When my flight touched down at Haneda Airport, I was sooOooOoo magnified at the view of the airport when I peeked through at the window seat. Those lights ignite the night. Definitely, I can’t wait to get out from the airplane, collect my baggage and get my passport chopped.
The moment when I went out from the transit, that’s when I felt foreign. Anxiety started to kick in. I saw many people camped at the arrival hall. Now I believed what others mentioned online. I went to Lawson to buy some sushi and at the same time changing that big Yen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sleep well. What entice (read: annoyed) me the whole time – I saw the cleaners cleaned the floor at that same spot in front of me for couple of hours. Now you know why Japan’s environment are spick and span. My body clock screwed. I waited for the time to pass. I waited until 5 in the morning and I started to make a move. I found a better location to place my heavy backpack on a locker. If my memory never fails me, it costs at ¥300. After I settled, I navigated my way to find the Prayer Room. It was located nearby to Air Asia check-in counter. It’s like any other surau with toilets for you to perform your wudhu’. Sorry no image available.
After I’m done with my Fajr’ prayers, I went up to the Observation Deck. I still witness people camping the seats to nap/sleep. It was very cold when I stepped outside. With my never-ending curiosity, I went to peep through the binoculars which I need to chip in some coins in order to witness to view. It was thrilling, hahaha!
I thought that I could catch some sunset (this was one of the factor for my Birthday Trip) after 6 (according to my online research). However, I managed to witness for a little while because it was cold at 13 degree celsius and I was trying to adapt to it. Hence, I moved on and went to the Basement to buy my tickets to the City. That is when you gotta read things carefully if you’re planning to go Tokyo.
I bought Tokyo Subway Ticket at the counter that’s worth 48-hours (2 days) for only ¥1,200. It may seem cheap but I made a terrible mistake. I shouldn’t be buying this because it is only available for Tokyo Metro & Toei line. Not JR Lines or any other lines. I would suggest getting Suica/Pasmo card for better convenience. The usage is similar to Ezlink (SG) /NETS FlashPay (SG) /TNG (M’sia). The best part is when I found out that the cards are available on purchase at the ticketing machine as well. The card can be used to pay your soda can at the vending machine. The counter lady that served me (for this subway ticket) has a little knowledge on English. So, be prepared with Google Translator on your mobile. That’s when you really need the most.
Pro-tip: Make sure you do lotsa research on Japan’s railway because they’re really, really confusing. Their railway system requires you tap the card out even when you need to change to different lines. I downloaded “Metro Tokyo Subway” for navigation on my fingertips. Be physically prepared as well. Because at times you’re required to climb flights of stairs at their subways. No wonder their citizens are healthy 😬 Ensure that you do weekly workout like running before the trip. That way it will boost your stamina. A week before the trip, I went for a hike from Henderson Waves-Mount Faber. If you want something more challenging, go for MacRitchie-TreeTop Walk. Yes, this is Singapore-based in case you’re asking.
I took JR-Yamanote Line which goes to the City. Costs me at ¥500 for one-way. Using this route means you need to transfer to another line. Damn, I barely remember where but I think I stopped at Tōkyō Station, looked for that perfect place to store my backpack (because there’s lots of lockers located around the area) and made my way to Ueno Park.
Creepy chirps made by the crows… Holy moly I freaked out because the crows are bigger than the ones in SG. I chanted my soul with prayers that the bird never harmed me. Granted. I was safe all along. An Indonesian lady greeted me whilst I was roaming around. Gah!!! It made my day. I played with the camera on my iPhone but oh well, it’s foggy that I need multiple edit to make it pretty. An hour later, I moved forward to my next plan… Asakusa!
This area was uber crowded at 10/11-ish (Japan timing). At the main gate of Asakusa, majority of the tourists being typical – snap pictures of themselves with that gigantic lantern. Me too. Thus, the roaming begins.
After roaming around Asakusa, I was famished and since I heard that there’s Halal eateries nearby there. And… I found one!
I barely remember what did I had. All I remembered that I was famish to eat. The service is quite good in general. My plan after that was to retrieve my backpack which I stored in a locker. Little did I knew that the Central Tokyo Station is enormous and all the exits I passed are almost similar. I merely lost. I couldn’t remember where the heck is the locker. I seemed to remember the receipt that I had with me. Frustrated is the best adjectives to describe my feeling at that point of time. It took me 10-20 minutes to locate with the help of the ticketing staff. I’m glad that she helped although I have to pay a small sum in order to bypass that area. Sucks – I know It was good for that moment. But not until something beats me up.
That was the moment when I thought I reached safely, peacefully at my 1st AirBnb house. I thought I walked the road the right way. But it turned out to be the worst ever experience in whole entire life. Lost part 2. I climbed up and down the hill, thinking that I got the right location. I thought I could rest after improper night I had. Google Map app and AirBnb Maps (empowered by Google FYI) did not help me out this whole crappy situation. To add salt into its wound, when I contacted the host, he wasn’t helping AT ALL. I thought he would fetch me somewhere. But he did not. His reply was prompt but unsatisfied. I remembered being emotional shizz for 20 minutes at a playground nearby with kids having fun, playing around, shouting here and there. Then, there was me – seating at the corner of the seats wept secretly because I was lost. But I never gave up. I tried again and this time he (the host) told me that I was at the other side of the location. Angry and frustrated. I’ve realized that this host never emailed me some starter kit of his AirBnb; only when he emailed on that day itself. Really, I never received anything but some spams from my 2nd AirBnb Guest House host. In the end, I made my way to JR line nearby and alight 1 stop after. Even so, I paid the ticket wrongly. That was when I’ve reached the AirBnb.
Nothing fancy. The 1st time I viewed over his AirBnb photos, it looked as if it’s cosy. But it wasn’t. I find it small, decent and space was quite limited. His AirBnb review for this hostel was good but unfortunately there were mix reviews on other platforms. Fortunately, this accommodation was only for 1 night. Phew! Anyway, I’m not gonna recommend this place even if you’re on budget.
2nd third of my birthday was pretty messed. After I reached, I was completely worn out that I had the best 1-hour nap. Disappointment started to sink in when I woke up, only to find out that it was 4:30PM and the sun had set waaaaaaay early. Hahaha! My initial plan to view some sunset view over a rooftop was cancelled. Thus, I made a Plan B. I went to Akihabara to get a 2-pin adaptor because the multi travel adaptor which I bought from Mustafa Centre gone wonky -_-”
Next, I jalan-jalan (read: walking) around Ginza where you can see those popular brands with big display screening outside the building. Similar to Orchard Road. I wanted to go Itoya because I heard of their quirky stationery which I watched some documentary on YouTube. Unfortunately, it was closed. My bad.
And, my birthday ended by being tired. Here’s some shots I snapped which I’ve edited with filters to make it appealing.
Till the next blog post on Day 2 😉