Getting to the Airport
I woke up early, got ready and finished packing. I set off for the station and caught a Train to Osaka. I got there around 09:00. I was surprised to find that the station was extremely busy with people coming and going to work and school. I mistakenly thought it would be quiet on a Saturday. The information counter didn’t open until 10:00 but I found a station employee and asked which platform I needed for the airport train. I caught the train to the airport. I had to stand for a few stops before I got a seat.
Kansai International Airport
I got to the airport at around 10:00. My flight wasn’t until 14:05 but I chose to arrive early in case there were any issues with transport. Getting around in Japan only basic Japanese can be a challenge. The stations are huge and finding where to go and which platform you need, can be difficult. Understandably, English is not widely spoken.
I got something to eat and explored the shops and restaurants. While I was waiting a young Japanese women approached me as if she needed some help which I thought was strange because in most cases like that there is a language gap. It turned out though that she was an undercover policewoman and she asked me questions about my trip and where I was staying. She only spoke a little English so the conversation was a mixture of Japanese and English.
I checked-in at 12:00, went through security and waited at the departure gate until the plane boarded.
The flight took 1 hour so I arrived in Narita Airport in Tokyo at around 15:00.
Inside the terminal I had to catch a shuttle train to the baggage collection area. I picked up my luggage, got something to eat and headed for the train station at about 17:30.
In the terminal I noticed a policeman carrying out another security check with a group of foreigners.
There several options to get to the centre of Tokyo. I opted to catch the Narita Express which stopped in Shinagawa Station which is close to where my next Air BnB was in Kita-Shinagawa. I got a ticket on the platform and caught the train. The train was reservation only.
When I arrived at Shinagawa Station I had a quick look around and then asked someone at the information desk how to get to Kita-Shinagawa. I caught the train and when I got there, I checked into the Air BnB which was directly opposite the train station on the other side of the road.
I dropped my things off, had a quick shower and got changed. I was really tired but it was only about 19:30 and I really wanted to get some Halloween photos. I left the apartment and caught a train to Shinagawa where I caught another train to Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. This line loops around central Tokyo and stops at several popular destinations.
I got to Shibuya just after 20:00. I followed the crowds towards Shibuya Crossing. This is the busiest crossing in the world and a major destination for visitors. I followed everyone to a raised walkway which was packed with people viewing Shibuya Crossing through the windows. I watched for a bit and then found an exit. I exited via the Hachiko Exit. Hachiko was a Japanese dog famous for having legendary loyalty to his owner. There is a statue of Hachiko outside the station in Hachiko Square.
There were thousands of people coming and going. Most of them were dressed in Halloween costumes or wearing cosplay. I explored the area briefly and took several portraits and some video footage then returned to the station.
I caught a train to Shinjuku to see what was happening there.
On the way I briefly stopped in Harajuku to take some photos. I heard about plans to upgrade Harajuku Station and I wanted to get a photo of the building as it is now. I took a photo of some cosplayers and of Harajuku Station outside the Omotesando Exit.
I arrived in Shinjuku just before 22:00. Shinjuku not as packed as Shibuya but still very busy. Only a few people were dressed in cosplay.
I got something to eat and headed back to the Air BnB. I got a little lost and it took me a while to find the station. Luckily we have Google Maps now to help with directions.
I caught a train back to Shinagawa where I caught a train to Kita-Shinagawa. When I got in I just went straight to bed.
Manchester to Osaka
Arriving in Japan
Kobe and Osaka
Osaka to Tokyo
Shibuya & Halloween Photos
Whistle Stop Tour
Narita to Manchester