If you are on my friend list (not acquaintances), you should be able to see some of the photos I have taken in Tokyo. I have only uploaded the first day of the whole entire trip on Facebook. Anyway, I wanted to do a write up of this trip as well.
This was my second trip in less than a year to do a solo trip. I know its alittle crazy to keep doing traveling on your own but honestly, you have your own time and pace to follow. You have no burden at all. You can just call it a day and end it at 4pm in the afternoon and start the day in the middle of the night say 3am. No one cares. Its you who is in total control. Most importantly, it makes you feel more braver than ever. Especially when you are in a country that don’t speak much of your language.
I have always wanted to travel to Japan since 2005. It all started out with a small group of friends who were crazy over Final fantasy then and wanted to go over to get soundtracks. I am more of a Japan then, but recently I have die off much as I realized its difficult to have promised kept by others. Making a decision to go on my own was simple especially I have done it before. What made me decide to travel to Japan despite all the odds was the thought of finding a country to really relax and not meeting anyone I know. Taiwan was way too easy to be spotted by people I know as you know the currency rates are extremely favorable for us. The chances of seeing someone in the country was much higher as compared to Japan.
Another reason that I have decided to go Japan because of the ambassador I met at the Japan Fair back in October 2014 which was held at Takashimaya. I went up to him to get some advise on solo travel and he inspired and encouraged me to do such travel while young. Imagine when you have a family, it is impossible to leave your wife or even kids behind to do a round the world trip isnt it?
So off I went on the following weekend, I booked my ticket through Chan Brothers and I am listed to travel to Tokyo.
To be honest, on the day of travel, i was so worried. I wondered if i am able to get out of the airport. Back in August, I had similar plan and was a click away from a 4 days trip, but i wasnt certain about how to travel from Narita to Tokyo, so I dropped the idea. Luckily, my research was true enough to bring me to Tokyo on this occasion.
My flight landed in Narita Airport at 7am which was much earlier than expected. I was expecting 7.40am and it gave me an extra 40 minutes. In fact, I planned myself to have approximately 1 hour buffer in case I need to get something at the airport. In the end, I can’t find any useful maps at the airport. So I went around in circles and found Narita Sky Express counter to get myself a ticket to Tokyo. With 0 hours to sleep, I practically dozed off on the train while “flying” to Asakusa. I wanted to drop my luggage at the hotel first but I thought its a little troublesome and costly for me to do a to and fro thing, so I traveled ~ 8 hours with my luggage. Crazy much.
Craziest starts when I went to Sensoji Temple. Its the most crowded Temple I have been to in the whole trip. They have a good stretch of shopping street before the Temple and it was good enough if you want to get goodies back home.
Sensoji Temple has a section where you can ask for a “reading”. By paying 100 yen and following the instructions, you will be able to know if your wish will come true. Its pretty cool and I thought many actually tried it. Don’t miss this if you are at Sensoji Temple. I didn’t really explore much around the temple as I have my luggage and its crazy to drag a luggage into a temple. I can say is there are a lot of snacks stall around the temple. I didn’t buy any actually as I wasn’t ready to test it. Lol!
Places where you get “readings”
I did saw a number of rickshaw man outside the temple. I bet the cost to bring you around is high. Not worth trying and in fact, its the same idea as taking a bus.
I wasn’t sure of what else to do in Asakusa beside coming to this temple, so I went straight to Shinjuku to do some exploration. I went straight to Isetan to get some light snacks and I wanted to try them out in the public. Unfortunately, I remember Japanese culture of not eating in the public, so I have to tuck it with me to add on weight while trying. Luckily I found myself a shophouse that sell Katsu don where I had my lunch for just 480yen.
I wanted to travel to Shinjuku Gyoen but I lost my way where I decided not to go see leafless trees and change my destination to Tokyo Metropolitan building. I didn’t know that I was so far away from the building and I have to ask for some help from a really friendly old man. He was walking his dog around the neighborhood. Luckily he was able to understand English and he brought me all the way to the building despite many offer from me that I can take the subway over after looking at the map.
Once at the building another awkward scenario happened. Since I am with the luggage, I have to go through a bag checking process. Total off my day. So I have to search the keys, unlock the bag, unzipped and redo everything to make it back in order. Finally, I found myself at the 45th level to have the view of Shinjuku in the day.
I found myself wowed at the view at first. I have not seen so many buildings from a top view ever. They were all neatly arranged even. I didn’t spent much time here as i have to check in at 3pm and it was already 2.20pm.
Next stop was rush to check – in to my hotel.
After checking in, I head straight to Akihabara and realized my mistake of even listing it as part of my itinerary. This place is seriously a haven for otaku. I am not really into manga/anime so its a total ??? when I am there especially when its all in Japanese and I can’t appreciate a single thing. I did look up at some of the departmental stores. They have different levels for manga especially. There is even adult section where many crowd around to read animated porn. Lol? Fascinating, animated ones can be that popular. Hmm. They too have a building full of card stores. From Yugioh to I dont know what else they have.
After much window shopping, I went for dinner at a random ramen shop and it was worth the try.
The day ended with scouting around Shinjuku.
I did went to Kabukicho street and was approached by 3 different people to go for strip show or get a girl. I was like seriously, we have Geylang here in Tokyo. Lol.
Anywhere, the whole day did end at Mcdonalds’ where I got myself a filet meal. The fries were crazy saltiest. You can literally see the salt crowding on the fries! Damn unhealthy.
End of day 1