Tuesday, December 24, 2013

[Update] Exchanging AUD for JPY

Now that my trip to Japan is over, I think I can safely say that the rates in Japan are really Bad. With a capital B!

As you might know, I did not exchange any AUD in Osaka, but did in Kyoto. I also found a couple in Tokyo as well. 

In Tokyo, I exchanged at two places. One in Akihabara, using Travelex. And the other, at Shinjuku.. 


well at Akihabara Travelex, I believe we visited it on a Monday. And I think they were selling 80JPY for 1AUD.. big difference from the 90 at Sydney aye?

And at Shinjuku, the money exchange office was just outside Odakyu department store, near the west exit from Shinjuku train station. They were selling at 83JPY, and we visited it on a Tuesday, the 17th of December.

So yeah... if you guys want to know the exact places.. ermm... I can't really remember. LOL. 

But I saw that exchanging JPY for USD was so much better. It was like around 101JPY. Sooo much better. Such a pity we didn't bring any USD with us :(

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Exchanging AUD for JPY in Kyoto

Hey everyone!

So it's been a while eh?

How are we all?

As I am typing this, I am on day 8 of my Japan trip. And it has been VERY difficult to find a sole foreign exchange place. By sole, I mean a place that's not a bank, nor an ATM.

Throughout these past 8 days, I have only exchanged money once, and that was at Kyoto. It's called "Tokai" and boy, was that rate so low! They were buying JPY at ~83JPY!!
We found the place by asking our hotel's receptionist. FYI, we were staying at Village Kyoto Hotel. It's a nice place. And I'll be posting up a review soon :)

Anyways, if you decide to stay around the area, I guess you could change your money there. The location on Google maps is here.
I don't really recommend it, but it was the only one I went to so... yeah.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Going over the trip details with your 'Travel Buddies'

In my case, my travel buddies are my family.


So I'll be leaving for Japan in two days and what was important before we departed for the trip was for the fam-bam to know what we're going to be doing, when we're going to be doing the stuff, and how we're going to be doing that stuff.

I've been planning for this Japan trip since July 2013. JULY! And that produced a 17-page itinerary and a couple of sleepless nights that I could've spent studying for finals.
p.s. I passed everything! Alhamdulillah!

So after printing out the itinerary and giving it to my parents to look at, I added up all our expenses. And it was 2 times over our budget! So that took a couple more nights of crossing out things. Mind you, it was DIFFICULT to cross out a lot of the things that I really wanted to go to :(
And I was only able to go through with it after telling myself that I WILL return to Japan by myself (or with my own family) one day and I could go to those places. Hopefully by the next time I go to Japan, I have a job and a lot of money then. ahahah...

The point of this post was to outline the importance of these get-togethers. It's a chance to hear everybody exchange opinions about the plan and also to negotiate a couple of things.

For e.g. I had to change our night trip to Disneyland to a day trip. My dad didn't want us walking around late at night. He's pretty concerned about the Japanese gangsters, i.e. yakuza and says that they're more dangerous than the gangsters here in Australia. I guess I'll just have to follow what my dad says, since he's lived in Japan for a bit before. I've read some articles on the yakuza, and they apparently have a good side to them as well. I think that makes them scarier though. Insha Allah we don't ride into any trouble!

So anyways, back to the family meetings. Since I was somehow designated the trip planner role, mind you, I was the ONLY one doing all the planning, I did get quite frustrated at times when some family members said they didn't want to go to this or that.
Oh dear. From the beginning, nothing about this trip is easy.. and we haven't even left the country yet!

I found it quite helpful that I made a PowerPoint presentation. I connected my laptop to the tv via the HDMI cable and outlined the activities for each day. I think the powerpoint on the tv screen made things  A LOT easier.

What to include in the powerpoint presentation:

  • I included maps
  • lots of pictures
  • times of trains, prayer times and also how long we were going to walk for, etc.
  • And also a separate copy of the trip plan.
  • Be very detailed.

I felt maps and pictures were VERY effective.

So yeah. Obviously there were quite a bit of changes after that meeting. And some of the things I had to cut out from the plan because of the budget were put back in. Lol, turns out no one wants to walk for 45mins.

till next time!



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exchanging AUD for JPY in Sydney

Before departing for Japan, I've heard from a couple of people that it is best to cash up on the yen in Australia, rather than in Australia. These people are Japanese, or just people that travel to Japan regularly from Aus.

Apparently the exchange rate of the AUD in Japan isn't that great. However, I hear that the USD in Japan isn't too bad though. Well, this is what I hear, I haven't been to Japan yet. But Insha Allah I get to go soon!

So you're probably wondering where to get JPY? Well, depending on which part of Sydney you're living in, the Sydney CBD may be your best bet. I tried to get some JPY at Bankstown today.. but they did not have any. And well, why would they? Considering the demographic of the area, people would most likely want Middle Eastern cash.

Before heading off to the CBD, a cousin of mine that lives there and knows the city like the back of his hand actually recommended a good exchange place. It was on George St, and I think it was of the Western Union. They were selling JPY at 90yen! That was way better than the rates at the other places I saw that day. UAE Exchange was selling at 88, and Travel Money Oz was selling at 86! Of course, different branches would also vary, and I found other Western Union branches on George St varied as well.

Anyway, the point is.. THAT Western Union was the only one selling in the 90s! Oh! I wished I remembered it address! It was somewhere near the Goulburn St and George St intersection. I tried finding it on Google Maps, but I think Google Maps is seriously outdated.

The name of that western union I THINK was called "Money Exchange"?! LOL. I seriously can't remember. But it's not exactly a shop that you can walk in. It's more like a counter. And it's sign is a bright yellow, with green text.

Well.. I hope that helped...

Shop around before exchanging money! I sure did! I walked the entire George St from Broadway Shopping Mall to the Travel Money Oz in Wynyard.. and it was THAT Western Union "MONEY EXCHANGE" that gave me the best rate that day. My feet kill though. I hope they don't hurt when I'm in Japan! That would be the biggest bummer ever!

My mum's friend actually changes her money for JPY at Circular Quay. I didn't go to Circular Quay because she didn't say where exactly the place in Circular Quay was. But oh well.

So yeah!

I might be exchanging some money in Japan though. So I'll try to update on how that goes!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Starting a Blog


So I've decided to start a blog. This is going to require a lot of commitment. I wonder what lead me to making a blog.

One of the reasons is because I want to share things. Whilst researching for my Japan trip, I found a lot of blogs that have included reviews and even the little bits of info such as train tickets and even directions to places - things that travel websites tend to miss out.

I also find a blog a great medium for me to practise expressing myself. I'm not a very good writer, so I hope that by the end of the summer, I can at least improve on my written communication skills.