Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Compact Tokyo

3 - 4 June 2016
Compact Tokyo

We went back from Takayama to Tokyo Shinjuku station by bus. Ticket costs JPY 6690 per person. We booked our bus trip online via this website and paid for the ticket at Takayama bus station. We departed at 8am and arrived Shinjuku around 1.30pm. Our bus stopped at Hirayu Onsen Hotspring and Suwako for a 10 minute break.

bus ticket

Suwako rest area
Suwako lake
Shinjuku station

In Tokyo, we stayed at Flexstay Inn Higashi Jujo this time (JPY 7150 per room per night). It is an old and tired inn, we don't recommend staying here. Wasou Hotel Asakusa (the hotel we stayed on our arrival day in Tokyo) was already fully booked on this date. Of course, we would have preferred to stay in Asakusa as Nakamise shopping street (we delayed shopping for souvenirs until we get back to Tokyo) and halal food are there.

facilities in between the bed

our room

fold the bed to have more space

Later that afternoon, after checking in, we went to Asakusa for shopping and dining. We ate again at Naratiya halal restaurant. We wanted to go to Sekai Cafe, but it was closed.

Tsukiji Market

Early in the morning, we checked out of our hotel and took the Keihintohoku line to Ueno, then changed to Hibiya line to Tsukiji station (JPY 340). We walked to the market which is not that far from the station. We didn't go to the tuna auction though, as it was too early for us to come, i.e. at 5am. We walked around the stalls taking in the sights and sounds of traders peddling their seafood, local delicacies, fruits and vegetables. We then had a sumptuous breakfast of tuna, salmon and yellowtail fish with rice (JPY 1000); tuna, salmon and caviar with rice (JPY 1300) and miso soup (JPY 100 ) at one of the stalls near the market.

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market


stalls around Tsukiji Fish Market
some of the sushi breakfast menu

sushi breakfast eatery

salmon, tuna and caviar with rice breakfast

miso soup with clam


Next, it was Partner In Crime's mission to get a view of the huge Gundam robot statue at DiverCity (a shopping mall ) in the modern, man made island in Tokyo Bay, Odaiba. We walked a bit to the Shiodome station and took the elevated Yurikamomi line to Odaibakaihinkoen station. (JPY 320). On the Yurikamomi line, we took some pictures of the Rainbow bridge.

rainbow bridge at Odaiba

Tokyo port

Partner In Crime was admiring the Gundam robot, taking pictures of it, and with it, 360 degrees and all (I'm exaggerating a bit here). We were not aware that there are showtimes when the robot will perform. Well not really, just some illumination, moving of the hands and smoke coming out of the robot exhaust. Partner In Crime had to buy a / some robots, so we went to the Gundam front shop nearby the robot statue, but unfortunately the items on sale are by cash only.  I enquired at the cashier, we were told there's a bigger Gundam robot store inside the DiverCity mall on the 7th floor. We wasted no time, and made our way there. The Gundam Front museum is also there, with entrance fee of JPY 1000. But you can enter the shop for free. Partner In Crime bought the same robot as the statue model of the 1/48 scale (375 mm) or Mega size model (the biggest size on sale) for JPY 8023. I let him sink it all in -his total Gundam experience.

Gundam robot at DiverCity

view from behind

entrance to Gundam Front store and museum inside DiverCity

From DiverCity, we walked to Aqua City (also a shopping mall) across the road to take a peek of Tokyo Bay. We saw a replica of the Statue of Liberty and took some pictures there.

Tokyo's statue of liberty at Odaiba

Aqua City Odaiba


I wanted to go to one of the biggest Daiso (a store where all the items cost JPY 100) in Japan, so we made our way to Harajuku. To go to Harajuku, we walked to Teleport station (unfortunately, we cannot be teleported anywhere from there), taking the Rinkai line to Osaki. Then we changed to Yamanote line towards Harajuku. The metro costs JPY 500.

Harajuku station

Harajuku is of course, famous for bizarre fashion styles. We got a few glimpses of that along Takeshita Dori shopping street. It was very crowded with shoppers, it was a weekend after all. After shopping, we made our way back to our hotel at Higashi Jujo. Of course, there are other sides of Tokyo that we did not cover within just 1 day, but we had to make do due to our time constraint.

Takeshita Dori shopping street
Daiso Harajuku

After packing up our souvenirs and collecting our backpacks, we made our way to Ueno station, then took the Narita Sky Access line to Narita airport (JPY 1240) to catch our flight back to KL at 9.30pm. There is a prayer room available at Narita airport, complete with ablution facility.

prayer room at Terminal 2 Narita airport

ablution facility inside the prayer room

Goodbye Japan, it has been a great experience journeying through the scenic Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area and the hectic city of Tokyo. The public transportation is superb, we did not experience any harassment or scams and we totally enjoyed our time there. We hope to see you again Japan!



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