Japan Trip 2012 – Day 1 Arrival to Japan

After a fun night out in Singapore, I woke up early and went to the airport with Chimari. I was there with plenty of time and checked in and headed to the boarding area.

After checking the location of the departure lounge, I had some Nasi Lamak and soy bean drink for breakfast before boarding the plane.

The flight to Japan was quite nice and the plane wasn’t very crowded. The food was also good on the flight. The new earphones I bought were very helpful at blocking out all the background meaning I could relax and rest on the flight.

After the flight, I arrived in Narita. When I arrived, it didn’t take very long to go through immigration and I found my luggage had arrived a lot earlier than me as it was in a separate pile of luggage that wasn’t on the conveyor belts.

I immediately went to withdraw some money and started to organise the delivery of my luggage to my hotel (costing about 2000 yen), rental of my mobile phone sim from Softbank and getting my JR pass.

Getting my JR pass took way too long. There were 3 people in front of me and they had no idea what they wanted to do, where they wanted to go and which rail passes to buy so I ended up waiting for perhaps 1 1/2 hours until it was my turn to be served. It ended up taking only 5 minutes to issue my rail pass, so I was quite frustrated with the slow service. πŸ™ By that time it was about 7pm even though my plane arrived at about 4pm.

After getting my rail pass I bought a ticket for the train to Nippori. I brought my amazon kindle 3G with me to update twitter & facebook as it has free worldwide internet access. I found this extremely useful and it worked great in both Singapore and Japan.

I arrived in Nippori station at about 8pm and transferred to the Joban line headed to Minami Senju where the back packer’s hotel I booked is.

I checked into my hotel and decided to head out for dinner. I checked on twitter what time the shops in Akihabara close and headed out. It seems that they close at 9pm, and by the time I left the hotel it was already 9pm.

It seemed that as I was heading to Akihabara, Ronald, a twitter otaku friend from Canada was just leaving Akihabara! Bad luck. Would of been good to meet him on the first day.

Instead of eating, I spent too long looking around Akihabara even when the main shops were closed and realised I needed to catch the train back before the last train. I looked around Akihabara for about 2 hours until it was about 11pm. Instead I considered eating at the Dennys restaurant near hotel.

In the end however, I was feeling a bit too hot from the humid summer weather, so when browsing one of the super markets near Minami Senju station, I ended up buying some hiyashi chuuka cold noodles for dinner.

This is what my backpacker’s hotel room looks like. I stayed at hotel new koyo, and it’s one of my favorite places to stay in Japan. It’s also very cheap to stay each night. I had the slightly larger room for 2700 yen a night.

When I arrived back at the hotel room, I sent my Japan trip itinerary to Ronald on twitter and posted photos of my room.

After a short break, I talked to the hotel owner and he mentioned about the Sumidagawa fireworks happening the following day. He told me that it was so popular that people would camp out the night before to secure spots around the river to see the fireworks the following day in the evening.

After a bit of a rest, I headed out about 2am to go for a stroll and to take photos of crowds securing spots for the fireworks.

When walking towards Sumidagawa, I could see the skytree!

After a while of walking it looks like I walked to asakusa now.
I took photos of a temple on the way. I’m not sure what temple it is though.

Eventually arrived at the river and took photos of the people securing spots and took some better photos of the sky tree. It was about 3:22am before I started to head back.

Heading back to the hotel now. it is quite a long walk.

Back at hotel.. Exhausted now. Was a nice walk though. I arrived at about 4am and fell asleep almost straight away.
I didn’t expect the stroll to take so long!

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