After a grueling nine hour flight from Honolulu to Narita International Airport and another hour train ride to Tokyo, we finally made it! Hallelujah to the highest note!
And so the adventure began…
We checked in at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, which by the way, was a really, REALLY nice five star hotel (we got four nights for FREE, thanks to our Hyatt card!). We unpacked our things and rested a little.
We braved the streets of Roppongi on our first night. It was nice. Like any major city or district, it was busy.
We ate an authentic Japanese ramen for dinner, which was oishi. I don’t know the name of the restaurant because it was written in Japanese characters. After that, we roamed the streets for some more, got lost, got lost again, and made it back to the hotel.
Our plan was simple. We only had to see four places that day. The famous Sensoji Temple (oldest temple in Tokyo), the Imperial Palace, the Meiji Shrine, and Harajuku District. In case you are not familiar with Harajuku District, it is where you can see girls that are dressed up like dolls and other people in cool costumes.
Of course, I was already awake at 4 am that day looking at the map and planning our subway routes. Hans was still snoring.
Fast forward to Sensoji temple. The temple, as expected, was beautiful, HUGE, and…where did all these people come from?? Seriously. As it turned out, there was a festival of some sort. People were shouting “bansai” while marching in their traditional Japanese costumes. Hans and I, along with other tourists, actually got stuck in the middle of the road while they’re having a parade. Damn tourists! LOL.
We checked out the East Garden of the Imperial Palace after, and then got lost (again!) in Yoyogi Park on our way to the Meiji Shrine, and ended the day in Harajuku. The dolls didn’t disappoint.
This was a day to remember. This was the day when budget pal got charged $21 for 2 small cups of coffee at the Hyatt!! You know how that went. I was like, “What’s in this coffee? Gold coffee?? Diamond sugar??”.
Don’t worry. I behaved myself. I wasn’t ready to get samurai’d in Japan. It took Hans fifteen minutes to calm my nerves down and accept my defeat. It was my fault. They offered me coffee. I said yes. I should have asked if it’s free or not.
Note to self: When someone offers something, especially at a five star hotel, ALWAYS ASK HOW MUCH? I actually had the same experience at the Eiffel Tower restaurant in Las Vegas. I got charged $14 for a cup of coffee! Who pays for a $14 cup of coffee? ME <insert eyeroll here>.
They say that once is enough, twice is too much. In my book, it should have never happened. If this happens to me for the third time, I am resigning as your budget pal. Promise.
We visited the majestic Mount Fuji, the scenic Lake Kawaguchiko, had a boat ride in Lake Ashi, rode the cable car to the mountain (to which I swear was scary!), and traveled back to Tokyo with the Shinkansen bullet train. We ended the night with a KIMONO fitting at the Hyatt. I was rocking it! L.O.L.
Growing up, I have always watched ANIME. Magic Knight Rayearth, BT’x, Streetfighter, Sailor Moon, Doraemon? You know what I’m talking about? It would be a shame if I didn’t go to the Electric/Anime City. And so we went. It was like the toy land. We had so much fun. We even played the pachinko slots! Hans won. I lost.
Tokyo Tower was the last on the list. We went on the top of the tower and viewed the Tokyo metropolis. It was a sight to behold.
Another interesting thing happened that day. Are you ready? Are you ready?
For some reason, when we got back to the hotel, our room key wasn’t opening our door. To cut the story short, the technicians had to change the locks or fix some cable wirings in our door. Hans and I went to the Nagomi Spa on the fifth floor of the Hyatt and enjoyed their swimming pool while waiting. I swear I saw a Christian Grey look a like at the pool! After an hour, we went back to our room and they were still fixing our door. Of course, the duty manager was very apologetic and offering us free breakfast, free wine, free anything to make up for the trouble. To cut the story even shorter, she COMP’ED our entire breakfast on Day 3 INCLUDING THE $21 COFFEE!! Thank you, broken door. Apology accepted, Hyatt.
We left Tokyo with a smile in our face. Japan is a beautiful country with warm people, good food, amazing sceneries, and rich culture. What an incredible and unforgettable journey we had.
For my next blog, I will share with you what happened on our visit to the Philippines. 🙂 🙂 🙂