Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Japan Trip Day-1 & Day 1: CGK - HND - Sensoji Temple

PS: Useful links will provided at the end of the post (´◡`)

So our adventure has almost begun ...  
After months of confusion, "galau"-ness, you know ... 
that feeling waiting for the best deal of ticket price (-__-) 

Finally we chose ANA (All Nippon Airways) for many good reasons and after checking every airplane and travel website for like ....3 times a day everyday since the beginning of January, visiting any travel fair nearby and then we secured our tickets in March from Nusatrip ... LOL. It's a direct flight to Haneda Airport at the price of IDR 7.6 millions. 

Well what could I expect? It's the best choice at that time. Even low cost carriers alone already costs 5 millions, since that big accident at the end of the 2014, no more really cheap tickets. ANA is a star alliance member airlines, it offers direct flight (saving times and stamina because no transit hassle), and it has really good entertainment facilities.

It's common that ticket to Haneda Airport generally more expensive than the ones to Narita Airport because Haneda is a lot more closer to Tokyo and of course the transportation fee is a lot cheaper if you choose Haneda. Since we all are shopaholic girls, we brought a large luggage. Therefore, using train as our transportation from airport to our acommodation is a NO and airport limousine bus is the best deal. Adding one more minus point to Narita: the airport limousine bus departure time's choice isn't as many as in Haneda. So people, consider it really well. Haneda or Narita? 

So just a little bit of tips, if you plan to use ANA buy it in our local travel website which has code-share operator with Garuda Airlines. 
Extremely way cheaper than if you bought it directly from ANA's website!

Alright, fast forward to June 30th (Day minus one) ~

.Went to airport at 6.30 PM, saying goodbye with each other's family, check-in, and then waiting patiently in boarding gate .....

Kinda awkward that the environment in boarding gate is so silent! There is only a few people around us and they are Japanese. Most of them are businessmen (wearing formal suite....carrying business bag, laptop). It seems too obvious that we are the only tourists here, hahha... okay. Let's make it more obvious!

Took a selfie before boarding call....

Board the plane, enjoying some flight entertainment, and then the night snack!

It comes with a cute transparent plastic pouch which later is very useful during the rest of my trip :)

Chocolate Danish, TimTam, crackers, mineral water, and apple juice ~

Listening to music, then watching Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu (I Gave my First Love to You) so finally I fell asleep.... Well actually there was quite a lot of turbulences.... hard turbulences I mean, all my friends couldn't sleep at all while me....thanks to medical school, I was taught to sleep anywhere, anytime, and in any position and environment except stinky places I think...

And finally....

Woke up and view this area monitor... Yeah, just a little bit more.. I'm preparing my camera, waiting for some kind of beautiful sunrise, and Mount Fuji from airplane window! But.....the reality hits hard

Very berry dark and cloudy outside....
No wonder that there were so many turbulences all night

And sometime later.....

Actually i was kinda expecting to be like this 😭

Well let it be, let it be~ It's just not my lucky day to catch this view

Let's just enjoy the breakfast. There are 2 choices, western and japanese one.
I chose the japanese one :)

Bamboo Shoot Porridge, Soba, Sweet Egg and Salmon, Yakult, a tiny bit of fruits, and apple juice again!

 After about 1.5 hours later, we finally arrived safe and sound at 7 AM~

Took our baggage, bought Airport Limousine Bus Ticket to Asakusa View Hotel (the nearest stop to our apartment) for 930 ¥, and we still had 4 hours and 40 minutes before we board the bus. We had more than enough free time. So, let's explore the Haneda Airport! 

First, we went down to 1F and visit AirLawson to buy Doraemon Museum Ticket right away
Just tell the shop assistant and they will help you :)

My friend look at the displayed map, and she really wants to visit Sirotan Town at 5F. Well, but it was still closed and will be opened at 9 AM. So, how about take our portable wifi in post office? Ergh, the post office was still closed too ... so let's just walk around ... and not long after, we stumbled upon cute objects everywhere ~

 Pretty omikuji display :)

You could buy the omikuji for 500 ¥ from vending machine nearby, write your wish on it, and hang it on the rope provided

OMO, there is a bamboo tree too. Tanabata Festival is indeed aroud the corner.

You could take the paper provided for free and write your wish ~

I wish this would come true!

Photo group before leaving this spot ~

Move on to the next alley...

Flight simulator, kids for sure will love this!

Let's see what's the observation deck looks like!

As you all could see, the observatory is very nice. 

But the weather and sky is NOT. Dark clouds and raining with low intensity ...

So it's almost 9 AM. We decided to take our portable wifi first at the post office which is located in Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal. To go there, we could board on airport shuttle bus for free! 

Finally we arrived there~

Foreign airport is always giving refreshing vibe, don't you agree?
Especially Japan, although it's only domestic terminal, but it's wide, neat, and CLEAN!

Don't worry for getting lost although the place is big.
Map and directions are displayed everywhere in English and anything is easy to find~

 Finally the Post Office!

I have ordered the portable wifi 3 days prior my departure from Japan Wireless and paid using credit card. It was 5500 ¥ for 7 days unlimited package and the wifi could be shared up to 10 devices. I simply chose this provider because it has the best price and the procedure is very easy. Actually you could choose whether the wifi will be delivered to your acommodation or the airport but I prefer the second choice.

You will then get a voucher delivered to your email after payment is confirmed, print it, show the voucher along with your passport to the post officer, and they will pick your item right away! Inside of the package there is also another new pre-paid envelope, so to return the wifi, just put the portable wifi inside the pre-paid envelope provided and put it inside any mailbox! 

 Cute postcards also available for souvenirs!
I bought some of them and also some kind of special postcard called gotochi that was requested by my senior in college....

Alright our business in domestic terminal is done~
Let's get back to international terminal and visit J-POP Culture Town in 5F where Sirotan and other cute shops are located!

First Stop: Sirotan Town

OMG, this is literally the cutest seal mascot eveeerrr!!!


Reaaaally want to buy everything, but....okay I'm well done in holding up my desire because it's only the first day. Though on the last day, before my flight back to Jakarta I came back here again and bought a mascot keychain. Today it's only Hellen who do the shopping, she bought an Ebi-Sirotan mascot keychain.

Move on to second spot: Haikara Shop!
Just like its name, this shop sold stuffs that related to famous mascots from Japan, such as rilakkuma, gudetama, hello kitty, sailormoon, sumikko gurashi, funyassi, shinchan, doraemon, pokemon, dragon ball, chibi maruko-chan, etc

Almost tempted to buy Gudetama stuffs, but the sewing is not really neat so.... NO 
(because it's expensive, so it must perfect in details LOL)

Sailor Mercury Stick!
Could I transform into Sailor Guardian using this? I wish~
 Then, to Hello Kitty Japan~

There is also this interesting shop... 

This is would be exactly the kind of face I make when holiday ends, LOL

It's nearly our bus boarding time, 11.40 PM. Whew, 4 hours flew by fast!
We went down to 4F and passed along Edo Town

So, there's funny story to tell. We must board on the bus terminal 2 on 1F, but because we used the wrong elevator, we didn't find it. It's 5 minutes before our schedule, and luckily we find the correct elevator. So lesson learned! Although it's going to the same floor (1F), please use the elevator which has sign "Airport Limousine" displayed around it. 

Whew, felt so relieved now we board on the bus succesfully!
We slept for a while inside the bus ....







Finally we arrived at Asakusa View Hotel at 1.30 PM. After that, we searched for our apartment which is located in the alley behind Asakusa View Hotel. We booked the apartment via AirBnb. It's really recommended and far more affordable than staying in hotel ( • ̀ω•́ )

Another good story to tell, we felt the kindness of local people right away on the first day. We were walking down with our luggage on the road, searching for our apartment .... when suddenly an old grandpa while riding a bicycle approached us and asked where is our destination and wondering if we were getting lost ? (with 80% japanese mixed with 20% english)

Actually we quite had enough clue to find our apartment. But that kind grandpa searched the address for us. OMG, please note that he is the one who approached us first, which means they pay attention and care for tourist a lot! Truly as rumoured, Japanese locals are VERY KIND!

Finally we found our apartment! Whew, we dropped our luggage, cooked instant porridge, and take a short rest when finally my friend said that a Japanese friend of hers whom she knew through language exchange forum wanted to meet up with us. 

HUH? What? OMG. Who is that person? He/She? Age? Occupation? Etc? We're quite surprised since we are strangers but that person want to meet straight face with us.... so....yeah. We got a new friend right away on the first day, Hide-san (◕‿◕✿)

Indeed, he is very tall :o

He is a 27-years-old businessman who lives in Ginza. He needs a friend whom he could practiced with to speak English for his business work. Wow, and he spoke English quite fluently! He was kinda surprised when we told him that in Indonesia, English is on national exam and everybody is obligated to understand. He said that if that was also applied in Japan, he and others could die suffering LOL.

So he brought us to eat local culinary, Monjya-yaki! 

While ordering the menu, we also took a pic of each other (◡‿◡✿)

With Angel and Shenna

Hellen and Hide-san

So for starters, we decided to order Edo Monjya (600 ¥) and Mentai Mochi Cheese Monjya (1200¥)

As descripted from the Menu :
Edo Monjya 
Monjya-yaki dough, cabbage, tempura crumbs, dried sakura shrimp, dried squid flakes, dried seaweed 

Mentai Mochi Cheese Monjya 
Spiced cob roe (mentaiko), mochi, cheese, tempura crumbs, corned beef, cheese, corn, mochi, dried sakura shrimp, dried seaweed

 Front: Edo Monjya; Back: Mentai Cheese Monjya

Don't worry if you can't cook it. You could ask the waiter to teach you or even cook it for you. Well, we ask the waiter to give an example first and then we tried it!

Yep, we ordered more menu. On the middle .... is it ..... yakisoba? (Japanese Fried Noodle) ....
 NOPE, It's Japanese Napolitan Spaghetti! It's a spaghetti cooked with Japanese Napolitan Sauce with pork meat in it. Oishi desu !

Finally it's time to eat and this is how to eat Monjya-yaki. 
You scoop it bit by bit using this very tiny spoon and put it into your mouth.

Next, we also ordered Okonomiyaki!
Kinda similiar with Monjya, but the base dough is different okonomiyaki is cooked by flipping it. Please do check my instagram to see a video of my flipping okonomiyaki's experience ~

As explained too by Hide-san, okonomiyaki means a dish where you could put anything you like. So there's no general rule about the ingredients inside. Although this dish is a specialty of Kansai and Hiroshima, but literally you could find okonomiyaki everywhere :)

Toppings? Wee-hee. We love all the toppings provided. We could add it as much as we want.
Starting from sweet sauce, katsuoboshi, and then the dried seaweed!

Time to eat again, Itadakimasu!

To eat Okonomiyaki, you use that big spatula to scoop it.
Another difference with Monjya which uses very small spatula!

Hide-san also ordered Salad for us. 
He said that the dressing is delicious... Yep, we LOVE it (´ε` )♡

 It tasted really different than any kind of salad I've ever tried. RECOMMENDED!

Happy tummy, happy heart. It's billing time now...
How much the bill is gonna be? Nah, we share it for 5 people. There is not gonna any problem rite?





Ups...OMO, OMG..... asdfghjkl !!!!!

 Not only he spent his time with us, bringing us into the restaurant, he also paid the bill of us. He said that it's okay to commemorate our meeting for the first time, so he wanted to treat us. After, a very..........very long time of persuasion we finally gave up and we agreed that when he came to Jakarta, we are the one who will treat him! Please come and visit us soon, Hide-san (。◕‿‿◕。)づ

Took another pic before leaving the restaurant. 
Yeah it's raining with very low intensity although it may be seems bright outside.

After that, we visit Sensoji Temple as planned in our itinerary. Again, Hide-san showed us the way.
The environment is really beautiful, can't help taking some pics.

 Do you spot that ninja on the roof?

Finally we arrived and it's selfie time~

Before reaching the main temple, first you will pass along Nakamise Shopping Street. 
Another nice spot for shopping!

We also tried taking fortune paper in the shrine. It costs 100 ¥ and don't worry there is English translation behind. You put in the 100 ¥ coin inside the table and then shake the steel tube. You will then get a long stick contained your number. Put the stick back in the tube and open the desk with the number label on it. Well, no temple workers will watch you whether you put in the coin or not. It's self service. But hey, talk about self-conscience here and don't do anything weird okay?

Or else, the Wind God and Thunder God might punished you ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

Mine got "Small Fortune". Hellen also got "Small Fortune", Shenna is " Medium Fortune", and Angel's was the most unusual and funniest: "Almost Fortune". What the hell is that, LOL. It is said on the paper that it's not good nor bad so just neutral. Hmm, and Hide-san?? At first, he didn't want to try but finally he did it too..... and.....he got.... "Bad Luck"..... LOL. So he need to tie it on the reel provided. That is the tradition which means you will leave your bad luck there and it won't follow you home (hopefully.....)

The tied-up paper

I'm quite surprised too that although he often visited Sensoji, but this is the first time he took a fortune paper. Well, he said that he often visited it at night though...so of course the temple shop is closed.

OMG, another treat from Hide-san... (⊙_◎) 
While us girls are busy paying attention to the shops, he suddenly bought us these manju snacks. This is a local delicacy in Sensoji, you could find this snack in many kind of forms. Starting from animal to famous mascots like Hello Kitty and Doraemon. This one is a lantern with Sensoji Symbol on it.

It has red bean filling inside and I love it!

Okay, move on to another spot! Hide-san introduced us Donquijote. It's a shop where you could find interesting items with cheap price. Starting from snacks to your daily basic needs! Well, I've already knew that Don Quijote is cheap, but I used to think it's only located in Akihabara. Never thought that there is one too in Asakusa~

 There it is! You could easily notice it by that penguin mascot

Sigh, kinda regret that I didn't buy sake for Dad. He collects alcohol drinks from any world. But anyway to buy it I also need to be aged above 21 years old, hence need to buy it using my friend's identity. Well, Dad .... another reason to visit Japan with me, okay?

Rice Toppings ( = Abon in Indonesia)
Urgh, can't hold my limit ..... It's souvenir shopping time! You could find every snacks here: mochi, daifuku, manju, Kit Kat, Chocobi, Pocky, Bourbon, any kind of chocolate, Peanuts, Edamame Chips, even to Dried Scallop! With CHEAP PRICE !!!!!!  Beside snacks they also sold cosmetics, stocking, socks, ramen, cooking ingredients, umbrella, and others .... like a  general grocery store. For tourist, you could gain tax-free if you shop above 5000 ¥ + 8% tax so it must be  above 5400 ¥ to be exact.

Moreover, it opens 24-hours!! 
Bought reaaaally many snacks for my family and friends, and for myself too~

For the first time ever when I'm abroad, I got a payment bill this long, 50 cm and it's clipped into my passport and shall not be removed until I left Japan because it's tax free. Le cousin spent 5124 ¥, hence she didn't pass the criteria. So we joined our purchase, and in total we spent 11.213 ¥ and got 830 ¥ redeemed back. Our purchase then sealed with a large plastic bag and special seal. We may not open it while we are in Japan or we must pay 8% consumption tax.

It's getting late and then we parted ways with Hide-san.
He also showed us the way back to our apartment before he left. 
See you again soon, Hide-san! 

( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

So we dropped our shopping bags from Donquijote at apartment and then went outside again. We walked around....around and around.....to buy another food for later at night. It's about 7 PM on that time, then we found.... that famous 24-hour-bento store with all bento priced at 250 or 350 ¥! The 350 ¥ one simply has a lot more side dishes than the 250 ¥ one~

Yep, that  symbol! Paku Paku Delica~
Beside selling bentos, this store also sold rice cake, karaage stick, and other snacks ranged from 60-300 ¥. Cheapo Fiesta considering that this is Tokyo, and the portion is large too. We always only buy 2 bento for 4 people and it's enough for my tummy. So each person spent 135 ¥ only (it's 500 ¥ + 8% tax = 540 ¥ for 2 bento box @ 250 ¥)....

Then we walked again .... and found a game center with a lot of interesting stuffs inside!

OMGGGG, my favourite GUDETAMAA! I felt like wanna smash this glass and steal the doll!
Drooling Gudetama

 Cute Hiyoko!

Sigh, we could just admire it and passing by since it's very expensive to play (200 ¥ for one try) and to get a doll that BIG needs a loooootttt of repeat. It's now getting dark and we also stumbled upon Gindaco. Bought takoyaki too! It's 550 ¥ for 8 pcs.

 Whew, reach back our apartment, took a bath, and late dinner time!!

The takoyaki is very good although it already got smashed and ruined hahhha. The octopus cut is very big and tasty. Nom nom nom. Paku Paku Bento also tasted good, but I suggest you to buy the plain white rice one because it's much more delicious. Well, talking about Indonesian tongue who's already keen with a lot of spices and MSG, Japanese fried rice tasted kinda plain but still acceptable. But the opposite, Japanese plain white rice is much more delicious than Indonesian.

So.... it's equal I guess? Hahha. 

Okay it's 11 PM now and we must sleep right away since tomorrow we will go somewhere really far! 

That's s the end of my Day 1.
 Stay tuned for the next day adventures since there are a lot mooore good photos about Japan 

Here are useful links that I've used for my adventure:

For renting apartment

For renting wifi

For checking bus schedule so you could plan your itinerary before buying tickets

For checking what shops you would like to visit in Airport and where the bus stop to board on

ヾ(* ̄O ̄)ツ

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I will be travelling to Tokyo. What is the name of the restaurant that you had the Okonomiyaki