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

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