So I had a crazy idea in February 2014 that I just couldn’t get out of my head. I was going to go solo travelling in Japan 😀 I was so excited about this idea that I couldn’t sleep for days, and it was only after I had booked my flights that I could finally rest. Thanks to a generous student maintenance I could afford this budget trip to Japan! Oh the student life. Of course I hardly went out and didn’t buy anything new the whole of January-June 2014, but it was soooo worth it ^_^
I booked through Holiday Genie, which I don’t particularly recommend because they messed up my first flight booking. Basically they sold me a flight where the first section was flying with Finnair, fine, but the second part of the flight meant transferring to Japan Air Lines. No problem, this is how I got to Japan last time! Except Holiday Genie didn’t have permission to book JAL flights… So whatever I just had to book a different flight, this time with Air China. The return flight cost £577, which I think is a pretty fair price. I was happy booking anything under £600 for going to Japan.
A few days before I left I went for a good buy sushi meal with my sister 🙂
And so on the 31st May I got on the Railair bus from Reading to Heathrow airport!
For the whole journey my face was bright red! I think it was from nerves *><* I’d only ever flown alone on short flights before this. The flight announcements where really funny, they spoke them in Chinese first, and then a super fast English version. There was no way anyone was understanding anything from that, especially if English wasn’t their first language. On the flight from Beijing to Japan I was the only non-Chinese/Japanese or other Asian nationality, and when I got off the plane and went to the visa processing section of the airport went to go join the back of a cue with what seemed to be a large group of Chinese Business men and women, but instead an airport employee ushered me to another station that had no line that read “staff” on the top of the gate, because I’m not Asian? Well wasn’t complaining haha. My flight had been 2 hours late though! Which meant I actually got through security around 12pm >< I am so lucky to have had two wonderfully lovely people waiting for me at the airport, who had already phoned my hotel to say I would be late, and booked a taxi! Otherwise I would have been doomed…
Oh by the way I landed in Chubu Centrair Airport in Nagoya!
A even made me up this amazing survival pack! I would have been so dehydrated and hungry without it, as I was in no state to leave the hotel >_<
The pack included, body wipes, make-up wipes, factor 50 sun cream, a phone!, pancakes, orange juice, sweets and ココアラのマーチbiscuits, and even a big folder of Nagoya tourist information!
I stayed in a hotel for the first two nights so I could recover (EcoHotel Nagoya, 2500JPY per night) but then wanted to stay in a hostel where I could meet other travellers. I picked this place called Otohaya, (15400JPY for 7 nights).
I find the website for Otohaya so funny. The Japanese language version of the site has a really interesting hand drawn design, the Korean version is profession with a cool illustrated banner, even the Taiwanese site is pretty nice. You can kinda see a progression of losing interest in the design though…
Basically by the time they got to making the English site they really couldn’t give a shit. Or they dramatically over estimated their paint skills..
But even with website design taken into consideration, the guest house was awesome! It was covered in these unique paintings of strange little people. The atmosphere was relaxed and housed some really interesting people. I met a contemporary experimental musician part way through his tour of Japan, and had an interesting chat with him (no idea what he was on about).
Even the outside of the guest house had a super chill atmosphere. Often a guy would sit out on the bench at the front smoking, drinking and playing the guitar.
These postcards appeared around my dorm the second night I was there. I wasn’t doing any of these things I swear!
It even had its own little gift shop. I bought a fundoshi for my boyfriend from there haha
The area that the guest house is in is full of love hotels! But apart from that it isn’t dodgy at all, and it’s only like 10 minutes or something walk from Osu Kannon!