Unlock Your Inner Mecha: Experience the Giant Gundam in Yokohama ‘Til March 2024

Browsing through your social media feed, you’ve probably noticed a delightful trend: many of your friends are jetting off to Japan. This surge in travel is fueled by enticing airline seat sales and the enchanting cherry blossom season, coupled with the allure of visiting attractions that resonate with anime enthusiasts. Among these captivating sights stands the 18-meter Gundam statue in Yokohama, slated to operate until March 31, 2024.

Here’s the good news: the Embassy of Japan in Singapore confirms that Singaporean citizens can enjoy visa-free entry into Japan for short-term tourist stays of up to 90 days. As for non-Singaporeans, checking if your country qualifies for visa-free travel or applying for a short-term visa online is a straightforward process.

Now, let’s talk about the Gundam. Prepare to be awestruck by this extraordinary 18-meter marvel in Yokohama, undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking attractions to date. With its flashing LED lights, articulated limbs, and the ability to step out from its docking station, this colossal robot stands as a testament to modern engineering marvels. Development of this project began in 2014, with designers investing several years in perfecting its mechanics before unveiling the Gundam in December 2020. For ticket information, visit the Gundam Factory Yokohama website: gundam-factory.net/en.

Tickets for Gundam Factory Yokohama entrance are priced at 1,650 Yen/adult and 1,100 Yen/child (ages 7 to 12). Additionally, there’s the option of purchasing a Gundam-Dock Tower viewing ticket, priced at 3,300 Yen for both adults and children. To access the Gundam statue up close, the purchase of a Gundam-Dock Tower viewing ticket is required, which includes admission to the factory.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

Before embarking on your journey to Japan, consider these travel tips:


Punctuality is key in Japan, particularly for their high-speed railway, the Shinkansen. Trains depart promptly, so ensure you arrive well in advance of departure times.


Secure a Japan Rail Pass in advance for convenient travel across the country. While passes are now available for purchase at select stations and airports until March 31, 2024, online purchases remain more cost-effective.

A 7-day Ordinary Pass and Green Pass will cost approximately S$277.65 and S$370.79, respectively, on Klook, and approximately S$280.80 and S$375.30, respectively, on the JR Pass website. Both options also include free delivery to your address in Singapore.


Indulge in Japan’s convenience stores, known as konbinis, offering an array of fresh and affordable food options, along with other essentials. Personally, my husband and I enjoyed the snacks and desserts in the convenience store. Moreover, anime merchandise is available there too.


Cash is preferred in many establishments, so ensure you have sufficient funds for your trip. While credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and JCB are widely accepted, some places may not accept American Express. ATMs can be scarce in Japan, so convenience stores, many of which are open 24/7, often have ATMs for your convenience.


If planning a trip to see the cherry blossoms, aim for late March to early April in Tokyo (i.e., Flowering: March 22 / Full bloom: March 29), Osaka (i.e., Flowering: March 24 / Full bloom: April 1), and Kyoto (i.e., Flowering: March 22 / Full bloom: March 31). Alternatively, head north to cities like Sapporo, where blossoms bloom from late April to the first week of May (i.e., Flowering: April 30 / Full bloom: May 4).

Image Credits: unsplash.com

By using these tips, you’re sure to make the most of your adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun!

Sources: 1,2,3, & 4



3 roomy accommodations with an ocean view under $115/night in Okinawa, Japan, for group travelers who are space-conscious

open-concept house with an ocean view

Wanna take advantage of the exchange rate to travel to Japan soon?

1 Singapore Dollar equals 111.84 Japanese Yen

You better do so quickly because analysts have it that the Japanese yen is likely to recover in 2024 with government interventions or shifts in the Japanese central bank’s policy stance.

So while the rates are still good now, gather your gang and book your flights, and let’s be on our way.

Oh yes, before you travel, you will need a place to stay, right?

In this week’s ‘Travel Thursday’ series, I’ve helped us search for some really roomy accommodations with an ocean view under $115/night in Okinawa, Japan.

In my opinion, it’s apt for group travelers who are space-conscious. So without further ado, let’s get the list started in here!

2-bedroom homey unit with a view of Yaka’s sea

Entire home in Kin-chō, Japan

Price: $110 (for 3 persons)

This inviting home away from home offers a wonderful seaside retreat for families and friends. 

Nestled in a quiet residential area along Yaka’s beautiful coastline, this 2-bedroom unit provides ample space and privacy for 3 or 4 guests. Children under 5 stay for free, so little ones can join the fun with child-friendly furnishings and toys provided (do request in advance).

Wake up to sweeping views of the sea from the comfort of your rental unit, then spend lazy mornings sipping coffee in your living room. The well-equipped kitchen allows you to prep meals or heat leftovers to enjoy together, and free parking means you can arrive on-site and settle right in. When you’re ready for adventure, Yaka’s beach and hotspots are just minutes away.

With spacious rooms, an ideal location, and all the comforts of home, this affordable unit provides an impressive coastal getaway you will want to return to again and again.

Bright and modern home along Nagahama Beach

Entire home in Kunigami District, Japan

Price: $112 (for 3 persons)

This bright and airy beachside retreat will have you feeling like a local in no time. Nestled along Nagahama Beach, this modern home sleeps 3 to 4 guests and is 2 hours from Naha Airport. 

The open floor plan features ample natural light, high ceilings, and ocean views from the comfort of your unit. Two bedrooms—one with a double bed and the other with a bunk bed—spaciously accommodate your travel companions. The fully equipped kitchen is stocked with essentials so you can cook up some meals if you need them. Just 10 minutes away is Nakijin Castle Ruins, perfect for an afternoon excursion.

Your host is on hand to meet you upon arrival and ensure you have everything you need to fully unwind during your stay. This home offers all the conveniences of home in a prime beachfront spot, providing the ideal balance of relaxation and experience.

3-bedroom huge traditional Japanese-style house for 8 guests

Entire home in Nanjō-shi, Japan

Price: $114 (for 8 persons)

We’ve saved the best for the last—an authentic Japanese-style house nestled in Nanjō, a city in the southern part of Okinawa Island.

This traditional 3-bedroom vacation home sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably and features partial sea views, great for large families or groups seeking an affordable getaway. Old-world charm abounds from the tatami mat floors to the shoji screens. Spread out in 1 of the 3 bedrooms, each with futons and mattresses for all, or lounge on the veranda and take in the surrounding views.

Just 40 minutes from Naha Airport by car or 1.5 hours by bus, this hidden escape has a free onsite parking space where you can leave the car behind once you’re done exploring the nearby attractions and the beach.

Children 5 and under stay gratis, making it ideal for multigenerational trips. For a truly authentic slice of old Japan in a huge home all to yourselves, this traditional vacation house has you covered.

Over $100/night may seem a lot for the budget traveler… But if you do some travel math and split the cost, it doesn’t even cost that much per person. Especially for the last listing, $114 ÷ 8 persons = $14.25! That’s probably cheaper than an awkward bed space in a hostel. So gather your tomodachis (friends), it’s time to conquer the land of the rising sun.


6 ryokans under $120/night in Kyoto, Japan, for a traditional stay

ryokan room in kyoto


In this week’s Travel Thursday series, buckle up because I’m about to take you on a virtual journey through some handpicked ryokans in the heart of Kyoto, Japan.

With a blend of history, hospitality, and comfort, each of these ryokans gives you a taste of the authentic Japanese lifestyle for less than $120/night.

Can’t wait to view the listings?

I can’t wait to introduce them to you too.

Let’s start the ball rolling!

Japanese-style room on the 2nd floor opposite Mikane-Jinja Shrine

Japanese-style room on the 2nd floor opposite Mikane-Jinja Shrine

Price: $98/night

Just an easy 8-minute stroll from the subway station, this accommodation offers a Japanese-style room on the second floor, complete with a balcony for those serene morning views or evening reflections.

It’s a space okay for 2 to 4 guests, though do note it might feel a little snug if you max it out. While your room is all yours, it’s all about the community here. Shared spaces include toilets, a shower room, and a comfortable lounge where you can meet fellow travelers and make small talk. The shared kitchen is good for those who love to cook or just enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning.

To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible, their staff resides in the house, always ready to assist.

Room in a Japanese house close to Nishiki Market Shopping District

Room in a Japanese house close to Nishiki Market Shopping District

Price: $100/night

Just a few steps away from this Airbnb, you will find Nishiki Market, a feast for all senses. And with numerous stations nearby, you’re never far from the city’s must-visit tourist destinations.

This ryokan is more than just a place to sleep; it’s a taste of the Kyoto lifestyle. Despite being close to the city center, they are tucked away on a quiet street, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep after a day of exploration.

Experience the traditional Japanese ryokan in Kyoto that’s been loved by guests from around the world. With close to 400 glowing reviews and an impressive near-perfect 5-star rating, I’m confident you will love it here too.

Room in a guesthouse near Kyoto Aquarium

Room in a guesthouse near Kyoto Aquarium

Price: $103/night

This guesthouse is located in the heart of Kyoto, just a skip away from Kyoto station, making your exploration of the city a breeze.

Here, you will have your own private room decorated in timeless Japanese style. Sink into the comfort of the futon beds, complete with mattresses, pillows, and clean sheets. Your room comes with a lock for added privacy and peace of mind. The house is a shared space and you will have access to a kitchen and two bathrooms.

Simple room in Shimabara for solo travelers

Simple room in Shimabara for solo travelers

Price: $110/night

B&B Hachi is your retreat in the historically rich Shimabara area of Kyoto.

The host offers you a traditional Japanese room complete with a view that opens up to a garden. The room is furnished with a comfortable, single-size futon, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration. For your peace of mind, it’s equipped with a number lock, ensuring privacy as you venture out into the city. Feel free to stretch out in the spacious living room, whip up a quick meal in the fully-equipped kitchen, or enjoy a meal in the dining room.

It’s just one stop away from Kyoto Station, or if you’re up for a bit of exercise, it’s walkable from the station.

Baby-friendly room in a 100-year-old townhouse 

Baby-friendly room in a 100-year-old townhouse 

Price: $112/night

This century-old townhouse is sited in the heart of Kyoto’s historic district near the iconic Heian Shrine. It makes the ideal spot to truly experience the spirit of Kyoto from the inside out.

For your convenience, they are just a short stroll away from practical amenities. You will find a laundry service for your clothing needs, a drug store for any health or beauty essentials, and a convenience store for those late-night snacks or early-morning necessities.

And babies are welcome so that’s wonderful news for parents!

85-year-old traditional wooden house for four

85-year-old traditional wooden house for four

Price: $117/night

Fancy staying in an 85-year-old traditional Japanese wooden house in a quiet and safe neighborhood in Kyoto? Well, I’ve got this historical gem to round up this post.

It offers two bedrooms and is apt for those seeking to embrace history while enjoying modern comforts like fully equipped cooking facilities, a washer and dryer, and snug beds that promise a restful slumber.

Despite its peaceful surroundings, this ryokan is just a short train ride away from the heart of Kyoto. In 20 minutes, you can swap the tranquility of Otsu for city life.

These six ryokans offer you the chance to get a taste of traditional Japanese culture and hospitality for under $120 a night. Each one, with its uniqueness and convenient location, serves as an inviting home base for all your Kyoto adventures. So it’s probably time to stop hesitating, pack your bags, book your flights, and get ready for a tok kong journey in Japan.


Hotels Niseko: Unwind in the Best Accommodations in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a haven for travellers looking for breath taking picturesque views of the mountains, rich cultural experiences, and a chance to unwind. Hokkaido offers a unique blend of natural wonders, vibrant city life, and warm hospitality of hotels in Niseko, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Exploring Hokkaido’s Natural Beauty

Hokkaido’s Stunning Landscapes

Hokkaido is renowned for its picturesque landscapes that vary with each season. From the lush green fields of Furano during summer to the vibrant hues of autumn foliage in Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido offers a visual feast for nature enthusiasts. To fully appreciate the beauty of these landscapes, consider staying at one of the luxurious hotels in Niseko that offer panoramic views of the surrounding natural wonders.

Onsen Retreats: A Japanese Tradition

No trip to Hokkaido would be complete without experiencing the healing power of its hot springs, known as onsen. The island boasts numerous onsen retreats where visitors can soak in mineral-rich waters while enjoying serene surroundings. Immerse yourself in ultimate relaxation at one of the traditional ryokans or hotels in Niseko that offer private open-air baths and exquisite kaiseki cuisine, a multi-course meal showcasing the region’s finest ingredients.

Hokkaido’s Culinary Delights

Fresh Seafood and Gourmet Cuisine

Hokkaido is a paradise for food lovers, particularly seafood enthusiasts. Guests at several hotels in Niseko can indulge in the freshest catch of the day, including succulent crab, melt-in-your-mouth scallops, and flavoursome sea urchins. The coastal cities of Otaru and Hakodate are known for their bustling seafood markets, where you can savour the vibrant atmosphere and sample a variety of local delicacies. To enhance your gastronomic journey, stay at hotels in Niseko or an inn that prides itself on serving the finest regional dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen.

Savouring Hokkaido’s Dairy Products

Hokkaido’s vast dairy farms produce some of Japan’s most delectable dairy products. From rich and creamy Hokkaido milk to velvety smooth ice cream, the island is a dairy lover’s paradise. Visit one of the charming dairy farms scattered across the region, where you can interact with adorable cows and learn about the meticulous process of dairy production. Many accommodations offer farm stays, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the rustic charm of Hokkaido’s countryside while enjoying freshly made dairy treats.

Cultural Immersion and City Exploration

Discovering Sapporo: Hokkaido’s Vibrant Capital

As Hokkaido’s capital city, Sapporo offers a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. Explore the city’s vibrant streets lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, or take a stroll through Odori Park, a spacious green oasis in the heart of the city. Sapporo is also famous for its annual Snow Festival, where magnificent ice sculptures attract visitors from around the world. Choose an accommodation located in the city centre to fully immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere and convenience of Sapporo.

Traditional Villages: Preserving Hokkaido’s Heritage

For a glimpse into Hokkaido’s rich cultural heritage, venture outside the cities and visit the region’s traditional villages. Places like Shiraoi and Biei offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life, with beautifully preserved farmhouses, serene landscapes, and local craft workshops. Stay at charming hotels in Niseko or Minshuku, a traditional Japanese inn, to experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals firsthand.

Hokkaido is a treasure trove of natural beauty, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Whether you seek a serene onsen retreat, an exploration of stunning landscapes, or an immersion into Hokkaido’s vibrant city life, the island offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every preference.

If you are planning your next trip to northern Japan, visit the Luxe Nomad and explore their selection of boutique hotels in Niseko. From luxurious chalets with breathtaking views to cosy farm stays that allow you to connect with nature, their accommodations ensure a memorable and rejuvenating stay. Plan your trip with the Luxe Nomad today and embark on an unforgettable journey that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime.



Exciting Things to Experience in Japan

Oh, the Land of the Rising Sun! I recently returned from my trip to Japan, and I’m still overflowing with emotions.

From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan captured my heart with its fascinating culture and friendly people. I found myself constantly mesmerized by the blend of traditional and modern attractions, and each day offered a new adventure.

The thrill of trying new foods and exploring vibrant neighborhoods left me feeling excited and curious, while visiting historic sites filled me with a sense of awe and wonder. Japan truly is a captivating country, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for every visitor.

If you are visiting Japan, anytime soon, here are some activities that you must consider.


Discover the excitement of Tokyo’s amusement parks! Disneyland, DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan, Sanrio Puroland, and Tokyo Dome City offer rides and attractions for all ages.

I couldn’t contain my joy as I rode each thrilling attraction, watched the vibrant shows, and indulged in delicious treats. I highly recommend arriving early to avoid long queues and to maximize your time at each park. My personal favorites were the magical Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios Japan and the unforgettable Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo DisneySea. Don’t forget to enjoy the delicious treats at every park.


As you search for things to do in Japan, you will undoubtedly come across pictures of tourists posing in front of the vibrant facades of Fushimi Inari Shrine. This shrine is renowned for its thousands of striking red torii gates, which symbolize vitality and protection against evil in Japanese culture. In addition to the shrine, be sure to visit the Kinkaku-ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

During my visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, my family and I had to seize the opportunity to capture the perfect pictures, even during the busy Golden Week period.


As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan. The magnificent mountain appeared before us in all its majestic beauty, and I couldn’t help but feel in awe. We were so lucky to see some of the Sakura trees there too.

A cable car ride to the summit of Mount Hakone provides breathtaking views, while the Chureito pagoda or any of the five surrounding lakes offer equally stunning panoramas. Visiting Mount Fuji is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s a must-see for any Singaporean traveler. From the picturesque views to the refreshing breeze, it’s an unforgettable destination.


Japan is renowned for its exceptional shopping experience, with popular areas like Tokyo’s Ginza district, Shibuya Center Street, Osaka’s Shinsaibashi and Umeda areas, and Kyoto’s Shijo-dori and Teramachi shopping arcades.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

If you’re a shopping enthusiast, you’ll love exploring the discounted luxury items at Gotemba Premium Outlets and the second-hand luxury items at BOOKOFF. And to top it off, most of the shopping outlets offer tax-free shopping, making it a budget-friendly experience. From luxury brands to traditional Japanese crafts, electronics, and unique souvenirs, you’ll find a wide range of shopping options that will make you go crazy. We certainly did!


Nara is a city renowned for its stunning parks and friendly deer population. The city’s centerpiece is Nara Park, which is home to over a thousand deer that roam freely. While there, be sure to visit the Todai-ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. I was in awe of how huge it was up close!

Don’t forget to bow respectfully before feeding the deer, as they will often bow back in appreciation.


Japan’s incredible food culture left me immensely satisfied. As a tourist, you can indulge in a wide variety of delicious dishes, including sushi, ramen, udon, tempura, wagyu, okonomiyaki, and yakitori. I couldn’t resist trying matcha in different forms every day, from matcha tiramisu cake to matcha ice cream.

Don’t forget to sample the delectable street food such as takoyaki, mochi, and Kobe beef skewer. Japan’s diverse and unique food culture is a must-try experience for any Singaporean foodie.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book a flight to Japan!

Sources: 1 & 2