Day #1 23/05/14 Friday
There was something strange with my feeling while planning for my Japan-Korea trip. I didn't know exactly why, was it because of the tight deadline at my office or because I hadn't done solo traveling again for a long time (the last one was Toraja Trip in August 2012. Whao! 2 years! Time flies x_x )
For a staff like me, I think there's no such thing as the right time to ask the boss for a 3 weeks leave and go on a holiday. I had waited for it for many years and months, and mostly right after I thought I had finished my duties/works on schedule, my boss was in a good mood, and everything felt right, suddenly everything fell into a chaos.
So, if you think that you are in the same condition as I was, you really have to make your own right time, just 'book the ticket and go'. Don't think too much about the constraints. You already have plan, you have done your best to finish your work. Everybody needs holiday! Just ask for the blessings from The Universe, and everything will fall into place. There won't be a day with no work left, no matter how hard you work. Just focus on the good thing, the happiness that you will feel during your trip.
Trust me, the power of will really works :) .
So, after struggling months with finishing work and visa application thing. Finally, I took the night flight (22/05/14) from Jakarta (Soekarno Hatta Airport CGK) to Tokyo (Narita Airport). Transit in Seoul, South Korea (Incheon Airport).
Chose to fly with Korean Airlines. It cost me about 1000 USD (exchange rate 1 USD = Rp 11.500). I think it was more expensive than other airlines, but I had to fly with any Korean-based airlines to get the South Korea visa free, because I wanted to do a stop over in South Korea, and I was just too lazy to apply for Korean visa . I think there were only 2 Korean based airlines that fly from Indonesia to Japan. They were Asiana Airlines and Korean Airlines.
Anyway, Airasia ticket price was around Rp 5.000.000 - Rp 6.000.000 (435 USD- 523 USD) for round ticket . It was cheaper, but don't forget to mention that there will be some additional costs for foods and baggage (Definitely should buy some foods, since it's 8 hrs flight). Anyway, you can try comparing the ticket price with www.skyscanner.com . I always do that, very helpful! :)
|Japan, South Korea, here I comeee!!|
|Transit @ Incheon International Airport, |
I love the Korean Airline's flight attendant 's simple and elegant uniform! ♥
So, I arrived in Narita. The old and far airport from downtown. Almost all full board airlines arrive in Narita. Haneda Airport, the newest and closer airport to downtown is mostly used for low cost carrrier and local flights. I would definitely choose to arrive at Haneda next time. The cheapest train price from Narita to downtown Tokyo costs around 1500¥, from Haneda only costs around 600¥.
Don't forget to buy Pasmo card for the public transportations in Japan, and put a sum of money there. It's very convenient that people can top up almost everywhere: any convenience store or machine at stations.
|Tokyo Subway Route Map. Don't worry! It's not as complicated as it's seen!|
|Inside Narita Sky Access Line Train .|
During my journey from airport to guesthouse, I was helped by a lot of people. One of them was a man who kindly showed the subway exit, although I knew that he was on a rush to take the train. The memorable one was an old lady who helped me to find my guesthouse. I somehow got lost in Kuramae area, and asked the old lady who walked really really fast! hahaha. She made me feel older XD . She even called the guesthouse, asked the direction, and walked with me until we reached the guesthouse. Oh, really a good beginning for my trip! どうもありがとう！ Japanese people, although they look like serious and individual people, in fact, they always surprise me with their helpfulness and kindness :)
I stayed @ K's House Asakusa Tokyo, 2900¥/ 1 night for 1 bunkbed in a dorm room (booked through www.booking.com / http://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/ks-house-tokyo.html ). There were 7 people in 1 bedroom, and it has a toilet inside. My bedroom was on the 1st floor. The bathroom was on the 2nd and 3rd floor (has laundry and drying machine, costs 400¥ for laundry machine and free for the drying machine coins-operated). The guesthouse was really nice! I loooved the ambience and the people there. Although I did solo traveling, I've never felt alone during my Japan trip :)
|Kuramae Station Exit A6.|
For more exit direction please refer to http://kshouse.jp/tokyo-e/access/
|K's House Tokyo front facade.|
|My room on the first floor with the other 6 people.|
|Private toilet for each room.|
|Toilet inside my room.|
|Japanese style tatami room in the front area.|
|Kitchen and dining room.|
They provide a set of cooking utensils and basic seasonings ;)
|A comfortable and spacious living room. Love!|
|Information board, contains recommendations and events.|
|Seven Eleven Convenience Store across the guesthouse.|
The guesthouse's location was perfect for me. Very near to the Kuramae station, and it is within walking distance to Asakusa, the lovely old area of Tokyo (my fave!). There are so many nice places in Asakusa. The must visit one is Sensoji Temple. It was pretty late when I arrived there. About 6 PM, and the very nice shops street (Nakamise Street) in front of the Sensoji Temple has already preparing to close. I didn't get a chance to go inside the temple too, because the closing time is 5pm. In return, I could see beautiful lighting of the temples and old small wooden buildings on that area. If you want to visit Asakusa, I recommend to spend half day in Sensoji Area, and just get lost. I found a street that has a lot of nice traditional restaurant and antique shops around there.
Direction to Asakusa Area.
From Tokyo Station take JR Yamanote Line / From Shinjuku Station take JR Cho Line,
both to Kanda Station and transfer to Ginza Subway for Asakusa.
|Typical pedestrian walk in Kuramae.|
|Le Petit Maison :p|
|Asakusa Dori. Dori means Road in Japanese.|
|Kaminarimon / Kaminari Gate as the symbol of Asakusa, leading to Senso-ji Temple.|
|Shop @ Nakamise Street|
|Nakamise Shopping Street from Kaminarimon to Senso-ji.|
|A stunningly beautiful Geisha!|
|Lovely geisha spotted!|
|Map of main tourist attractions in Asakusa.|
|Hozomon / Hozo Gate, entrance before Senso-ji.|
|Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest temple.|
|Restaurants around Rokku Entertainment District.|
Anyway, the standard price for food costs around 700-900¥. Since I didn't have much money, I've became a close friend with cheap restaurant like Yoshinoya and Sukiya :p. Full set menu with fried beef/chicken + salad + miso soup + rice only costs 500¥. A bowl of ramen costs about 300-500¥. Japan has a really high standard for their food quality, so don't worry about the hygiene or the taste. Believe me, there's no bad food there. Anyway, FYI : almost all price in Japan does not include tax , at least the biggest font is tax excluded, sometimes there's smaller font that is tax included.
|Diner with eye catching and mouth watering food display :p .|
|Typical diner place.|
|A set of Japanese meal. |
Many restaurants allow people to have unlimited refill of miso soup and white rice.
|Inside the ramen restaurant.|
The price is higher than in Indonesia, but the quality is higher too. So I think it's not that expensive there, if we see the quality comparison. If Indonesian restaurants provide the food ingredients with the same quality as in Japan, I bet the price will be just the same.
Always thankful to my boss that understands how traveling means a lot for me :)