May 30, 2007

Today I mastered subway system and learned that Japan Rail Pass was no God! xD

I woke up early in the morning and took a shinkansen from shin-yokohama station to Tokyo station, caught another train from Tokyo station to Shimbashi, then transferred to Tokyo Subway Asakusa Line to Asakusa station. At first, I didn’t understand the difference between JR Lines and Tokyo Subway Lines and the effect of JR Pass, as last time I went to Japan in 2006, I didn’t use a JR pass. Anyway, at Shimbashi, I got the first ever DAME!! from the station crew as I tried to walk by her using my pass LOL I must have looked confused enough that she told me ‘Pass, no good’. oh, i see XD

So I bought the ticket to Asakusa and got on the train. Had I realized this before, I would have caught a JR line to Ueno station instead, that would have saved me.. probably a hundred yen XDD Anyway, I believed I took the wrong exit, so my sense of directions went poof again ^^” I walked around for a while until I found this map. Thank goodness for whoever invented digital camera technology! I took a picture and followed it to the tourist information center. An ojii-san there was really helpful and gave me a couple of pamphlets and maps suggesting my walking route.

So first, I started off with Kaminarimon Gate, which was right across the street from the information center. This huge lantern is one of the city’s landmark.

Nakamise-Dori, a walkway leads to the main temple building, is lined with many shops selling souvenirs, toys and clothing. And tons of tourists!!

Sensoji Temple, Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple for ordinary people (please don’t ask me where’s the oldest one for super special people LOL).

Five-storied Pagoda was built in 942, it was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt several times.

I walked around the shrine for a big while

As far as I recalled, this stone has something to do with saving money. xD



One last look at Kaminarimon Gate before heading back to Tokyo.

And all of the sudden, it rained! A-san had warned me before, but I hate carrying an umbrella so I left it at the hotel. Great! I took a quick look at the map and saw a post office sign, so I ran there. Of course, time was precious, so I started writing postcards to my friends and family and sent them all off while waiting for the rain to stop pouring. 12 postcards, took me about an hour, and by then the sky was clear (enough) once again ^^

shinkansen kissu kissu xD

I took the Ginza line back to Ueno station, then caught a Yamanote train back to Tokyo station, did a little bit of shopping, before heading back to shin-Yokohama station by a shinkansen. I was debating myself what to do as the rain started pouring again. In the end, I decided to go to Ramen Museum which was only 5 minutes away from my hotel.

Once entered the museum, I was forced to go downstairs first (what if I wasn’t hungry and wanted to take a look at their gift shop first? XD). There were 8 ramen shops in the museum, 3 on B1 floor, and 5 more on B2. I had no idea which one was good, but one smiling obaa-san in front of Tokyo Harukiya made me walk her way. She showed me how to get the meal ticket from the machine and explained to me the difference between each dish.

I really have to say that it was an expensive bowl of ramen, but everything was really yummy, the soup, the noodle, the meat, everything! I ate the whole thing, which was a surprise since normally I’d ditch at least 75% of the noodles XD mah, I must be really hungry at that time LOL

After that, I walked around and took a look at each store, bought some snacks then went back up to B1 floor to take more pictures.

fortune telling counter

I then walked up another floor to the main level (1F). The exhibition hall had a lot of interesting thing about ramen, showing how to make it from scratch, different types of ramen, etc etc.

This wall showed us famous ramen shops across the country.

And on another wall near by, they provided a little more information regarding each region in Japan. I almost screamed when I saw this poster! They were from 2006 Sapporo Snow Festival and I was there!!! ^___^

There were a lot of overpriced but cute souvenirs and postcards.

And for some reason, this one made me think of Shelly. I really had no idea why. *runs like hell*

I was thinking about walking to Yokohama Arena, but it was raining heavily when I left Ramen Museum, so I turned around and ran back to my hotel to take a shower instead. Right around 5pm, I chatted with A-san on MSN, and 5 minutes later, I was out in the rain again, running to shin-Yokohama station to catch a shinkansen to Shinagawa, and switch train to Harajuku. Yes, I was going to Johnny’s shop again. LOL Surprisingly, there was no line at all, well, maybe because of the rain, but whatever! I walked right over to the shop, ordered more photos (to realize when I went back to the hotel that most of them were duplicated! XDD), then went back to the hotel. It was only a little over an hour over all from the moment I left my hotel room till my return. A-san was pretty surprised I could get back to the hotel so fast. Aha, I nailed JR subway/shinkansen today! YAY!! ^__~





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