japan 2017: Exploring Tsukiji Market and the Tuna Auction experience

 Tuna Auction at Tsukiji Market   

Tuna Auction at Tsukiji Market

 

1.  Check their website to verify if the market is open on the day you're planning to visit:  http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm.  

2.  Get there early.  They only allow a total of 120 visitors per day to witness the Tuna Auction.  First batch is at 5:50am to 6:05am slot.  Second batch is from 6:05am to 6:20am.  

We arrived at the registration area at around 3:15am.  We were assigned to the second batch of tourists.  The first 60 slots were already filled up.  We were given with a blue vest to wear and was offered to sit on the floor (first group are in green vests). Yes, be prepared to sit on the floor for long hours as you wait for the tour to start.  10 or 15mins after we arrived, we heard them say that there are only 16 slots left.  I wonder what time did the first person or group of tourists arrived that morning.  2am probably?

 Waiting area for the Tuna Auction

Waiting area for the Tuna Auction

 

4.  Do not use selfie sticks!  When taking photos, be aware of your surroundings.  Don't just stop anywhere just because you wanted to take a photo. 

5.  After the Tuna Auction, feel free to explore the outer market.  

After the Tuna Auction, we were clueless as to where to go next.  We just know that we would like to try the food in the outer market area.  We followed the other tourists until we encountered a long queue of people.  When I asked what it was for, I was told that they're lining up for Sushi Dai.

EDITED-4326.jpg
 Sushi Dai

Sushi Dai

 Inside Sushi Dai.

Inside Sushi Dai.

 

Here are the other food that you have to try at Tsukiji:

 Grilled Tuna, Uni, Crab Legs

Grilled Tuna, Uni, Crab Legs

EDITED-4606.jpg
 Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream

Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream

 Crab Fat

Crab Fat

 Fresh Uni

Fresh Uni

 Squid, Salmon Belly

Squid, Salmon Belly

 Wagyu beef on stick

Wagyu beef on stick

japan 2017: Renting a pocket wifi - Global Advanced Comm

Rental process:  A couple of weeks before we left for Japan, I ordered a pocket wifi online from this website:  https://www.globaladvancedcomm.com

I would recommend this company because the rental process was so easy to follow.  Never had an issue in the rental process online.  I also received an email confirmation that my pocket wifi has been delivered to the location I specified which is the KIX airport.  When I picked up the package, I just showed the printed email confirmation.  Inside the package is the pocket wifi itself, charger, prepaid return envelope, and the instructions on how to connect.  The pocket wifi was fully charged and we were able to use it right away.  

Rental Plan:  We chose the Premium Plan which has a 75Mbps speed.  

Battery:  We used the pocket wifi the whole day.  We never run out of battery power.

Data and Speed:  We never had any issues with data consumption.  We would use it to browse for directions, search for restaurants, stores, tourists attractions.  We also posted a lot on social media the whole day.  We could go live as well on IG and FB without any glitch on data connection.  

Return:  Before we checked-in at Narita Airport, we just dropped the prepaid envelope in the red postal bin.

japan travel 2017: Top 10 tips when visiting Japan

EDITED-2476.jpg

1.  Plan! Plan! Plan!  It helps that you have an itinerary.  It will save you time and money.  

2.  Rent a pocket wifi.

3.  Use Hyperdia, Google Maps, and Google Translate.  These apps saved us from getting lost lol!  But seriously, these apps will make your navigation easier in Japan.  

When using Hyperdia, you must know the station nearest to your destination and the of course the station where you will be coming from.  The app only accepts station names as your input.  

Google Maps functions just the same as Hyperdia but it shows fewer options compared to Hyperdia.

4.  Check if you really need to buy a JR Pass.  For example, you're planning to visit the top 3 major areas in Japan like Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo and you will be entering and exiting in the same airport, I think it will be cheaper if you will buy the JR Pass.  That is assuming that you will be traveling back and forth between Osaka and Tokyo.

In our case, we entered Osaka via KIX airport and left Japan thru Tokyo via Narita airport.  We spent 3 days in Osaka, 2 day trips to Kyoto (from Osaka via subway train), and 10days in Tokyo.  There was no need for a JR Pass.  

5.  Book a hotel or AirBnb which is near a convenience store like 7-Eleven or Family Mart.

6.  Buy an IC card.  It is very convenient to use.  Because we started off in Osaka, we bought the ICOCA card which functions just the same as the Pasmo and Suica card.

7.  Always bring your passport with you as you explore Japan.  You will need it if in case you decide to do some shopping and you purchased at least 5000YEN worth of items .  Visit this site for details:  https://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/shopping-guide.php

8.  Install Klook on your phone.  We were able to get a discounted ticket for Sanrio Puroland and for the Narita Airport Bus Limousine.

9.  If you will be exploring Kyoto, use the Kyoto City Bus and Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass.  It's just 500YEN.  You get an unlimited ride around Kyoto for the whole day.  For more details, go to this site:  

10.  You can do daytrips between Osaka and Kyoto.