Tokyo, Japan – Here we come!

In: Japan|Tokyo

10 Nov 2010

The next few days would be posts about Tokyo, Japan. I can’t help it as it is where we 3 are headed for this Friday! After months of planning, (see previous post), we started our own countdown at the start of November. Everything fell into place as we got our new passports from the Philippine Embassy in Doha, just in time for my company to transfer our Qatar Visas before we fly. For the Japan Visit Visa we acquired, I talked to the lady at the Japanese Embassy in Doha and was told that even though the old passports are invalid, the Japanese Visas are still valid and there is no need for us to transfer the Visa stickers. I’ve also arranged for AAA Qatar (Arabian Automobile Association) to pick us up on Thursday night since I get free pickup service being a Gold Member. I’ve made a quick review of some of AAA Qatar services on another post. I digress. The flight is at 1 AM, Friday, November 12 and would have a quick stop at Osaka, Japan before taking us to Tokyo. The flight is expected to be 11 hours long. Longer than our usual trip to the Philippines by 2 hours. I guess we have to endure the long flight…as they say, “No pain, No gain”.

We would be arriving at Narita Airport at 7:10 P.M. and hopefully would go through immigration without hassle. A quick note; it would be best if you carry your passports, itinerary (one that you submitted to the embassy or a more detailed one), and hotel booking as you go through immigration just to be safe and be ready for questioning. I’ve asked Mavis to have a rundown of our detailed itinerary so she’ll have an idea of places we are going to.

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After immigration, instead of taking the bus to Tokyo, we would be getting the N’EX and SUCIA package by JR East Railway Company. NE’X stands for Narita Express Train which takes you to the main stations in Tokyo. In our case, we have to stop at Tokyo Station itself to get to our final destination. I’ll tell you where later. In any case, tickets are available a floor below after you exit customs. Fares are as follows:

Ordinary – 5,500 Yen
Green Car – 8,000 Yen

One Way
Ordinary – 3,500 Yen
Green Car – 5,000 Yen

It also comes with a SUICA card which has a preloaded 1500 Yen. The other 500 Yen is meant as a deposit once you return the card. The SUICA card is  a rechargeable smart card used as a fare for trains in Japan as train would basically be the mode of transportation you are going to use while there. By the way, Green Cars are “First Class Cars.

Anyway, the value of the package would really be 7880 Yen if you stop at Tokyo and goes higher if you stop at Yokohama or Shinjuku so you’d at least be saving 2880Yen by using N’EX.

Why N’EX and not bus nor Taxi? Bus takes longer that trains. Taxi? It would probably cost you less than  half of the cost of your airline ticket from Doha to Tokyo, say 40,000 Yen.

The N’EX is supposed to take you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in 53 minutes. So we’ll get 2 of the round trip packages. How about Xiane? Another tip for you guys with kids; Kids who are below 6 are free of charge as long as they seat on your lap. For 6 and above, you have to pay 50%. In Xiane’s case, it would be cheaper for us to buy her a separate N’EX card for kids plus we can get her a Child Suica pass which only deducts half of the adult fare for the other trains and metro.

Since we’re arriving at past 9:00 at Tokyo Station, I decided that we just take the Taxi from Tokyo Station to…Akihabara!  Yup, I found an apartment in Akihabara which would be our base for the next 14 days. The taxi is expected to be between 1000 Yen to 1500 Yen. Flag down rates of Taxi in Japan is 650 Yen/700 Yen , I think. It is quite expensive but since we’re going to endure the long trip, I didn’t want us to be carrying and transferring to another train line to reach Akihabara.

Hopefully, we will have things work out that way we planned them and that we won’t get any hassles along the way. I’ll probably make a post on our Tokyo Budget the next time around that other travelers who want to visit Tokyo would have an idea of some costs. Till then!

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Tokyo, Japan 2010 Trip

This is our blog of our 14-day trip to Tokyo, Japan! Itineraries, budget, where to go, what to see and what to do!

  • Angie: It's a personal trip. I will be in Manila before the Japan trip and will be back to Doha after a mon [...]
  • xtian001: I am not sure about this and you may have to ask the Japanese Embassy directly. Is this a personal t [...]
  • An jie: Hi. I want to ask if instead of personal bank account (which I don't have here in Qatar), I will hav [...]
  • xtian001: Renato, visit the Japanese Embassy website so you'll know the requirements for you. As for your fami [...]
  • Renato Paglomutan Ilisan: Dear Sir/Madam; I would like to apply for a tourist Japan Visa with my Family on this coming thir [...]

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