Thursday 18 January 2018

Tokyo, Japan (Autumn 2017) - Part 1

Firstly, I would like to apologize. I'm really sorry as this post should be out initially before December. However, due to my tight schedule I did not manage to complete this post till today.

Welcome to another episode of Travel with the Devil. Today, I'll be writing about my trip to Tokyo earlier in November - Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. The most popular metropolitan area in the world!

This trip to Tokyo will be broken down into 2 parts. Do stay around to look out for the part 2 that's coming in soon!

I've shared previously, as much as this is a finance blog which I will be writing mainly about finance related issue, there will also be a segment about my sideline interest - which is to travel. Being granted the opportunity earlier this year to visit Japan (link here) for my attachment program, today I will be writing about a visit to Tokyo. Thinking back, I do have a couple of regrets as I have insufficient time in Tokyo to visit the other places like Mount Fuji and being dressed in a local Japanese costume. But well, I shall leave it for my next trip! It's another pity that I had missed out on many photo for the food eaten. Guess it's my tummy first before the camera!


Tokyo is indeed a really busy city and has a very complex transportation system. Take a look at their MRT map! 

Image result for tokyo mrt map

Very complicated isn't it? To be honest. It's not really that complicated. Just remember the line you're getting on and look carefully at their trains. They have trains that are express-bound and will skip certain stations. Do look out for such words - 特急列車 before boarding. These are the express trains which will skip stations.

And in some of their trains, they will cross over to another line. Meaning to say that, if you're on board the blue line for example, they will actually cross over to the red line after a certain station. Hence, do remember to keep a look out before boarding the train to see where it is heading to!

Aside that, the transportation around Tokyo in their subway are pretty expensive and can easily cost 490 Yen = S$ 5.88/ trip! For tourist around, you may wish to buy the Tokyo Subway Ticket. They have it in 3 different types - 24 hour, 48 hour and 72 hour type. Upon tapping into the first station, the clock will start and for the following 72 hour you will enjoy unlimited train rides before the pass expires. The 24h, 48h and 72h pass cost 800, 1200 and 1500 yen respectively. And yes, I've bought the 72 hour ticket.

You'll be able to buy these tickets from a travel agency, hotels or from airport.

For Haneda Airport,  proceed to Information Desk 5 at B1 floor of Haneda Airport Domestic Termial 2. They're open from 06:00AM to 10:00PM. For more information, you may wish to visit the site here.

Tokyo Subway Ticket

Time for some activities!

Day 1. Tokyo Skytree & Asakusa, Sensoji:
Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, observation tower which stands at 634m, the second tallest structure in the world.  

You can access to this place via Oshiage Station on the Tokyo Metro via Keisei Line (KS45), Toei Asakusa Line (A20) or Hanozomon Line (Z14). Right after alighting, there will be directions that will lead you to the Tokyo Skytree. Alternatively you can also proceed to Tokyo Skytree Station via Tobu Skytree Line (TS03).

There's also a shopping center right below which includes stores like Line Store, Disney Store, Daiso and musuems such as the World Beer Musuem where you can get to buy beer all across the world as well as dine in the beer musuem restaurant to get yourself drunk. There's also several F&B establishments right below the Skytree.

View of Tokyo Skytree from below
World Beer Musuem
Happy Hour at 1,500 Yen (S$18) for 60mins of free flow drinks

To get onto the observation deck, you will need to proceed to L4 and exit through the glass door and enter into the place shown above. Inside, you will be able to find the ticketing counter that sells the ticket for the lift to the observation deck which cost 2060Yen (around S$24.89) for an adult ticket.

Right after, you purchase your ticket, you will be able to see a lift right ahead of you. There will be some staff there which you will pass your ticket to and brings you to the lift.

On the observation deck, you will be able to have a panoramic view of the city and the river. You can also choose to top up a little money and head to the upper observatory deck, which is 5m below the upper platform. I was reading earlier before heading up that you might get a view of Mount Fuji if you're lucky when the sky is clear. I was not able to see Mount Fuji tho. There's also a glass floor where you will be able to view downwards.
View of City - The buildings all look so tiny!

View of the river

Glass Floor

Asakusa  (浅草) & Senso-ji:
Right after you've finished with the Tokyo Skytree, you might wish to drop by Asakusa which is just 10 mins away in walking distance. Right at Asakusa, there is many many restaurants around, so fear not when you get hungry. Also, the famous Senso-ji, a buddist temple is situated there as well. Senso-ji is the top 10 temples in Japan. Hence, be sure to drop by and pay a visit to the beautiful temple.

I've dropped by Asakusa shortly after my trip to the Tokyo Skytree. Senso-ji is next after my meal at Asakusa an indeed, Senso-ji is extremely beautiful in the night.

As you're walking over from Tokyo Skytree, you will be passing by this bridge (Azumabashi)
which was originally built in 1774 at the site of ferry landing.

Carry on walking straight. And soon you'll see a traffic light. Go straight and in minutes, you will be seeing Senso-ji on your right. And yes, looking back, you can see the Tokyo Skytree.

Unfortunately, when I was there, the shops outside Senso-ji (Nakamise-dori) is already closed. Hence, if you want to catch the shop open, remember to visit Senso-ji earlier! I was there at 5pm, and yes. The sky is looking like 9pm in Singapore.

You may wish to also try this out, the Mikuji みくじ. A random fortune slip whereby you shake the metal tin and obtain the stick with a number. Locate your number of the drawer and retreive your fortune slip. If you receive a good one, congratulations. Not to be sad if you receive a bad one, just tie it to the side :) Remember to drop a small donation of 100 Yen before you start shaking!!

Mikuji - Fortune slips

Oh yea, shortly after. I went opposite and went over for a "All you can eat" Shabu-shabu.
Nothing beats having a delicious steamboat after your day right?
There's several different courses available and I picked the one that cost 2,600 Yen which is about S$31. You'll be able to enjoy 100 minutes of eat all you can. For the other packages like the 3,600 Yen, you'd be able to enjoy the beef tongue course and 4,600 Yen for Japanese Beef and Pork course.

Time for my meal :)

Day 2: Akihabara
Lunch - Ippudo Ramen, Ueno Hirokoji (link here)
Address: 〒110-0005 東京都台東区上野3-17-5
They're opened till late in the night and closes only at 2am on Mon-Thu/Sun and 3am on Fri-Sat
Familiar name isn't it? Yes. It's delicious. And you should try to original one in Japan.

Next, Akihabara is a famous district for video games, anime, manga, computer goods and electronic products. There's also numerous maid cafes around the area, and I'd say it's really interesting to get one checked out.

Surpringly, arcade and video games is still very well supported there.
As I'm someone that is pretty into electronics, I've spent a good day in Akihabara visiting most of their electronic stores. Oh yea, this is how it looks like in the maid cafe (sub cosplay restaurant).
The waitresses are all dressed in maid costumes and would literally kneel down in front of you to take your order. Also, upon entering the restaurant, they would be saying 'Welcome home, master!' in Japanese to welcome you. It's a really strange yet interesting and expensive experience I've got there. On a side note, there will be many 'maids' that are out to get you (particularly male) to patronize their restaurants.

Do remember to have some fun in their arcades there! There's tons of different claw machine there and video games available and you'll be surprise to see that people across all ages are spending alot of time there! There's also many many different arcades there or entertainment complex.

Ohyea, you can get to Akihabara via the JR station or Tokyo Metro via the Hibiya Line (H15)
AKB48 Cafe - Japanese Idol Girl Group cafe

Day 3: Shibuya
Another shopping paradise here, and you can literally spend most of your time here if you're a shopping lover. Aside that, there's also many drugs stores, a big book store and concept stores around.

If you're there for awhile you might have noticed that there are some that are dressed in Mario Kart in a cart driving around the area. Yes!! I'm actually one.

You may want to drop by their site MariCar to learn more about that (link here).

Be reminded that you'll need your IDP (International Driving Permit) in order to join in for the fun! You'll be leaded by an instructor that will bring you around the route.

There's several route available to different timing. For me, I've chose the H-S Route which lasts around an hour. In this route, you will visit several places like Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing, Omotesando before returning to the shop.

Upon passing by Shibuya crossing, you will probably feel like Johnny Depp with every pair of camera and eyes shining on you.

Part 2 can be found here - Tokyo, Japan (Autumn 2017) - Part 2

Read: Tokyo at night, where to go? What to do?


  1. Woah. I feel like going Japan again!

    1. Hi KPO,

      You could come over to Hokkaido before Feb. It's still snowing here now and there's also Sapporo Winter Festial that will take place shortly between 1 Feb to 12 Feb! :)

      Unfortunately, I will not be able to witness that.

  2. Envious of you. Your Japanese should be a lot better already right!


    1. Hi K,

      Haha! I'd say that it's getting better than before :p
      Soon after, when I return to Singapore, I might consider to continue taking up courses in Japanese :p

  3. Sleepydevil,

    Ah! I almost forgot about the long winter nights... 3-4pm already like our dusk around 7-8 pm.

    There 5pm is dark like our 9pm!

    Life is fair. The long summer days will makeup for it :)

    Last time I too shy to enter the maid cafes...

    Next time I must try it!

    Now as I get older, the more uninhibited I become!


    1. Hi SMOL,

      Indeed, the night are relatively long here in Japan and having to live in Singapore for the past 19 years, it is a little strange even till today as I'm trying to get over it.

      Coming to think of it. The night will fall between late 3pm, which is 2pm in Singapore from the 1h GMT difference. Having that is literally 'night time' after lunch. Haha!!

      You should try the maid cafe out.. Hehe

  4. The pics remind me of the nice memories whenever I visit Japan years back, especially the food, cleanliness and politeness of the local people.

    1. Hi mm,

      Yea. Having to be in Japan is really a pleasure. While I will soon be returning back, I'm already starting to miss this place!