Evening rush hour is an adventure in Tokyo. Seen in the photo above, the metro are bursting with people pushing hard to get into the train and go back home. I wish Malaysia has infrastructure to allow us to take the train to work. Then again, yes – there are train for me to get to work, but I am too lazy to take it. Idiot me. Taking the train will allow me to “workout” because I will be forced to walk more. 10k steps will not be a difficult thing to achieve!
Tokyo Metro is an integral part of the daily lives of Tokyo inhabitants. Without Tokyo Metro – the whole Tokyo will be in a grid lock. Despite mountains of people walking on the street, the commute between longer distances are done mostly thru Tokyo Metro. I have not taken Tokyo buses before but the Metro is my usual mode of transport whenever I am in Tokyo. The following are collection of my photos during my solo trip in Tokyo this year.
Missed the train….
Common scene where most of the people are hooked to their mobile phones while waiting for the train.
One of the joy in life is to go cafe hunting whenever you are on holiday. This morning I woke up quite late – as I was extremely tired from the major flight screw up on Sunday. I lost a whole day of walking and a seat in first class. So this morning, instead of having coffee around my hotel, I decided to go and have coffee in one of the nice cafes. I do have a list from my friend but it seems to that the place that I wanted to go was closed!
So – googling around and found Blue Bottle not too far. Quick walk and wow, managed to find the place. Pretty nice looking place indeed. Didn’t expect the coffee shop to be this nice. I’ve been to blue bottle before and bought a whole bunch of coffee beans and latte. It was awesome. And the queue was pretty looooong indeed. This morning – it was great.
So this morning I had a small lot Guatemalan coffee – single origin drip. Pretty nice flavour. Not too strong, not too sour. Just nice and clean! Love it. Now I am deciding whether I want to bring any coffee beans back today or not. Maybe I’ll buy a bag or two or three. So that in case I don’t have time – I still have some coffee!
Also – to pair with my coffee is toast with poach egg. Something simple. Didn’t bother to eat anything fancy. But one thing for sure in Japan – their toast are just awesome. In my mind – I always think if I should just get my bread supplies from Japanese bakery like Sun Moulin. Then again – I should be cutting in carbs and not be consuming too much bread.
Ok then… to end this post. Just a view of of my sloppy travel look…
I am definitely a coffee addict and I have 3 types espresso machine from this site at home to prove it. Looking at the amount coffee that I consume – I do spend a lot of money on coffee. When I was in Japan – I did go to Starbucks almost every single morning because they do have very good brewed coffee – or Coffee Of The Day. Same goes when I got back to Malaysia – I continue to have brewed coffee whenever I have time to get a cup of Joe early in the morning. As I am an early bird – most definitely it is almost like a daily affair. One thing about brewed coffee, it gotta be fresh off the brew otherwise it will taste like shit.
Now back to blue bottle. I have never heard of them before, but on the last day, while chilling by the roadside waiting for the time when I need to go to take my train to Narita, I saw this coffee shop near Shinjuku. So many people were queueing up for it. So I could not help it but to google for the brand – Blue Bottle. I couldn’t help it but to see this article.
So – I quickly pack up and rush. Thank god – the queue was not so bad then (so I think). What I did not know what that the queue was just for the order, and then you had to wait while they make your coffee. It was a good 15 mins before I had my coffee. Anyway – the coffee was really good I must say. One of the best that I’ve tasted in Japan. I will definitely come here again. I also got a chocolate saffron cookie. Oh emmm geee. It was so good.
Here are some of the photos that I took while waiting for my coffee.
Left Kuala Lumpur from via Malaysia Airlines MH88. Flight left on time (surprising for Malaysia Airlines). Flight duration is 6:40 mins and landed in Tokyo about 7:15am. Surprisingly the temperature here is a good 23 degrees. Far cry from the expected low 10s!
Getting the reserved SIM card
First port of call is to pickup the SIM card that I ordered from Sakura Mobile. Pretty expensive but I wanted to have a more stable connection. Paid almost JPY22000! Crazy. The process of picking up the SIM card was easy, as I just needed to go to the post office, and show my tracking number and verify myself with my passport. With that the person will then pass me the package that contains the sim. Once I have the sim, I then installed on my phone. All is working fine now!
Moving on to Rail Pass
I bought the rail pass in Malaysia through the Japanese Travel Bureau (JTB) thats located in Lot 10. Apparently you can only by the pass from overseas but what I found out is that you CAN buy the pass in Japan but the price will be much more expensive. There’s a savings of roughly 10%.
Narita Express to Tokyo Station
Once I gotten the rail pass, I quickly booked a train on NEX (Narita Express) at 9.15am, to get to Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station – I can take my next train to Nagano.
Lunch at Tokyo Station
At Tokyo Station – there is this place located on 1st Floor – which is called Kitchen Street. Similar to the concept of food court, you can get mostly Japanese local food there. I was toying around the idea of going for a pure Uni bowl, or should I go for Ochazuke. I did go for Ochazuke, and I thought that was a great decision!
The shop on Kitchen Street
Then to Nagano
Utilising the rail pass again, booked a ticket on the Shinkansen heading towards Nagano. Its almost a 2 hours ride. The Shinkansen that I took is the Hokuriku Shinkansen that left Tokyo Station at 12:04pm (train 609) and reached Nagano at 13:53pm. As always – there weren’t any surprises!
I am too tired to continue – will do day 1 tomorrow morning.. maybe