Osaka, here we come! - We Bought the Tickets So There's No Turning Back!

Finally, we are going on our first overseas family vacation!

To be honest, Japan was never in the list of countries I want to go to for very obvious reasons - exorbitant costs. True, flight tickets to Europe may be steeper, but the transportation, accommodation and food costs are quite reasonable. In Japan however, even their public transport may cost you both your arms and legs (well, it's probably justified since they have one of the most efficient public transport in the world!)

STILL. The economy is not so good now, and currency exchange is at its lowest. Before it plunges any lower and before my sister graduates and leaves Japan, I might as well make a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. At least just once.

It happened when I was having a FaceTime conversation with my sister, and while we were chit-chatting, she asked, by the way, she'll be on semester break and why don't we come over and spend the vacation with her?

It took me a week to think of it and finally, whatthehell, I'll just buy the tickets la!

I started looking for the tickets quite late - which is two months before our trip. We will be travelling with AirAsia (praytoGodthatitwillbeasmoothjourney!). I cried a little when I paid for the tickets and then decided to just 'close my eyes' when paying for other incidental costs which we will incur when we are there.

I cried when I paid for the tickets! That's equivalent to our one-month household expenses!

After wiping off my bank account on the tickets, it finally dawned on me that we are finally going overseas! Woohoo!

Osaka castle at night

Then came the tedious part - the preparations. Suffice to say, we will be going there during winter, so that means we have to look for winter clothes. Do you know how much winter clothing costs??? Gulp.

Bertabahlah hati...

My sister helped us out by looking for preloved winter items (read: winter boots, gloves and hats) in Japan which saves us half of what we would have to spend if we bought locally:

Total cos for four pairs of gloves, two pairs of winter hats and a pair of man's boot: 4765¥ (approx. RM170)

We don't mind preloved items, really. After all, we won't be using those clothes every day after our trip so the cheaper, the better to us! 

Other things like jackets, we'll most likely get it from here even though they are going to be a bit pricey compared to getting them from Japan.

So where do we plan to buy our winter clothes? 

Firstly, if you are travelling during winter, you need at least three layers of clothes and most people wear four layers. The first layer is the first clothing you need to put on. It should be able to trap your body heat and rightly so called as the thermal layer. Other name it goes by is long-john. 

The second layer is your normal every day shirt. The third layer is a sweater / pullover. The warmest kind is made of cashmere but it may cost hundreds and even thousands for the good quality ones. But, any normal thick fabric sweater / pullover may do. The fourth and final layer is outer jacket. It should be waterproof, with good insulation and fits you nicely (you don't want cold air to penetrate inside if you wear loose jackets, so I was told).

We are planning to get our winter clothes from here:

1. Uniqlo
I talked to a lot of friends requesting for tips and suggestions and many of them point me to Uniqlo for the first and second layer of clothing (the outer-layer being the third & last layer of clothing).

Uniqlo boasts of having advanced technology clothing called 'heattech', which is made of lightweight high-tech fabric without the scratchy feeling of putting on a long-john, yet serves its purpose to trap your body heat and sweat to keep you warm. It works by using kinetic energy pads to convert body moisture into heat and retain them. Pretty cool huh?

See how thin the fabric is?

There's a lot of positive reviews and claims that it works just like any other long-johns, which convinces me enough to buy them (plus, at RM59.90, it's cheaper than a long-john).

2. Universal Traveller

Unfortunately there's not much option for the outer-layer or winter boots for the kids at Uniqlo, so we will have to look for the outer-layer at Universal Traveller or Winter Time once we are in KL later. Plus, it's having year end sale now, so we probably can get the clothes at discounts.

3. Facebook (Preloved Groups)
I also tried scouting around for preloved winter jackets for my kids but I worry that the jackets may not be the right fit for them (too small / too big) because the salesperson at Universal Traveller. 

Anyway, shopping for clothes alone can be a daunting task. Then there are other things to research as well - which train line to buy? How to buy? Should we bring the stroller, knowing full well that some of the train station is not stroller-friendly, but our kids are not used to walking either? 

Then there's a whole set of budgeting considerations that we need to also think of - how much cash is sufficient to bring? How much to budget for one day? How much is admission fee to local attractions? Where is the cheapest place to change currencies? Blablabla.

I'll probably cover these in a separate post. Still in the midst of doing our research :) Wish me luck!

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Nak citer sini takut ada lak pencuri ngintai blog aku and tau bila rumah aku kosong... Hehe. Nanti aku pm.

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    2. Betul2...aku ingat kau akan ke Europe dulu sebab kau kan bercita2 nak ke sana dulu

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    3. Tu lah... Huhu.. Takpe, kalau ada rezeki aku plan nak gi London. Tapi bila la tu gamaknya...

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