86Modified In Japan

86Modified In Japan

Postby 86MOD » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:06 am

We had Japan on our travel list for a very long time and in 2015 we were finally able to tick it off the wish list. Leaving from Australia, we were in for a long flight but thankfully not as long as others I have experienced like the one from Sydney to Los Angeles. I’m a light sleeper so find it near impossible to fall asleep on the plane due to the loud engine noise, fellow passengers, and the drinks and food cart moving up and down the aisles. I really need to invest in some good noise-canceling headphones for my next overseas trip. I thought having a couple of shots of Japanese sake prior to boarding the flight would get me a bit tired and relaxed so I could doze off for a few hours but that didn’t do the trick.

We started our overseas trip from Adelaide, South Australia up to Cairns in Queensland, Australia. From there, we made the long flight to Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan. To our surprise, the airport didn’t feel as busy as I had envisioned, but this was definitely a good thing as the last thing you want to deal with after a long flight is pushing through crowds of people to find your luggage and navigate your way through the corridors. One of the first things I did once reaching the airport is what any geek would do and that’s test the WiFi speed that was available from the free wireless hotspots. To no surprise, I was getting a better speed at the airport that has an insane amount of customers using compared to the average internet connection that we have to suffer in Australia with.

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We had pre-booked a shuttle bus (or also referred to as Highway buses (kōsoku bus) that would be picking us up from Narita airport and then taking us to our first hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Shinjuku is a huge entertainment and shopping district in Tokyo, Japan and is absolutely amazing to walk through at night due to the buildings being lit up like Christmas and it brought back memories of my trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the main attractions that people go to in Shinjuku, and was the first stop on our list, was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. It offers a free observation viewing area on the 45th floor where you can get a great view of the city of Tokyo. There is also a small gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs and café too if you need your morning coffee. By far one of my favourite locations was the Yodobashi Camera stores. If you like technology and gadgets, these are an absolute paradise where you can easily spend hours browsing in. They sell DSLR cameras, headphones, video games, car model kits, travel suitcases, clothes, health and beauty products, just about anything really. There are multiple floors in these buildings which are divided into different categories and if you’re like me, you’ll spend hours here and get quite the workout scoping out every level.

One daunting part of our trip was tackling the Japan train system with their scary maps and endless maze of corridors. Thankfully I think we only got lost and confused once or twice which isn’t too bad considering the group of us (4) all only knew a handful of Japanese words to get by. There are a few useful apps on both the Apple store and the Google PlayStore that can make things a bit easier for Western travelers. Tokyosubway for Android was the main one I was using and also Google Translate will come in handy constantly when you’re met with katakana characters that you have no idea about. The trains were all extremely clean and all the passengers remained quiet and respectful of others. Something that is extremely rare to find when using public transport in Australia. The public transport system in Japan has got the reputation of being very efficient and always on time and I would definitely agree with that. Only one night during our whole 2-week trip we experienced a big delay but that was due to a serious mechanical fault. The stations always have vending machines and there’s usually a few small stores where you can quickly grab a drink or snack before your trip.

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