TOKYO: My Tips on How to Get GHIBLI Museum Tickets Online

April 14, 2018


TOKYO: My Tips on How to Get GHIBLI Museum Tickets Online 

I was able to get 6 Ghibli Museum tickets for May 2018 and I'd like to share with you my tips on how to get one. 

1. Prepare the following information before buying the tickets:

a. Name of the group leader or the one who will claim the ticket 

b. Passport number of the group leader

c. Telephone number of the group leader

d. Address where you are staying 

e. Credit card number

f. Email address

g. 4 digit alphanumeric password which they will ask you to input for you to be able to access in their site the voucher issued after payment is complete. 

My tip: Write this all down in a word file before ticketing opens so that you will be able to cut and paste the information during online purchase and complete the process fast. 

2. Go to their website to buy tickets at 10:00 AM Japan time on the 10th day of month the month  before  you plan to visit.

For instance, if you plan to buy tickets  for June, buy tickets on May 10. Be sure to be at the site at 10:00 AM JAPAN time. They open ticketing a month before the date you plan to visit. Tickets are usually sold out within an hour when ticketing opens. 

My tip: Put an alarm on your phone 30 minutes before ticketing opens so you don't forget. Determine what's the equivalent of 10:00 AM Japan time to your local time, if you are not situated in Japan when buying online. Go to the website at exactly that particular time. 


3. After you get into their site, be patient while it loads. DO NOT REFRESH WHILE IT LOADS. 

It may take a while before the calendar appears or your choice is accepted but do not refresh while it loads. Otherwise, you will lose your place in the line. The site will tell you to wait. Follow it. Refresh only after the site tells you to try again. 

I was at the site at 10:00 AM. I was able to buy the tickets by 10:16 AM. I chose the 2:00 PM slot on a Wednesday. 

4. After you have completed payment, an email will be sent to you with a link on where to access your voucher. Don't forget the email address, the exact telephone number you inputted in the form, and  the 4 digit alpha numeric password you gave. 

These 3 things are the information you will be asked after clicking the link sent to your email to access your voucher. In my case, I forgot to input the country code with my telephone number. So to access my voucher, I had to input the telephone number without the country code as well. 

Manila International Airport Lounge: The Wings Transit Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3

April 3, 2018

Manila International Airport Lounge:
The Wings Transit Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3

This is a pay lounge that both international and domestic passengers can access because it is located in  a public area at the 4th level food court beside McDonald's Cafe. The Skyview lounge can only be used by international passengers because Skyview lounge is located after immigration and security check and above the duty-free area. Check out my post : Manila International Airport Lounge: The Sky View Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3


All the information is shown above.
You can contact them directly for more information 
Reception area

Lounge area



BDO Diamond rewards members can use this lounge for free together with one companion. Both the member and the companion must present their ticket or boarding passes to avail of this facility.


For further information, this is their website: http://jipang-group.com/thewings/

MANILA: Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 Airport Chapel: Mass Schedule and Location

March 29, 2018


MANILA: Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 Airport Chapel:
Mass Schedule and Location




It can be found at Level 2. Entry is through the Level 1, arrival area, right side. 

You take the escalator at the side of Wendy's 

The Chapel is on the next level after riding the escalator. 
You will find this sign as you reach the end of the escalator. 

Beijing Foot Spa at Robinsons Metroeast: A Review

March 4, 2018


Beijing Foot Spa at Robinsons Metroeast: A Review 


The Beijing Foot Spa at Robinsons Metroeast, Pasig is located on the 3rd level. The Spa is very spacious and very clean, and has its own male and female toilets. 


I usually go to Nuat Thai where Thai body massage or foot massage costs only 250 pesos. So the Beijing massage seems to be a bit expensive. I tried the foot massage, the back massage and the foot and back massage package. And all treatments are done exceedingly well. 


The treatments are done in a common room. But you can also request for a couple's room. They have a couple's room with two lazy boy chairs. 

You are assigned a lazy boy chair where all the massage will be done. You are then given a robe with shorts to change into. They offer you hot tea or coffee. Each lazy boy has a TV where you can watch shows. I haven't tried it because I prefer to take a nap while the massage is going on. 




I highly recommend the Beijing Foot Spa at Robinsons Metroeast. The treatments are thorough, and done exceedingly well. The therapists (Jolina and Christine) are very good. The place is very clean, accessible and convenient. They open very early, at 10:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM. 

Ayala Malls Feliz Store Directory

February 9, 2018

Ayala Malls Feliz Store Directory

Here are the list of stores opening at the new Ayala Malls Feliz along Marcos highway, Pasig, which opened last December 2017. Not all stores are open yet. Only those with an asterisk before its name are currently open. 






 The spacious parking lot at the basement 



My Tips in Applying for a Korean Tourist Visa in the Philippines

January 21, 2018


My Tips in Applying for a Korean Tourist Visa in the Philippines

1. Apply for a visa not more than 3 months from the intended date of stay in South Korea.


The consul is limited to issuing an expiry date 3 months from the date of visa issuance to applicants, even if you stated in the application form that your intended date of arrival is more than 3 months from the date of application. For example, if you plan to stay in Korea until June 1, do not apply for a visa earlier than March 1.


2. Find out if the embassy is open on the date you want to apply.

You don't need to get an appointment to apply for a visa to South Korea. You just walk-in. They do not inform you online whether or not the embassy is closed on a Philippine or Korean holiday. Below is the list of holidays they observe, both Philippine and Korean holidays. The list pertains to 2017 holidays. Adjust the dates accordingly for the subsequent years.

NOTE: They only observe national holidays. They do not observe municipal holidays like Taguig day, even if the embassy is located in Taguig.




3. Find out if you are eligible for a multiple entry 3-5 year visa.

If you have a BDO and BPI credit card, you may be eligible to apply for a multiple entry 3-5 year visa. 

Check out the BDO website for details:

Check out the BPI website for details:

4. If you have a visa for any of the OECD countries, you qualify for the express lane at Window 3. 

This means, you can get your passport (hopefully with visa) after three working days from submission of application. If you submitted your application on January 22 (a Monday), you can get your passport on January 25 (a Thursday).

You can present the visa of any OECD country for this purpose, even if EXPIRED, provided you used the visa at least once within the past 5 years. 

Below is a list of OECD countries:



5. Submit only photocopies of important documents. The embassy DOES NOT RETURN any document except your passport.




6. Arrange your documents in the following order for fast processing. 



7. Make sure to check that the embassy personnel assigned to verify your documents and issue the queue number assigned you in the right window.

I have seen the embassy personnel assign an applicant to window 1 when she qualified for window 3. Fortunately, the woman noticed the mistake and corrected him. Window 3 is the fast lane. The embassy returns your passport within 3 working days. Windows 1 and 2 are the regular lane. They return your passport within 5 working days.



8. Where to park 


Parking is across the Korean embassy
It is a roadside parking on the left side of the McKinley Hill sign.

This roadside parking is made an exclusive parking area of the Korean Embassy.

The red line is the location of the parking area.
For details, click: 
this link


REQUIREMENTS




FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT THE KOREAN EMBASSY WEBSITE:  
http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/ph-en/brd/m_3275/list.do




LTO-NCR Driver's License Backlog Printing: What You Need to Know

January 20, 2018


LTO-NCR Driver's License Backlog Printing:
 What You Need to Know


LTO opened 7 satellite offices to speed up the processing and issuance of around 3.6 million driver's license cards of applicants who were issued driver's licenses but failed to get the ID card. As shown in the photo below, these offices are purely for printing and releasing of 5 year driver's license cards. No student permit or renewal transactions are entertained.




WHERE TO FIND THE TEMPORARY OFFSITE PRINTING OFFICE

TOPO LOCATIONS:

SM MALLS: SM Marikina, Sm Manila, SM North Edsa
ROBINSONS MALL: Las Pinas
ALI MALL
FAIRVIEW CENTER MALL
LTO OFFICE: NCR Regional Office, Manila East District Office

OFFICE HOURS

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


WHAT TO BRING:

Latest LTO official receipt

You must know your blood type


WHAT TO DO:

1. Approach the LTO personnel in front of the computer. He will give you a form to fill up and a queue number.



2. Fill up the form. The form asks for the same information as the driver's license application form. They are doing this because they will encode the same information all over again before they issue the driver's license card. They will also take your photo and signature again and in addition, your fingerprints.

3. The printing processing flow: 
a. Verification after you present your driver's license receipt.
b. Encoding of your personal information
c. Photo, Signature, Fingerprints
d. Printing of your driver's license card 

Average processing time is 10 minutes

This is the SM Marikina satellite office.


MY TIP: Don't arrive before 4:30 PM. They will not give you a queue number even if they close 6:00 PM. By that time all slots for the day were given out already. Arrive 10:00 AM to get a sure slot. 


7 DAYS IN TOKYO: My Travel Guide and Itinerary

January 12, 2018

7 DAYS IN TOKYO: My Travel Guide and Itinerary

WHAT YOU WILL VISIT IN THIS ITINERARY

A UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mount Fuji 

Tokyo Metropolitan Building: Visit this building to see an aerial view of Osaka. Unlike in other places, admission is FREE

Ghibli Museum: If you are a fan of anime, or movies by Studio Ghibli, this is a must visit site

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: Tokyo's most popular cherry blossom viewing venues

Meiji Jingu Shrine: Shinto shrine dedicated to the Emperor and Empress Meiji

Shibuya Crossing: the busiest intersection in Japan and an iconic place Tokyo is known for

Hachiko Memorial Statue: commemorating the most famous Akita dog, Hachiko, whose story became a legend.

Ginza Architectural Walk

Tsukiji Market

Imperial Palace East Garden tour

Shopping at Daiso and Don Quijote 


WHAT TO BOOK OR BUY IN ADVANCE

1.  Mount Fuji Tour


I purchased my Mount Fuji Tour at viator.com instead of JTB Sunrise Tours or Japanican because viator.com offers it at 10% discount.

2. Ghibli Museum Tickets


You can buy Ghibli Museum tickets online on the 10th of the month at 10:00 AM Japan time of the month before the date you want to visit the museum. This means if you want to buy tickets for March 2018, you can only buy it on February 10, at 10:00 AM Japan time.

Where to buy Ghibli Museum tickets online:

My tip:
a. Go online at exactly 10:00 AM Japan time. Tickets are sold immediately in the next 30 minutes and are usually sold out within the hour.

b. You can only buy a maximum of 6 tickets at a time. So if you're buying more tickets, you should be fast in booking online.

c. Prepare the passport of your group leader. You will need to give details for claiming the tickets at the gate.

d. I noticed that of all the time slots, the 2:00 pm and the 4:00 pm. time slots are the last ones to get sold out.

3. Flytpack Pocket Wifi


It is essential to bring a pocket wifi in Japan so it will be possible to navigate the subways and private railways. Lines change depending on time. If you have a pocket wifi, when you arrive at the station, you can start searching for your destination at google maps and google maps will tell you the next train you can ride to go to your destination. Others use hyperdia.com to navigate the trains but I find it easier to use google maps. Japan trains arrive exactly on time. So it's essential that you do an online google map search again once you arrive at the station to make sure you'll ride the correct train at the correct time.

PRICE: 280 per day x 7 days = 1960 pesos rental fee. Plus 2800 pesos deposit, which they return after you return the unit. I added 550 pesos router insurance just to be safe.  


DAY 1. ARRIVAL IN TOKYO, TOKYO METROPOLITAN BUILDING (MONDAY)


1:30 AM
Leave house

2:00 AM
Park at NAIA Terminal 3 parking

2:30 AM - 4:30 AM
Go to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3
Check-in
NOTE: Check in counter at Jetstar opens 3 hours before the flight contrary to the email information that it only opens 2 hours before the flight. 
Immigration
Breakfast at Skyview Lounge

4:30 AM
Boarding

5:10 AM - 11:50 AM
Manila to Osaka flight via Cebu Pacific 5J5054

NOTE: Japan is 1 hour ahead of the Philippines so from this point of the itinerary, I'm using Japan time.

10:25 AM-11:25 AM
Arrival at  Narita Airport Terminal 2
After claiming your baggage, buy the PASMO Card for use in the Japanese subway.

This is a reloadable smart card that you can use on several networks like the JR train, subways, private railways and buses. This is the best smart card to use because:
a. It's reloadable. 
This means you load only the amount you need.
b. You don't need to buy train tickets using cash. You can go straight to the gate each time you enter the rail station. 
c. You don't need to buy separate tickets when you change lines from the subway to the private railway. You only need to tap the card at the turnstile when you change lines. 
d. You can use the card to make purchases in stores like 711.
Where to buy the PASMO card at the airport:
https://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/buy/  

Buy tickets to the limousine bus

11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Ride the limousine bus to Keio Plaza hotel

12:30 PM-1:00 PM
Ride the taxi from Keio Plaza hotel to  Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku 

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Lunch

2:00 PM
Check in at Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku

2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Rest

4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Leave the hotel. Take the train to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building: 180 yen

5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Tokyo Metropolitan Building
South observatory is open 9:30 AM-5:30 PM (It is open till 11:00 PM if the North Observatory is closed) Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time

Why visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Building:
To see an aerial view of the city of Tokyo where admission is FREE. 

6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Take the train back to the hotel

7:00 PM
Dinner


DAY 2. MOUNT FUJI, LAKE ASHI AND BULLET TRAIN DAY TRIP FROM TOKYO TOUR (TUESDAY)


Check this out for details:
https://www.viator.com/tours/Tokyo/Mt-Fuji-Lake-Ashi-and-Bullet-Train-Day-Trip-from-Tokyo/d334-2142TYO_F800_F820

Why choose this tour:
I chose the bullet train ride on the return trip to Tokyo from Mount Fuji instead of the bus ride, although cheaper, so we can experience a bullet train ride. The Shinkansen or bullet train is very expensive so this will be enough experience riding it without spending a lot. 

8:25 AM:
Meet up at with the tour group at Keio Plaza Hotel (the nearest meet-up place from our hotel)

8:00 PM:
End of tour at Tokyo station

My tip:
If you plan on doing the Ghibli Museum Tour, do this tour on a Tuesday. Ghibli Museum is closed on Tuesdays.


DAY 3. GHIBLI MUSEUM TOUR (WEDNESDAY) or Shopping at Daiso or Don Quijote for those who do not want to join the tour

9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Take the train to the Mitaka Station: 390 yen

11:00 AM - 12:00
Lunch

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
At the Mitaka station, take the Mitaka bus to the Ghibli Museum: 310 yen roundtrip

2:00 PM-6:00 PM
Ghibli Museum tour

6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Return to the hotel

7:00 PM
Dinner

DAY 4. SHINJUKU GYOEN NATIONAL GARDEN, MEIJI JINGU SHRINE, SHIBUYA CROSSING, HACHIKU MEMORIAL STATUE (THURSDAY)

9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Take the train to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: 170 yen

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Take the train to the Meiji Jingu shrine: 170 yen

1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Meiji Jingu shrine

3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Walk to Shibuya Crossing
Lunch at Ichiran Ramen or Matsuya

4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Shibuya Crossing
See the Hachiko Memorial Statue

6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Return to the hotel

7:00 PM
Dinner


DAY 5. GINZA AND TSUKIJI MARKET, GINZA ARCHITECTURAL WALK (FRIDAY)


DAY 6. IMPERIAL PALACE EAST GARDEN TOUR (SATURDAY)

12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Leave hotel
Ride the train to Tokyo Station: 200 yen

1:00 PM-3:30 PM
Free walking tour of the Imperial Palace East Garden conducted by Tokyo Free Walking Tour

NOTE: THIS TOUR IS ONLY USUALLY AVAILABLE EVERY SATURDAY. MAKE SURE TO CHECKOUT THEIR CALENDAR OF THE MONTH IN CASE THEY ADDED TOURS. 



DAY 7. RETURN TO MANILA (SUNDAY)
7:30 AM
Check out of Hotel Sunroute Osaka Namba

8:00 AM 
Get taxi in front of the hotel
Ride the taxi to Osaka City Air Terminal to ride the Kate limousine bus to the airport

9:10 AM - 10:00 AM
Ride the Kate limousine bus to Kansai Airport

10:30 AM - 11:30
Check in at the Cebu pacific counter

Dine at Narita irport food court before immigration

Immigration

Map photo
11:40 AM
Boarding

11:45 AM - 3:50 PM
Departure from Osaka via Cebu Pacifice 5J5055

3:50 PM
Arrival in Manila