100 Happy Days / Day 48: Day 1 in Tokyo

The temperature reading on the clock flashed 6.5 degrees Celsius. I only had a thin cardigan on, and the cold wind was seeping quickly through it. The air was clean; just like the glass windows as we emerged from the plane.

As we waited for our bus, we saw a gentleman in a bright blue knee-length jacket at work at a road intersection. With an arm pointing left, he swung an orange baton around and around as each vehicle passed by. A police van came by, and he put his baton to his lips as he gave a quiet salute.

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It was not a complicated diverging point, so we pondered for a minute why they chose not to add a road sign, but to hire a person to direct traffic. I wonder what goes through his mind as he stands there in the wind with the sun shining down on him, hour after hour. If there was a vending machine nearby, I may have bought him a can of beer.

I don’t know when this started, but everyone seemed to be using an iPhone. I remember the old days where most of the Japanese would use the local docomo phones which were thin clam models. It was distinctive as the girls would have lots of charms and kawaii items hanging from them. The phase seemed to have passed for good now.

We soon reached Tokyo Kiba Hotel, which is a capsule hotel conveniently located beside Kiba station. We have heard of such hotels before, but this is the first time we are trying it. You can read more about our experience and other budget accommodation options here. Suffice to say that we felt like we were dough waiting to be baked in the oven. But it was actually comfy! And cheap 🙂

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We headed to Ginza to meet Naoko, a friend of Flaminia. She has the cutest daughter Kao, who appeared in front of us in the busy Tokyo crowd, dressed with a cape blanket.

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We would soon find out that she takes excellent photos as a 3 year old and can amuse herself by looking at the pictures where we made funny faces at her.

We had delicious dessert by an old cafe with history dating back to the 1800s. It is nice that in Year 2014, we are still able to enjoy their sweets amidst skyscrapers. I wonder if women back then had the habit of afternoon tea with friends as well.

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How to get to the city center from Narita Airport:

We tried the Keisei Airport shuttle and for 900 yen/way, it is a good deal! The ticketing counter is just outside the customs gate and there are many buses that go to major train stations such as Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ginza. This is convenient and cheaper compared to 2,940 yen for the marginally faster Airport Express.

While we were at the bus stop no. 31 of the airport terminal, we also noticed another type of airport-city shuttle that runs frequently which cost 1,000 yen/way by cash. So you get to hop on from this bus stop without buying tickets first as long as there are still empty seats available.

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