Tokyo is truly by far, the most hectic city i have ever been to. We always find ourselves in the train station, catching one train after another, and other times, we find ourselves in the midst of the crowd, feeling like a canned tuna. I find it rather difficult to keep up with the pace. It’s not to say that it is entirely a bad thing but i reckon, it can be overwhelming at first. Truthfully, a little part of me could see myself living here, catching one train after another, with a book in my hand, going back to a small confined home just big enough for myself… You know, that sort of thing. And i love how within a few minutes, you could easily get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and find yourself surrounded by the greens and yellows. And you finally get to breathe again….
On our third day in Tokyo, dad thought it would be a brilliant idea to see the city by taking the Hop On & Hop Off bus. I have taken the tour in Paris and Barcelona and we loved every bit of it. Thus, i expected nothing less than that…. Oh boy, was I wrong. It was the most tedious ride i have ever experienced! It has three different routes — the green, the blue and the purple. We took the blue one from Asakusa and alighted the bus at the tokyo station, took the green one that took us all the way to Odaiba. None of the stops were fascinating and so we had remained in our seats until the tour was over. In fact, most of us was asleep throughout the course of the ride. The bus doesn’t go to the city centre like Shinjuku or Shibuya, which was totally a let-down. The ticket was about 3,500 yen (About MYR 130).
On our last day in Tokyo, i thought i should bring the group to Ueno, predominantly, for their remarkable park. Once we reached the Ueno station, we took a short stroll along the Ameyoko Shopping Street where my brothers and I had our ramen. I truly love the vending machine culture here. It is very handy or convenient to say the least. We had to order and pay for our ramen through the machine and all we had to do next was just, wait for a couple of minutes, eat and go. The street, on the other hand, was filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, and small stalls that sell foreign things. Dad was eager to check out the golf shop there.
Afterward, we took a short walk to the Ueno Park where we were greeted by a sea of golden, green and yellow. It was indeed a beautiful sight. Little did we know, it was Thanksgiving and the park was thronged with locals as well as tourists. They had some sort of food festival going on there. I must say, when it comes to food, Malaysia is unbeatable in that sense. However, I am not very much of an adventurous person when it comes to food but here in Japan, almost everything they sell seem rather appealing. The beautiful park, I reckon, was a beautiful way to end our trip to Tokyo.
Every time we travel, dad will always tell us to open our eyes wide and make us find something good to learn or something to implement into our daily life. Japanese people in general are truly the nicest. Although they speak little English, they would go to a great length to help you if you are in need. We have experienced that firsthand! We were lost and had approached this random man and instead of just abandoning us or shrugging our question off like most people would do, he ushered us all the way to the bus station when he was supposedly going to the opposite direction. It was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to encounter someone like that. Also, i love how the city is organized and so very clean. The thing is, it is kind of difficult to find a trash can unlike in KL, and yet, the city is indescribably clean compared to ours. I love how people would queue and wait for every passenger to alight from the train or the bus instead of just squeezing themselves impatiently into every possible gap they see. I love how i feel somewhat secure in Japan. I could leave my handbag on the table and i know it will still be there when i return. I have been told that the Japanese prison is notoriously strict and brutal. I reckon, when you have a place that has strict rules and to have the authority implementing those rules and making sure the people obey their rules and not get away easily, this is the greatest reward you will get as a country. And i love how the trains are always on time! There isn’t a moment where they will be even a minute late from scheduled time. And last but not least, i love the alleys in Tokyo. To say it is beautiful is an understatement. It will somehow give me a glimpse of what Tokyo truly was long before i was born especially with the bicycles and antiquated, traditional Japanese housing. Some tips before you go:
- Make sure you have downloaded Google Map because it is the only app you will need on your phone to get around. It tells you how to get to the place, which train you should take, which line you should take, or which bus, the fare, the platform, everything.
- Rent a pocket wifi. You can collect it at the airport before you go. This is very crucial because you can easily get lost without the internet. I rented mine from Samuraiwifi.com.my.
- Travel light. Some train stations do not have elevators or escalators and you have no other choice but to carry your heavy luggage up and down the staircase which could be an excruciating experience.
- If you are from Malaysia, you can get the Suica card (It is akin to touch & go) from JTB Malaysia along with your JR Pass if you are planning to get that too.
- They would not tell you how much your fare is going to be. Hence, you have to go to Google Map and see how much it will take to get you there. And with that, you can estimate how much you are going to charge your Suica Card.
- The train stations or bus stations have English translations so that should not be a problem.
- If you have JR pass, that will be great too. You can use that to get around without paying for anything and the JR stations cover all those major attractions you would want to see.
- Tokyo is beautiful at night. I reckon, it is the perfect time for you to explore the city.
- Try the street food! You would either love it or hate it. But most of the time, you’d love it. Oh my god, the soft serves. The.matcha.soft.serves. Writing it down makes me want to have it right now.
P.s – I am wearing the Joanna dress from Soleil that we will be launching really soon! It blends so well with the autumn colours and i love it.
Tokyo, you will be missed.