After several months or planning and preparation, my dream vacation finally came true! And because it’s my first time to travel out of the country, you’d have to understand that I will be blogging about my experience in detail– not sparing what you might think as insignificant and uncool. :D
But I will spare you from my NAIA and plane selfies. :p Let me start with this–
Wooohooo! Welcome to me indeed! Welcome back, Miko! It’s his 3rd time in Tokyo. Good thing my travel buddy was also my tourguide!
Hello, NRT! And hello, fellow tourist taking photos of the tarmac! :p
We arrived at Narita International Airport around 10:30am. We left NAIA at 5:30am. It was a 4 hour flight from Manila. Japan is an our ahead of the Philippines.
After the standard customs and immigration check and getting our luggage, we had our dollars exchanged for yen. The exchange rate that time was 1 US Dollar = 120.42 Japanese Yen. So that’s 1 Philippine Peso to 0.39 JPY.
Narita is the predominant international airport in Japan, handling around 50% of the country’s international passenger traffic and 60% of its international air cargo traffic.[(Thanks Wikipedia for this.) Its main runway shares the record for longest runway in Japan with the second runway at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Bay.
Narita serves as the main international hub of Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Nippon Cargo Airlines, and as a hub for low-cost carriers Jetstar Japan, Peach and Vanilla Air. It also serves as an Asian hub for Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
But wait. There’s a Meiji Ice Cream Parlor!!!
We had to take two trains to get to Jimbocho (where we will be staying) and we bought our tickets via machine. I swear, nakaka-nosebleed. Buti na lang may English translation!
We also bought 3-Day Tokyo Subway Tickets for 1,500JPY each (Php585). This was what we used for our Days 2-4 of vacation. A 2-day ticket is 1,200JPY (Php468) and a 1-day ticket is 600JPY (Php234).
The train system can be overwhelming for newbies because there are 12 lines available. Make sure that you confirm the entrance before boarding. Check the station name, number and line color (circular colored outline) of the subway line you want to ride. You will see the combination of a letter (representing the line) and a number (representing the station) within a circular colored outline (representing the color of the line), which is called a station number.
If you’re already on the train and unsure about where you are or your destination, just look around you and you’ll surely find a map that will show you the stations. There are also announcements about the next station and the last station. If you’re unsure, you can just purchase the cheapest ticket and pay for the adjustment if you need to go down a station that requires a higher fare.
To understand the Japan train system better, visit this site – http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/tips/metro/before.html
The 1 hour ride from Narita to Jimbocho was interesting. I loved the green countryside and the pretty houses scattered by the fields.
I savored seeing the big houses because there won’t be any when I reach the city. Unless we count ryokans.
Oh boy, do they love bikes. For a rich country, the citizens still prefer walking, biking, and taking the train. Impressive.
And look! There’s a panda on the train! Of course I brought my little panda toy, Mikmik Wayne to Japan. Miko gave him to me (along with his daddypanda Tokyo) as a pasalubong last year and I wanted him to meet his relatives in Ueno Zoo. Hahaha!
I noticed that there are 4 kinds of Japanese train passengers– 1. Those who read books. 2. Those who play games using their phones. 3. Those who just stare into space. And 4. Those who sleep.
Kami? Tourists! Nagse-selfie complete with kawaii pose. Actually, ako lang. Naki-ride lang sa trip ko si Miko. :p
Another tourist-y thing that he supported was for me to see one of the most popular structures in Japan up-close. We got off Oshiage and despite the light rain, we took photos of the Tokyo Skytree of the Tokyo Sukaitsuri- a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower. It’s the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa.
I liked seeing it better at nighttime when it’s illuminated by led lights. You’ll get to see the photos when I blog about Asakusa. :)
Up next is all about Jimbocho.
// listening to Tom Petty – Free Fallin’