Author: Monarch Way

Top Three Tips For Touring Japan

I covered a lot of topics in my Planning A Trip Overseas post. Obviously, your itinerary and activities will determine what you chose to bring with you to Japan. I prefer to be over-prepared and in some ways I was (there were a few phone applications I downloaded that I never used) but for the most part I was perfectly prepared. These are a few things that will make navigating Japan much easier. Here are my top three essentials for traveling Japan. TRANSPORTATION PASSES PASMO IC OR SUCIA CARD The majority of the time you will be walking or using public transportation. We decided against the JR Pass which seems like a really convenient way to travel around Japan. However, it is really expensive ($263/person for an ordinary 7-day pass) and based on our calculations, we were not planning and actually did not average $36/each a day in transportation expenses. Public transportation is really convenient and inexpensive. We used our Pasmo IC Card throughout Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. When we arrived at Haneda Airport we …

Touring Japan Language Tips

Traveling to Japan would be especially easy if you could fluently speak and read the Japanese language. However, it is definitely not a requirement because (at least in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, and Osaka) English is written almost everywhere and most everyone speaks a little English. But, you’re visiting another country, so the least you can do is learn a few basic greetings and phrases. For the entirety of our trip, my husband and I spoke a mixture of basic Japanese and broken English to every person we encountered and to each other. Our subjects and verbs were all over the place but we got our point across to strangers and each other with very few words. Here is a small list of the key phrases that you should learn before visiting Japan. Every single day, multiple times a day I used these words and phrases: English Japanese Excuse me sumimasen Thank you very much arigatō gozaimasu Good Morning ohayō gozaimasu Hello konnichiwa Good Afternoon konnichiwa Yes hai I’m sorry gomen nasai Every once in a …

Half Bathroom Remodel Complete

It’s done! I just need a soap dispenser and a fancy towel. You may look at this and think, “that looks nice.” So let me remind you what this room looked like before. BEFORE Matt replaced the toilet last year but that was the only update we had done. The room was so dark and dingy. No matter how it was decorated, it was ugly. The cabinets, trim, and countertop had yellowed. It needed a makeover. I quickly recognized that a coat of paint would not be enough. The cabinet had to go too. Each stage of the demo brought a new issue to light. Removing the mirror-wall damage, remove the old sheetrock and replace. Removing the cabinet-more wall damage and bare concrete, repair sheetrock and add six more pieces of tile.  Move the toilet-water damage from old toilet leaks, repair sheetrock. While my Dad was in town he replaced the plumbing in the wall and installed an utility sink in the laundry room (on the other side of the wall). Matt is happy it …