I went to Japan before I got the habit of taking pictures of every single thing. I only started this habit when I became Instagram crazy like everyone else. So there is less to see in pictures but a lot to discover in words. Besides, it wasn’t easy to access the internet in Japan for a traveler, except if you purchase their network coverage. We are so used to getting free wifi coverage in most restaurants here in Malaysia so you’d assume you could steal a connection off Starbucks in Japan for a minute or two just to find out a little directions to where you want to go, but, no, in a country so advanced in technology, you can’t. On the plus side, you get to spend less time on your phone and more time with what is around you, so win-win situation. (p.s. you get more organised this way too by actually researching like crazy the night before with the free wifi in the lobby of your hotel.)
This is my first time in an Air Asia X airplane. I sat in an airplane back in 2001 and this trip was in 2012, so imagine the terror I felt because it was almost like the first time on a plane for me. The plane ride was pretty good, regardless of the countless complaints from all over, the ride was pleasant. Passing time in the plane was horrible because I didn’t come prepared with movies or things to read.
Prior to the trip, I bought the Japan Rail Pass (you can look up http://www.jrpass.com) because I had plans to go up to Tokyo (My flight landed in Osaka.) I’m a little crazy when it gets to planning, down to details like which train to take at what time to take. So bottom line is, plans were messed up because it took us longer to convert our Japan Rail Pass receipt into the actual rail pass, which you could do at the Kansai International Airport. The line was insanely long so we missed the trains I planned for. It took us about roughly 5 hours, maybe, to reach our hotel in Tokyo. We got lost, asked for directions, had no idea how to communicate but we managed pretty well.
With the JR Pass, there is a limit to which trains you could take. We were not covered for the Nozomi Bullet Train which is the Shinkansen that travels super fast (You can read up on the Shinkansen here.). With the JR Pass you are entitled to use the Hikari Shinkansen and the Kodama Shinkansen which travels slower than the Nozomi, but still brings you to another place really quickly. The train ride took about 3 – 4 hours. The Nozomi train would have taken us 155 minutes but we would have to pay more for it.
Once we settled in the first thing I did in Tokyo, was to BUY FOOD! We went into a convenience store where we stayed at Shinjuku. (We stayed at the Sunroute Hotel Higashi Shinjuku, a little off Shinjuku Street). I’m not sure if it was either Lawson or Family Mart, maybe it was a 7Eleven but we were so amazed by the selection.
By the time we scrolled around the wide range of choices, it was already getting late and we were pretty tired from the flight, the train rides and the super walking, all with a 24 inch and 26 inch bag each!
We bought some instant noodles, took an Egg Mayo and a Sandwich with a grilled chicken slide, and boy, did those two really stuck with us throughout our trip! It was THAT good!
This is the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. (Yup, it was 7 Eleven!)
Here we have instant noodles, and a Katsu Don (Chicken with Rice and Egg) and a Noodle with an omelette. I also got a Matcha Milk Tea because at that time I was obsessed with Green Milk Teas.
By the way, the cup noodle on the right of the picture is pretty good. It’s a Light Seafood Cup Noodle and it was quite delicious, also because I was starving! We didn’t have anything to eat once we got off the flight which was at 8 a.m. I think. The UFO Noodles, if you want to take my word for it, don’t eat it! It’s not that good. The taste is really indescribable!
After showering in the extremely small bathroom, we went right to bed, early night and early morning. Well, I made A LOT of plans for the trip! I’m really that crazy when it comes to sight seeing, I basically try to see most things!
So that’s about it for Day One of our trip to Japan! We were there for 9 days in total so there’s a lot more to see!