I developed a love for trips to Japan! My first trip to Hokkaido!
- By manfeng update
I’m Manfong. I’m a girl who loves travel. I love preparatory study and trip preparation more than the actual travel itself. I’ve been studying Japanese since I was a university student. I’m ashamed to tell you that my English becomes poorer as I learn more Japanese. I wonder if the size of my brain is not enough.I’m excited to search for places while thinking about my next trip. Without realizing it, I developed a taste of getting out on a journey by myself and now it’s my favorite and comfortable habit.
Manfong goes to Hokkaido!
The first chapter: I was dreaming of this and that before my trip…
When I visited Japan for my first time 8 years ago, I joined a group tour. It was a tour where the group of visitors entered through Tokyo and left from Osaka. It was a 6 day travel schedule, and spent a night at a hotel with a hot spring in Hakone. Because of the busy schedule, I couldn’t feel relaxed at all. Any beautiful scenery? I don’t remember at all. Delicious foods? Because I was in a group, I barely remember them. What did I buy? I forgot. My first trip in Japan ended up like this…
The one thing I still remember is I felt awkward at the hot-spring hotel in Hakone.
After leaving the bath, you have to bring your bath towel to your room. I don’t know if this rule was because I was in the tour group or not, but staff at the hotel didn’t supply extra bath towels. I wasn’t told anything about it, so I ran into trouble in that I didn’t have any towel after I went back to my room. I couldn’t even experience a Japanese-like Omotenashi and couldn’t have an actual feeling of travelling to Japan after all. Therefore, I thought taking a group tour is “Absolutely not!” for me.
I love travel and have traveled many places, including Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, etc. But in order to know the true Japan, I decided that I had to go to the country again. Business trips or group travel would no longer give me the true feelings of travel.
By the way, it’s summertime. Guys, where is the best place in Japan in this season? It is, of course, Hokkaido!!You might want to fascinate yourself watching lavender, such beautiful purple flowers, in July. Yes. My trip in Hokkaido was never forgettable and one of the enjoyable ones in Japan. There, I got to know the true Japan for the first time. I fully enjoyed my Japanese travel.
Luckily, my friend from Hokkaido showed me around there.
My friend and I have been friends more than 10 years, so I asked him what preparations to make for the trip to Hokkaido. Thanks to his preparation, I leaned how important preparatory study and preparation for a trip are.
I boarded a business class direct flight from Shanghai bound for Sapporo Chitose airport. The air fare was a great deal, the same price as economy class. It took a little more than 3 hours, so I enjoyed the flight by reading a guide book about Hokkaido.
I recommend getting an airline ticket as soon as possible. Please also make sure to compare the prices and read carefully the conditions about changing the flight or cancelling. Check sites, not only Ctrip (携程) and Qunar (去哪), but also other official sites for airlines. They often offer campaigns so you can get some good deals. However, many campaigns may be offered to their membership only, so you’d better become a member for many airline companies.
If you are a frequent traveler in Japan, I highly recommend you sign a membership with ANA and JAL. The procedures from both sites are very easy. Just download the application form on their Chinese official sites, fill in the form, and send it to their Shanghai office by Fax. That’s it! A few days later, you will receive a membership card.
I personally recommend ANA. I will tell you why I like ANA in the next series. Please look forward to it!
You also need a credit card provided by an airline company. You can get miles as well as various discount services. ANA issues an affiliated credit card from China Merchants Bank. JAL affiliates with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. They offer a 10% discount at ANA or JAL’s duty free shops inside the airports in Japan. Yes. You can get another 10% off from the duty free prices.
Well, I will go back to my Hokkaido story.
When I got off from New Chitose airport, my friend was waiting for me with a rent-a-car. I appreciated this “brother’s” consideration – Japanese type of “Omotenashi.”During my few days travel in Hokkaido, he wore bright colored T-shirts everyday which was not his ordinary style. He wore those shirts because it would be easier for me to find him and not to get lost among crowded visitors. Choosing a partner in travel is very important. You should take this seriously!! Don’t choose poorly. Okay, see you in the next issue. I’m Manfeng.
New Chitose Airport