We arrived in Narita International Airport about 5:30 PM Tokyo time. Tokyo is an hour earlier from Singapore but I did not expect it to be so dark like we arrived at night. The weather was chilly at 5 degrees if I am not wrong. I am not used to such cold weather and so we immediately put on another layer of sweaters and scarves as soon as we felt really cold. The Airport has warmers but the moment you step out to an open area like at the train platforms, you’d feel the sudden change of air temperature specially when it is windy.
Time to check in. Our host Mizuki from AirBnB has given us a very detailed instruction on how to reach the apartment.
It did look very easy, but the smaller details specially for first time Tokyo visitors like us, it was rather complicated. From the image, it says From Narita take Kesei Sky Liner to Nippori Station. Pretty simple but boarding the train is the challenge, from purchasing the ticket either from a Japanese language ticket machine or from the manual counter. Well, the counter was easier although the language barrier is intense, we managed to get our subway tickets to Nippori.
On the Dropbox file that our host Mizuki sent us, it contains images as well on how we will walk our way from the nearest train station which is Kameari Station of the Joban line. You can find here a very helpful guide in understanding the extensive Tokyo Subway system. Adding about 10 to 15 minutes to every activity would compensate on the times wasted finding directions. That was us. It was a matter of try and try for us as we get lost every now and then. For me, life is like that. I enjoy discovering things myself, getting lost and I love the feeling when we finally get to where we wanted to go – the feeling of achievement. But then again, time is of the essence and every second counts. It does pays to study the directions well. I had no internet connection that time we reached Kameari Station and it was frigging cold, dark and windy. I didn’t get to screen cap the images our host sent us. I badly needed internet this time and luckily one of the McDonalds (there were 2) near the station has a WiFi and managed to get to the apartment. All we wanted at that point of time was to get to the apartment, get some rest and have some warm dinner.
Our compact apartment near Akihabara Asakusa. About 7 minutes to Kameari Station and just a block away from a shopping mall, a 24-hour convenient store and an average go-to food shop. You can check out more of our apartment here. It cost only about slightly above S$50 a night and I feel it was really a great deal considering that we start our day leaving the place around 8 AM or earlier and come back at almost midnight. We only used the place to rest, have quick breakfasts, and take showers. The place is not as spacious as seen on the AirBnB photo but enough space for the 3 of us. We had to restrict our movements though. The bathroom was clean and it even has a tub in it. Shampoo, conditioner and body soap and towels are provided. If you cook, an induction cooker is available, a microwave and a small personal fridge with freezer are ready as well. It is typically complete with all the basics like electric water pot, hangers, and even a blower. It has a double size bed and an extra folding bed too. It lacks a few things however like a dresser mirror and a safe. Overall, it is pretty decent. The backside is that, although I find it comfy enough, my wife found it to be dusty and with the the bed and pillow covers needs more washing. The most helpful feat was the pocket WiFi that comes with the apartment which we can bring anywhere.
Here is how our compact apartment looked like.
We haven’t had dinner yet so after a little rest and a little freshening up, we checked the hood for a quick diner and yeah, there is a very convenient 24 hour food store too, smaller than a restaurant but the food served was so much that it’s worth.
I have read somewhere during my research that eating in Tokyo is not a problem. You’ll be getting what you have paid for even at the most convenient store. You will have full flavors even when eating on corner food stalls and they all were true! Food in Tokyo is simply fantastic! We highly recommend this Gyudon Rice bowl store near Kameari Station.
Please support my cause as I run the New York City Marathon for Team For Kids.