Traveling to the hotel
(In an attempt to spread my love for Japan, I will label some commonly used vocabulary words/phrases in (romaji) so that if you are reading you can learn some Japanese along the way :))
Getting to the hotel (hoteru) was tricky. I NEARLY got lost.
In Tokyo, different trains (densha) come by the same platform. Even the subways (chikatetsu) as well. Get on the wrong train and you’re off to another end of the city.
You can eat and drink on the train. But you cannot use your mobile phone (keitai denwa o tsukatte wa ikemasen).
This, to me, is a very neat idea. Japan is so clean and refined that they don’t have to worry about commuters eating on the train because nobody litters. In fact even though it’s allowed, I barely see anyone eating on trains and platforms.
In Singapore? Different story.
The intervals between trains are pretty long. I waited approximately 20 minutes for the next train to Oshiage. This kind of makes me appreciate the short waiting times for trains/buses in Singapore.
That couple you see in the photo are Singaporeans. We had a good time chatting. Always nice to see Singaporeans in foreign places.
Felt surreal being here.
The different colors represent the different lines that come by the same platform.
Finally reached my desired stop at about 2pm Tokyo time, 2.5 hours post arrival.
I stayed at Tokyo Grand Hotel, a pretty awesome 3 star hotel located at Minato-ku. The hotel is about 10 minutes walk from Daimon and Hamamatsucho Station (eki). Very straightforward and convenient. What’s more, I got upgraded to a room with a bigger bed and I only paid approx. $95 a night which is fabulous considering the fact that I only made bookings a week prior to my arrival.
So happy! (cho ureshii)
It was drizzling and the weather peaked at about 17-18 degrees centigrade. It was perfect.
Tokyo Grand Hotel
And here’s my super comfy lovely room for the next few nights:
Check-in was swift and seamless.
Upon depositing my luggage (I didn’t even bother to unpack), I went downstairs to ask for directions to the Tokyo Pokemon Center (which very fortunately is super close (chikaku) to my hotel).
The Pokemon Center is extremely close to Daimon Eki. Even though the concierge could not speak a word of English, he was very helpful and polite throughout my entire stay whenever I asked for directions.
Before heading to the Pokemon Center I went to Family Mart to purchase a transparent umbrella (kasa) because the rain was starting to get quite heavy. I love it so much but apparently in Japan almost everybody uses one and it is considered a common everyday item (fu tsuu no mono).
Every quiet corner/alley I walk past, I will hear a high frequency noise which gets uncomfortable after a while. Then I found out that it is meant to deter delinquents from loitering around the area.
Singapore needs that!!!!
After 15mins or so (with a lot of wind-braving and gut instincts), I located the Pokemon Center!
Tokyo Pokemon Center
It’s on the second level of the Shiodome-Shiba Rikyū building.
Ahhhh I cannot emphasize how much I love this place! Everything was so cute and I love Pokemon (played practically all the versions). I regret not getting more stuff D:
I was contemplating whether or not to get this and now I totally regret not getting!
Everywhere you can hear little kids (kodomo) screaming ‘oto-san, mite mite! Kore o kaitai! Mecha kawaii!’ (Meaning ‘Daddy look look! I want to buy this it is so cute!!!’)
I mean if I were there with someone I would probably scream the same thing, hands on heart
‘Excuse me, could you please help me to take a photo? Thank you’
I guess you got to be adept at being thick skinned and ask people to take photos for you when you are a solo traveler
(Totally fitting in with my paddle pop hoodie haha)
From the time I touched down to this point, I got approximately 50 bows (to which I bowed back). Cashiers are so polite and random passers-by offer to help when you look lost.
I cannot wait to be back here