5 Essential Must Haves Before Travelling To Japan!

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After travelling to Japan my squad and I have devised the ultimate essentials you must have before travelling to this beautiful country.

1. Pocket Wifi

This will be your ultimate saviour! Japan is filled with trains practically everywhere and with so many different lines and routes! You are bound to get lost and confused if you don't have any access to the internet. Considering myself personally good with directions, I gave up and surrendered after seeing how complex the whole thing was *haha* Thank goodness my squad and I managed to unleash our ninja skills and navigate ourselves like a boss throughout the cities of Japan. Plus if you plan to visit Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan without having pocket wifi then good luck figuring out what to do while waiting in line!

2. Powerbanks

Having access to pocket wifi means you will be spending alot lot of time using your phone for taking pictures, updating social media accounts and what not. It also means your batteries will definitely be draining faster! So yes! Get a good powerbank and dont forget to charge them up!

3. Comfy shoes!

If you recently bought a new pair of shoes and you haven't gotten used to them yet, ditch them. Trust me! Huzaimi and I practically ditched our shoes on the first day of walking around Tokyo and switched to flip flops. Thank god I had my Fitflops packed and used them for my remaining days in Japan.

4. Umbrella/Raincoat

You definitely have and must pack a small umbrella or raincoat. But i think an umbrella would be more versatile. Throughout our 10 days in Japan it rained on some days. The weather was unpredictable. Having an umbrella could save you from immense heat and also slight drizzle and heavy pours. Do not buy umbrellas in Japan (unless you have no choice) because they are expensive! (most of the stuff in Japan are expensive anyway, so yeah you get the picture right?) They easily cost around 500yen = RM20 to more than 1000 yen = RM40. The cheapest umbrella we spotted cost 300 yen = RM 12 from Daiso.

5. Passport

In japan it is a must to travel with your passport! Why? Because as tourists you get tax free services when you shop at certain stores which is a huge plus point as its cheaper like duhh! So don't forget your passports to enjoy the awesome shopping benefits!

There you have it, our 5 essential must haves before you head to Japan! Hope this helps and do let us know what else needs to be added to the list so we can prep better for our next attempt to take over Japan!

Love,

Mavinia.

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41 Backpacker Hostel, Kaohsiung City

My first ever backpacker hostel experience and I was very satisfied indeed. The place is managed by a family, but mostly by the the folks. I admired how dynamic they were in managing everything not to mention friendly and welcoming!

41 Backpacker Hostel is located in Sanduo Shopping District. After getting off the MRT, be sure to take Exit 6 which is also the exit for the Birthday Park (I don't know why they call it that, but yeah). From the exit, walk straight to the junction, take a right and you will see a small alley on your left. The hostel is located down the alley on your right. I was not convinced with the location at first since it was a narrow alley, but after walking a few steps I saw it to be a quiet neighbourhood with mostly old folks relaxing outside their houses and enjoying the weather.

What I really dig about this hostel was the super comfy bed and common area. It got really crowded one night because there were a lot of people staying at the hostel and there was just so much commotion, but it was fine. One thing I learnt when you are putting up a night or two in a hostel, is tolerance and common courtesy. A lot of it!

The hostel even provided complimentary coffee and tea too! The coffee was good! The lady who assisted me during my check-in even gave me a banana *haha* how lovely!

So here are a few shots of the place!

Check-in!
Check-in!

I booked my stay for 2 nights a few months back which cost me 900NTD=RM120 (Basically, RM60 per night). I spent my 2 nights here before I flew to Japan and it was one of the best decisions I made. I could of easily stayed at a hotel but that would mean I would be kind of contained in my own room with nothing much to do (similar to my dorm lifestyle back in Tainan during my internship experience). Pretty boring I would say. Staying here for 2 nights, I met a few other backpackers as well whom were travelling around Taiwan. There was a group of girls who were always smiling and saying hi and bye to me whenever I left the room. On my last night I met a girl who recently graduated from Canada and decided to travel Asia.

 

My room! Bunk beds shared with another 8 girls
My room! Bunk beds shared with another 7 girls

 

Hostel Rules
Hostel rules

 

More rules..
More rules..

 

8.2 rating on Booking.com?!
8.3 rating on booking.com?!

 

 

Thank you for your hospitality! *hugs*
Thank you for your hospitality! *hugs*

If you guys plan to visit Kaohsiung City in Taiwan and would like a hostel experience, well here you have your first candidate that should definitely be on the top of your list! Stay tuned for more of my blog posts!

 

Lots of love,

Mavinia.

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How We Conquered Japan In 10 Days! #MAHAxJAPAN

Of all the places in the world which do you really wish to visit at least once in your lifetime? Mine has definitely got to be Japan! Over the past 10 days my friends and I managed to tour Japan like a boss, cheers to their awesome company and our really cool itinerary!

Before I start here's a disclaimer *haha* what I meant by conquering Japan is only Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The rest is yet to come. So now, let me introduce you to my squad!

Amin & Huzaimi are my course mates from university and Amalina is my all time crazy high school buddy.

Before I start, I just want to let you guys know that this post is an overview of our entire trip in Tokyo. Detailed posts for some specific places will be posted soon. So stayed tuned!

Shall we begin?

Day 1

All of us took different flights since I'm travelling from Taiwan and the rest from Malaysia. We arrived in Tokyo on Monday but there was a huge delay due to the typhoon in Tokyo. It was terrible. My 3 hour flight became a 5 hour flight. Not to mention Amin, Huzaimi and Amalina's flight from Malaysia took longer than 7 hours to arrive!

After landing at Narita International Airport (which I think landing in Haneda International Airport is way better because its closer to the city) the queue for immigration was really long but nevertheless, it was great to see Amin & Huzami already waiting for me at the arrivals *yay!* P.S: Sorry it took me so long guys!

After taking mandatory airport shots, and having a little struggle finding transportation to Tokyo City since most of the them were out of service due to the typhoon, we managed to get an Airport Limousine Bus to Tokyo Station (the journey was about an hour plus). Before boarding the bus we purchased our Suica cards (like Touch n'Go cards in Malaysia). During our bus ride, we made a new friend! Her name is Shoko and apparently she just got back from a week in Malaysia! We were thrilled when she said she loved Malaysia! Shoko told us where to visit in Tokyo and I learnt a lil bit of Japanese given than Amin & Huzaimi are already pros *hehe*

 

From left, Amin, Shoko, Myself & Huzaimi

From Tokyo Station, we took a train to Asakusa-bashi Station (closest to our hostel) and around a 500m walk to the GRIDS Hostel Akihabara. This place is definitely the bomb guys! Its so pretty and its amazing for those of you who want to experience a luxurious  and comfortable hostel experience!

After checking in and settling down we awaited for Amalina's arrival down at the ghetto lobby of the hostel. After Amalina's arrival which got delayed as well due to the typhoon we settled for a good night's sleep feeling excited for the start of our amazing adventures in Tokyo.

Day 2

Our first stop in Tokyo, was the Hamarikyu Gardens. We took a train to the closest station to the gardens, but apparently close isn't close after all. We ended up walking endlessly probably about a kilometre! It a really long walk indeed! Thank goodness for Pocket Wifi (you guys have to get pocket wifi if you ever visit Japan! Definitely a must! and don't forget you power banks!). It was a bit of a bummer after arriving at the Hamarikyu Gardens and finding out we had to pay for the entrance fee (hey! no judgey okay! We're on a budget!). So we kind of ditched it since we thought of saving up for other scenic spots in Japan and just took a shot at the entrance :3 *don't mind us*

Us at the main entrance *hehe*
Us at the main entrance *hehe*

Next up we visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (I bet you're wondering why? haha). Apparently, its one of the places that has a free observation deck on the 59th floor (or was it the 49th? okay I forgot) *lol* plus its free! Who doesn't like free stuff anyway! *smirks* On the way up the lift we had a really good laugh because Amalina decided to hit the 'open elevator door' button out of a sudden and a few other people in the elevator got a bit shocked too! It was so funny and random because Amalina said it was an automatic reaction! *hahahahaha* Indeed an epic moment till today! We managed to get an aerial view of Tokyo City and it was amazing! Although it started to drizzle a bit and the view become sort of foggy-looking but nevertheless we managed to get good shots before it started to pour. Oh yeah! This was also the spot we caught a Venusaur! *haha*

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Slightly gloomy isn't it

Our 3rd stop was the Meiji Jingu Shrine. We were all not fans since we had to walk a lot! Maybe because our energy got drained earlier during our mission to find the Hamarikyu Gardens *hehe*. At the Meiji Jingu Shrine we managed to get just on or two shots and also sat down to rest for a while before resuming our journey to our next stop, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

 

Hi! That's me!
Hi! That's me!

 

Us at Meiji Jingu Shrine
Us at Meiji Jingu Shrine

 

The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was so pretty! Although we had to buy an entrance ticket it was worth it. Glad we chose this garden instead of the latter before *hehe* It has a giant green house with loads of cool plants in it plus we even had time to lay on the fresh grass and enjoy the weather! The grass was so fluffy we even thought of taking a short nap before continuing our walk *haha*

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The entrance ticket *haha* with the green house at the back

 

Next up, we visited the largest crossing in the world and my goodness was I just amazed! Shibuya Crossing! I still can't get over it! We even managed to strike a pose whilst walking amongst the huge crowds of people. We crossed it for about 7 times! That's how engrossed we were! Plus if you guys want to get a good top view of Shibuya Crossing, head over to Starbucks! Pretty view! If you follow my Instagram, I posted a time-lapse video of it. Be sure to check it out!

Watch us from sunset..
Watch us from sunset..
Till night!
Till nightfall!

 

Day 3

The happiest place on earth! Where else!? Tokyo Disneyland! This also marks my 4th Disneyland experience and another 2 more to go! Yahooooo! I totally felt like a kid again and it made it even more fun because the day before we actually constructed a master plan on which rides to target first. All Huzaimi's idea since he insisted we make the best out of our Disneyland adventures. Although the waiting time were quite long for some of the rides, like 200 minutes! We managed to ride all the best rides. My favourite ride was definitely Thunder Mountain! We also bought Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse popsicles (Mickey was a tropical flavour and Minnie was peaches!) just to try them out since every soul walking around Disneyland had one, so we wanted to fit in as well *haha*

 

Us at the main entrance!
Us at the main entrance!

 

Pluto!
Pluto!

 

 

For lunch we ate at the Queen of Hearts Banquet with a variety of choices from roast chicken to giant shrimps! Delicious! The highlight of Tokyo Disneyland was when we witnessed the magical parade at night with all the Disney characters. We also stayed till the closing to watch the beautiful fireworks and there was even a short display of each Disney movie on the walls of the castle! Very cool indeed! (I was trying to find the source, like some sort of projector, the kind they use in class to display the image on a white screen *lol*, couldn't find it though *boo*).

The pretty Dream Lights show
The pretty Dream Lights show

P.S: More pictures will be posted in an individual post dedicated to Tokyo Disneyland. Hold you horses and stay tuned! winks

 

Day 4

Today we visited Ueno Zoo! Initially the plan was to just vista Ueno Park (everyone was wondering why we had so many parks in our itinerary *hahahaha*), but then we saw that the zoo had Pandas and Otters! I literally died. The entrance fee was 600 yen = RM 24 which was reasonable, plus they had Pandas and Otters *haha* So here are a few shots of our favourite animals at the zoo! Oh yeah, the zoo was super huge and we had like massive leg and body aches from all the walking.

Before catching a glimpse of our fuzzy friend
Before catching a glimpse of our fuzzy friend

 

Sleeping like a boss
Sleeping like a boss

 

 

 

After the zoo, and before we visited Ikebukuro, home of the Pokemon Mega Centre, Amalina and I managed to get our hands on these Anello bags which were super fab and for a really good deal!

Slayin' since high school *hehe*
Slayin' since high school *hehe*

So since the guys waited for me and Amalina to decide on which bag to buy, Amin and Huzaimi whom are Pokemon masters (I really don't know how they know all the Pokemon names, especially the new generations *wow*) were really excited to visit the Pokemon Centre. I liked the place too probably because Pokemon was part of my childhood (but I'm not a die hard fanatic fan or something) and plus, I'm addicted to Pokemon Go! *haha* Everyone ended buying something, Amin bought a Pikachu dressed up in a Diancie costume, a plush Pokeball and a Pokemon tote bag. Huzaimi got his hands on a Pikachu shirt, plus the cheapest thing we all got our hands on were the Poke balls from the vending machine which cost like 300 yen = RM12 each. I managed to get one of each, a Poke ball, a Great ball and a Master ball. Amin got two Master balls since he is too much of a pro *haha* Huzaimi managed to get a Poke Ball and a Great Ball. Amalina got a Master ball.

Yasss!
Yasss!

 

Gotta Catch Em' All!
Gotta Catch Em' All!

 

Day 5

Tsukiji Fish Market! We were actually supposed to visit this place on Day 2 but since we were all so tired we postponed it to Day 5. We did not get up at 3am to watch the salmon auction because it was just too early to wake up *haha* so we ended up leaving around 7am or so to get ourselves some sushi for breakfast! We were walking around and we stumbled upon a few stores selling a yellow cube thing, which apparently is a dessert because it sweet but we never thought it would be made of egg! Next we had like the most biggest sushi bowl in which we all had to order one each (because they didn't allow us to share *sobs*). Amin and I had the worst experience ever! HAHA we just couldn't down it and we ended up burying some of our sashimi under the rice *hehe*

At Tsukiji Fish Market
At Tsukiji Fish Market
The sweet egg dessert only 100 yen = RM4!
The sweet egg dessert only 100 yen = RM4!

 

The sushi bowl that made me and Amin go 'OMG OMG OMG' every 10 seconds
The sushi bowl that made me and Amin go 'OMG OMG OMG' every 10 seconds

Next up, after feeling queazy and funny inside *haha* we visited Ginza home of luxurious brands and the famous Sony Building (I don't know why though). We just took some pretty shots before heading to Harajuku!

Squad taking over Ginza!
Squad taking over Ginza!

 

Harajuku was nice! I liked it a lot and plus we managed to try the famous Harajuku Cotton Candy! hehe

Tadaaa!
Tadaaa!

After we headed back to our hostel, our squad had to say goodbye to Amalina as she could not join us for our remaining adventures to Osaka and Kyoto due to her university schedule which required her to return back to Malaysia. We were so sad! Amalina was a great addition to our squad and she was missed terribly through our remaining days in Japan *sobs*

 

Day 6

This was the day we practically did nothing because we were travelling from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchiko (to get a view of Mount Fuji) then continuing the journey to Osaka. We practically spent a total of 6 hours travelling time. Sadly, when we arrived at Lake Kawaguchiko it was pouring! We couldn't see a thing. Such a bummer. But nevertheless we got a chance to get our butts on a Shinkansen bullet train that was actually moving at 295 km/h! Amazing! Of course when you're sitting inside you can't actually feel it but yes it was super fast!

Typically the most expensive piece of paper that I have ever purchased
Typically the most expensive piece of paper to ever land in my hands! This is the real deal yo! Too bad the machine sucked it back in when we arrived at Osaka *sobs*

After arriving in Osaka, we managed to take a detour to another Pokemon Mega Centre before checking into our rooms. We stayed at a sort of an apartment style room which was so fab and so so affordable! Thanks to Huzaimi who managed to grab the best Airbnb deal ever for only RM247 for a total of 4 nights! Yass! (also because we booked it a few months earlier!) Other than being such a super good deal our rooms were fully furnish with all things from IKEA! From the beds, to the photos on the wall, the clock, the carpet and even the pillows and quilts! My God! Heaven!

 

Day 7

Our first day in Osaka! We visited the pretty Osaka Castle and being the lazy bums we are after all the walking around in Tokyo, we got on board a tram service that took us to Osaka Castle and back to a nearby entrance of the train station. It was a really good idea since it would of taken us such a long walk in the midst of the scorching sun!

Us posers before boarding the tram (the one at the back of us) to Osaka Castle
Us posers before boarding the tram (the one at the back of us) to Osaka Castle

 

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Osaka Castle!

 

After Osaka Castle, we had our lunch at Matsuri! An amazing halal restaurant that gave us our first ever takoyaki-making experience! Plus we even took photos with their kimono tops! Check us out!

 

In the evening, we visited the famous Dotonburi in Namba as well as Shinsekai! 

Hello Glico Man!
Hello Glico Man!
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Tsutenkaku Tower at the back!

 

Day 8

Hello Kyoto! I can finally check this place off my bucket list! The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove!

Wachaaa!
Wachaaa!

Next, we visited Fushimi Inari-taisha but.. it was a huge bummer because it started to rain so heavily and we only had raincoats on! Nevertheless, we managed to get only one shot.

The things we went through for this one shot! My goodness.
The things we went through for this one shot! My goodness.

 

Day 9

The most awesome place on earth and our last day in Japan, where we became total retards and ultimate happy people! Universal Studios Japan!

Retarding game strong!
Retarding game strong!

But the highlight of everything has definitely got to be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Yayers!!
P.S: More pictures will be posted in an individual blog post on Universal Studios Japan so stay tuned!

Would you look at that view!
Would you look at that view!

 

Us. Officially graduated from Hogwarts *hehe*
Officially graduated from Hogwarts! *hehe*

 

Day 10

Bye bye Japan! We will miss you terribly! But we will be back soon! hehe

I'm signing off for now, till my next blog post on Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post and sorry if it's too long! I already narrowed it down to like a lot! *haha* really glad this trip turned out as awesome as all the pictures we took and cheers to many more adventures like this!

If you wish to view more of my pictures feel free to follow me on Instagram! or checkout our photos by checking out our customised hashtag #MAHAxJAPAN

 

Love,

Mavinia.

 

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The Best Mexican Place In Tainan City

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I don't consider myself a pro in Mexican food, nor do I know how to prepare any Mexican dishes but this place became my number one all time favourite shop. Living in Tainan for the past 6 months, gave me plenty of time to explore local delicacies, try out various bubble tea as well as stumbling upon this small Mexican place at a hidden alley (I will attach a map of the place at the end of this post).

So the only thing I know about Mexican culture/food/whatever you wish to categorise, is salsa sauce and sombreros. Pretty lame right? haha

Well here is how the place looks like. Obviously orange is a must! I got the whole Mexican vibe right away. I just took two shots o the prettiest parts of the restaurant.

 

 

I tried the Chicken Burrito once and did not really prefer burritos after the first try. My second trip and every other trip after, I ordered the Chick Fajita Quesadillas. They are to die for! Not to mention so fulfilling.

Oh about the price range, it is pretty expensive but once in while it is affordable.  After converting, the quesadillas that I usually order are about RM16.00 (120NTD). I don't usually order any drinks here because they are pretty expensive. A can of coke is RM4.00 (30NTD) and I can actually do my laundry for that amount hehe

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Here is a glimpse of the Chicken Fajita Quesadillas and Beef Tacos

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

 

Beef Tacos
Beef Tacos

 

If you are ever in Tainan City, Taiwan and would like to check this place out, here are the directions! If you are coming from Tainan Train Station then its pretty much a short walking distance. You can find it right behind the Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel down a small alley opposite a Thai Restaurant.

 

Overall I would give this place 4.5/5 stars 🙂

This place really made me want to learn how to make all these tasty Mexican food and I shall try them out soon! So there you have it, one of the many food adventures of mine here in Taiwan and I will definitely miss this place once I am back in Malaysia.

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