Travel – Tokyo Day 1: Arrival at Tokyo

14 12 2006

After a 2hrs flight to Bangkok, 45mins transfer and a 6hrs flight to Tokyo, SWFToys landed in Japan at approximately 7.30am local time! It’s winter and the general temperature is about 6 to 12 degrees celsius.

After a quick breakfast, we deposited our luggage at the airport as one of my friends wanted to visit the Narita Hard Rock Cafe at Aeon Shopping Centre. Not that the merchandise there is of interest to me.

To get there, you can take the subway to Narita station(1 or 2 stops from Narita Airport – depending on which airport station you are at at.) From the bus-stop in front of Narita station, check the notice boards and look for the bus number that goes to Aeon S.C. The bus fare was 100Yen if I remembered correctly. The Jusco and Aeon Shopping Centres are exactly clones of their counterparts in Malaysia. So nothing really interesting there for me. As Narita is on the outskirts of Tokyo, there was no crowd in the shopping centre when we were there in the morning.

Following the detour to Narita, we headed back to the airport and begun our actual journey into the heart of Tokyo. For the entire trip, we are putting up at K’s House Tokyo in Kuramae. We booked about 6 weeks in advance and were able to secure the only 4-occupant room with its own bathroom at this backpacker’s hotel. It cost us slightly less than SGD50 per night. Very good considering the many plus points about this lodging!

The location of K’s House is very good for the toy hunter. It’s in the area next to Ueno and Akihabara. They are within walking distance for those who want to save on subway fares for locations within 1 or 2 stations.

After taking a quick rest at K’s House and finished exploring its facilities, we made our way to Ueno. You can take the Oedo subway to Ueno-Okachimachi station which is 2 stops away. From there, you can either walking through the bustling streets to reach Ueno or take go to the neighbouring Okachimachi JR station to take a 1-station trip to Ueno.

We exited from the Central Gate of Ueno station to find Ueno Hard Rock Cafe there! Sheesh, visiting 2 Hard Rock Cafes in a day! That is a first for me.

We walked towards the 7 floors Yamashiroya Toy Store and had dinner in a neighbouring building. Then I was off to look for toys at Yamashiroya! You can find the details here.

The rest of the evening saw us shopping in the streets of Ueno on either side of the subway tracks. There are plenty of eating places, clothing stores and general stores selling daily products. However, I was surprised that menswear dominated the clothing stores there. For once, the guys are given importance in the attire department! Mrs SWFToys ended up just buying some local tidbits! Not a good outing for her today!

We initially had plans to visit Akihabara as well, but an hour to 8pm is hardly enough to really see something there. Most shops in Tokyo close after 8pm.

And so the first day of exploration concluded. Back at K’s House, it was great to be welcomed by the brightly lit living room. The good thing about backpacker’s hotels is the multi-national crowd that can be found talking and reading on the sofas.

Can’t wait to have a warm shower in this cold weather! I leave you with these pics of K’s House!







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