So my trip to Tokyo began from Hong Kong. I actually stayed in Hong Kong for 2 days before I set off for Tokyo. After 2 days, most of my jetlag were fought off... and I was able to consistenly wake up at 5:00am every day to do some short run at the hotel's gym.
I left for HK Intl. Airport early in the morning after I had some breakfast at the hotel; I took the Airport Express railway to the airport. In my own opinion, Hong Kong really has the latest & greatest transit system that I'd ever traveled on. I was able to check in to my flight & my luggages at the Hong Kong MTR Station, so I don't have to carry all my luggages all the way to the airport... very cool.
I flew on Japan Airline to Tokyo.... there were plenty of people who were sick on the plane. The girl whom sat next to me coughed so much that I was yearning for a mask to wear. Luckily, I got some Airborne with me, so I took one to boost up my immune system. I know I know.... there are many whom believe Airborne doesn't work. But what can I do..... thats all I had.
Once I arrived to Tokyo, Narita Airport, I had to ask around to locate Narita Express to take me to Shinjuku. And I was able to easily located it and pay for my seat on the railway. The ride to Shinjuku from Narita took almost an hour. But I was entertained with the nice view throughout the ride. And when I arrived to Shinjuku I was pretty tired out.
Once I got off at the Shinjuku Station, I was expecting chaos... since that station is suppose to be very busy with lots of people. But thankfully I was able to locate my exit (New South Exit) pretty easily. When I exited the station, I got my bearings by looking around at the placement of buildings (Thanks to Google map for providing me with street views so I know the detail directions to my hotel). And I was able to walk to my hotel is less than 10 mins.
I stayed at the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Is a fairly nice hotel...but most importantly, it was near the railway station. =) And I had a pretty sweet view of the city in my room.
I stayed at Tokyo for 6 days mostly to visit vendors & wholesalers for my hobby business. Since I didn't know a lot of folks in Japan, I was by myself most of the time, which wasn't a problem for me since I liked the flexibility to do whatever I want at my own pace.
One of the biggest joy during this trip was to visit the 1:1 Gundam Statue @ Shizouka. I think this was a second time I took the shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan, my first when I was like 7 years old. That day was truly a special one.
All in all, it was a satisfying trip. Some highlights of the trip:
- Getting to meet GunGai (Gaijin Gunpla), BusterBeam (Plamo Addiction) & ASM (An American Salaryman in Tokyo), going to visit the 1:1 Gundam at Shizouka together, and having an all you can drink meal afterwards. The 1:1 Gundam was really a sight to behold....it was truly a gundam fan's dream come true. All the pictures that I took does not do the actual statue justice at all, you have to go yourself to see the Gundam in it's full glory. I was able to get my hands on some limited edition merchandise too! =D Afterwards, we took off to a local restaurant for an All-U-Can-Drink dinner meal....and our conversations which we began from the usual gunpla talks to very extreme next level stuff. LOL
*** Not sure whether the guys want their face shown on my post, so I will leave everyone blurred. ***
- Had a nice short meet with a penpal from facebook. Took me to visit a few department stores that carried niche items like stationaries (Anime artist supplies) and other cute little things. Gave me some ideas about what else I should carry with my online biz.
- Visited Hobby Link Japan @ Sano. GunGai gave me a tour of HLJ and took me to eat a famous bowl of Sano's ramen.
- Met with a lot of wholesalers @ Taito-Ku, Tokyo
- Visited Akihabara and went to stores like Yodabashi Camera, Asobit City, Craftsmen Kotobukiya store..etc.
But one thing that sucked was the fact that I had to eat most of my meals by myself. I ate food from convenient stores to better food at restaurants. I even went all out eating a sushi take-out from the Keio Plaza mall.
Getting around Tokyo wasn't much of an issue for me. Having a Suica card was very convenient when taking the rail system. I didn't get lost even once, thanks to the friendly workers at the rail station (they spoke pretty good english).
It was nice to have my Amazon Kindle with me during this trip, as I was able to check my email on the go via Amazon's FREE wireless network (Whispernet), visit my favorite websites like CNN, facebook..etc., and read newspapers & novels.