Tokyo Diaries-Trains And Charming Strangers (2014)
(Photos were all taken using SJ4000)
#Japan wasn't in my dream destination, tho I thought of considering this country, it was never in my top 10 list.
It was an underrated country to me, and when I scored a Php 6,700 roundtrip ticket in #CebuPacific #PisoFare I wasn't really excited (I actually booked it, because it seemed so cheap compared to the other countries on my list)
Dates were getting near, so I started researching online. I came across blogs and forums about Japan and it seemed like everyone wants to go there.
When I got there, cliche but true; It is a beautiful country, indeed.
I was fascinated by the #train system (again), and for the first time, I was challenged to navigate this unfamiliar beauty, #Tokyo.
Skyliner, KEISEI Electric Railway
This train is from Narita Airport to #TokyoDisneyLand. We were about to meet Ate Mich. She works near Disneyland and let us stayed in her house for 5 days. She's also a Filipina but a Japanese citizen already.
Can you see the those crazy lines? That's the Tokyo train system. (Oh, can you die now? Yes! Haha)
But wait, that's only the subway route, they still have a lot...
First on the many "literally lost" moments on the trains. We went down on a wrong station, (then made it even worse) by riding the train on the other side, hoping that it was the right track, but NO.
After playing the guessing game, we finally found #MaihaimaStation, where the Disneyland is located.
Can you spot a disney character? Trust me, I eventually realised that there were thousands of them, kids wearing awesome disney character costumes, not just here but everywhere in Tokyo.
Tokyo Disneyland has its own cute monorail :D spotted this on the way to the disneyland mall.
(more details about the whole DisneySea-yes we didn't go for Disneyland because that's too young for us-experience on another entry)
I guess carousel isn't too young for us, especially if you were with someone who's afraid of wild rides.
We stayed an hour away from the city via train and additional 20 mins walk from the station to the house (well Ate Mich says, it's a 10-minute walk, but I guess we're filipinos after all, we don't walk as fast as Japanese while she adapted that skill already).
Yachiodai is like a province near the city and much nearer from Narita Airport. So we travelled everyday via skyliner, gets off on Ueno station. From there we can ride using JR line or Tokyo subway to the spots on our tour list. (#DIYTour, because I can. I don't want to pay more for a tourist guide/ package tour via agency, it's more fun to get lost, then learn from it and charge it to experience)
Walkalator in Shinjuku, Station
Speaking of experience, this is one hell of-- anyway, we were looking for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government where we can see the city from the bird's eye view. I wasn't advised by the bloggers and forums online that it was #really far from the station. Although this walkalator didn't help to lessen the long walk, I love how it looks like. It reminds me of #ChungkingExpress (where they shot few scenes in Hongkong's famous Mid-levels escalator walkway system-I'm more excited to explore Hongkong in July)
Nevertheless, we found the building with our not-so-happy feet.
A helping stranger approached us also when we were looking at the big map of Shinjuku. We wanted to go to a place that apparently was so far from where we were. She doesn't want to explain how to get there because she said it's complicated, instead she walked with us until we reached the bridge that will bring us to the other side of Shinjuku.
Forgive me from forgetting what line is this train, but hey, look at that cute little Japanese boy. Strangers back then, for some reasons were so adorable.
On another day we went out to see the famous Sensoji Temple. It wasn't a good weather to tour but we can't back out, after all we only have 5 days to see Tokyo.
If you know me well, you would know that this is my weakness and this is heaven to me. There were stores and souvenir shops all over the streets and small alleys. The rain can't stop me from shopping. We scored a samurai umbrella for only 400++ in peso.
I posted "Umbrella Diaries" happening in Sensoji Temple when we were there :) but I just saw the guy with a triangle umbrella now. Another adorable stranger right there. Japanese seem to be so nice. We actually encountered three good samaritans in different places at the time when we're lost, the woman in Shinjuku is already counted :)
On the other hand, this was the craziest night and crowd i encountered by far in my 24 years of existence. Seriously, this is the most crowded crossing in the world.
We went here on the eve of the Halloween, and oh boy! I tell you it was a beautiful chaos of anime-people.
No, no we're not in costume. We were trying to take selfie while crossing. We did cross so many times to experience the chaos again and again. It was all good with all the backpack, body bag and shopping bags.
I took a lot of photos in Shibuya including Hachiko, of course, but I'll put those in another entry.
ODAIBA was our favourite! It's like you were in a totally different country. Isn't it obvious, hello Statue--
Going to Odaiba has a different rail line also, only exclusive to the place.
Can you spot another familiar bridge? It was like a round city with water in the middle. We spent the whole day on our last day here. Lucky for us we witnessed an event and there was like a field demo.
The food trip options were interesting.
I love the people, they were very approachable. An old lady gave her table to us when she was about to finish. She actually thought I was a Japanese.
I will tell more about Odaiba someday but I experienced something different here that I want to share now.
We went on a grocery at Lalaport to buy some Japanese food products and chocolates. After paying on the cashier, I was surprised that we were allowed to pack our own groceries. They have these packing stations :) I don't know if they do this in different countries but it was my first time to experience that.
Another thing I love about Odaiba is their outlet store in Venus Fort. Discounted items were really discounted, if you know what I mean. I scored a limited design Air Max for only 4,000 in peso and a Sebago shoes for 2,500. I also bought "pasalubongs" for my mother and brother from the cheapest nike store ever! The interiors of the mall are superb tho that would be another story.
Speaking of the Nike store, I was able to make friends with the girl dicer.(because I was there for a long time already) She asked me where I came from, and she told me about her experience in Cebu two months ago. She said, it was quite expensive there. I've never been to Cebu so all I can say is, well "I love Japan." haha
I think i'm already creating a novel here.
Ending this "novel" with an effortless selfie in Odaiba. The feeling when you can easily take 'good' photos of others while no one can take you a decent photo on a beautiful spot? Yeah you know that. Tell me about it.
Soon to post more about Tokyo :)