Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Bubble: An Expensive Rush In Tokyo!

What is 5 days in Tokyo?  One day is a low-key activity day for energy conservation prior to the next day that has been reserved for the Tokyo International Marathon.  That means I effectively only have 3 days to go about sight-seeing and shopping around this Japanese city.  Conclusion to this equation simply screamed "I don't have enough days in Tokyo!"

Anyway no choice ... the air-tickets are purchased and booked on Air Asia which means changes or cancellation cost extras.  So be it!  I will make the best of my short trip then.

We arrived into Haneda International Airport late at night on 23 Feb and as planned, we slept at the airport since we did not want to waste a full day's rate for a hotel.  To our surprise, there were so many people who are doing the same thing that all the seats and benches on every floor and corner of the airport were taken up.  Some of them even came prepared with pillows and blankets.  Lo kong and I were so surprised!!

Sleeping @ Haneda International

Lo kong managed to sleep for several hours but I did not catch a wink at all on top of the sleepless night I'd gone through the night before.  By the next morning, I've actually gone without sleep for more than 24 hours.  Nothing to fret about since I've gone without sleep for 3 days in row before.

We caught the first Tokyo Monorail out of Haneda at almost 6am, transiting at Tennozu Isle for Kokusai-Tenjijo via the Rinkai Line to get to Tokyo Big Sight where the Tokyo International Marathon Expo is held.  We were extremely early and the extremely windy morning was no help either.  We were chilled to bone even in our thick jackets.  On top of that, the expo won't be opened until 11am.  Lugging our luggage around, we were lucky to be able to sit it out at the McDonald's nearby undisturbed.  After collecting his race kit and checking out the expo, we backtrack the same way to the famous Shinjuku Station.

Despite all the hooha I've heard about the many different subway lines in Tokyo, I find that getting about their system wasn't that difficult at all. But boy, the cheapest fare I'd paid for our rides on their subway and monorails was about ¥190 = RM8 per person.  No doubt travelling a further distance will be more worthwhile but when you have to fork-out ¥590 for two just within the city limits, it is really breaking the pocket quite a bit.  Beware ... getting around in Tokyo is expensive!

The subway system @ Tokyo 

By the time we left the expo and check into our hotel located a walking distance away from Shinjuku Station, it was already 5pm in the evening.  They do provide a free shuttle service but we missed it!  Shinjuku New City Hotel looks a bit rundown from the outside but the room does make up for it.  Our double room was clean, spacious and comfortable at their winter offer of about ¥6900.  We fell into a wonderful rejuvenating nap within minutes!

Hhhhaaaauuuwwwnnn ... yawnnn, I'll continue with my rush rush trip and unfinished business to Hakone another day.

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