Sunday, 16 November 2014

Tokyo with Zg Day 1, Scoot to Tokyo, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Curry Times, Akihabara, mAAch, Kohmen

We took an overnight Scoot flight to Tokyo transiting in Taipei. We spent slightly more for a seat with more leg room in the Scoot in Silence area which meant that we were free from the cries of any babies and children. The transit in Taipei was quick and relatively flawless. We got off the plane, picked up a transit card from the staff, proceeded through security screening, took the escalator up to the departure gate and waited patiently. We were on our way to Tokyo's Narita Airport pretty quickly!

The first thing we did when we reached was to pick up our Pocket Wifi. We ordered a Pocket Wifi from Global Advanced Communications which was delivered to the Post Office in Narita Airport. This precious little device was a life-saver and we depended a lot on it to navigate the confusing train lines and urban jungle of Tokyo! Returning the device was very easy as well since the package came with a self-addressed envelope and we simply placed the device in the envelope, sealed the envelope, and dropped it into the postbox on our last day.

We bought tickets for the Narita Express as well as the Suica cards at the JR Service Centre in the area leading to the trains. The Narita Express ticket comes with a reserved seat so we headed to the correct cabin and waited patiently for the train to arrive. Narita Express took us to Shinjuku Station in about an hour plus or so. 

It was SO CONFUSING when we got off at Shinjuku Station. Seriously, the station was incredibly mind-boggling and I remembered my bro's advice which was "Whatever you do, do not exit from the first exit you see. Make sure you spend some time finding the correct exit or you will regret it later". So Zg and I spent a good ten minutes searching for the South Exit. 

South Exit was further from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku but we had to climb a flight of stairs if we took the nearer New South Exit or Southern Terrace Exit so South Exit was a better choice with our luggage. Coming out of South Exit, cross the road, turn right, walk to the next junction, cross the road and turn left. Continue walking down and you will see Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku on your right after Macdonald's.

The hotel allowed us to check-in early (yay!) so we went upstairs to our room. It was quite small (as with all hotels in Tokyo) but very cozy and comfortable. The toilet was like a small walk-in closet which was not too bad for me since I was petite. Zg, on the other hand, had some difficulty maneuvering inside the toilet on his first night because he was taller and bigger than I was. 

We were super hungry by then so we took the train to Akihabara where we had curry pork katsu for lunch at Curry Times. The shop is located to the left of the Akihabara Electric Town Exit when you exit from the train station. We approached the vending machine, chose the item we wanted, paid for our food and received a small ticket. After settling into our seats along the counter, the waitress took our tickets and served us two glasses of water. 

The pork katsu was extremely crispy on the outside yet tender within. This was pretty decent pork katsu for the price we paid! I would not say it was mind-blowing or the best katsu I ever had, but it was definitely pretty good. 

Akihabara was very very interesting. The roads were closed and we could walk down the road freely to explore the area. There was an eccentric mix of arcade shops, cosplay shops, maid cafes, manga shops, and a huge Yodobashi filled with a large array of electronic items. 

Zg brought me slightly outside the main Akihabara area and towards an old train station. The old train station has been transformed into a row of quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. We explored the little shops selling all sorts of niche items and took a nice little stroll along the river beside the train station. I think the collection of shops and cafes was known as mAAch

Zg read about mAAch and knew that there was a cafe on the second floor which was tucked between the train tracks and surrounded by glass walls. We found the cafe and settled down at a table in the outdoor seating area which gave us a perfect view of the incoming and outgoing trains on both tracks. Night was falling and the temperature was dropping gradually so we nursed our warm drinks happily while watching numerous trains zip by. Thank you Zg for bringing me here! Was a perfect night in this perfect little cafe with you!

We headed back to Akihabara area for dinner and decided we were going for ramen on our first night. We found Kohmen in Yodobashi which was a popular ramen chain so we went in.

The broth was thick and robust, the ramen noodles were taut and springy, the egg flowed perfectly, and the char siew was so tender! My first bowl of ramen in Tokyo was awesome!

The gyozas were a bit charred and they were most likely overcooked because the skin was rather hard. But the filling was juicy and tender! Perhaps the gyozas should have been scooped out of the oil earlier. 

We were really dead beat from our overnight flight into Tokyo and decided that we needed to go back earlier to rest. Took the train back to Shinjuku, bought bottled water from the 7-eleven near our hotel (exit from the hotel, turn left, walk to the intersection, and turn left again) and went to sleep really early that night.

Read about Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7.

No comments :

Post a Comment