Saturday, March 11, 2017

Continued | Top Ten Things To Do In Tokyo

Can't get enough of Japan. My favorite travel destination just keeps on giving me more reason to stay there for good. In fact, I've been thinking of studying Nihongo to understand and converse with the locals on our next visit.

6. Experience Japanese Culture To The Fullest.

Japan's culture is unique and will totally give you an entirely new travel experience. Japanese identity is intricately weaved in almost everything that you see in Japan. The minimalist order, the simplicity in design and architecture, the politeness of the people, all combine together to create a harmony that is pleasant to the senses of the visitors. I can ensure you that your trip to Japan, wherever you come from, will be enjoyable and memorable. Savor the scent of miso in Ramen, get lost in the intricate subways, bow your heads as you interact with the Japanese people, be awkward in attempting to try the vending machines and using the chopsticks - essentially, get lost in translation and let the entire experience be fluid and smooth and don't try to make your trip so perfect to enjoy Japan to the fullest.


7. There is an abundance of Instagram-worthy Street Fashion Snaps.

I really have to say, Japan is the fashion capital of Asia. Their style and penchant for fashion is one of the best in the orient. They have mastered the art of minimalism and the desire to make everything look so expensive. Now is the time to take your mad photography skills and your discerning eye and grab those fancy moments in the fast-paced streets of Shibuya, Harajuku, Ueno, Asakusa, Ginza, etc.

8. Shop until you drop.

Tokyo may not be in the top list of cheapest countries in the world, but Tokyo does not disappoint in the shopping department. It may not be as cheap as its Asian neighbors, but Japan has caught my eye and hijacked my wallet.

Come to Ueno and get the feel of Divisoria or Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ueno has a long alley of shops that sell affordable bags, cosmetics, shoes, souvenirs, jackets, pre-loved designer bags. Its manic, yet there is order in chaos in this vibrant strip of shops and food stalls. Your 5,000 Yen or Php 2,400 will come a long way, believe me. Wallets prices are around 500 to 1000 yen. Anello bags are from 2900 to 4000 Yen. Backpacks around 3000 to 4000 yen. Trolley bags from 3900 to 6900 yen. Winter jackets from 1000 to 5000 yen and premium quality jackets up to 20K Yen. It's like the Divisoria only less stressful.

Kinshincho as they say is another shopping mecca though I cannot confirm since we only have a few hours left in Japan when we went here. Pressed by time we hurried towards Maruki (or Marueki? Google please) and went straight to Seria - a famous 100 Yen shop in Japan, much like 'Can Do' and the more famous 'Daiso'. 100 Yen is already a bargain although you have to realize that the actual price will end up to 108 yen due to tax. As a rule in Japan, they say you can only enjoy Tax deduction when your single purchase reaches 5000 yen. Anytime lower than that will make you pay for the tax. But still 108 yen to PHP is like Php 48. Super cheap no? I bought 28 items in Seria and it was a good run :)

There is a Lawson 100 Yen shop all across Tokyo though not as many as the regular convenience stores such as Lawson, FamilyMart and 711. But if you happen to come across a Lawson 100 Yen Shop (the Lawson sign board is colored green as compared to the regular Lawson store which is blue), take the opportunity to find affordable items such as Japanese Mayonnaise ( I know right ), Chili Oil, Noodles, extension cords, ziplocs, 500ml Shampoo and Conditioners refill pack, and many more. You will be surprised that your 1000 yen or 500php can go a long, long way with Lawson 100.

Anime enthusiast? Toy collector? Feeling the need to splurge into gadgets? Go to Akihabara (one station away from Ueno) or go a little bit further by going to Nagano.

9. Go To Japanese temples of shrine, a break from the eccentricities of modern Tokyo

Don't let your trip be swamped by the modern side of Japan, occasionally immersed yourself in Japan's history by going to the Imperial Palace Garden or in the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Though a bit touristy, a trip to Japan will never be complete without visiting this religious shrines that is reminiscent of Japanese culture and tradition.

My recommendation - The Sensoji Temple, a train station away from Tokyo Skytree.

10. Lastly, enjoy the moment. 

Stop worrying about your job back home and savor this rare experience to experience an entirely differently world full of surprises. The people of Japan are one of the kindest souls in the world, you will surely enjoy their extreme politeness and courtesy. The weather is amazing and most of all it's just a four hour trip from Manila :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Choose Flytpack Travel Wifi When Flying

Admit it. You want to stay connected every time you are traveling. Gone are the days when you want to completely fade away and disconnect from reality and just enjoy your vacation in a faraway place. But nowadays, an access to the internet while traveling overseas is considered a necessity rather than a luxury anymore.

When I travelled to Japan last year I didn't know that there is an alternative to expensive mobile data roaming. Data roaming via local telco would cost you around Php 500/day. I had no choice back then but to subscribe to mobile data and I have to spend almost Php 2,000 for my four day trip. You can not share your data to other users via mobile hotspot as it will automatically cancel your subscription. So it was an expensive choice to be honest.

Then I discovered Flytpack. Flytpack is your global pocket WiFi travel buddy that gets you connected abroad without outrageous roaming charges waiting for you back home.

Here's the Top Five Reasons why 'Flytpack' is the better choice.

1. Affordable. You will be surprised that Flytpack's pocket wifi is reasonably price. Daily Rent for Japan is Php 280.00 only. There is a deposit fee (Php 2,800) on top of the rental fee but it is refundable once you return the unit. I think this is just fair given that the device could get lost. Compared to data roaming, this is definitely a bang for the buck.

2. Unlimited Data. First thing I asked prior to purchase is the amount of data per day allocated per user. They told me it was 1GB/day for all users combined. I was hesitant at first because I feel like 1GB/Day is not enough as I consider myself a heavy user (I use Facebook Live, upload videos in Instagram, watch Youtube occasionally) and I will be also sharing the data to others. But I took the chance and told myself I will just save the data and use it for important applications while on travel.

But I was surprised that I never got throttled at all. Speed was consistent all day. It was fast and very, very reliable. I was doing all the internet activities as though I have an unlimited data.

3. Portable and can be used as a powerbank.  The downside is that the unit could be a little bit bulky and heavy than the usual Pocketwifi we have in the Philippines, but consider this as an important feature because when travelling, the least of your concern is running out of battery. I think the weight of the unit is just fair. A fully-charged unit could last for a day or two and you can even use it to charge your phone.

4. Convenient and Hassle-Free Purchase. I decided to go to their office (Jecoprime Building 20th Avenue, BGC Taguig City), because I need to get the unit immediately. I got there and finished my transaction in no more than an hour. Payment was via cash and you can get the unit right away.

But if you are busy and couldn't find time to go to their office, you can purchase the unit by following the steps below. They can actually deliver the unit to your desired address.

5. Connectivity. The best thing. Share it. If you are travelling as a group, this is a no-brainer, Flytpack is just so reliable in making sure you are all connected to each other (just make sure you travel as a group always :)

There you go. I hope these were able to convince you to use Flytpack on your next travel itinerary. I am sure this is going to make your vacation extra awesome :)

Please note that they also provide Travel Wifi to select countries aside from Japan.

You can visit their website for more info:
Or Like Their Facebook:

P.S. Thinking of purchasing JR Pass while still here in PH, they also sell JR Pass :)

Unit 703, 20th Drive Corporate Center (Jecoprime) 20th Drive, McKinley Business Park Bonifacio Global City Taguig
Call 0926 018 2272

The Phoenix Post | The Ultimate Flip Guide to Tokyo

Here it is! Alas. After a long hiatus, Mr. Flip Guide is back. And he is back with a vengeance.

Stop. This is being too dramatic. My goal for this year is to be more direct and concise in my stories. But I can't promise, I write like a machine gun, I may not be able commit on a new style guide.

The first months of this year and the latter part of 2016 were tough. I am a bit depressed for being stuck in a moment, but I am positive that the remainder of 2017 will be a fantastic run. Now off to the first good news in this resurrection post - the long overdue trip to Tokyo, Japan!

The first time I went to Japan was way back 1998. I was 11 years old then, turning 12. I was part of an exchange student program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Diliman. Among the thousand students, five were luckily chosen and I was blessed to be selected as one of the participants. We were trained for basics on Japan's culture - language, customs and traditions, food - but we were so young then to digest everything. It wasn't in Tokyo though, it was in Nagano City, northernmost part of Japan which was the setting of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It was my first snow experience, one of the most memorable moment of my life.

And now I am back, in February again, my favorite month. This time in one (if not the most) modern and cosmopolitan city in the world - Tokyo.

Let me do this post in a simple format - The Top 10 Things You Can Do In Tokyo :)

1. Splurge in Japan's Hottest Sensation - Ramen

It's a no-brainer decision, when in Japan, you have to find the nearest ramen spot and immerse yourself into a one of a kind dining experience. Never mind the rules, just use the chopsticks very well, and finish the bowl of ramen soup by slurping the soup right from the bowl itself. Using the soup spoon is just too plain and time consuming. You might be asking, how much is a bowl of ramen in Tokyo? The price range is around 400 Yen to 1000 Yen (200 PHP to 500PHP) per bowl. It's gonna be worth it specially if you decide to go to Japan during winter season.

2. Don't forget the quick journey to Tsukiji Fish Market (Right across the Tsukiji Station)

Yes it sounds to boring, but a trip to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market is a must. Japan's love for seafood is comparable to ours. But their seafood selection is just so overwhelming. And if you think the fish market is full of flies and other pests and the foul odor could be a downer, you are forgetting that you are in Japan (where in every world problem, their is a corresponding Japan solution). There is no single fly in the area, no annoying crawling cockroaches in the sewers, no stray dogs or cats waiting for some leftovers, no hint of any foul smell at all.

First thing you have to try is the famous egg fish omelette. There are at least two or three stalls selling this popular cake but look for the one with the longest line :)

Afterwards, roam around the food stalls selling various types of seafood such as fish curry, seafood skewers, fish cakes and other non-seafood items such as strawberries, mochi and chinese dimsum.

3. Immerse yourself in Japan's Super Reliable Transport System

When we went to Fukuoka last year, our main transport were buses and Japan Railway (JR). But in Tokyo, get ready to get lost in their mega-advanced and comprehensive links of trains (JR, Subway, Shinkansen or bullet train). You may find it overwhelming and difficult in the first day but I tell you, it's going to be easy as you go along.

Recommendation: Use the Google Maps. It has options to guide you in finding the location of the the stations. Use Google Maps instead of the print version of the Tokyo Map and the train system. It's going to make your life easy in Tokyo. The trains schedule are synchronized with Google Map so it is the only thing you need for transportation. See my below guide on how to use Google Maps.

Well aside from the Metro Pass of course.

Tip: Where can I get the Metro Pass? There are a lot of areas where you can avail the pass. It's highly recommended for you to get one specially if you're the type of guy who would hop from one area to another. It's going to save you a lot of yen and time. We purchased our pass in BIC Camera store in Shibuya station. Right next to McDonald's. Below are the sample of the ticket for your guidance and the corresponding rates:

Tokyo Subway 24-hour Ticket – Adult: 800 yen, Child: 400 yen
Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket – Adult: 1,200 yen, Child: 600 yen
Tokyo Subway 72-hour Ticket – Adult: 1,500 yen, Child: 750 yen

4. Japan's Secret Weapon - The Cherry Blossoms

No other countries could match the splendor of Japan's Sakura Trees Blossoms. We are lucky to have witnessed a handful of trees that start to blossom (because the actual start of the full bloom is around April). Best time to go to Japan to witness the full bloom is on the last week of March onwards. But if you happen to arrive in Tokyo at an earlier date (February let's say), you may be able to see some early blooms in Ueno Park (right across Ueno Station) and or in Yoyogi Park (Near Harajuku Station)

5. There are more than just the ramen. Japan has an explosion of flavors in their food and every kind of food in Tokyo is a delight to your tastebud.

To Be Continued >> Part II (The Ultimate Flip Guide - The Top 10 Things You Can Do In Tokyo )