Rakuten is always around my life.

3 Aug

I’ve been checking around the hotel booking sites to prepare for my trip to Europe in late September. My best friend is in Italy and I am seeing her, and of course I’ll be travelling other parts by myself. This is completely free travel that is planned by me, and I have to arrange from air ticket to local hotels, meals, and what to do there. But I really really like that kind of trip and I think it’s the first time since Australia, which is surprisingly alreay 10 years ago from now! At that time I gained working holiday visa which gives permition to Japanese young people (I was young then, hahaha!) to stay and work in Australia for as long as 1 year. So I went there alone and traveled around the Australian continent for about 9 months and came back home. I remember I reserved YHA (youth hostel) in Sydney for the first several days thru web.

Time has passed since then, and now I have to book my hotels thru websites. First I thought of YHA, but on second thoughts, I may want to try budget single room instead as I am not “youth” any more. I know many people stay at YHA regardless of youth or not, but they would stay in a twin or family room because they are travelling with group.

I’ve checked out Booking dot com, Hotels dot com, Expedia.co.jp, and Venere dot com. This was my first time to use these sites, and how useful they are! I can even read the info. in Japanese! Among all, I liked Venere.com the best! For hotel reviews, I referred to tripadvisor and I really liked this site too, because I can see “solo travellers” comments only. But reading through these booking sites and reviews, from one hotel to another, it takes too much time without knowing and here I come to realize I missed a very famous website.

It’s Rakuten Travel!

I have no idea how much my life depends on Rakuten. My credit card is from Rakuten and I save points. My online shopping is basically at Rakuten and I save points. (You can also shop at Rakuten in English and have international delivery from the red banner in the right sidebar of my blog! The one with red round R mark!) In fact, Rakuten is the top scaled web mall in Japan and its service ranges from shopping mall to various kind of things such as online auction, free blog service, online trade service, online job finder service, and so on. Saved points can be used to deduct from the total amount of purchase. The points are therefore almost equal to money to users. If I book through Rakuten Travel, I can again save points! (This service may not be available for non-Japanese people but yet you can use the site to compare the price especially when you travel in Japan or Asian countries.) My life is getting surrounded by Rakuten, just like Google!?

This is the English page of Rakuten although the area is limited to Japan and some other Asian countries. If you travel in Japan, what about having a look?


15 Responses to “Rakuten is always around my life.”

  1. Ella August 3, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    hi:) So you are traveling to europe? sounds great! Which countries are you going to visit? once I jumped on the train in Rome and it took me to Switzerland and after that, to Germany, I have to say I enjoyed the view A LOT 🙂 After that I continued my journey to France… good times.. that was almost 9 years ago.. time flies! I'm not that young anymore 🙂

    • kirin August 4, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

      Oh how nice your trip was! I'm going to Netherlands, Belgium and Italy only this time. I have only 2 weeks. I should have traveled around Europe while I was a college student for 3 months or so. It's very funny but when I was back from Australia, I had a feeling I could go to anywhere any time if only I save money. But the reality was not that easy!

  2. Veronica August 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    Wow! Great tip! I think you are courageous for planning these trips all over the world by yourself – so exciting!

    • kirin August 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

      That's my dream and I live for travel! XD
      I wish I could visit many other places in the world in my life. (#^_^#)

  3. Ivy August 4, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    Oh cool! I didn't know that Rakuten has a travel site. I will go check it out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I like Rakuten for the online shopping. Singapore Post has a service that "lends" us a Japanese address to receive the stuff we buy from Rakuten (since many of them do not ship out of Japan) and then helps us ship the stuff back to Singapore. Haha.

    • kirin August 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

      The red banner down to Rakuten in my sidebar named Sere-nde is a Japanese company which offers the same service as Singapore Post. Maybe I should mention about that in my next post. Thank you for your comment!

  4. AllTravelSites August 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    I am so jealous..First you have been to Australia, and now you are going to Europe(been there though). Rakuten Travel sounds like a good travel plans site. I curently use Priceline for all my traveling, which is primarily within the US.
    Well have a good trip.

    • kirin August 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. This time Europe is only about 2 weeks, not long enough for 4 cities (each 3 days)…

  5. Miss.Friendz August 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Your trip sounds fantastic, I always love to plan my own holidays, just doing the research gives you great insight on the country you're traveling to. Thank you for the Rakuten info, will certainly be browsing the site more often.

    • kirin August 6, 2009 at 1:25 am #

      That's right! In my case, this trip is going to be the first time in long absence I am really surprised to know how convenient it is nowadays to search by myself online. Everything is well organized and hotel booking sites are wonderful. I remember I used to fax to the hotel to negotiate the price to stay there, which was already old days by now.

  6. Walter August 7, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    Kirin, thank you very much for posting the Rakuten Site. It looks very useful, especially as it is in English too.
    When I travel , I book everything through websites too. Even the channel ferry tickets and train tickets , you can buy on the net, print out and they simply scan the barcode when you travel. So convenient!

    • kirin August 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

      Right! I was actually surprised to know that air ticket does not look like the one as it used to be! (You see how long I have not traveled by air!) "I'll give you a link so that you can print it out from home and bring it to the airport." When I heard what my travel agency said to me I was totally confused and thought I was hearing something irrelevant to my ticket! 😆 How convenient with internet and email! The world is getting closer, as we can connected each other regardless of borders!

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