ropeway is just the thing.20170420_141818-01-01[1]It’s not just the ropeway, but a little more hike too! _DSC0209-01-01[1]_DSC0202-01-01-01[1]I’m so amused! I took a thousand snaps perhaps. lol!_DSC0221-01-01-01[1]_DSC0213-01-01[1]Mt. Fuji slowly being covered by clouds. 20170420_142521-01-01-01[1]The ropeway runs every 20mins. Since we joined a tour, we needed to catch a certain timing.20170420_144436-01-01[1]Unending magnificent views while aboard the ropeway. And off to do the finale! Lake Ashi cruise but not with the swans. lol!_DSC0230-01[1]_DSC0229-01[1]Cruise across Lake Ashi which was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago. _DSC0255-01[1]You can relax on-board seating or take a stroll around the different decks of the boat where you can appreciate various angles of the lake.20170420_151029-01-01-01[1]I swear, it’s hard to stop taking photos. lol!_DSC0247-01-01[1]_DSC0253-01-01[1] It would be no exaggeration to say that this cruise offers a real opportunity to stop for a moment and take in the scenic beauty on offer._DSC0241-01[1]It didn’t just ended there. We were given a bit of time to buy souvenirs and explore the neighborhood village after the cruise._DSC0275-01-01[1]_DSC0271-01-01[1]_DSC0270-01-01[1]Sorry but it’s too instagramable. Mooore snaps please. lol! _DSC0273-01-01[1]_DSC0284-01-01[1]After a pleasant day out, it’s time to head back to Tokyo with arrival times estimated at 6-7pm depending on the level of traffic. Drop-off points are available at either Shinjuku or Ginza providing plenty of options to enjoy a nice meal in the evening.

20170420_152008-01[1]Thank you miss Nana!

For a fantastic day out that provides an enriching experience, why not book this tour! I would highly recommend. It was a long day, but worth it to see Mt. Fuji in its glory.

Love,

20170420_141709-01-01[1].jpegStylishwanderer.com

 

Gangchon Rail Park: A FUN-tastic Rail Bike Experience

20161123_134209-01120161123_133938-011Do you want to experience what it feels like to cycle along old railroad tracks? Wouldn’t it be nice to give your legs a good workout while enjoying Korea’s scenic views? 20161123_135103-011myxj_20161207012432_save1Need look no further! Gangchon Rail Bike Park will give you an overall enjoyable experience you never could imagine. This activity indeed is as authentic as it gets. Trust me! Such a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside of Korea. Don’t miss this!20161123_133355-01120161123_133452-01-01120161123_133452-01-02-011This has become one of my fave activity during my entire Seoul trip and I certainly would love to do it again on other Season specially Winter or Spring. I can’t barely imagine how extraordinary it would be. But not Summer please. As I’m too used to warm days and the greenery! Let me skip it. lol!20161123_135207-01120161123_135641-01120161123_142429-011Gangchon rail park features an old railroad tracks turned into a bike park. This old railway has been there for 70 years and was no longer needed when the Gyeongchun Line, a double-tracked railway line connecting Seoul and Chuncheon opened in December 20, 2010. Ergo became a popular tourist attraction allowing visitors to pedal along old railroad tracks while taking in the lovely Countryside, Bukhangang River and Old tunnels in the area.20161123_141148-01120161123_141037-01120161123_143905-01-01120161123_143905-01-02120161123_143005-011The whole trail needs you to pedal a bike for about 1 hour but with a partner (comes in 2 or 4 seater bike cart so need not to worry of balancing. lol!) Surely It does leave you with an unforgettable experience! You get to enjoy scenic views while giving your legs a good workout. Doesn’t that sound FUN-tastic?20161123_142920-01-01[1].jpeg

20161123_141639-011In exchange of your leg workout, you get to see lovely mountain and river side scenery. You might think it’s tiring but as to my experience, I never felt tired at all. I didn’t even notice that it was already over. I was too busy relishing the views and wallowing the cold breeze.20161123_143603-011Ola! One of my favorite part is passing through old tunnels where they had some gimmicks plotted inside. You have to go through tunnels with different themes. Whoopee! Bubble game (pop those bubbles inside!), led lights flashing with romantic music and my fave of all is the rave style light show with music blasting in the tune of Gangnam style. Really so amusing!20161123_141812-01120161123_142841-01120161123_142906-01120161123_143245-01120161123_141433-011After 50 minutes of enjoying the scenery with your legs working out, it’s already time to let them rest. lol! About 5 km of pedaling till you reach the rest stop, then… Voila! You can now grab some drinks & snacks or use the toilet (but hold your breath if you do so) Oops!20161123_145500-01120161123_144507-01-01120161123_144507-01-02-01[1].jpegTadaah! A beautiful waterfall sight while you wait for your next ride at the rest stop. 20161123_144711-01120161123_144754-011

20161123_144840-01-02120161123_144840-01-011I never thought I would be that Damn thirsty! lol

It’s no longer a bike for your next ride so just relax. haha! This time is already an open train where you still can leisurely savour the amazing landscape. My tip, make sure to take the right side window seat! The views are just sooo lovely!20161123_150429-011As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I highly recommend joining a group tour package as it will allow you to have a fuss free trip if you wish to visit Nami Island, Rail Park and Petite France in one day. Doing it yourself might just frustrate you. Yes, true. There will be a couple of transfers and timing for the transport which is really time consuming. Plus taking in the fact that Koreans don’t speak English, who you speak for help? Oh! Such a headache.20161123_151324-011Didn’t expect it to be this much fun! Till I see you again!

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Here’s a brief guide if you wish to go there by yourself:

From Yongsan Station (Line 1 or Jungang Line)
Take ITX to Gangchon Station or Namchuncheon Station and transfer to subway, one stop to Gimyoujeong Station. Please leave ample time for transfer.
The total trip from Yongsan Station to Gimyoujeong Station will take minimum 100 minutes. ITX (77 – 79 mins) + Subway (6 mins)

From Cheongnyangni Station (Line 1 or Jungang)
Take ITX to Gangchon Station or Namchuncheon Station and tranfer to subway, one stop to Gimyoujeong. Please leave ample time for transfer.
The total trip from Cheongnyangni Station to Gimyoujeong Station will take minimum 75 minutes. ITX (51 – 53 mins) + Subway (6 mins)

It would also be best if you book your tickets ahead but just give an ample time for your transport as the Rail Bike runs in specific timing.  Click here for more details: Direction and Booking

 

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Love,

Stylishwanderer

 

Singapore on a Budget: 6 Important Tips Before Your Trip

It’s no secret that Singapore is an expensive city to be a tourist. Whilst known to be the most prosperous city in South East Asia, it’s the smallest nation by land area. And because of its compact size, traveling around would be so easy without worrying of your safety.20160409_222309-011It is true that costs here are significantly higher than the rest of Southeast Asia, but still a lot of people continue to visit Singapore. Why? Simply because of its unique and top-notch attractions that cater to almost every type of traveler. Certainly, Singapore will give you a fun-filled yet expensive experience but with a little planning and information, you can enjoy this amazing Asian City-state on a budget. Yes, you’ve read it right. Fret not of losing all your cash.

So here are some tips to get the most bang of your Sing-dollar on your trip.

BTW, just so you know, I am a Filipina working and living here in Singapore. Hence, I will be giving Philippine currency alongside every Sing-dollar cost in your SG trip. 🙂MYXJ_20161107024436_save-01[1].jpeg

Let’s start with ACCOMODATION:

1.) Accommodation will be your biggest expense in Singapore. A small private room with en-suite bathroom will probably set you back close to S$100 (3,500Php) a night. Reputable Hotels range from S$200 – S$300 or 7,000 – 10,000 pesos. This also depends if you book beforehand, if not then it can go as high as S$350 over or roughly 12,oooPhp.

In order to have that Singapore budget travel then You Must Settle For Budget Hostels, or if you enjoy backpacking then there’s a lot to choose from for as low as S$20-30 or (700-1,000Php) per night. Of-course not all would want to share rooms/bathroom with other guests so backpacking ideas would be a No-No for some. Aside from booking budget hostels then Airbnb would be a best choice. With Airbnb, you can experience the city like a local, live with a local by getting a room with own bathroom for as low as S$30 (1,000Php). Why Not! And if you plan to stay longer in Singapore or if you come in group, this will surely benefit you by getting 1 whole unit to share.

2.) Eat at hawker centers and taste Singapore’s multi-cultural food. Mains at casual restaurants start at S$12-18 (400-600Php) some of which comes in small share that won’t even feed your hunger pangs. But thanks to Singapore’s abundant hawker centers, eating is as tasty as it is affordable. Hawker stalls are Singapore’s version of low-cost eateries. Just be experimental with foodSingaporean cuisine is a complete delight for every foodie, you would surely savor every bit of the delicious options including chicken rice, nasi lemak, hokien mee, char kway teow, laksa, etc., at a price of S$3-5 (100-180Php).20160807_132419-01120160807_132415-01220160807_132659-011Just a tip:  A long line of people queueing at a stall is usually a sign that it serves good food and is definitely safe to eat. And before I forget, bottled water are too expensive here. Don’t get a shock if you see prices from S$3 – 6 (105 – 200Php) for just a bottled water. Drink tap water instead. Don’t be afraid, it is safe and clean. So might as well get a water tumbler and bring some water with you as you explore the day.

3.) TRANSPORTATION – Use Public Transport. Ride MRTs and buses — This is the cheapest way to get around. There’s no need to hire taxis because Singapore’s transport system is efficient and very safe. One train ride within the city costs between S$0.8 – 2 (28 – 70Php). You can even enjoy touring Singapore and go for unlimited rides with S$6.70 (250Php) per day! Read more from this link EZ-LINK Tourist Pass. And if you’re going to be in Singapore for a longer stay then get an EZ – LINK card (sold at MRT stations), take advantage of lower fares and transfer discounts.

However, when traveling as a group, particularly of 3 or 4, consider taking a taxi for short rides around the city center. The price difference (calculated per person) is not a big wallet buster. Your feet will thank you from the tiring walk to/from train stations anyway. haha! And if you want to experience SG’s Night Life, sadly, MRT is only until 12 Midnight but you can take advantage of the Night Rider and Nite Owl Bus.

4.) ATTRACTIONS – Get a good map and explore the city on your own tour.20150808_180334-011Go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) around Singapore’s different cultural districts if you want to save yourself from expensive admission fees at themed attractions. There are a lot of awesome things to do in Singapore that doesn’t cost a dime. Admission fees may take up a huge chunk of your expenses if you plan on visiting many themed attractions, rides, and museums. But there are also many museums offer free admission. Those that charge entrance fees usually cost S$10 (350Php) or less. Entry to Singapore Zoo is S$28 (985Php), Universal Studios Singapore is S$74 (2,600Php), Singapore Flyer is S$30 (1,050Php), Marina Bay Sands Sky Park is S$23 (810Php) and taking a ride of the Singapore Cable Car to and from Sentosa is S$33 (1,160Php). Plan your itineraries ahead and cluster them according to their locations so you can make the most of your trip.20150808_193023-01120150808_193352-011

5.) Shop SMART! No vacation is perfect without a shopping escapade, especially when you are holidaying at Singapore. But do take note that The best time to make a shopping trip to Singapore would be during the ‘Great Singapore Sale’ which begins mid-year and lasts for about a month. Shopping at Orchard Road, Bugis Street, Centrepoint can be a fulfilling experience for most shopaholics. myxj_20161108225858_save-011With such irresistible options for shopping, you can always go overboard with the budget for your shopping. Not only that, you can get a reimbursement of up to 3% on the Goods and Services Tax, if you shop for above $300 (10,000Php) from outlets with ’Tax-Free Shopping’. You can easily avail this reimbursement by showing your cheques at the airport. And even if you may not be able to make it on a Great Singapore Sale month, don’t be upset for there are still many bargains you can avail especially in Malls with many outlet stores.

6. Night Life – drinking is an expensive activity.20160625_224624-01-011You may want to give your liver a break while you’re here. Singapore’s high tax on alcohol means that drinking is certainly an expensive activity. Bars and nightclubs charge significantly high, so take advantage of happy hour promotions. lol. Yes, there are many happy hour promotions at some pubs. Try to hit the popular watering holes at Clarke Quay from 6 – 8pm to avail such. You’ll still be paying around S$14 (5ooPhp) for a drink, but at least the next one will be free. Female visitors can also take advantage of ladies night every Wednesday, when most bars offer free entry and free drinks until midnight. So ladies you already know when to party. lol! 20160625_221453-011And if you want to experience SKY BAR offering 360 degree view of cityscape at night (which are my stress-relief after a week of work) don’t go for those with Entry Fee, like 1 Altitude. You’ll be paying for S$30 (1,050Php) for the entry that comes with a glass of drink. You wouldn’t want to waste bucks on that, right? So just for a feel though, you can go to Celavi at Marina Sky Park. Drinks are expensive of-course but no one will know if you haven’t ordered any drink. lol. (Just a tip. But don’t be too obvious, okay?) haha!

20151025_002343-011We all know how easy it is to spend money but surely we also don’t want to anyhow spend, isn’t it? If the fear of spending beyond your budget is giving you jitters and preventing you from making a trip, it is time for you to let go off your fears.

In an exciting and vibrant city like Singapore, I bet you wouldn’t want to miss it in your travel lists. You can savor the beauty and enjoy one of the best holidays at Singapore, even on a frugal budget.

 

Love,

Stylishwanderer

 

 

 

 

I Have Received A Liebster Award!

I started blogging a year ago when my admiration to my favorite bloggers went on to the next level. lol! Yes, frankly speaking though. As to how I adore them so much there began myself trying to be like one of them. Haha! But, I never really thought I would enjoy doing such. It makes me feel happy to know that people enjoy reading what I write. Thus, up until now I still make some time to share my travel tips and stories, favorite style statements and reviews of any sort even if I am too busy at work.

Let’s talk about Awards,  I have been nominated for my first ever Liebster Award by Happily Tanned. The Liebster Award is awarded by a blogger to another blogger if they frequently read the blog posts and find them interesting.

Thank you Neha! Now let me answer the questions she prepared.

Continue reading “I Have Received A Liebster Award!”

Behind the Blog

I’m a Nurse by Profession who also has a blog. If by definition, owning a blog makes a blogger, then I suppose I am a blogger. It’s fascinating how the label ‘blogger’ evolved into? I’ve never heard it 10 years back. Ooops!

I’m an Expat. Filipina Nurse living & working overseas and that alone allows me to have the unusual mid 20’s life journey. Imagine how is it gonna be like living away from home? I take it, blogging about such would be something riveting.

Fashion infatuated and consumed by wanderlust. Strangely, I like to shop more on shoes and clothing but not make-up. I can survive with only a lip tint and a face cream on and I’m good to go.

Feel free to email me at stylishwanderer22@gmail.com
Drop me a message and let’s talk from there.

For Sponsored Posts, Email me for details.

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Love,

Stylishwanderer.com

Side Trip To Nara: Maximizing Your Day From Osaka

Nara is a pretty small city. It was the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It can be visited as a side trip from Kyoto or Osaka, but, its relatively nearer to Osaka.20160330_094246-01[1]20160330_094253-01[1]Half-day (four hours) would be enough to see a lot of Nara’s major sights. But we managed to make it less than that. Why so fast? No it wasn’t at all, just nice to cover the most visited areas. The major sites too were situated just around the grounds of the park. Yay! Easy breezy for a lazy me. Lol.

First stop, Nara Park. A public park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Over 1,200 wild sika deer classified as a natural treasure roam freely around the park nudging tourists for food and playfully snatching maps and anything else they think could possibly also be food. As they were EVERYWHERE, and so are their poop. Be careful! Haha
20160330_094904-01[1]20160330_094851-01[1]20160330_090541-01[1]20160330_091740_001-01[1]20160330_091907-01[1]20160330_094043-01[1]20160330_094105-01[1]The fun part is feeding the FOREVER-HUNGRY deer! Lol. You can buy “shika sembei” (deer biscuits) from any random vendors to feed them. But be sure to buy at your own risk. Amazed as I was since the deer knows not to steal from the vendors but once they caught you buying the biscuit, gotcha! They literally will chase you till you hand them down all your biscuits. Clever!
20160330_092817-01[1]20160330_092457-01-01[1]20160330_092445-01[1]Tōdai-ji alone is even worth making the trip for. It is a World Heritage site and possibly the most popular destination for tourists. Capping Nara off is Kofuki-ji Temple and its 600-year-old five-storey pagoda, the original of which was moved in Nara from Kyoto in the 8th century.20160330_091148-01[1]20160330_085236-01[1]20160330_085309-01[1]20160330_085538-01[1]20160330_085618-01[1]20160330_085442-01[1]20160330_091133-01[1]20160330_091003-01[1]20160330_090739-01[1]
Nara is really just a quick trip from Osaka. You can have it half a day or even a few hours if you only wish to see the most visited attractions.

Left around 11 and roughly would take about 45mins travel back to Osaka. Decided to eat lunch there so trying out the sushis in Lawson (Convenience store in Japan) definitely a big help to ease my hunger pangs. Eee!

You might want to take a grab of these sushis. WORTH a TRY of your 1 dollar, 100Jpy. Yes I said it right!

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WHERE TO NEXT? Arriving back at Osaka head straight to Umeda Sky Building.

UMEDA SKY BUILDING

There’s no better place to get a bird’s eye view of Osaka than the Floating Garden Observatory. Stands 173-meter-tall. It gives viewers a 360° panoramic vista of the entire city. Umeda Sky Building is the most amazing piece of architecture featuring two 40-storey towers in the district of Osaka. The two main towers are connected with each other by the Floating Garden, a rooftop observatory on the 39th floor.Screenshot_20160512-003132-01[1]20160330_120613-01[1]20160330_120617(0)-01[1]20160330_120555-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002813-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002710-01-01[1]20160330_120457-01[1]From Jr Osaka Station take the “Chuo Kita Guchi” (north central exit). As you are heading Umeda, You’ll walk past by Grand front Osaka. It is a large commercial complex north of JR Osaka Station in the Umeda district that was opened in 2013. It consists of a wide variety of shops and restaurants, an Intercontinental hotel, office and event space, as well as a residential tower.Screenshot_20160511-001841-01[1]20160330_113004-01[1]20160330_112957_001-01[1]After the panoramic vista of the entire city of Osaka from the Sky building of Umeda, take the way back to Osaka Station. Eat yourself broke by taking a stop at Grand Front Osaka for shops and restos inside the huge mall.20160330_124708-01[1]20160330_124707-01[1]20160330_123433-01[1]Spotted a nice Japanese small resto just across the Grand Front Osaka and with No regrets for a random pick of place to eat. I say, really not bad when you are in Japan. The authentic Japanese food, Oh, well I just love it!

So, for a first time traveller in Japan, never get your lazy feet off to rest! haha After pumping some fuel in my tummy, time for an afternoon journey. Hurray for Universal Studios Osaka. See my separate post for the awesome theme park! 🙂

20160330_072749-01[1]stylishwanderer.com