Pay Attention to the T&C When Renting a Car in Japan – Learn from My Mistake

So I’ve just came back from a family trip in Ishigaki Island of Okinawa, and had an amazing time. Before I start writing about this wonderful island of Japan, I’d like to first share with you a little learning I’ve got from my car rental this time.

I’ve done so many car rentals thru out Japan, with both big and small companies. I usually tend to rent from bigger dealers as they seems to be more trust worthy, and their websites are usually fairly easy to navigate around.

This time, as I was travelling with my family in a group of 11 people, we wanted to rent the bigger people movers. After looking thru both English and Japanese websites, there’s only one car rental company that had the car we wanted during that period, so with no choice, we went with them. I did some google search of this company, and they seem very legit and have high ratings.

On the date of arrival, we waited for about 20 minutes, then the representative from the car rental company arrived and picked us up. It’s about a 15 minutes car ride from the airport to where the company is, and while we were shown with our cars, we were slightly disappointed, as the cars seems to be a bit dated. It’s the first time I’ve rented a car in Japan that doesn’t have reverse sensor, nor electronic key fobs…. Nevertheless, everything was functioning well, and I mean, safety comes first right? So as long as it’s a safe car, we are happy.

I’ve went thru the T&C briefly, purchased the optional CDW (collision damage waive) at 1,080yen/day, signed the contract, and here we go on our road trip!

Must Read Japan Ishigaki Rakuen Rental Car Experience

Everything was fine with the car, only minor issues were every now and then, the GPS would go wack! It would all the sudden tell me to turn when there’s not a road, or it would suddenly show that I’m driving in the middle of the water lol. Half the time I ended up following my Google map on my phone instead.

On the 3rd day of the trip, when I was reversing the car, I must have gone blind, and crashed the rear of the car into the stone barrier. The bumper ended up with some very visible scratches and dint. As there were no third party involved, and the stone barrier was not damaged, so I just took some photos of the car and drove off.

Must Read Japan Ishigaki Rakuen Rental Car ExperienceMust Read Japan Ishigaki Rakuen Rental Car ExperienceMust Read Japan Ishigaki Rakuen Rental Car Experience

NOW THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!!

In Japan, whenever you rent a car and is involved in an accident, no matter the magnitude of the accident, you MUST report to the rental car company and the police! (Yes, to the police, even if you have just scratched your car) Because if you don’t, your insurance policy will not cover the incident, and you will have to pay full for the cost.

Car Accident –> Call the Car Rental Company –> Call the Police –> Get a Report

I wasn’t aware of this until the day I returned the car, and I was charged 80,000yen (USD$725) in total to fix the car. 50,000yen was for NOC (Non Operation Charge) which is to cover the loss of the rental car company during the days the car is sent to fix, and 30,000yen is the repair cost.

Initially I thought I was charged 30,000yen because I did not report to the car rental company and police immediately after the collision, but after a deeper discussion with the company, I was told that because this particular accident is caused by human error, and their CDW does not cover human error, therefore even if I have reported this case, I would still have the pay that 30,000yen.

Must Read Japan Ishigaki Rakuen Rental Car Experience

I have discussed this case with many others who have previously rented a car in Japan, and everyone thought the T&C of this particular car rental company is a bit strange, and it’s the first time any of us have came across a CDW that does not cover human errors.

Nevertheless, as this was stated in their website, so I can’t really say they have tricked me, but instead, I should be the one responsible, as I was the one who did not read carefully about their T&C. Although 80,000yen is expensive, but no one was hurt and I’ve learnt something new, so I guess it’s worth it.

So to everyone of you who plan to rent a car in Japan, be sure to check out the T&C before you rent the car! And lastly, drive carefully! If you want to know about the car rental company I went with this time, feel free to drop me a mail 🙂

 

Hidden Pop-up Shack of Luke’s Lobster in Omotesando Tokyo

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Luke's Lobster Popup Omotesando 東京期間限定人氣龍蝦包_01

It’s been a busy summer month, in a blink, it’s already the end of August! Just before we approach the end of summer, I must write and let you all know about this Luke’s Lobster Summer Pop-up Shack in Omotesando area of Tokyo!

Originated from New York City, Luke’s Lobster is now it’s spread across the whole of United States, and opened its first International shack in Tokyo a few years back. If you have been to it’s first location in Omotesando, you would know how crazy the line is. It doesn’t matter at what hours you go, there’s always people lining up for it.

Last time round when I was in Tokyo, I was surprised when I discovered the Summer Pop-up Shack of the brand, and the best part of it, there’s no line! It’s a bit different to the original location, it’s a small corner store where you can sit down and eat (the other one is at an outdoor location for take away only). As it’s a bit hidden, it seems like not many people (even locals!) knows about it.

The menu is different to the other branches here, and it’s much simpler. There’s only three items to choose from – solo size, Luke’s trio Regular, and Luke’s trio US. The solo size is 1/3 of the size of a normal bun, and you can choose between lobster, crab or prawn; for the trio regular, you can 3 flavours at the same time, which makes up to the size of a whole bun; and for those who got a big appetite, then the trio US size is right for you. The cost is not cheap for fast food, but lobster is a luxury food anyways, so the price is actually quite reasonable. For 100yen more, you can choose a soft drink with your bun purchase, or a beer for 500yen. Not bad at all for an afterwork treat!

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Luke's Lobster Popup Omotesando 東京期間限定人氣龍蝦包_01

As the store is quite small, it can only fit around 10 people at the same time, so it’s suggested not to come here in big groups, as you may not be able to get a seat… but, you can also do take away 🙂

The pop-up shack will be here until the end of September, exact end date is TBC. So if you are around Tokyo, why not make a quick visit before it closes.

Luke’s POP-UP Shack Details

Luke’s Lobster Japan

Summer Special Pop-up – Lipton Fruits in Tea

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Fresh Lipton Ice Tea 東京期間限定新鮮水果紅茶

It’s always fun to go to Tokyo (Japan) during summer time, because you will see Summer Special everywhere you go! Whether it’s a music event, firework festivals (nearly one every week in Tokyo!), or short term pop-up stores, there’s just soooo many summer specials that’s happening around Tokyo!

I was just casually walking around the Omotesando area one day, and I saw a long queue of people lining up. Went closer to check it out, and realized it’s the Lipton Ice Tea summer pop up store. I’m sure most of you are very familiar with Lipton Ice Tea, and probably would agree with me that drinking Lipton Ice Tea on a hot summer day is a great way to quench your thirst and conquer the heat!

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Fresh Lipton Ice Tea 東京期間限定新鮮水果紅茶

This summer, Lipton Ice Tea just got better! They are offering “Fruits in Tea” in two location in Japan! One being in Osaka, and the other is in Omotesando area of Tokyo. Good things don’t last long, this pop-up store will only be there for the summer time, opening until the 27th August.

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Fresh Lipton Ice Tea 東京期間限定新鮮水果紅茶Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Fresh Lipton Ice Tea 東京期間限定新鮮水果紅茶

There are two options for the tea. You can either choose the recommended blends, which are “Beauty Strawberry”, “Recovery Raspberry” and “Oasis Lychee”, or mix your own blend. For the DIY combination, it involves 5 steps. 1 – Choose a tea base (2 bases); 2 – Choose a base fruit (6 fruits); 3 – Choose a topping fruit (6 fruits); 4 – Choose a type of super food & herb (6 types); 5 – Choose a syrup (7 types). For both the option, you get to choose your own tumbler as well, and there’s a total of 4 styles. The tea and tumbler package is at 1000yen, which is at a very reasonable price.

Travel Japan Tokyo Summer Special Fresh Lipton Ice Tea 東京期間限定新鮮水果紅茶
The 3 recommended blends

Continue reading “Summer Special Pop-up – Lipton Fruits in Tea”

Bloom Your Own Edible Flower Cupcake and Eat It in Seoul!

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Experience_Cooking_Airbnb_Cupcake_旅遊_韓國_首爾_烹飪烘焙

I gotta admit I’m not the type of girl who can cook a full 5 course meal at home, but I do however, enjoy baking a lot, and that’s probably because I have a sweet tooth. While I was on my last trip to Seoul, not only was I able to have the Hanbok experience (traditional Korean clothing), I was also able to join this amazing baking class held by I’m Green Guesthouse in Seongbuk-gu, which is only about half an hour away from Myeongdong.

So, I found this experience thru Airbnb. Despite the fact that I have been using them a lot for accommodations, it was the first Airbnb “experience” I’ve ever had. Airbnb launched this trips program at the end of last year, and it has been quite successful, with over 500 activities happening in 12 cities worldwide, and Seoul was one of them. I was really attracted by the photos promoting this baking class, and made a booking with them immediately.

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Experience_Cooking_Airbnb_Cupcake_旅遊_韓國_首爾_烹飪烘焙

The host/teacher is Yon Woo from I’m Green Guest House, she was very kind, and gave very clear direction on how to get to her place. I arrived at the guest house around 10:30am, and was greeted warmly by Yon Woo, her assistant Arailym, and her husband Kitae. I was really amazed and impressed when I walked into the guest house, it’s so neat and tidy, and very homey. The room where the activity took part was very spacious, and my eyes were attracted to all those different types of teas on the shelf. It was only after talking with them that I know Yon Woo teaches students how to make flower cupcakes, while her husband is a teacher of tea! Continue reading “Bloom Your Own Edible Flower Cupcake and Eat It in Seoul!”

My Half Day Hanbok Experience in Seoul

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Insadong_Habok_韓國_首爾_韓服

I’ve read so many blogs and posts about wearing Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and people taking amazing photos in them, I just never had the chance. Most of the time I’m in Seoul for business on my own, and would be a bit weird if I’m doing the experience by myself, plus no one will be able to take photos for me… Finally, this time round I managed to squeeze in half a day of free time during my business trip, and got my pretty Korean friend to do the experience together with me!

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Insadong_Habok_韓國_首爾_韓服_Anguk

There are lots of places where you can rent Hanbok in Seoul, and Insadong is quite a popular destination for such activity. Not only because there are more than 10 Hanbok rental stores just along the main street, but also it is so close to all the attractions, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace. My friend and I randomly chose one when we arrived in the afternoon. A popular store is the Oneday Hanbok store which you can make advance booking online. Oneday Hanbok is slightly more expensive than those along the main street, but they provide multilingual service, which is great if no one in your group can speak Korean to avoid any un-necessary confusion. Continue reading “My Half Day Hanbok Experience in Seoul”

Luxury Boutique Hotel x Filmography Museum in The Heart of Seoul

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Myeongdong_Hotel_Stay_Hotel28_韓國首爾_酒店If you have ever read my previous posts about hotels/accommodations recommendations, it’s not hard to recognize that I usually like to stay in either boutique hotels, or places that have unique design elements to it. Location is also an important factor, as it will greatly affect the overall routes and trip planning.

This hotel review is a bit longer than my usual, as there’s just so much to write about this hotel! I hope you will find the information useful, and enjoy this hotel as much as I did!

I was so excited when I find Hotel28 Myeongdong in Seoul. Not only it is centrally located in the heart of Seoul, it is also a boutique hotel with a very special theme! So this little gem is in one of the busiest district of Seoul – Myeongdong, and is easily accessible by a direct limousine bus from Incheon Airport 6015, Being a part of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”, the design, facilities and services provided will not disappoint you!

Now, let me take you on a mini tour!

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Myeongdong_Hotel_Stay_Hotel28_韓國首爾_酒店_63
My Check-in Ticket

Continue reading “Luxury Boutique Hotel x Filmography Museum in The Heart of Seoul”

A place to read, rest, relax – OPEN Library in Seoul!

Travel_Korea_Seoul_COEX_Starfield_Open_Library_韓國_首爾_圖書館_COVER-04

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog entry, I have been busy travelling and working the past month or so. Stepping into July, I have decided to pick up blogging again, and also to start writing a new destination – Korea!

So I was in Seoul (capital of Korea) about a month ago for work. Our office is located in COEX mall in the Gangnam area. I have been to this mall many times so nothing really excites me here, but, my jaws dropped when I walked past the atrium on the 31st May 2017! It was the opening day of the Starfiled Library (often referred as Open Library).

​

​
This library is 2800 square meter, and with over 50,000 titles, you could easily spend hours, if not days here! An interesting concept of the library is that there are no doors, no gate, no librarians, no nothing. Passer-by can freely pick up a book and read it at their own leisure, and return it back to position when finished – all free of charge. I do however wonder if some of the books are for “display” only, as I have no idea how you can reach some of them…

Travel_Korea_Seoul_COEX_Starfield_Open_Library_韓國_首爾_圖書館_04

The concept of the library is to combine shopping, culture, and relaxation all in one. Not only will you find books from different genre, there are also study space, independent community space for reading related meetings, all with gentle indirect lighting (and some natural lighting), creating a very comfortable environment for the readers.

Travel_Korea_Seoul_COEX_Starfield_Open_Library_韓國_首爾_圖書館_03Travel_Korea_Seoul_COEX_Starfield_Open_Library_韓國_首爾_圖書館_01

A little bit different to the traditional “library”, here you can also find more than 400 kinds of the latest magazines (both Korean and overseas), preparing you for the latest trends in the world. E-books are also available.

Travel_Korea_Seoul_COEX_Starfield_Open_Library_韓國_首爾_圖書館_02

So, next time when you are in the Gangnam area, and your feet are tired from all the shopping, why not come here to rest a bit, read some books, grow some knowledge, before you walk onto your next destination?

Useful Information:

Operating hours: 10:00-22:00 (Open all year round)
Location: Located at the center of Central Plaza within Starfield COEX Mall, B1-1F, 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Closest Subway Station: Samsung Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6
Official Website: www.coexmall.com

MAP:

TRAVEL KOREA-05“>