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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hokkaido Autumn Road Trip 2016 - Shopping





Tax free shopping

Tourists love shopping in Hokkaido and GST rate is at 8%. But as tourists, we can get a refund and it's very convenient.
During my visit, to qualify for tax refund we need to purchase 5000yen for consumable goods and 5000yen for non consumable goods.
Read this website thoroughly to get an idea of how it works : http://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/index.php

Take note that:
1. The credit card owner must make the claim by him/herself if it's paid by credit card.
2. The package cannot be opened in the country.
3. The tax refund can be done on the same day, at the same location. For eg: If you shopped in Aeon Asahikawa, just head to Aeon's Tax Refund counter and get the refund in cash!
4. Not all consumables qualify for tax refund. Dairy products like cheese do not qualify for refunds.
5. Keep the receipts until you reach the airport. An officer will direct you to put the receipts into a box after going through the boarding gate.



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Friday, February 3, 2017

Hokkaido Autumn Road Trip 2016 - Hotels We Stayed



For this trip we stayed in a few hotels, mostly business hotels. In Japan, business hotels are fuss free hotels that offers a clean room at an affordable price.

We stayed in a few cities, Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiri, Kushiro and Obihiro. All the hotels we chose are right in the city center, within walking distance to dinner and breakfast locations. Our budget was around USD100/night for 2 persons. Generally, hotel rooms in Hokkaido are small, around 15m2. Older hotels could have bigger rooms. Twin rooms cost more than double rooms because twin rooms are bigger.

We didn't stay in ryokans or minsus, due to comfort, price (not cheap!) and convenience. We prefer beds over sleeping on the floor.

Basic bed information:
Semi Double bed : around 140cm wide, slightly smaller than a queen size bed in Malaysia 
Large double bed : 6ft, King size bed in Malaysia
Twin beds: 110cm each, Super Single size in Malaysia.

Hotels we stayed in Hokkaido accepted Malaysian credit card for payment. 
During check in, hotel staff will request for all staying guests' passports to photocopy.
Toiletries (some provide facial wash too), toothbrushes and pyjamas as provided.
Self service laundromats (coin laundry) are available at most business hotels.
If there are onsens in the hotels, even business hotels might have it, but guests with Tattoos could be prohibited from use.



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