warui_futago (warui_futago) wrote,

2013 Destination: Tokyo, Japan Part 1

When we left Singapore it was still covered in haze from the fire in Indonesia. Our second destination was Manila, Philippines to visit my mom and some family and friends. Had an awesome time meeting with lj friends amaterasu08and t_zou for the first time....
We met for dinner then moved to another place to get ice cream and to talk some more.  It's wonderful to meet the people you only get to talk to through the internet.

Stayed in Manila for 6 days after which it was time to packed our bags again & head to our third destination Tokyo Japan.

I was a bit worried going to this country at first because I thought we'll have a hard time going around with my very limited knowledge of the language and the complicated train system. So I asked my brother (the one who lives in Singapore) to accompany me & my daughter on our trip. Well, I wanted to treat him to Tokyo Disney too.

Here's some of the highlights of the trip ...................

Japan Airline flight was at 2:00pm.  We arrived in Tokyo on June 27 at 8:00pm.

Took the Keisei Skyline from Narita airport to get to Ueno where our hotel was.  It was the fastest way to travel without transfering trains.  Our travel time took 1:15 hours compared to if we ride the train (1:30 hrs) then we have to transfer trains while we haul 3 large suitcases). Got to our hotel close to 11:00pm because from the Keisei Ueno Station we took a taxi to our hotel & unfortunately we got lost :( Taxi driver-san have zero knowledge of the eigo-ga even though we showed him the hotel name & address written in Japanese which he input in his GPS. So what should have been a flat Y750 taxi fare doubled by the time we got to the hotel *suspicious look*.  .

We stayed at FlexStay Inn at Ueno. Love this hotel! The staff are so friendly. The lady receptionist can speak english but the male receptionist, who unfortunately is often the one in the front desk, can barely speak english but can kindof understand it.  But overall, their staff were very helpful & goes out of their way to help us. You know you're in Japan when you start noticing that everything is very small.  The 3 of us with 3 large suitcases barely fit in the elevator.  When we were searching for a hotel in the internet, most of th eones listed only take in 2 people maximum in a room.  We discovered that for parties of 3 or more search for a family room.  After the 2 people they just charge extra for the rest of the party.


Inside our hotel we were welcomed at the genkan with slippers and yukatas in the closets!  The room was awesome!  It's like a mini apartment.  It has a refrigerator, rice cooker, stove, pans, hot pot, microwave, plates, silverwares, cups, glasses etc. There were 2 beds, and a sofabed. Even the toilet is cute!  The bathtubs are smaller than the ones in the US and a bit deeper.  The only downside to the hotel was that there's no wifi but the rooms have LAN.  Unfortunately, we didn't bring a laptop.

The next day, I went out the balcony to check out my first view of Japan (since it was already dark when we arrived the night before).  These are some of the view looking down the balcony....
hotel3       hotel4
I was wondering at first what the place was on the first picture.  I will later find out that Japan is a land full of temples & shrine.  The next picture is Japan's solution to parking space.  With very limited land they stack their cars in a rig that works like an elevator.

Our first day in Japan we decided to rent a bicycle from the hotel.  Y300 for a full day until 9:00pm.  Biking is one of the best means to get around Tokyo.  Locals use it & even have parking spaces for bikes.  We biked around our area to familiarize ourselves with our surrounding.  I love Ueno!  It's near a lot of sights!  Our first destination was Ueno Park.......
kiyomizukiyomizu_kanon_temp1 kiyomizu_kanon_temp2
The first temple we visited was Kiyomizu Kanon.  It's one of the temples inside Ueno Park. Other temples we went to were Bentendo and Kaneiji.

Sights along Ueno Onshi Park......
I wonder if that (second) picture of the boat pond was the place that have something to do with lovers riding it.  I think it was also featured in some shoujo manga (?).

We also passed the Tokyo Zoo & the Tokyo Art Museum.  Outside the Tokyo Zoo there were small school children probably on their field trip to the zoo.  They were so cuuuuuute in their uniforms!!!!

Stopped by the Tokyo National Museum although we didn't go in.

By the time we reached the Tokyo National Museum we saw this ice cream van....
The ice cream was yummy and as tall as Mount Fuji lol!! The weather at the time we were in Japan was really nice but having biked for miles it was a welcoming treat.  After we lined up to buy our ice cream there were suddenly other foreigners who came to the van.  A serving in a cone cost about Y300 - Y350.

Continuing our biking around town we reached Ameyoko....
How do I described this place??? It's like a mixed of wet market, flea market, shopping center and restaurants.  Nice place to buy souvenirs!

Part 2 tomorrow.  We gave up on biking and began our exploration of the train station.

Till then....Ja ne!
Tags: japan
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