Have never got down to finishing my travel blogs/entries for last year’s trip, and viola! Its time to start a new series of entries before year 2013 comes to a close! Heh!
My one and only trip for year 2013 (since I opted out of Hanoi Retreat), so had in my mind to be a holiday on my own terms. The original plan was to travel with N, but N only wanted to go Kansai region + some budget issues, so it didn’t work out in the end. Thus it became a solo holiday – my very 1st one in my entire 33 years of life! Definitely a nice experience to go back to Japan to do what I wanted to do as the last trip was too short and unfulfilled …… in my opinion that is.
October was a pretty busy month, thus didn’t manage to iron out / fine-tune my itinerary as much as I would liked. And because of some un-happiness at work, I felt really restless and a slight tinge of regret that I should have just scheduled my trip to be in early November (instead of mid-November as planned) as 1) this was the time I really need to drop my work and get away from the office …… 2) I could’ve bought the SQ promo tickets that flew direct to Osaka with better timings as versus to starting and ending my trip in Tokyo (SQ blocked out mid November, only to sneakily launch another promotion later on in early October for the exact dates I wanted!).
Since the planning went slightly off-schedule, plus the fact that this was a solo trip, as I have told HX, decided to take it easy on the details and just go with the flow as the days go. Sometimes holidays are more enjoyable when things are less pre-planned and more spontaneous! Will find out so in the course of my 11 days trip 🙂
Before I go into Day 1 proper (with pictures), here’s a summary breakdown of my entire intinerary:
Day 1 14th November (Thurs) : Red-eye Flight On Cathay Pacific To Tokyo Haneda (with transit at Hong Kong). Free & Easy In Tokyo
Day 2 15th November (Fri) : Early Morning Shinkansen Into Osaka.
Day 3 16th November (Sat): Day Trip To Hiroshima & Miyajima
Day 4 17th November (Sun): 1/2 Day Trip To Nara. More Sight-seeing In Osaka (Cover Minoo Park) or Head To South Kyoto
Day 5 18th November (Mon): Kobe
Day 6 19th November (Tues): Shinkansen Into Kyoto
Day 7 20th November (Wed): Kyoto
Day 8 21st November (Thurs): Kyoto. Afternoon Shinkansen Back Into Tokyo (will arrive close to 1900 Hrs)
Day 9 22nd November (Fri): Day Trip To Fuji Five Lakes (Mainly Lake Kawaguchiko). Evening Autumn Illumination At Rikugien Gardens
Day 10 23rd November (Sat): Another Day Trip Out of Tokyo – Yokohama (Confirmed), Kamakura or Enoshima or Karuizawa or Gunma (Kusatsu or Ikaho Onsen). To Be Decided Whilst In Japan.
Day 11 24th November (Sun): Tokyo. Mainly Shopping + Cover Areas Such As Odaiba, Ueno, Omotesando etc.
As mid to end November was the peak for autumn foliage (the main season I was targetting), started flights research as early as end June. Once I confirmed my flight in mid August (NATAS promo ticket from Cathay Pacific), the next task was to confirm hotels. Unlike most people who plan the draft itinerary 1st before booking hotels, I work the opposite manner. Prefer to book hotels first as it is in my character to want to ensure I have a clean toilet and bed at the end of a long day of travel. Its really early but being the peak season for autumn foliage, accomodations were pretty out maxed out especially for Kyoto. Thus was really grateful the accomondation part worked out just fine in the end (more on that in the detailed day entries) ……