This is sort of a personal post, shared here for your reference, just in case you’ll ever think of going for a quick getaway while in Japan and don’t mind having a rudimentary frame of reference as to where you can possibly go!
At the time of publication, I would have already returned from a short trip to Shanghai. I went there to visit a friend from poly, along with a few other friends (also from poly). We’re very close but have not hung out all together for ages because technically we live in three different countries, but the one living in Shanghai just had a baby in May so we decided to make a trip out of it.
Anyway, I flew Peach Airlines, a low-cost carrier, to Shanghai. It was my first time flying there via LCC, but hey, now you know – you can go to Shanghai from Tokyo (Haneda) for as cheap as 27000 yen. I think you can go even cheaper but that’s around the price I paid. It takes about three hours. I’m not sure how it’s like from Osaka or other major cities. (Note: I don’t like Kansai very much – I admit I’m a bit prejudiced, I just don’t like the vibe of the place – so this one you’ll have to Google yourself.)
I SUPER want to go to Seoul because I really love spicy food and that’s the closest place to Japan that I can get legit spicy food AND check out the habitat of all those Kpop people, lol. LCCs also fly here. It’s probably around the same price to fly to Shanghai as it is to Seoul, but the distance from Tokyo to Seoul is about 2 hours. I heard it’s way closer from Fukuoka, i.e. you can even take a ferry there. I love the makeup brand Etude House, and I also just love makeup in general, so I really want to go there to shop. I basically want to eat and shop, lol.
I’ve always been quite interested in Hawaii because it’s got a lot of diversity in its culture, which sort of reminds me of Singapore, so I really am keen to check it out. It’s actually also about seven hours away, the same flight time it’d take for me to get to Singapore from Tokyo, and the ticket prices are also about the same, so this will really only happen if I give up going to Singapore one year. I’ve never been to the US before, so I’m really hoping I’ll get to go sometime in the next few years. Fingers crossed.
Taipei was a place I fell in love with instantly. I’d never been there while in Singapore because the ticket prices were always very comparable to Japan’s, which means I would always end up going to Japan because I obviously love it from the bottom of my heart lol. And even though there were low-cost carriers flying to Taipei while I was still living at home, they only launched a couple years before I left for Japan; I didn’t get a chance to try them.
I first went to Taipei in 2017, during the summer vacation. My husband and I took a whirlwind trip from Taipei to Hong Kong to Shanghai; tons of fun, but fatigue like no other. Taipei was our favourite. It was cheap, fun and delicious; and operates in a language both my husband and I are fluent in. I liked it so much I went again for one night in March 2018, choosing to make a 22-hour stopover on the way to Singapore just so we could hang out in Taipei. I also bought my computer from Taipei because I was looking for a very specific Asus notebook and Asus Japan doesn’t sell notebooks with US keyboards. (I don’t like the Japanese keyboard because it makes typing English very awkward: the apostrophe is Shift+7, the Return button is huge, the spacebar is way too short.) It didn’t make sense to buy the laptop from Singapore because I didn’t like the idea of always having to bring around a chunky converter for the plug, so buying it in Taiwan solved all the problems since Taiwan shares the same power plug as Japan, and it uses the US keyboard (albeit with Zhuyin characters on the keys, but it doesn’t bother me).
I super want to visit other Taiwanese cities outside of Taipei too, but I have so many other places to visit, I don’t think I can dedicate all my resources to Taiwan.
(no picture because I can’t find a free picture that’s attractive lol I’m not going their for the sights anyway)
It’s been about a year since I started learning Russian, so I’m most interested in this city out of all the others since it’s the nearest place from where I am that I can practise my Russian. Vladivostok is a little over two hours away from Tokyo by plane, and the air tickets aren’t too expensive (maybe 50 000 yen a trip, though I bet you can get a promo fare). Just this year or last year, I can’t remember, Vladivostok opened its doors to 18 nationalities, including Singaporeans, allowing them to travel there visa-free (sort of, I’ll explain in a bit). This is a huge step forward. About five years ago, after my miscarriage, I badly wanted to take a trip to St. Petersburg with my husband to cheer up, and I got everything researched and hotels booked but eventually I had to cancel because the cost was just too great and the visa situation was a hassle. There was no clear answer on the internet on whether I could get the visa approved by the Singaporean embassy or not, so I just got really tired of researching and gave up. Times have changed, however, and with my passport I can now enter Vladivostok without having to apply for a legit, visa-visa. I would have to apply online for an e-visa, but it’s not a hassle at all compared to the paperwork I’d have to file if I were to travel to other places in Russia. I’d be able to stay for eight days in the city. I’m really keen on this and am hoping to go in 2021. I just want to be able to speak Russian at a conversational level first!
OTHER CITIES THAT COULD PROBABLY MAKE IT ON THE LIST GIVEN THEIR PROXIMITY TO JAPAN
- Hong Kong (kind of expensive, but I have friends there and want to see them again)
- Qingdao (I want to do this with a trip to South Korea because they’re so close; I’ve been to Qingdao before to visit a friend and want to visit her again)
- Manila (makes more sense to do it on the way back from Singapore, however)
- Every other Taiwanese/Chinese city lol
Would you be interested in a post that talks about Japanese cities I’ve visited? I’ve been to a lot, mostly in Kanto, Hokuriku and Tohoku, so please let me know. Auntie is a huge fan of travelling and likes to share stories.