Sunday, 13 January 2013

Arriving in Tokyo

My first trip to Japan has started in Tokyo. The trip started with a train trip from Narita airport to Shinjuku in the heart of Tokyo on the Narita Express. The railway station was very easy to find, with a sign pointing down some escalators when exiting from immigration. Shortly thereafter the Japan Rail (JR) office was there in front of me. When buying a Narita Express (NEX) ticket you can get a combined package whereby you get a SUICA card which enables you to use the trains and metro and it is preloaded with some yen. For foreign travellers, on producing your passport you also get a significant discount. The staff at the ticket office at the Narita airport spoke great english and made it very easy. The train was very comfortable for the 1.5 hour trip and the train was almost empty. Screens keep you informed along the way (in English and Japanese) about where you are, temperatures and lots of other stuff. It was on this trip that I bought my first beer from the salesperson that walked through the carriage.


Changing trains in Shinjuku to the Yamanote line heading North (for one stop) was easier than expected. It is also worth noting that if you have a NEX ticket, and you don’t exit the station, you can continue onto other inner city stops for no additional charge.

I stayed at Shin-Okubo Sekitei which is Japanese style accommodation, about 3 mins walk to the Shin-Okubo or Okubo stations or 15mins walk from the centre of Shinjuku. It was a great location to be based in and I would happily stay there again. The rooms aren’t huge and you have to make up your own futon on the floor.P1030310_003



The toilet was a great space age toilet that took a while to work out how to use. Google translate came in handy.


It seems that in central Tokyo a vending machine for beverages in never more than 50 metres away.


Shin-Okubo has lots of korean restaurants and a a couple of gambling places that are ridiculously noisy with a game involving ball-bearings.P1030317_010P1030318_011P1030319_012

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