Day 1 in Japan: Arriving in Japan & Eating Yakitori!

Posted on 11-01-2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’re in Japan!  Landing in the airport felt so surreal, like 9hrs of flying time finally resulted in something!  I slept a lot on the trip, but not as well as I did on the way to Korea which was at night.  It felt a bit wrong to sleep during the day for this trip but I was exhausted anyway from waking up so early to get to the airport.

Unfortunately Bryan and I couldn’t get a wifi dongle online prior to the trip — and we didn’t want to spend like $90 each for a wifi dongle at Japan airport, so we decided to go without portable wifi for the first few days.  So far we have survived!  I was recommended a free wifi app, which occasionally works, but it’s the offline maps (maps.me in the App Store) that really impress me as you just DL them and the gps will still help you determine a route even without Internet.

We are staying at Hotel Horidome, so we had to take the Kesei Skyliner to Ueno, then walk to the Ueno station on the Hibiya line.  It’s important to know which line you are on or planning to go to, because not all of them are the same.  The Skyliner is very comfy, lots of leg room and a place to put luggage.

At Ueno, we took the train to Kodemmacho station.  Luckily, the time we arrived was not busy, and there was space on the train to put our bags :D  We got a bit confused about where to exit the station and get to the hotel though— it was a short walk away but we had no idea which direction.  Bryan asked one of the station officers where to go, it is actually not that hard to get through what you want in English, as long as you can point to a map or something.  They are so helpful here!  Even with the officer’s help, we got a bit lost and had to ask a random on the street for help.  She even went as far as to knock on the door of some restaurant to ask for directions for us!  So kind.

(To get to Hotel Horidome: At Kodemmacho station, take Exit 1 and walk up the stairs.  Turn left, then turn left again when you reach the lights/corner where there is a restaurant with cats on the window!  Hotel Horidome will be on your right after a few mins of walking.)

They led us in the right direction and we made it to the hotel, which is clean but absolutely tiny. It’s not so hard to stay here though because everything is ~just~ big enough.  Like the absolute bare minimum of what you could consider liveable.  But it is also a great price for a nice, clean place with a good location (I think it was around $50 a night for 2 ppl).

These aren't my photos of Hotel Horidome but this is basically how our room looked except ours was even more cramped than this!

These aren’t my photos of Hotel Horidome but this is basically how our room looked except ours was even smaller than this!

Despite the size of the Hotel, it is a really good location imo, especially for a few days of exploring around the Tokyo area!  The Hibiya line connects to both Akihabara (1 stop away) and Ginza, which is great, and it isn’t far to Tokyo station from Ginza either.  It is also right next door to a Family Mart convenience store.

After getting settled, we headed out to look around the nearby restaurants for dinner.  It is a business district, so it is quite quiet compared to the rest of Tokyo.  We stumbled upon a yakitori (chicken skewer) place with little booths.

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They had an English menu and I liked the atmosphere!  Bryan ordered a bunch of weird skewers, including chicken liver – I tried being adventurous and took a bite of it, but it almost made me throw up because of the texture (the ones on the top right) LOL.

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Highlights were the tea rice soup thing (not pictured, too hungry – ate it before I took out the camera) and the karaage (on the left).  Yum.

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