February 8, 2006

I’d better continue on my trip journal before Sue starts beating me for not updating it I forgot about the little details. XD

warning: a silly post with quite a few photos behind cut

It was an easy morning for us as we literally didn’t have a plan in the morning except for meeting our friend at Haneda Airport around noon. We had all our HEAVY suitcases packed and checked out of the hotel around 10am. And the painful adventure of the day began…..

I guess I mentioned before that Minowa station where our hotel located was a very very very small station without any elevator ^^” Once we dragged our luggage to the station entrance (AKA stairs), we wished there would be a nice Japanese guy come to our rescue, just like in any manga on earth.

Nope, sorry dude, life was not beautiful and Japanese men were mean~ lol

We managed to half-lift half-drag our luggage down the stairs, got on the train to Ueno station, asked for directions to Haneda with our broken Japanese, then transferred to JR Yamanote Line heading for Hamamatsucho station. Next, we had to catch the Tokyo Monorail to the airport.

Excuse me, Japan. Even a receptionist at the airport couldn’t speak English *hangs head* We got rid of our luggage (checked it for our 7pm flight ^^). And finally we met our friend who lived in Japan for the first time~ YAY~

It took us about 1.5 hours from Haneda airport to Mitaka, with a few transfers.

Haneda (monorail) Hamamatsucho (JR Yamanote) Shinjuku (JR Chou Line) Mitaka

At Mitaka station, we walked across the street to purchase a bus ticket to Ghibli Museum. A few minutes later, this yellow bus arrived. ^^

We went to get the 4pm tickets from Lawson (a convenient store), then walked around the park outside of the Museum waiting for the admission time. The building were very colorful indeed ^^

Now I shall present you the members of our crazy gang~ *blushes*

4pm, we exchanged the receipt we got from Lawson for the Museum tickets (a strip of films from Ghibli animation – mine was from ‘Princess Momonoke’ ^^).

Inside was absolutely incredible and wonderful, but but BUT photography and video recording are not allowed in the Museum *pouts*

The above picture was taken inside the ladies’ room ^^” The rest were taken outside when we climbed up to the roof deck… except for one….

you’re not going to call a Ghibli Museum police, right? I really couldn’t resist the staff studio >__<” I swear I snapped only 3 of them without even looking at the screen.

Sadly, we had only 1.5 hours to explore this magnificent place, after getting some souvenirs and postcards, we had to run to catch the bus back to the train station. (I was still trying to take some pictures on the way out. Call it a tourist spirit! XD)

I always wanted to see the crowded train ^^ Just like in manga where people faces were pressed against the glass windows of the train doors.

But I swear I’d never wanted to be inside one of those trains! >__<” I almost couldn’t breathe.

If I’ve ever complained about people running at the train station during hectic rush hour in the morning, I sincerely apologize ^^” Today I understood the reason why they had to run. We spent too much time at the Museum, so we had to run to catch the bus, then run from the bus station to the train station, then get on the packed train from Mitaka back to Shinjuku, then run to another platform to catch another train to Hamamatsucho, then run like hell to catch the monorail back to the airport ;_; (not to mention getting tickets at every single station!) That was fun to think about it now, but that day we’re so close to miss our flight ^^” The monorail left the station every 25 minutes and we hopped on to the 6:30pm one just right before the monorail doors closed *big phews*

Security check was incredibly slow at Haneda. After we passed through the check point we ran to the gate to catch the bus to the plane ^^’ We’re exhausted and hungry beyond words and ANA only served drinks on their flight! No snacks. No peanuts. >__<”

By the time we arrived at Chitose Airport 90 minutes later, we’re completely starving. All restaurants at the airport were closing so we had to get some bento to eat on the train from Chitose to Sapporo station. We caught another local train to a station close to my friend’s place. Aha, the toughest part of the day was here!

February meant it was still winter time in Japan. ^^’ Dragging a heavy luggage for a few (long) blocks on a foot thick of slippery snow/ice was not a very entertaining activity in my opinion. ;_; A regular 5-7 minutes walk turned into a 30 minutes of painful umm.. exercise! lol. We made it our friend’s mansion to face another task~ ^^ My friend’s room was on the 4th floor, and her mansion didn’t have an elevator! *laugh hysterically* I pulled out my duffel bag and took half of the things out of my luggage and made two trips up stairs then ran down to help my other friends. *phews* Twenty minutes later, we managed to pack all huge luggage inside my friend’s room, yippy~ The long and heavy day was over~ XDD

end notes:

Needless to say I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, but of course, happy to be with 3 other funny friends. We were able to laugh about every single things that happened during the day. What a gift I’ve got, a gang of crazy minds! ^__~


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