Wednesday, August 15, 2012

★ Tokyo here I am again! ★



Presenting (finally!) the first part of trip no. three - Me. YK. Tokyo. Tokyo here I am again! :DDDDD

 Looking fresh and excited at the airport!

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(sorry, different resolution, quality and effects because I use both camera and phone for all my pics!)

As expected, with cheap air tickets come odd days and timings. Our flight sets off in the afternoon and is expected to arrive Tokyo's Haneda Airport at night at 10pm. It takes about 5-6 hours I think? I don't know, the time difference makes me not want to count how long I've been in the plane haha! Extra information - the international meal in this flight to Japan means chicken teriyaki with rice. Hate it when they don't tell you exactly what you're booking for when you buy it online. Not that it tasted terrible but I'd rather have something else on the in-flight menu. It tasted alright, by the way. I was asleep about 50% of the time in the plane, and the other 40% I was trying to fall back to sleep. So cold! 

The other 10% was spent enjoying the view. Love window seats! Sunset so cantik!
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This was taken about 20 minutes before touchdown Haneda Airport. Much prettier in reality!
Tokyo's so brightly illuminated, YK and I went ooh-aahh-oooh over it all throughout hahahaha!
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Sampai-sampai, there was three buses parked very neatly right below to take us to the airport gate, complete with attendants ushering us in with a smile. It wasn't that far a trip, like a five-minutes drive. I couldn't help but to think that if this were Malaysia, they'd probably just make us walk without any guidance. but omg the cuaca, as humid and warm as nighttime in Malaysia! Didn't feel like I was in a foreign country yet, somemore that last two times in Japan was really cold so that was how I remembered Japan. Reality check wtf

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It's so ironic when photos from my camera turned out worse than my phone.

Picked luggage up - siap ada one special staff whose job is to susun the luggage on the revolving belt properly as they are dropped off. You can imagine how awesome this feels when you compare to the mess of luggage bertindih and jatuh sini sana on the belt in LCCT Malaysia. After that, we went right up to the Observatory Deck to..well, observe.

This is the main sight. Apparently on clear days, Mt. Fuji can also be seen from here!
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The nicely done observatory deck.
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Macam dalam drama kan, where the boyfriend at the last minute realizes that he loves this girl and someone tells him she's leaving to another country so he rushes to the airport only to find out that the plane has left. So he comes up here and watches as the plane takes off while with teary eyes, shouts out loud his love confession. Suddenly someone says his name from behind and it's the girl. Hahahaha wtf.

Tanabata festival deco! So festive!
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First meal in Japan, at Suginoko Restaurant. 
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This airport has a floor where it's all set up like old Japan times and it's all restaurants there. Really nice, but didn't take any pics this time because last time already took lots. This was the one of the two restaurants that were still open at that time and also with English menu so we settled for this. I had cold udon while she had warm soupy udon for ¥880 each, totaling up to ¥1936 after tax. That's RM76.65 at current exchange rate wtf it was slightly higher at that time so that almost RM80 for a meal for two. Wow looking at it now, damn that's expensive! I have this tendency to adjust my mind to the local prices so I would automatically think that things are cheap when it is cheap from a local's perspective. Reality check please wtf So anyways we didn't want to waste money to spend a night at the hotel since it's already so late, plus scared cannot make it because train lines close around 11pm so we decided to stay over at the airport for the night. Plus, the airport wi-fi's super speedy!

Lokasi beradu
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BEST DRINK EVER ♥♥♥ LIKE, FRIGGIN FOR REAL!
Sadly, this was my first and last time having this. Just couldn't find it anymore after this!
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Snacks and drinks for the night. About ¥500 (RM20) for all.
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See the dark brown stripey package on bottom left? I was at the convenience store downstairs when I heard this girl enthusiastically recommending it to her friend, she said its so sedap and all, so I bought it was well hahahaha suckerwtf. Turned out quite yummy actually, this chocolate cake thing. So we slept at the airport, each hogging a whole row and just baring like a boss. I even used my shawl as blanket. I woke up about 6am I think, it was already super bright and YK was already awake earlier. Decided to go to the hotel to see if we can check in (2pm is check in time, according to the rules) and if cannot, to leave our luggage there dulu. A direct train from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa (hotel place) takes about 15 minutes and costs ¥300 (RM12).

Cannot check in. Go jalan-jalan instead.
First up, little shrine near Shinagawa! Two minutes walk!
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Japan's amazing at balancing the old and new.
It's like, shopshopshopshopshrineshopshopshop.
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First step - purify self with water. This thing so hebat, the motion sensor activates the flowing water (from the dragon's mouth) when someone walks near it. Second step - er pray. 
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Okay I cheat, there are more steps like ringing the bell, throwing coin, clapping and such but I could never remember. 


Tuan rumah.
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Nothing much to be seen within the area so we headed off to Tokyo Tower, according to plans. We stayed in Shinagawa, which is an amazing location because the train station is a five minutes walk from the hotel (practically just across the road) and many train lines stop here so it's super convenient. Plus this is one of the stops on the main Tokyo train line, the JR Yamanote Line that connects places like Harajuku, Akihabara, Shibuya  and such within just a few stops. If you look at Tokyo's train line map, there's a green oval in the middle of all the tangle, this is that line. 

Despite my several trips to Tokyo, I've never really went around during day time, especially weekday mornings, so the sight of all these people at the Shinagawa station was surprising! All in work wear, all heading towards the same direction, all walking quickly with a clear aim. Kind of like robots marching towards the battlefield - it's scary! We, as tourists, felt out-of-place because we were relatively slower in walking speed than the rest of them. It's even scarier if you're walking against the flow haha! Decided to take the bus to Tokyo Tower, because there were signs to the bus stop and we had lots of time to spare until check-in time. Plus, what better way to start the Japan trip than to visit the very symbol of Japan itself! Bus fee ¥200 (RM8).

Oh as you can see, there are signs in English in Japan. Yeay! 
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This is near one of the station exits, we just cut through the station for the bus stop. 
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Someone's exhausted teehee. I was too busy absorbing Japan to sleep!
Sorry my face looks like that, no makeup and haven't showered in more than 24 hours wtf.
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Sampai sudah, bangun bangun! Sampai sudah di Tokyo Tower!
First time taking a bus in Japan, first time visiting Tokyo Tower in daytime!
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Surprisingly, there's a beer garden set up right at the base/entrance! Later I found out that these beer gardens are really popular in summertime. Highball is a kind of drink and that's Yoshitaka Yuriko on the posters, who acted alongside Nino in Gantz. Ahem. I like watching her on variety shows, she's so hilariously blur and quirky!
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Tokyo Tower entrance fee ¥850 (RM34). Here's view from the lift when going up!
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Luckily it was a weekday, so not many tourists besides ourselves. Enjoy the views!
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Interestingly, there were braille descriptions. In an observatory.
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Also, a mini shrine.
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Lookdown window. Literally. Super strength glass!  
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All the way downnnnnnnnn.
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Sunny sunny day!
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Gawd the weather was so warm, I hated it. So much more humid than Malaysia! The entire week spent in Japan, from 11am onward if I was outdoors I would be in a terrible mangzhang mood, hating the entire world and not wanting to do anything at all, until after 3pm when the weather calms down. Seriously. Needed some major cooling down, so we crossed the road to a really beautiful small park nearby. It suddenly felt like we're a thousand miles away from Tokyo city - seriously so calming. I completely lost memory of the park's name, but it's literally a minute walk from Tokyo Tower. 

Little pathway
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Little stairs
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Little stream
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Little waterfall
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Felt so much better after taking a breather at the park. Next up, Zojoji Temple! Lintas jalan!
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As we were walking from Tokyo Tower,
it was heading towards the back of the temple so along the way, these lined the path.
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If I'm not mistaken, they represent children that have passed on early.
Each vase beside them bears different names, I assumed them to be family names.
Also, some had dolls and toys by the side. Such a beautiful, but sad sight.
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Seriously, there were lots coloring all along the sides. Probably going up to more than 500 of them.
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It was very quiet and peaceful here. 
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Main part of Zojoji Temple. Built in 1393, moved here in 1598. 
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Stuff of travel books. Again, new and old, seamlessly.
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Back view of the main entrance gate - Sangedatsumon.
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Front view, for you to know how to looks like in case you need to find it haha!
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Left: Peekaboo! :) Park across the Zojoji gate!
Right: Big gate hahaha bought Lumae's sister's Starbuck's tumbler near here!

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Okay penat gila dah, here's another pic of the picture-perfect view so often used in tourist websites haha! :D

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Such a long post, and there's actually still more of Day One! Wait for it!