Onward to Tokyo07 April, 2014 by Chad
After checking out of the hotel this morning, it was time to head over to Nagasaki Airport for our flight over to Tokyo. As our luck would have it, there was actually a Rev. from DVL live over in Nagasaki this afternoon which we would have to miss. It would had been nice to see what all the hype was about.
Headed over to the bus stop by Nagasaki Station to catch a coach bus to Nagasaki Airport, as per Google. However, after waiting around for quite a while with no bus in sight, check with the information staff there only to find out that we were on the wrong side of the road.
The information staff pointed to the direction of the bus terminal, and we arrived there just in time despite all the luggage. As a consolation, purchasing the tickets at the bus terminal in a pair meant that we got a slight 200 yen discount each from the standard 800 yen walk on fare.
It wasn’t a long ride to the airport. The bus went past a lot of the sub-urban parts of lower Nagasaki that we didn’t get to see previous. More people boarded along the way and while there wasn’t much capacity in the bus, there were those old pull out seats on the aisle.
Nagasaki Airport was quite the sight though. It’s was on a small little man made island a couple of kilometre into the bay and the bus had to take a long narrow bridge to get there. It was a shame that we didn’t have to the time to take much of a look outside, and the weather wasn’t accommodating either as it started to rain just as we got there.
After checking in our luggage with the lovely ANA staff, there was just enough time to look around the souvenir stores where I picked up some extra castella, and also something to eat from the adjacent convenience store. As a warning, the mentaiko onigiri there was quite terrible. It tasted much like Chinchalok chilli sauce.
The flight to Nagasaki today was actually a shared flight operated by the Solaseed airline though we had booked it through ANA. The airline provides flights to anywhere within Japan at 10,000 yen for foreigners. This was our first time flying with Solaseed, but it was pretty standard of domestic flights. One thing about the tiny single cabin planes that they use on domestic flights is that you can really feel the tiny movements taken by the plane in the air.
We reached Haneda Airport on time. It wasn’t raining in Tokyo like it was at Nagasaki, but a luggage delay meant that we would run slightly late. Next we caught a local train to our hotel. This would be the first time taking a train from Haneda. Overconfident, got a bit mixed up and ended up not knowing that we had to get off at one of the stations to change trains towards Tokyo. The train continued on towards Yokohama instead.
After finally sorting things out, we reached our usual hotel of Candeo Inn Uenokoen. Since we had booked the rooms last minute, we were left with smoking rooms though. We would be finally meeting up with Randy this afternoon. He had arrived in Tokyo the night before. He hadn’t reached the hotel yet however, so we went ahead and checked in first. After a short break, went down to see if he had reached and to help get his room keys, but found him already on the way to his room.
For dinner we’d be meet up with Chisaki over at Ueno. One of the conveniences about Candeo Uenokoen as the name suggests is that its located just on the other side of Ueno Park so Ueno was just a short walk away.
It’d take some time for her to get here so in the meantime we’d take a look at the shops around Ueno. Randy was in dire need of a jacket so we went in search of one. While we could easily walk around in just a shirt last November, the temperature was much colder this time round. Oddly enough, we didn’t have much of a chance to visit Ueno last trip. Though we did pass by on the way to Ueno Zoo.
Randy managed to pick up an affordable jacket at one of the street shops. We also looked around for some of Gage’s bags and wallets but didn’t find anything of interest.
Chisaki arrived earlier than expected and after meeting up it was time for some dinner. Hadn’t had much to eat at all today so we were all starving. Randy decided upon yakiniku which we agreed with wholeheartedly. Randy had just had dinner here last night, so he was well familiar with the shop.
Nagomiya was a buffet styled yakiniku place. We went with a 90 minute all you can eat “tabehoudai” course (3,150 yen) with an additional “nomihoudai” (including alcohol) for 1,200 yen. The total equivalent of about SGD$55. Yakiniku buffets in Tokyo were slightly more expensive than other parts but as with anywhere in Japan, cuts were spectacularly good for their price and a generous spread. Definitely the heartiest meal we had since arriving in Japan.
How the timed buffets work in Japan is that they give you a time limit on how long you can order stuff before your last order and dessert. But they don’t chase you out immediately after, so you’re free to sit around for a while after thankfully.
Spent a good amount of time catching up before it was time to call it a night but not before checking out the Yamashiroya toy store on the street corner. It was Christmas Eve tomorrow, so we’d meet up again with Chisa as planned to celebrate. According to Randy she had even prepared some gifts.
It was also Mal’s last night in Japan, but since he had some live elsewhere, we wouldn’t be able to meet up this evening. Instead, we ran into Allan at Ueno Station a mutual acquaintance who had accompanied Mal and Randy to a Tokyo Girls’ Style concert and the yakiniku yesterday. While Gage was a fan, we had opted to pass on the Tokyo concert since Randy wasn’t too interested. Ironically, he ended up going for the Budokan concert yesterday.
Before returning to the hotel, we stopped by a nearby Donki again to get some supplies for the upcoming Tokyo days. Eventually Allan left to join Mal for dinner. While we continued shopping at the discount store. It was a peaceful journey back through the pitch dark Ueno Park and to our hotel to retire for the night.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.