Narita Airport

Narita to Manchester

*** Spoiler Alert ***    Nothing much to write about here as I was returning home and travelling all day but here’s what happened.

Narita Express

I got up early, grabbed all my stuff and set off for the train station. I got a train just before 07:00 to Shinagawa where I bought a ticket for the Narita Express. I didn’t understand the different types of tickets available so I got the most basic one. I went to the platform. There were signs on the platform saying that all the seats were reserved. I just got on the front carriage which happened to be a Green Car which is First Class. I was the only one in the car for most of the journey and only a couple of people got on this car at another station. A couple of stations before the airport a conductor entered the car and asked me to pay for an upgrade on my Ticket.

Narita Airport

When I got to the airport I headed for the check-in desk and checked in my luggage. I went through security and headed for the departure gate. Before the flight I had a large beer while I was waiting.

The first flight for Zurich left at 11:05 and took over 12 hours.

Zurich Airport

In Zurich there was not enough security desks open although they opened some more desk after customers complained. The staff were quite rude and complained a lot about customers not following the rules (even though these rules were not explained to anybody). The staff man-handled my external hard disk and cameras. I chose not to argue as I had already heard them threaten another customer with not being able to fly that day.

I had a coffee while I waited at the departure gate for the next flight at 17:10 (local time). I took 2 hours to get to Manchester.

Manchester Airport

I arrived in Manchester just after 18:00 and collected my luggage then went through the automated security checks and went home by tram. I was a bit tired and chose the wrong ticket from the ticket machine but I spoke to a staff member who changed the ticket for me.


Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester


Kansai International Airport

Osaka to Tokyo

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.

Narita Airport

The flight took 1 hour so I arrived in Narita Airport in Tokyo at around 15:00.

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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.

Shinagawa

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.

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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.

Shibuya

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.

Harajuku Station

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.

Shinjuku

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.

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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.

Kita-Shinagawa

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.

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Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester