No, I’m not talking about the flight time. I’m talking about the time at which I bought my plane tickets to the time I actually landed in Tokyo. Yes, this is my first trip out of Singapore without much prior planning – the tickets were bought at about 6pm, and the flight was at 11:50pm the very same night. The wife made a very haphazard booking with a hotel and we’re off on an 8 hour flight to Tokyo.
It wasn’t a good idea really, but the wife had an important certification training that got confirmed quite last minute and due to the school holidays, there weren’t any tickets on the weekend. She refuses to travel alone and so the husband must tag along.
I arrived at Tokyo and it was really cold (slighly below 10 degrees C). I had a fugly green winter jacket that I bought seven years ago when I went to China, but it was way too puffy for this weather, so my first stop at Narita International was to grab a decent winter jacket.
Anyway, fastrack a little bit. Most Japanese can’t speak English(some tokyo escorts can), and that’s my biggest problem here. Things are horribly, horribly expensive as well, e.g. no decent meal below S$10 per person. Nothing you can really buy for less than S$5 except canned drinks and MacDonalds’. My Hotel is miserably small for S$170/night. The entire room including the bathroom is actually about the size of my bedroom w/o the bathroom. Oh, and also, almost every non-living thing here talks by itself – lifts, trains, doors, pedestrian crossings, restruants, escalators, stairs… I’m serious! It warns you to mind your step!
This is the most automated and robotic place I’ve seen. Even people keep talking non stop – I mean the retail staff. You go to a counter and pay for something, the moment they greet you, they go on saying things (I cannot understand) until you get your change and they bid you goodbye. But the people are really polite and I do enjoy being around this place as a visitor. Working here is probably another different thing altogether. I’m about to head out of my hotel to take a photo of the peak hour rush on a Monday morning.
If you think Singapore’s MRT/LRT is messy, wait till you see Japan’s JR/Bullet Train/Tokyo Subway maps. The map above is just the Tokyo Subway alone. There’s the JR and Bullet Train not shown here. Bullet Train is quite straightforward though, it has only a few stops as it was designed to go long distance really fast.
On the side note, while I was walking down Roppongi with my wife this evening, two crazy angmohs (Caucasians) came up to me and tried to poke fun of me – maybe they were cracking some racist jokes or something. I told them off (in English, of course) that “I’m not a fucking local.” I guess they were a little surprised when I responded that way. These angmohs had better behave in other peoples’ country, seriously. I don’t know what they were thinking poking fun of Japanese in Japan. Somebody should kick their ass.
P.S. How is it possible for a map not to be north bound?!? The Tokyo tourist map is not north bound! I’m having a hard time reading it with my compass!