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


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Harajuku

Harajuku

Before Harajuku

I got up around 10:00 and went to Shinagawa Station. I bought a couple of snacks and took some quick video footage of the station.

Harajuku

I caught a train to Harajuku Station to meet one of my HelloTalk friends. We arranged to meet at 11:30 inside the ticket gate at the Omotesando Exit. I arrived early and eat one of the snacks that I bought earlier.

I met my friend and we went to Omotesando.

Harajuku

The area was a mixture of new and old buildings and is known for being a shopping destination.

Omotesando Hills

My friend told me that one of the old buildings we went into used to be apartments a long time ago.

Then we went in a souvenir shop and I tried to get some money from a cash machine. It didn’t work with my MasterCard which may have been because it was Sunday.

While we were there, there was a Halloween Cosplay Parade in the main street. People lined the streets to see it. I took a photo and some video footage.

Omotesando Hills

One of the shops had a robot called Pepper. Pepper is a Japanese robot which is designed to have realistic conversations with people. It was being used to describe make-up products.

Then we headed for Takeshita Street through some back streets.

Harajuku

On the way we stopped in a cafe and had something to eat. While walking I noticed a few people were getting photos of their fashion and cosplay outfits away from the crowds.

Our destination was Takeshita Street which was packed full of mostly young people and teenagers. This area is has been somewhat of a Mecca for young people who love fashion since the 1970s. It is teaming with fashion and accessory shops.

I had a coffee and managed to find a cash machine that worked with my MasterCard.

We then left to catch the train to Shinjuku where I had arranged to meet another HelloTalk friend at 18:30.

Shinjuku

We got there about 16:30 and my friend and I looked around some shops until she had to leave at about 17:30. I continued to look around the area until I met my other friend.

I met my other friend and we went to Kirin City for some food and a few beers. After Kirin City we went to a traditional coffee house before I returned to the train station in order to get back to the Kita-Shinagawa.

 


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


Abeno Harukas, Osaka

Japan 2016 Blog

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Abeno Harukas, Osaka

Introduction

This is a record of my visit to Japan over a two week period in October and November 2016.

Planning

I spoke to friends and work colleagues who have been to Japan and watched numerous videos online to learn about what to expect before I arrived.

I learnt some basic Japanese as I knew there is very little English spoken in Japan.

Expectations

As I was staying in big cities, I expected tall buildings and bright colourful lights.

I expected Japanese people to quiet, keep themselves to themselves and it to be busy with people rushing round on their way to work.

I expected it to be easy to find places, to be easy to get around and the trains to be very reliable.

Electronics

I bought a ChatSim which is a Sim Card that works all over the world with instant messaging services (but not text messages or calls unless you pay for that function). I bought a spare phone so that I could use both SIM cards if I needed to.

I bought spare SD cards and batteries for my camera.

I bought a couple of mains adapter plugs and a USB Power Bank so that I could charge my electronic devices.

I wanted to keep things simple and I didn’t want to be carrying a lot of things with me, so I chose to take one small camera and I left my laptop at home.

Getting around and money

Before I went to Japan I needed to book flights and accommodation as well as arrange travel insurance and currency. I ordered a fee-free travel card.

I looked into getting a JR Pass although it wasn’t a cost effective option, as found that in my case it was cheaper to pay for individual fares.

I arranged to meet some friends who live in Japan and bought some basic Omiyage for them.

I compiled a list, with information and photos, of places to visit. I placed the list on my Kindle so that I could access it whenever I needed to.

Deciding where to go

I knew I didn’t have time to visit everywhere on the list, so I made a short list of cities in the Kansai and Tokyo regions.


Index

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