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Now you have arrived at the Narita airport in Tokyo with your Japan Rail Pass voucher. What next? The first thing to do is to activate the pass.  You can activate the Japan Rail Pass at the JR East Travel Service Center. There are 2 offices in the Narita airport. One in Terminal 1 and the other office in Terminal 2&3.The JR East Office in Terminal 1 is at the bottom floor(B1), same level as the trains.

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First trip to a new destination is always nerve-wracking especially when traveling with kids. However, if there is enough pre-planning, it will reduce a lot of unnecessary stress and headaches. Here are my top 10 travel tips before traveling to Iceland that will be very helpful in making your trip just a little smoother.

1. Decide where to go in Iceland

Deciding where to travel in Iceland is very dependent on when you are going and of course, weather conditions. My ultimate trip in Iceland will be to do a road trip around the entire Ring Road. However weather conditions from October to April could be harsh and thus making some of the Ring Road impassable or just terribly icy. We went on April 1 and some of the roads were still closed to traffic. So  due to time constraint (we only had 6 days) and weather conditions, we decided to travel just the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Maybe someday we will be back in the summer and explore the entire Ring Road.

Our final itinerary will be posted soon.

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Japan Day 5: Kyoto / Osaka / Nara

On day 5, we checked out early from Hotel Granvia Tokyo and took the Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station. But before checking out, we forwarded our 2 big luggages to our hotel in Fukuoka – Hotel Nikko Fukuoka. We only brought along one carry-on suitcase to Osaka since we were only staying 1 night and it is a lot easier traveling on the trains without huge luggages.

 From Kyoto Station to Shin-Osaka Station:
 Train: Shinkansen Hikari
 Costs: ¥2610 per adult & ¥1305 per child  *FREE if you have the Japan Rail Pass
 Travel Time: About 14 minutes


Japan Day 4: One day in Kyoto

It’s Day 4 and today we explore Kyoto! Since we wanted to arrive at Fushimi Inari early before the crowd arrives, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks (because nothing else was opened that early!)  located at Porta Shopping Mall, Kyoto Station.

Travel Tip:
Most stores do not open early. So if you are planning to start the day early, the best            places to get breakfast are the 7-11 or Starbucks (usually open between 7-8am depending on branches)


Breakfast of the day:  Steamed pork buns, fried chicken bits & spam musubi

After an exhausting first day, we wanted to get an early start on day 2. Waking up early, we started day 2 with a quick breakfast at 7-11 downstairs. I have heard a lot of good things about the 7-11 in Japan and all the yummy delights that they have. True enough they do have a lot of variety of food.

Travel Tip:

7-11 is your best friend in Japan for snacks and basic necessities.