Monday, May 26, 2008

Tokyo Japan, May 2008

I learned something new about blogging 'live' on your holiday trip.
As said in my last musing, i wanted to give you all a daily update of my stay at Tokyo. Well, it just sound so easy but believe me, don't try it! It's heartbreaking.

I stayed at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel at Ikebukuro in Tokyo. The room had a high speed internet connection but going through the local provider, the interface was a lot in japanese kanji.
But my major problem was not being able to get my photos uploaded without a lot of difficulties. In the end, I simply gave up and this also made me loose my enthusiasm for taking more pictures during the trip. Any way, most of what I snapped are now uploaded onto my web albums at Picasa and webshots. Go there for a look.

On this trip I did 2 things which I would not normally have done.
The first was riding ALL the roller-coasters at Disyneyland, and,
secondly, went shopping! Something my companions will tell you I hardly do.

The 2nd day in Tokyo was to Disneyland. Rode all the available rides, including Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. These were awesome, hair-raising screamers but FUN!

On this trip with my friend, Christina, who turned out to be a compulsive, impulsive shopper, and putting someone like that in a modern trendy shopping city like Tokyo is like leaving a child in a candy store! I also ended up buying stuff for people for whom I still wonder if they deserve it?

Well, what I learnt also was that Burberry Blue Label are the most prized items to take back to Singapore! Ended up with 3 Blue Label wallets.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 1. 15th May - From Tokyo

Landed at Narita Airport at 7.30am after 7 hours on ANA HN902.
Uneventful fight except for the difficulty in getting some sleep.

We had 3 options to get from Narita Airport into Tokyo.
1.) by the NEX Narita Express Train 1800yen,
2.) Airport Limousine bus 3000yen, or
3.) by taxi for US$180!

Obviously, you’d think we take the train.
But no, I opted for the Limousine Bus for several reasons.

The Airport Limousine Bus takes a more scenic route than the train but best of all it comes with a free Tokyo metro subway pass valid for a whole day unlimited travel within Tokyo.
This already makes it worth higher price of the bus ticket. And besides, the Limo Bus goes right to the hotel front door, whereas it’s a 10 minute walk from the train station dragging your luggage!

Arrived at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel at 9.45am.
The ’Sunshine City’ does not refer to the city of Tokyo despite Japan being ‘the land of the rising sun’.
It’s a massive city complex with malls, 60 storey office blocks, hotels & entertainment located in the 2nd largest Tokyo suburb called Ikebukuro.
Being a member of the Prince Club International, I was hoping that we would get an early check-in but unfortunately, the hotel was full till check out at 12noon.

So instead of the planned 'early check-in, then Disneyland' itinerary for the 1st day, we switched to touring Tokyo city itself.

The usual tourist traps at Asakusa, Ginza, Ueno, Shibuya

Dinner at Shinjuku.
It’s only 10 mins from Sunshine City which meant we can stay till the last train at midnight. This is the Tokyo that most people visualise. It’s Neon City, garish, bright, loud and different. Recently featured in movies like “Lost in Translation” & “Tokyo Drift”.

This is my hotel room on the 23rd floor and the view of Tokyo outside the window.

Good Night

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tokyo for the 18th time.

Day: minus 1.
Changi Airport. Waiting for departure.

Another short 4D3N visit. Just to enjoy my favorite city again.
This trip was a on, off, on again, off again, on again event that sort of dampened the whole spirit but anyway, I was determined to go regardless. Even my traveling companion kept changing.
If my count is right, I guess the 18th for me.

Since the expectations of all my kakis seem pretty high this time, especially since they knew I was travelling but had them all guessing the destination and with whom I was going with. So for those whom I said ‘Bali this time’, apologies. It’s Tokyo, Japan, as half of you guessed right.

I will describe my itinerary on a daily basis on my blog from my hotel room each night starting from the 15th .
You can email any request to my personal email at
I will upload all the daily photos to my picasa web album so you can see where I’d been during day.

Signing off from the free terminal at Changi airport.