We finally did it! We went to Japan and never got lost! :)
The Train Rides
We took them all! Local trains, monorails, bullet trains, limited express trains.
One thing you need to learn very well before going to Tokyo - their transportation system. They have three main train companies - JR Lines, Tokyo Metro Subway Lines and the Toei Subway Lines. Other than these three lines, there are other private trains going around Tokyo.
Japan Rail Pass - We purchased the Japan Rail Pass, valid for 7 days. We were able to use it for all JR lines, Shinkansen and even the Narita Express train (Narita Airport - Tokyo). We purchased them here in Singapore then just had the forms exchanged when we reached Japan.
The First Train Ride -I've thought about this long and hard. We have 3 options - (1) Keisei Skyliner which will take us directly to Ueno where we're staying. It's JPY 1,980 for a one-way ticket. (2) Keisei Limited Express, same route as the Keisei Skyliner but more stops, so travel time is longer, but only costs JPY 1000. (3) Narita Express which we can get for free because of our Japan Rail Pass, but we need to get off at Tokyo first, then transfer to another train line that will take us to Ueno. Too much for first-timers. The winning train: Keisei Skyliner. Plus we were in a hurry, we were almost late with our hotel reservation & might lose our room. :D
The Local Trains - We tried them all. The Tokyo Metro Line, the Toei Subway Line and the JR Line. :D We even used the Yurikamome Line which goes to Odaiba. :)
The Shinkansen - This is something that hubby would never want to miss, and the reason why we decided to buy the Japan Rail Pass. We went for a one day trip to Kyoto and took the Shinkansen.
We love Japanese food! And it was really on top of our agenda - to eat a lot of authentic Japanese food. Visit my other blog The Foodie's Food Trip for more details.
They're friendly and would try to help you. When you enter a store, may it be a convenience store or a restaurant or a department store, they would greet you when you enter and exit their establishment.
I think we were a bit unlucky during our visit. It was still winter when we were there. We can survive the cold weather, but it rained everyday! There was only one day where we didn't got rained, and that was when we went to Kyoto (thank you God!).
Here's a quick list of our itinerary in Japan:
Day 1 - February 11
- Arrived at the hotel a few minutes before 4pm.
- Had a quick lunch at Yoshinoya which is just very near our hotel.
- Went around Ueno and Akihabara with my friends/former colleagues.
Day 2 - February 12
- Went to Tokyo Tower
- Walked around Roppongi
- Late lunch at a Ramen shop in Roppongi with my high school friend
- Went to Ginza and look around the place
- Dinner with my former bosses and former colleagues
Day 3 - February 13
- Went to Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa
- Went to Toyota Mega Web and Palette Town in Odaiba
- Went around Shibuya and had curry for lunch
Day 4 - February 14
Went to Kyoto with my former colleague & her husband and visited the following:
- Kinkaku Temple
- Kiyomizu Temple
- Yasaka Shrine
- Nijo Castle
Since it's our second to the last day, we went out shopping. We went to Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya, Akihabara and Ameya-yokocho.
Day 6 - February 16
Our last day we went back to Asakusa to buy some souvenirs. It's just one train ride from our hotel.
All in all we enjoyed our trip and we would really want to go back to Japan again someday.