[Japan] – Day 1

Well, couldn’t sleep for obvious reasons. (50% excited, 50% panicking)

At 12am, my usual sleep time, I did my usual thing which is to play Phoenix Wright 3 on my NDS. When I started to feel a little sleepy, I turned it off and closed my eyes. Then I began thinking about my trip and suddenly, wasn’t sleepy anymore. >_>

Woke up at 2.45am to the sound of the alarm clock on my handphone. Don’t know how much sleep I had. Probably 2 hours? Washed up, dressed up, double checked everything and left my home.

Didn’t have to wait very long for a taxi. And the ride to the air port was very fast. Of course, it’s 3.40am in the morning and there’s very little traffic.

Checked in my luggage at the counter, went through the immigrations, grabbed some food, and then started blogging here using the lousy computers Changi airport provides freely for everyone.

And thanks to the lack of sleep, I’m like 60% blur.

Gonna go play Monster Hunter 2 on my PSP till boarding time!

Boarded my plane on time, the sky is still dark. But as we took off, the view slowly brightened as we travelled north. I was sitting on the left side of the plane, window seat. A minor brainfart made me change the window seat from the right side to the left side of the plane. I had originally wanted to see the sunrise. :(

About an hour into the sky, the view was very very bright, I had to keep the shades down. We’re flying above clouds and everyone knows how white clouds are.

I couldn’t sleep comfortably throughout the flight, so I ended up with a mild aching neck as we landed. At this point, I couldn’t "feel" Japan yet.

Taking a Japanese friend’s advice, I took the Keisei line to Ueno. Since I had some time, I took the normal train which takes 20 minutes longer to reach Ueno than the express train but about 900 yen cheaper.

At Ueno, I took the Metro line to Asakusa. The place where my hotel’s located. It was a short ride. Climbing up the stairs out of the underground station, I was greeted by a view of the Asahi Beer Hall.

Making my way to the hotel, dragging my luggage, I stopped to check my compass(yea, I know it’s silly) then headed north towards my destination. It took about 15 minutes. Along the way, I went past many shops that sell shoes/slippers/sandals.

It’s cold. Around 12~14 degrees celcius? The sun has begun setting. And it’s only 3pm(JST)! I certainly wasn’t used to this as in Singapore, the sun sets around 8pm(JST).

Found my hotel effortlessly. No problems checking in as the hotel staff speaks English well.

Got into my room, unpacked, geared up and went straight out to explore the nearby areas. First, the Kaminarimon(雷門) area where it’s famous for it’s giant lantern.

Nakamise(仲見世), a long stretch of shops

Had dinner at McDonald’s. As I ate slowly, I observed how the locals bring their trays to the rubbish bin and sort out their rubbish. It has seperate containers for paper, plastic, cigarette ashes, liquids/ice. Recycling is actively practiced over here.

Next, I decided to go to Akihabara since it’s near and I want to locate the meeting point so I wouldn’t be late for the meetup with J and Z the next day.

Being able to recognize kanji(a system of Japanese writing using Chinese-derived characters) easily because of my mandarin education since I was young, I had no problems taking the train to Akihabara.

Lots of people in Akiba (Akihabara) :o

Found the meeting point in an instant, so the next thing was exploring the area. Visited game centers, a few book stores and Gamers. Bought lots of stuff at gamers. A visual-novel game, random products like a plastic evangelion postcard which I’m currently using as a bookmark for my mangas, and a few anime related T-shirts.

A lot (perhaps all?) of the salarymen in Japan wear long sleeve shirts with a black jacket over. You know, the standard attire for office people, which is uncommon in Singapore unless you work at a high position. I saw a lot of these salarymen in ero-manga floors in some of the bookstores, which makes it not so awkward for me to browse around, hahaha.

I can’t remember what time I left Akiba. I think it was around 10 to 11pm. I went to the wrong exit of the station so I got lost for a moment.

Ended the day with sore feet.

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