Gotemba Premium Outlets


What is a visit to Tokyo without dropping by or seeing the most famous symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji? Probably not complete. If you’re on the lookout for a place to shop (within the budget) and at the same time a spot for sight-seeing, we totally recommend a trip to Gotemba Premium Outlets in Hakone.

gotemba-premium-outlet.jpgMost (if not all) my favourite brands are there, let me drop some names: Adidas, Balenciaga, Cath Kidston, Chloe, Dior, Disney, Francfranc, Furla, Gelato Pique, Harrods, Havaianas, Isetan, Jill Stuart, Kate Spade New York, Lowrys Farm, Moussy, Nike, Nikon, Petit Bateau, Saint Laurent, Sly, Snidel, Tory Burch, Valentino and many more. -Ashley

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How to get there?

From Tokyo, take the JR Shinkansen to Mishima Station, transfer trains to Numazu, and transfer again to Gotemba. From Gotemba, there’s a free shuttle bus directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet.

From Shinjuku, take the Odakyu Limited Express “Romance Car Asagiri” to Gotemba. Again from Gotemba, there’s a free shuttle bus directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet. (Source)

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Aside from shopping tax free, Gotemba Premium Outlet offers a wide variation of restaurants, kiosks, and cafes such as Haagen-Dazs (our personal favourite!), Crazy Crepes, Gelato Pique Cafe Creperie, Godiva (must try!), Tully’s Coffee and more.

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List of shops / brands

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You can follow Premium Outlets on instagram, Facebook and google plus for more updates!




The Ultimate Guide: How to Travel to Tokyo from Manila on a Budget


Tokyo is definitely a top place to visit for tourists. No one can deny its charm. But, there are many buts. What if it’s too expensive? So much “what ifs”. Today is a great day to debunk all those Japan myths and start planning about this dream already.

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1. Making Your Itinerary / Where to go? What to do?

We’ve made a couple of ready-to-print itineraries here at OurKawaii.Tokyo that you can just follow, alter or use as an itinerary inspiration.  (Click here)

You may also check the blog of our friend Raisa for her “DIY Tokyo, Japan 5 Days/ 4 Nights Tour for less than 30,000 Php” informative entry.

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2. Applying Japan Visa by Justin (Click here)

As you would know, Japan Embassy in Philippines doesn’t accept Tourist Visa applications via walk-in. You need an accredited agency to process the visa for you. In my case, I went to Reli Tours to process my visa for me. They have multiple branches in the metro but I opted to go to their Dusit Thani Hotel branch in Makati because it’s near my office. These are their numbers: 632-893-9226/ 0906-280-6666

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In most of my calls with them, a Filipino-speaking Japanese operator will talk to you and help you with the process. I applied for a Tourist Visa w/o a Guarantee Letter. If you will apply for a Tourist Visa with Guarantee Letter, you will need to submit additional requirements and a different handling fee (a little more compared to the regular Tourist Visa). The requirements are as follows per Japanese embassy which the agency will require: (Tourist Visa w/o guarantee letter)
  • Philippine Passport (It should be valid for more than 6 months before expiration from the time you leave and go back to the country.) The agency will warn but proceed processing your visa application even if you do not meet the above requirement. However, you might encounter problems with the Philippine immigration upon leaving the Philippines
  • Visa Application Form (The agency already has a copy for you to use. You may also print it if you want.)
  • Photo (2×2 photo and must be pasted on the application form. I submitted 1 copy with a white background. Do not choose the Japan visa format picture advertised in some studios. That is not the required photo. Use 2×2 photo only.)
  • Birth Certificate of Applicant (Original copy from NSO I applied for a birth certificate online. It costs Php 315 and it will be delivered after 2-3 working days. You may pay in BDO branches.)
  • Daily Schedule / Itinerary (There’s a format for this. I don’t think you need to strictly follow everything you write here. But the embassy would like to know your activities during your stay in Japan.)
  • Bank Certificate (There’s no monetary requirement given by the embassy. I think the goal of the embassy is to check whether you have the capability to survive during your stay in Japan. A bank certificate will range between Php 50-100 depending on you bank. You can do it over the counter in your account branch.)
  • ITR (Form 2316) I submitted a photocopy of the latest ITR document. Obviously, they want to know if you’re employed and paying taxes.
  • Employment Certificate (This will let the embassy know that you are employed and gives them assurance that you will come back after your vacation. Ensure that your Employment Certificate indicates your role, start date and tenure, contact number of your HR, address of your company and salary.)
UPDATE: Japan tourist visa now cost Php900 only. If you’re applying for the second time around, you might get a multiple re-entry visa as well!

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3. Booking Your Flight via LCC (Low Cost Carriers)

Tips when booking:

  • Cebu Pacific and Jetstar flights are always cheaper but you might also want to consider Manila-Haneda flight via PAL, it could also save you airport transfers and time (of course).
  • Avoid peak season if you’re on a tight budget! Fall/Autumn (especially weekends of mid October – November) and Spring (especially first week of April for Cherry Blossom viewing) are the best time to visit Japan, sure, but on these dates everything is HYPE up so don’t expect things to be cheap or easy.

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4. Affordable Accommodations

Price range: For capsule hotels, it will be from ¥1500~ (Php540)
For hostels, ¥3000~ (Php1,080)
For budget hotels, ¥5000~ (Php1,800)

Note: You may also try renting places in Tokyo via AIRBNB. ^_^

If you have hotel suggestions you’d like to add to our list, please feel free to comment below too! : )

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5. Other Tokyo Travel Essentials

How to Get a Pocket Wi-fi in Japan?

  1. Although, it’s highly recommended to reserve the device before your trip, getting it at the airport is not that difficult because there are a LOT of wi-fi companies offering the same services. For Narita International airport, you can check the list of the wi-fi brands available and their location here. You can get one directly from their booth and just return it at the same booth or if you’re departing from another airport (which isn’t Narita or your base airport), you can just leave it to their booth at that airport. It’s just simple as that!
  2. You can also reserve in advance and have the pocket wi-fi device delivered to your hotel/hostel lobby and you can just easily ship it back to them in the end. Here are some wi-fi brands that you might want to check out, just click their links for ordering information. (For more information, click here)
  3. If you’ve missed your chance on reserving before hand, getting an internet at the airport, and have a mobile phone with you. Luckily, you still have chance to get internet connection by getting a local sim card at electronic shops such as Yamada Denki, Yodobashi, etc.
  4. If everything else fails but you have your device with you (mobile phone, laptop, iPad, etc), try going to Starbucks, they have a leaflet on how to access their free internet.

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If you are able to get a visa (Php900), round trip ticket for Php15,000, Php1620 travel tax, stay in a capsule hotel for two days (Php1200),  eat at convenience store and skip pocket wifi, you could probably visit Tokyo for approximately Php25,000 (inclusive of train rides and entrance fee for the main tourist spots such as Tokyo Tower ¥800).

Another tip: Find a travel buddy so you can share everything with them!

As always, let us know if you have any questions!




Basic Kawaii Tokyo Itinerary for 5 Days


Hello everybody! Kaila here~ ^^v

I just want to share our travel itinerary when my friend Abbey visited me here in Japan. We roamed around Tokyo during her visit! : )

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If you are a creative person / an artist, maybe you will love our list of places. We would leave at around 9-10AM from Saitama to go to Tokyo. Most of the stores are still closed by 10/11AM so if you want to go temple-hopping, do it in the morning.

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[Day 1]

  • Arrive from airport
  • Rent wifi from Narita Airport (there are a lot, you just have to ask around: “Sumimasen, wifi rentaru / poketto wifi wa doko ni arimasu ka?”)
  • Keisei Skyliner -> Ueno
    • Leave bags inside rental locker (located inside the station)
  • Explore Ueno
  • Extra: Akihabara is just a station away. You can also walk from Ueno to Akihabara. : )

[Day 2]

  • Tokyo Disneyland / Disneysea

[Day 3]

  • Shinjuku
    • Take the East Exit when going out of the station
    • Purikura at Taito Station
      • You can also rent meido-san / cosplay costumes here haha.
    • KINOKUNIYA bookstore in Shinjuku. Go to 7th floor for the English books. They do have the rare ones! : )
    • Sekaido = heaven for those who love hoarding art materials (like Abbey lolol)
  • Harajuku
    • Takeshita Street (first-timers might get overwhelmed because there are lots of stores to shop from!!)
      • Recommend shops: WEGO, TUTUANA, MOMO Wonderrocket, etc.
      • Recommended cafe: Nescafe Cafe (Abbey and I are both fans of cafes with superb interior design. We did some brainstorming here haha)
  • Shibuya
    • To go to Shibuya, you can either take Yamanote Line (1 stop away) or just walk from Harajuku to Shibuya. Abbey and I love enjoy walking (double purpose: sight-seeing and burn fats / get tummy space for more eating lolol)
    • I brought Abbey to Shibuya Crossing (forgot to see Hachiko though haha), LoFT (a paradise for notebook / pen / stationery / things-we-don’t-need lovers like us), and other places that I’ve forgotten. Woops!

[Day 4]

  • Shimokitazawa
  • Extra: Nakano / Kichijoji

[Day 5]

  • Asakusa for more traditional Japanese kawaii
  • If you can’t get enough of Harajuku, you can go back to Harajuku like what we did haha.
  • Extra: Tokyo Skytree (this is just near Asakusa, but you have to take the Tobu Skytree Line)

There are also a lot of rental lockers in Asakusa (though you must come early to reserve yours, as there are many tourists going to this area). I also suggest that if you are going to take the train from Shinjuku (like Narita Express / NEX) to the airport, you might consider leaving your stuff there first before you spend your last day to explore in Asakusa / elsewhere. If your flight is later in the evening, you can spend a short time around Asakusa and then go back to Shinjuku again. Please be mindful of your time, so that you won’t be late for your flight! : )

If you are looking for a snack stores to buy / hoard greentea KitKat & #OnlyInJapan omiyage / pasalubong for your friends, look for an Okashi no Machioka stall. They sell these chocolates / snacks cheaper than the ones in convenience stores. Okashi no Machioka has a branch in Shinjuku, Asakusa, and Nakano Broadway (and so much more). : )

Abbey and I will be writing / blogging more about our ABCxRainbowholic adventures together (wishing Ashley was with us as well) on our blogs: www.artistic-dreams.com and www.the.rainbowholic.me.

If you’ve been to Tokyo before and you want to share your travel itinerary, feel free to leave a comment below or link us your blog! <3

Also, you might consider this Yamanote Line-based Itinerary post that Ashley and I wrote before! : )