Japan – Day 4 Studio Ghibli Museum

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Next up was the famous Studio Ghibli. For those of you not familiar with the name, then perhaps Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro or Howl’s Moving Castle would ring a bell?…Still no? Well even if you’re not a fan, I would highly recommend this place! In fact my travel partner wasn’t too familiar with the Ghibli franchise, but still enjoyed this trip a whole lot. I booked our tickets online way in advance before our trip and I would advise you to do so as well as these tickets sell out very very VERY fast. Can’t emphasize this enough as many of my other friends had the disappointment of missing out on this as they couldn’t get any tickets. The tickets are 1000 Yen each for adults and are sold on a monthly basis. So if you’re thinking of buying tickets this march, then get ready and be on standby by 1st March to book your tickets for the month. You can buy online here.

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What you would get is an e-ticket which you would then get the physical ticket at the entrance on the day of your visit itself. The ticket itself is super cool as it is a film of actual scenes from their movies itself. Continue reading

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Japan – Day 2 Hakone

On our 2nd day in Japan we decided to venture out from Tokyo to Hakone where we hear we could see great views of Mount Fuji. We purchased our Romancecar train tickets (don’t ask me why it’s named that way haha. I have no idea) the day before. If you plan to take this train, do purchase earlier as it’s by reservation only. You can purchase the tickets at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center within Shinjuku Station. There’s some tourist brochures set up around the area and useful maps and guides you can pick up for free. We also purchased our Hakone Freepass there. It’s basically a ticket that allows you to travel on any mode of transport within Hakone and discounts to museums, restaurants and etc. They only have 2 days and 3 days passes. Although we were only going for one day, I think the 2 day pass was still worth it for the convenience. We paid 5140 Yen for the Hakone 2 day freepass + (890 Yen surcharge to travel there via Romancecar each way). So that’s a total of 6920 Yen all together.

From Shinjuku station it was about 1.5 hour train ride to Hakone-Yumoto station. From there we switched over to the Hakone Tozan Train which climbs further up the mountain. This train is pretty unique as it goes up in a zig-zag motion up the mountain. From one station it will go towards the left side. Then when it reaches the next station, it will switch direction to the opposite direction. Which is pretty smart because if it goes in one single direction, it would be far too steep to climb. 40mins later we reached Gora where we hopped over to the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to Sounzan which was a short 10 min ride up a rather steep incline. Continue reading