23 June 2011
It’s been sometime since I blog my travel. Called it being lazy. Almost 5 years and passing several countries my black book is almost off of its seams.
To preserve my adventure I ought to move them online. Asap.
Now let us start with Japan. The one country that is always busy and modern but with the olden charm of the traditional culture, history and architecture that I love. So bear with me. I might be a little overboard with some museums, wooden temples and kimono. Oh and sweets.
Going there from Jakarta is quite expensive. Mind, even now going round trip by commercial flight can cost at least an arm, not to mention the food, hostels and transportation for us with limited income.
In 2010 AirAsia just opened a new route to Tokyo, landing at Haneda airport for a budget. Impulsively, I bought the ticket from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo separately, at the total around $400+ with an overnight at Kuala Lumpur for the trip in June 2011.
By the time June 2011 roll around, we have tentative plan(s). Some maybes and whatnot. Due to the Tsunami on March 2011 back then, we have to cancel some trips, cautioned by the Japan Government’ “Japan Travel Advisory” because of the radiation level from the nuclear plant in Fukushima. Do check on Japan Travel Advisory since Japan is prone to high-tide and earthquakes.
We take off from Jakarta on Wednesday night, 22 June 2011 and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at midnight.
We opt to stay near the airport at Tunes hotel.
They have a round trip pick up to and from the airport. The room is safe, clean and small with a freezing air con, small bed and bathroom with hot water. Heck, at this point I just need to sleep.
The next day we fly to Tokyo in a 7 hours flight, plus 3 hours delay from KL. Let me insert le zzz and le chat with a nice Indonesian old couple sharing my row. I’m glad it won’t be a boring flight.
We arrive at Haneda late night. Too bad the train and bus are not operational above 11 pm. We have to take a taxi from Haneda airport to Ikebukuro. Good thing there are 4 of us to share the ¥9800 yen flat rate. Thank god! Last time I went back in 2002, I arrived at noon and took a bus from Narrita to Shinjuku with Limousine Bus Japan for ¥3000. Haneda airport is much closer than Narrita to Tokyo.
We stay at Yokobayashi House, a room we booked from airbnb.com. The room has a tatami and we sleep with futon is pretty sweet. Yokobayashi is only 15 minutes walk away from Ikebukuro station. I like the place because as a backpacker I only bring little and can sleep anywhere as long as it’s clean and have a pillow and a blanket. Yokobashi House also have washing machine and a small kitchen. It’s like my dorm days where we have mix companies so better label your food/drinks or else they will be gone come morning. We came in pretty late, but those boys are still up and even help us carry those heavy bags up to our room.
The boys are helpful and very nice. One of our friends tripped at the airport and sprained her ankle. We were thinking of taking her to the doctor but they say the doctors are expensive in japan. When we are having our breakfast, one of them advise us to use a can of soda and just roll her feet to sooth her ankle.
Ema (絵馬 picture-horse), small wooden plaques to write prayers or wishes found in Shinto shrines in Japan.
List of Posts and Cities:
Getting arround: Tokyo Essentials, Tokyo Metro (MRT), Odakyu Odawara Line, Tokyo-Kyoto guide, Shinkansen Ticket English guide, Japan Rail (JR) Line Pass (Buy online w/ shipping), Japan Rail (JR) Line website, and another one, Limousine Bus Japan, route and timetable for Tokyo’s railways Hyperdia.