We decided to fly with just two cabin luggages as we weren’t sure if bringing a large one was a good idea. Left home to Changi International Terminal 1 Airport at 730pm. We took Bus 27 as we weren’t in a rush. Aside from a typo error on my wife’s boarding ticket, everything else went smoothly and we were flying to KL by 10pm.
The flight barely lasted 40 min. Our 1-hour transit at KLIA was rather uneventful and we were on route to Narita, Japan at around 1am. Airasia, being a budget airline, didn’t offer much frills onboard even though I had paid extra to be seated at a quiet zone (just behind business class). The flight took 7 hours and it was freezing mid-way. Paid $12 for a measly nasi lemak breakfast. Mental note, bring a spare jacket and some snacks when travelling overnight on a budget airline. Also bring some Malaysian Ringgit if travelling on Airasia.
I was so exciting and happy upon reaching Japan! The sky was clear and blue and once we stepped out of the plane, we were greeted with a sub 10 degrees celcius temperature. Going through Narita immigration was a breeze and we were out of the departure hall in less than 30 min.
Once out, we stopped by a portable WIFI rental booth and got one unit for Y1000/day (unlimited and at 40mbps!). Next was to figure out how to take the train to Ueno station. To our delight, the subway’s station directory and signs have English translations so it wasn’t long before we got our tickets and boarded the train. The train ride to Ueno lasted 75 minutes as we had taken a limited express ride. Should have taken the Skyliner which didn’t cost much more and took about 45 minutes.
We were somewhat under-dressed and realising that the cold was too much for our tropical-exposed bodies, we quickly put on some layers before finding our way to the hotel. We were not sure how to get to the hotel from the station so had to rely on Google Maps to get us there (thank you portable WIFI!)
After almost 30 minutes walk, we found The Edo Sakura in a small alley of a quiet neighbourhood. A senior lady welcomed us and were told that we could only check in at 3pm. Seeing that we had more than 3 hours, we decided to leave our luggages behind and went out. With no cumbersome luggages, we took our time to learn the train system at the nearby Iriya Station while observing the locals on how to use the ticketing machine. We decided to go to the nearby Asakusa to explore the Sensojin Temple and street bazaar. (END OF PART 1)