I was surprisingly blessed with the chance to go to Japan 2 weeks ago. Seeing as it was a great opportunity for me to explore since I was already there, I extended my trip to 8 days from the original 4 days. Unfortunately for me, it was the week I was swarmed with deadlines for school. Lunckily, the company was the one who organized everything, from booking flights to visa application.
The company was split into two trips, one flying 6 hours earlier via Jetstar on April 18th, Wednesday, and the others including myself was flying via Philippine Airlines at 6am of April 19th, Thursday. Since it was a work-filled day on the 18th, some of my officemates went straight to the airport. I, on the otherhand, went home to Manila, finished packing and took an hour’s worth of nap. My uncle and my cousin was nice enough to drive me to the airport at 2am.
Web check-in is God-sent. We were finished with checking in and Immigration in less than an hour, so I spent most of the time before boarding working on my research paper for school. (Did I already mention it was supposed to be at least 8 pages, single-spaced, due the Saturday of that week).
I was actually working on my paper half the time during the 4-hour trip. We arrived Narita Airport around 12:15 (JP time), and took about an hour in Immigration. We were able to leave the airport for our hotel-bound trip past 1pm since we were waiting up for the people who only had their peso and dollars exchanged to yen that time. During the start, our tour guide, Hana was pretty boring and monotonous. She reminded us of a couple of things we should know about the culture and what was planned for us for the next day. I was drained given that I was awake for at least 30 hours, so I snoozed off during the bus ride.
The hotel we were staying in, Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba, had an amazing view out its window. We were each given an access card, meal coupons, and a list of wifi passwords when we arrived. Room was cozy, and I love the tiny service details that made the hotel a definite 4-star.
There was nothing planned on our first day, so I dropped by Fatz and Ing’s room along with Mark to grab lunch in the nearby areas. We decided to visit Diver City, a mall just a 10-minute walk away from our hotel.
We decided to go for our late lunch in their food court area. Note that almost everything was in Japanese, but luckily there’s a computer monitor with English translations by the entrance.
We ended up in Kimukatsu, where I ordered this Katsudon meal (pork cutlets with egg) with free miso soup for 940¥ (450 pesos).
It was delicious! Though I think I was over expecting to eat a legitimate Katsudon meal so I didn’t go beyond that written reaction. My only takeaway from that lunch was the fact that food court food costs that much. I prayed silently to my wallet.
After eating, we visited the famous Gundam model standing outside the mall and went around the mall hoping to shop for items afterwards. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to get any pasalubongs as I was still in my “I still have 7 days on my trip, why rush?” mindset. Ing and Fatz were able to buy a couple of items though!
We went back to the hotel by 7pm to avail our buffet dinner in one of the function rooms. Food all looked delicious, though some of them just looked it. lol.
After eating, we decided to head out and explore Symbol Promenade Park, a nearby recreation area. The view was spectacular, overlooking rainbow bridge, which was unfortunately not rainbow-y that night.
It was scarf-level cold for me. We took pictures, talked a bit and it wasn’t long before we headed back at around 9pm seeing as the mall is closed anyway. We called it a day, and I spent my night doing my school paper and slept around 1am.
Traveling to Japan? Read this for important know-how’s!