There are thousand travel tips on Tokyo on the internet, but I want to share my piece.
- Booking AirAsia flight with BigPay
If you haven't signup for the BigPay card, you have to do so, even more, if you frequently travel. When purchasing my tickets on AirAsia site, I noticed that the add-ons are significantly reduced in price when you pay with BigPay. The meal was supposedly RM40+ for 2 pax, but it was reduced to RM18. And the luggage allowance for 40kg was supposed RM80+ and reduced to RM40+. Initially, I was planning to pay with Maybank2u, but after finding out the BigPay privilege, I closed the window and booked with BigPay.
Not just that, you can use the BigPay card as your Mastercard when in overseas. The exchange rate is also better if compared to the bank credit cards.
Signup for your BigPay with my referral code and each of us will receive RM10 bonus: N6HVME9SJZ
- Booking hotels
Do you usually book your hotels on Agoda, Booking or other hotel booking sites? If so, you need to sign up for Shopback cashback program. Shopback partners with many online merchants and when you shop online, you will be entitled to a certain percentage of cashback. The cashback activates when you click on the link in Shopback. The link will redirect to the merchant site, in my case, I book my hotel from Agoda. Once your travel is complete, the cashback will be credited into your account. I have used Shopback multiple times and also withdrawn some of the cashback earnings. I usually go to Shopback then click on the Agoda sites and do my booking as usual.
Shopback also partners with Lazada, Sephora, 11th Street, Zalora and Hermo, which are the merchant I usually shop at. Within 6 months, I have already claimed RM400+ from the Shopback service.
Sign up to Shopback with my referral link <<here>> and receive RM5
We booked our pocket Wifi from Klook, picked up the device from KLIA2 departure hall and return it to the same counter. I think the service provider is called Roaming Man. The device was quite durable in terms of battery life. It is much better than the Travel Recommends. The line was uninterrupted and fast. There's really nothing to complain about. In terms of pricing, it is also cheaper compared to buying individual Sim card. I don't have any referral code for this, but I do highly recommend you give it a try.
- If you travel by Air Asia, you will reach Haneda Airport around 10PM. After immigration clearance and luggage pick-up, you will probably done by 11PM. My advise is to book one night of hotel stay around Haneda. I check-in into JAL City Haneda Hotel which is around 3km from the airport. There's a 24hour Sukiya restaurant and Family Mart opposite the hotel, so food wasn't an issue around midnight. Other than JAL City Haneda Hotel, there are also Royal Park Haneda and Haneda Excel Tokyu. From the airport, there is a 24 hour free shuttle to these nearby hotels. The price can be expensive, but I think it is worth it to get a good rest and recharge for the next day.
- When arriving, as soon as you get out of the immigration and custom checking, you will find the public transport and visitor counter on the right side. I bought my Pasmo card from the counter and it is really convenient. The Pasmo card can be used for train, bus ride and also a payment method in a lot of stores. It's like our Touch N Go card. The card cost 3000 yen, with 1500 yen of credit in the card. Subsequently, you can top up the card at any convenient store or train station if you run out of credit.
- Most retails and malls have tax-free shopping available for all tourists. But you can only activate the tax-free privilege when you purchase above 5000yen. Do plan for your shopping in one shop or within one mall. If your purchase is below 5000yen you won't enjoy the tax-free privilege. The tax refund can be claimed at the cashier counter itself, in some cases at a bigger mall, they have a special tax refund counter. This situation is different from another country where you do your tax refund at the airport before leaving the country.
- And if you do claim for refund of tax, make sure that your credit card name matches your passport. You can't take your husband's card and your passport to claim for the tax refund.
- Don't take it too literally on the distance of train station printed online or on any marketing materials. Trust Google map instead. It might say 100m from the station, but in fact, the distance they measure is from the entrance of the to, let's say a hotel. They didn't factor in the distance you have to walk underground to the actual platform. Expect to walk averagely 5km in a day when you're in the city.
- I would recommend you to book a tour package if you're going with elderly or with kids. The walking was OK, but there are a lot of staircase to walk up and down toward the train stations or crossing the pedestrian bridge.
- Despite any attempt to resist shopping, you will succumb to all the beautifully arranged merchandise in the shop. Tokyo is well known for the amazing shopping experience. If you are planning to shop a lot, I recommend you to pack a hand carry inside your check-in luggage. When returning, you have an additional hand-carry to pack your stuff. That gives you a lot of space to pack your shopping goods.
- For travel tips like where to go, what to eat, what are the new stuff to check out in Tokyo, I highly recommend you to watch the YouTube channel from Paolo from Tokyo. I find his tips are really useful, accurate and worthy to try out. I actually load his video while doing my makeup before leaving the hotel and kinda memorize the places he recommends. So far, his guide was really helpful. After my trip, I actually sent him a small tip for his effort to put up all the videos. If I were to hire a local guide, it would have cost me USD100. I really appreciate his work, so I do recommend you to watch his videos if you're planning your own trip to Tokyo. I think he's Filipino but he speaks perfect English.
That's all for this post. I'm trying to compile all my photos in one place. Unfortunately, I don't have the time at the moment. I hope to share with you some amazing places I went to in Tokyo soon. So, stay tuned.
The first photo I took when arrived Tokyo.