We reached Narita Airport at about 1.30pm and after collecting our luggage, went to collect our rail pass. We had bought the JR Rail Pass for easy travel, and I must say it’s pretty convenient. However, the train system in Japan is not that easy to understand, and it did take us a while to figure out. Moreover, the rail pass only applies for JR lines, which means we still need to pay for subway and metro.
Anyway, we took a train to Ikebukuro and came to our hotel, Sakura hotel. It’s a pretty pleasant place. The room is very small, just a bed, a toilet and a writing table. But it’s enough for both of us. We took a train to Shinjuku and toured around a little, before deciding to have sushi for dinner. Shinjuku is a happening place, hip and funky. After dinner, we walked around for a while more and decided to stop by some random store for ramen. Both of us cannot speak a word of Japanese, but we are good at sign language and pointing at pictures. 🙂 Just before coming back, we bought a slice of rockmelon for 200 yen and a bunch of graphs for 1000 yen. They were superb! 🙂
We started the day at about noon cos we were trying to settle our accomodation in Kyoto. Turns out that next Mon is a public holiday and all hotels are fully booked. Looks like we have to make changes to our plans.
Anyway, we started off with a nice lunch of katsu-don and ebi something. Again we looked at pictures and pointed at what we wanted. After a filling lunch, we made our way to Ueno Station, where we walked to Asakusa. There, we visited the Senjosi temple. It’s interesting to see the Japanese’s way of worship. Right outside the temple, were streets of small stalls, selling small souvenirs. We bought some red bean cake snack. Very nice! Then, we hurriedly made our way back, cos we were supposed to meet CS and J!
A small episode happened just before we were to board the train for Tokorozawa. We had thought that we could use our JR pass, only to realise that it was a subway, so we had to buy tickets. But we had no idea how to do it! Thank God there’s an invention called the “Assistance” button. When I pressed it, a man popped out of a little window and gave us directions (in Japanese!). But we still managed somehow to get the tickets and run for the train to Tokorozawa.
When we reached Tokorozawa, CS was already there. We toured a little shopping street near his place before walking back. The street was really exciting with all sorts of shops! We then proceeded for a delicious dinner at CS and J’s place. Thanks so much, CS and J! J even baked a cheesecake and it was good! 🙂 We had a good dinner, and more importantly, a good time catching up, before we came back to our hotel.
We started the day early, cos we wanted to go to Tsukiji Fish Market. By the time we got there, the auctioning was over, but the fishes were still on sale. It’s pretty similar to our Pasir Panjang Fish Market, though the seafood here are huge! A clam is about the size of my two hands! After our fish market tour, we went to a nearby restaurant for sushi and sashimi. This time we not only pointed at pictures, we pointed at other people’s food! 😛 It was a very satisfying meal! 🙂
After a filling brunch, we proceeded to DisneySea. Pretty crowded, even though it is a weekday and not a school holiday. We had our rides, toured the place, before leaving at about 5pm. Decided to go to Ginza, the atas shopping place of Tokyo. It’s pretty similar to our Paragon. Skyscrapers everywhere, high-class boutiques sprouting out of every building. Nice lights. We walked around before deciding to have dinner at this particular sushi bar. There, we tried their sake. Strong but nice! 🙂
After dinner, we decided to head back to the hotel for an early night cos we have to wake up early tomorrow. We’ll be leaving Tokyo for Takayama tomorrow. Stay tuned!