Report from Muslim Travellers in Japan

TOKYO JAPAN TRIP - PART 1
[Itinerary]
Narita International Airport – Shinjuku -- Harajuku -- Takeshita street – Shibuya -- Tokyo Skytree -- TOKYO Solamachi

The moment we reached Narita International Airport I was overwhelmed with joy. Finally the aged-old dream of visiting the land of the rising sun has been fulfilled. Still a bit hard to believe. I’m so blessed to be given a chance to visit one of Asia’s most progressive countries with all kinds of offerings. Cost and distance were two main factors that deterred me from thinking about going to Japan. But god willing, I’m here at last.

The journey took 7 hours. We departed during the wee hours and reached there during daybreak. Thankfully the weather in Tokyo was inviting.


We slipped into our trench coat the moment we touched down. Everyone was already prepared for the chilly weather. As a person who has never been to a cold country before, I have absolutely no idea how it felt like. Just hope this body can take the challenge. Oh great!! At this very moment I realized that I forgot to pack some long-johns in the luggage T_T

The frosty air could be felt even inside the airport. Agegege… Could I possibly get through this? For someone who’s already shivering in an air-conditioned office, what more in a cold country. Frozen on the spot. My legs just refused to budge. Hahahaha… imagine I haven’t even stepped out of the airport yet =P


Can hardly believe that I’m here in Tokyo now!


Nyah already wore her gloves. She said it’s better to get ready beforehand. Hehehehe.


It’s 7.20am here due to 1 hour time difference between Japan and our country. For example, if it’s 8.20am in Japan, then it’s 7.20am in Malaysia. More or less, I suppose. Must use a toilet first before exiting the airport. Hahahah… There was an incident in the toilet. Should I tell? Probably not. You guys will most likely burst out laughing. What to do, first time here in Japan… hahaha…
http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/index.html


A person was at the airport to receive us. She’s Aime, our tour guide in Japan who’ll take us around Tokyo in our 4-day trip.


Ok got to buy ticket first.


We took Keisei Skyliner from Narita station to Nippori.


This is Cik Aime. She’s a Malaysian student here who’s fluent in Japanese and of course Bahasa Melayu. She spoke Japanese as eloquently as the locals. After 5 years in Japan, it’s not surprising at all that she’s well-verse in the local language.


About to board the Keisei Skyliner.


The fare for Keisei Sky Liner to Ginza Subway Line is 1,240 yen per person.


We were given a phone for emergency use. Just imagine my shocking expression when Aime explained that the phone could last a month without charging. “For real, Aime? One month without charging?” “Yes, kak. Please believe it.” Hahahah.


The entire journey took 39 minutes. A quick nap perhaps.


Enjoying the scenery of buildings and residences in Tokyo. Still cannot believe I’m here. Felt like watching a Japanese drama on TV. Hehe…


Managed to snap a photo in Keisei Sky Liner. Gosh, there’s a police behind. Hehehe, just a train station staff making his rounds =P


On the way to the toilet I noticed a vending machine inside the train. That’s just awesome. Can rehydrate after relieving yourself =P


The toilet is as impressive as the ones in hotels.


All the toilets are operated via buttons. You don’t even need to pull the door to open. Just press the green button to open and the red button to close the door. Easy and convenient right?


Spacious area is provided to store your luggage.


Just touch the green area to open the door from one carriage to the other. No need to use energy to pull the door anymore.


I noticed most of the houses here have almost the same colour, unlike in Malaysia where you’ll find houses in green, pink, even orange. Japanese houses are mostly pastel coloured. Making them appear neat and organized. Just love buildings like these. And their living spaces are not very big, probably just enough to fit a bed and a closet due to limited space.


Lucky to have a chance to snap a picture with Keisei Sky Liner, one of the limited-express airport trains.


Yaaaaay we have arrived at Nippori Station.


We took the JR Line and headed straight to Shinjuku Station. Our hotel was just nearby Shinjuku.


Gosh, no escalator...


Looks like I have to summon up some strength to move my elephant-size luggage down the stairs… hahaha. Most of the train stations in Japan are not equipped with escalators to encourage the locals to exercise. Reason why most Japanese are in good form. They only drive during weekends. On weekdays, they’ll take the train.


Heading to Shinjuku. I personally feel that taking the train isn’t too difficult. We just need to know our destination, once you make a mistake, that’s where the headache comes in.


There were posters of a SALE pasted all over Shinjuku Station. Looks like a big sale is on over at Lumine Department Store. We shall check it out but before that, must leave our luggage at the hotel first. Can’t go shopping carrying big luggage like this can we?! Crazy, hahaha… Right now Aime is asking the guard if there’s an elevator nearby because it’s really troublesome for us to carry these elephant-size luggage up the stairs.


We’ve reached JR Line station after a brief 4-minute’s journey. Our legs started to feel the chill because we didn’t wear any long-john. Immediately we went inside a toilet, take out the long-john from our luggage and put it on right away. Only then did we felt a bit more comfortable, not like walking in a freezer.


Up the stairs again. Got to toughen up a bit, Nyah. Hahaha Aime on the other hand, moved fast like the locals. She’s probably used to the local way of life. Leaving us dragging and trying to keep up like two little ducklings. Hahaha… “So sorry. Please let me know if I walked too fast. I’ll slow down a bit. Hehehe already used to walking in this pace.” “It’s Ok. I understand. I’ll just catch up if you’re in front of us.” =P


Seeing all these food pictures can really work up your appetite. Especially in cold weather like this, you tend to get hungry fast. Come to think of it, we already had rice during our flight.


Finally, we have reached the summit, both my elephant-size luggage and I. Agegege… so cold!!! Now we have to find out hotel.


Our hotel is just across the road. Hey, that’s Kimura Takuya. Used to be a big fan of his. Never missed his drama on TV. Every single episode without miss, Ok!! Hehehe, the locals call him Kimuta… Hehehe…


Bicycle parking lot. So that bicycles can be parked in orderly manner.

Must cross the street and brave the cold to get to our hotel. Doesn’t look cold right? Only god knows how cold it really was. It’s only our first day. Perhaps on the second or third day we will get used to it.


This is Labi Shinjuki. The place for gadgets.


“Remember what Aime explained earlier about the place where Japanese go for karaoke. Well, this is it.” Japanese people are known for their karaoke. This is how they entertain themselves after a hard day’s work.


Testing vocal. Alalalalala… Hahaha. Ok uncle, tonight I’ll karaoke here… Hahaha… As if he understand what I just said =P


Suddenly someone shouted at the green taxi while we were crossing the road. You see that green taxi which stopped on the white lines. It shouldn’t stop there. It’s considered breaking the traffic rules.


The guy with the blue jacket was agitated because the driver didn’t follow the traffic rules. It seemed like he was calling the authority or police I suppose to report the offender. Wow, they really call on the spot.


Escalator is not operational because it’s still too early. They only open at 11am.


Our hotel is close to Seibu Shinjuku Station. Just go up to the first floor, that’s it.


It’s simply a stone’s throw away from our hotel. In case you guys were wondering, Shinjuku is one of the 23 main cities in Tokyo. Shinjuku is known for its shopping malls, entertainment and commerce. And the Shinjuku train station is one of the busiest in the world. Among the main attractions of Shinjuku are the Metropolitan Government Office, Kabukicho Red Light District and all sorts of departmental stores such as Isetan, Takashima, Odakyu, Keio and Big Camera.


After wading through oceans of challenges we finally reached our hotel, Shinjuku Prince Hotel… hehehe.


Upon arrival, Aime quickly sorted out our accommodation. We just checked in to leave our belongings because there are lots of places to visit. We’d only return to the hotel at night to catch some sleep.


We happily left our luggage behind and went straight to Seibu Shinjuku PePe for some shopping.


The shoes here are simply irresistible and cheap during a sale. But after converting back to our currency, there aren’t exactly as cheap as I thought.


The jacket is so gorgeous. Had to buy one for my next Korea trip. Hahaha…


Seibu Shinjuku Pepe comprises 8 floors, all are underground. You can find lots of fashionable clothing and accessories here. Even contact lens, makeup, bags and almost everything you can think of. The question is taking your pick as you are literally being spoilt for choice. At this time of the year, they have already started selling items for spring.


This accessory shop is so attractive.


Sightseeing around Tokyo.


Ginza is an area where you can get your hands on branded items like LV, Prada, Gucci and other luxury stuff. Quite similar to our Pavilion, a shopping destination for the rich and famous. We could only afford to see because everything is totally out of our reach. I’m not a brand conscious kind of girl. A Zara bag or H&M clothing is completely fine by me. As long as it’s nice and cheap. Hehehe…


Big Camera is the largest electrical store in Japan.


Hey, what pretty flowers. Felt like plucking one. Hehehe… You can find many small flowery plants like this around Jeoun. Small but pretty. Perhaps these plants are perfectly suited for cold weather.


Buying ticket to go to Harajuku.


It’s a breeze to use this machine. Like any other machines, just slot in the money and choose your destination. We bought the ‘Touch ‘n Go’ type of card called Suica from this machine. Here’s how. Put in the money, choose the ‘Buy Card’ option, then the machine will dispense a green coloured card. The card is 500 yen (RM15).


We topped up 200 yen (RM6) today. After finished, can top up again. For convenience sake better buy this card to save the trouble of buying tickets at the machine in every station.


I quickly hinted Nyah to standby for a fast snap of this train. I thought the train was still at a distance away, but who knows, as I turned my head around, whoosh… there it was right in front of my eyes. That was incredibly fast. It felt like a hurricane just passed through from where I stood. My heart beat out of control. Lucky the train didn’t blow me away.


In the train with Aime. She will translate Japanese for us and inform us what we don’t understand.


We have reached Takeshita Street. Yaaaaay… Finally setting foot in the place that I have always dreamt of going.


We are here.


For your information, Takeshita Street is the epicenter of the most extreme teenage fashion display in Japan. There are scores of well-known fashion boutiques selling unique as well as unusual clothing here. Haaa… if you fancy distinctively strange fashion items, this is the place to be. At a glance the streets looked kind of over-crowded right, in fact, it really isn’t. The best time to drop by is during Saturday and Sunday. That’s when the young crowds start to gather at Takeshita Street, Harajuku to showcase their cute cosplay inspired from anime characters.


Happened to chance upon the Harajuku Crepe! Always read about it in blogs. At last, now I finally get to taste the real thing. So to anyone who wants to visit Harajuku, the delicious crepe is definitely a must-try!


Which one should I go for? Everything looks so mouth-watering with all kinds of flavors. Each crepe is sold for about 500yen (RM15).


Must queue up first.


I picked Gelato Berry Berry & Cream for a price of 550yen (RM16).


This is seriously delicious I’m telling you. Even though it’s cold, you’ll totally enjoy it. It’s just like when eating icecream, you won’t feel the cold… Hehehe…


Sourvenirs here are quite cheap with a price of about 350 yen (RM10) compared to other places. So remember to buy your souvenirs here.


Gosh, the gloves are so cute.


The shoes are equally stunning. Had to get one for myself. But after currency conversion, oh my god, totally out of my budget… Hahaha…


Do I look like a Japanese singer to you? Hahaha…


It must be really comfortable to wear one of these in cold weather like this. Great for scratching people also.


Next, we tried the Purikura Machine just for fun to get that cute Japanese girl look after editing.


Slot in the money first.


Pick your preferred angle. Full body, half, or any other angle you want. We picked two. It’s been a while since the last time I took picture with a Purikura Machine. I’ve tried during school days but it wasn’t as advanced as the machines in Japan obviously. That was like 10 years ago.


The system came complete with options for natural appearance, flawless complexion, even extra fair skin like Qu Puteh. Now this is what I call fair skin! =P You can pick whatever effect that you want. For me, I just simply select. As long as the result is pretty and cute!


Scary to look at my face like that. If this was real, I bet people will run helter-skelter… hahaha.


Felt like a teenager when I’m already a mum… Hehehe.


There are lots of Purikura Machines here. Just choose the one that you like.


T-Shirts with ‘I Love Tokyo’ printed on them are readily available here. Didn’t get myself one because paying RM45 for a simple T-shirt with printed words wasn’t really a good deal!

For the shopaholics this is truly a shopping paradise to use your YEN. And for those who aren’t into shopping, there are plenty to see and places for a casual stroll.


Hey, there’s a McDonald’s. Well, I can get it in Malaysia… Hehe.



Yaaay, we found Daiso Pink! It’s way cheaper than Daiso in Malaysia. Here it’s only 100 yen (RM3). Ok, fine, it’s actually 108 yen including tax. But still within RM3… Hehe…


Nyah bought an earmuff for only RM3.


The foods are sold for only RM3 as well.


Can rest my cold hands here… Hahaha…


Bumped into these two unique girls. Even though their style of fashion is a bit weird, it’s kind of cute. Felt like pinching their cheeks.


More souvenir shopping because it’s cheap here. Got some for close friends, but not the entire office colleagues though. That will really burn a hole in my purse… Hahahah. One fridge magnet already RM10. And there are over 40 colleagues in the office. Just do the math. I’ll faint.


Wondering what’s inside.


Looks like a place that sells pictures of Japanese artistes. The shop is called “Idol On Stage”. So cute.


Aren’t the shoes just stunning?! Not so appealing after checking out the price. Gosh RM300-600. Way over my budget. Not with the amount of money in my pocket. Hehehe, had to put down the shoes. Well, we hit the road again, who knows, we might find something cheap along the way.


It’s so easy to get all kinds of weird clothing here at Takeshita Street.



Urging to buy one to wear back home. The problem is, I must turn on the air-condition in full blast… Hahaha…


Kit Kat Green tea! Cheap! Whoever loves KitKat Green Tea must buy at this place. Can you imagined I bought it at the airport for 500 yen T_T


All the makeup products are very affordable as well. Didn’t get any because I already have so many back home just waiting to expire. Hehehe…


Biore Facial Cleanser RM6.


Pantene Shampoo.

>


Aime and Nyah stocking up on makeup.


Tsubaki, the most popular shampoo brand in Japan.


Affordable good quality toner and facial cream in Japan. It’ll cost more in Malaysian pharmacies.


ChuLip lip balm is only 648 yen (RM19) here, whereas Guardian is selling for RM25 O_O


Should I buy or not, forgot to bring my sunglasses.


For a while I thought they were celebrity. They turned out to be tourists like me.


Craving for kebab. There was a long queue before me just a while ago. Didn’t expect Japanese to like kebab so much.


Chicken kebab, mmm delicious. Taste like heaven when you’re hungry. Too bad, I couldn’t finish it because the portion is really big.


Japanese people are very concerned about their appearance and fashion is like a form of religion to them especially in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Day or night, in the train or on bicycle, shopping or just having a good time at the theme park, they are ever so fashionable. Look at those high platform shoes. I would surely tumble and fall with shoes like those. Really impressed with these Japanese kids.


Another fashionable and adorable pair I bumped into at the Laforet Mall. So cute. Want to wear something as cute them too. Hahaha…


From afar I could see people queueing up. Apparently the queue was for Garrett popcorn. It got me there for a brief moment.


In front of Harajuku Station.


Japanese are such disciplined people. They would wait for the light to turn green before crossing, even when there was no car approaching.


Surely a beautiful sight during spring.


Impressed with the doors.


Hey, found a touchscreen vending machine, cool!


Next to it was an old model vending machine. I had a feeling that Japan is the only country with vending machines for hot drinks.


Came across a Uniqlo outlet. Bet all of you know that Uniqlo is a brand from Japan right? For those who travel to Japan but didn’t have time to pack your winter clothing, you can get them here at a cheaper price too compared to Malaysia. I bought my pair of long john here for only RM20. The same pair is sold for RM59 in Malaysia. See the price difference. And the winter jackets are RM289 back in Malaysia. Here, they are only RM210.


Pajamas are only 690 yen, just RM21. Should have bought two instead of one. Back in Malaysia it’s RM40 a piece, right?!


Toho Cinema. Guess what the place is for? For the locals to catch a movie obviously, like TGV and GSC.


The motorbikes in Japan are kind of cute. The rider won’t get drenched even when it rains… Hahaha.


Surprised to see these people on the street. It appeared that they were just promoting some food products. Shocked for a brief moment. Kind of scary to pass by them. Hahahah…


Yaaay got some free biscuit and chocolate. Can munch later in our hotel.


The truck behind me is promoting a new band called Group Levo. It’s kind of cool the way they promote new artistes.


Diehard G-Shock fans will definitely scream in sheer joy looking at the watches available. So desirable. Certain series are more affordable, while some models are more expensive. Most of them aren’t available in Malaysia.

Camera is another good buy with price difference of RM200-300. Wanted to buy a Nikon J4, the best model for my standard. Gave up at the end because if I bought this I couldn’t shop for other things anymore. Seriously, it’s retailed at 54,000 yen (RM1,600) in Japan, while the same camera is about RM1,9++ in Malaysia.


The whole family of cards are available here. Memory cards, SD cards, just about everything.


Had tons of questions to ask. Lucky we have Aime. Otherwise I’d have to use a translation phone app. Hehe…


Calculating whether I have enough budget to buy this Nikon 1 J4. Arghhh not enough… Sob sob


Next we went to Lush, a shop that sells toiletries, facial wash and other beauty products. Soothing fragrance greeted us the moment we stepped inside, so calming.


Lush products are so colourful. Don’t have the heart to use them.


Nyah and Aime tried out the body scrub.


Had to wait a few minutes before rinsing off.


There are lots of stuff here. Even cupcake shape. Hahaha… must be for people who feel hungry when scrubing.


Not sure what this soap is for. But the leaf packaging is totally awesome.


Rinse off after leaving on the hand for a couple of minutes. Wow! The result, soft supple skin. What else, must buy!


With Nyah.


Next, we headed straight to Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Finally I have reached the must-visit place in Tokyo. The time was only slightly over 3pm but the sky was already getting dark. Their day-time is shorter during this season. By 6pm it’s already dark.


Right here, nobody cares if you want to strike funny poses or roll over for your picture.


Where did all these people come from. So many of them.


Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing intersection. Just look at all these people hurrying to cross the streets without turning their head or looking to their left or right. Everyone just whooshes by as long as the light is green. Amazingly, nobody knocks into anybody. So different compared to Malaysia, right? Drivers here are courteous towards pedestrians. Vehicles will stop and give way when we cross the road. In KL, drivers actually accelerate the moment they see people about to cross the street.


Relax a bit over some coffee at Starbucks.


A hot drink can be so soothing.


Owner of the blog with Aime and Nyah.


Wifi is free but must log in with all kinds of info. So many steps, so confusing. We gave up. Looks like we could only go online in our hotel later.


Enjoy coffee while taking in the view of the recurring crowds down below.


Ok one last pose. Lost track of how many times I’ve posed on the road. Hahaha… lucky Affan is not around. He’ll definitely curse me to no end.


This uncle approached Nyah just when we were about to leave. Nyah had a little chat with him. He’s rather strong-willed even though physically challenged. Luckily he could speak a bit of English for us to understand.


Time to go to Tokyo Sky Tree and Soramachi Town. You’ll know that Valentine’s Day is approaching when people start selling chocolates like these.


Japanese passengers are all so quiet in the train. You can only hear our voices. Hehehe… That’s the way of the Japanese, you can’t find people speaking in the train, just silence.


We have reached Soramachi Town.


Another round to the washroom because of the cold weather. I get confused which button to press every time I use a washroom. Everything is in Japanese. Luckily the graphics are self-explanatory enough for me to understand.


Reading a map.


Had my photo taken with a Samurai, even just the outfit… Hehehe…


Simply mouth-watering!


This isn’t any food outlet, it’s a shop that sells food replica. Japan is well known for its lifelike food replicas.


This fish looks almost real.


Had the most delicious icecream in Japan.


Nyah ordered Coffee Milk and I had the Matcha Green Milk Tea.


The staff had a light moment when Nyah asked why hers is lesser than mine. Hahaha.


Guys, you just have to try the Matcha Green Milk Tea, Ok. It’s seriously delicious, no kidding. Way better than Baskin Robbins and Haagen Dazs. Hehehe…


Happy to enjoy my icecream even with both hands in gloves… hehehe


The flavor Nyah had was nice.


These are skincare products made from natural ingredients sold at Tokyo Sky Tree.


In front of Tokyo Sky Tree. At level 4 before buying our admission tickets to the observation deck.


Their lighting was gorgeous. They called this winter illumination, inspired to brighten up an otherwise gloomy winter… hehe


The level of coldness right now can make you shiver. Beside me is an ice skating rink.


About to go all the way up there. It’s seriously taaaaall… 634m, wow!


Just don’t get it. Why I’m here shivering because of the cold but the locals can still skate. Wuwaaa body cramp. But hey, looks kind of fun the way they enjoy ice skating. Makes me want to join in too.


Can’t stand siting here for too long. Just 1 minute out here I have to dash back inside.


In front of Tokyo Sky Tree ^_^


Showing our VIP pass. Yaaaaay we skipped the long queue.


In front of the counter.


Even the money/ticket holder is very appealing.


Now it’s red, then it turns blue.


Had to wait for about 20 minutes. We couldn’t go up because of strong wind.


It’s gorgeous inside the lif. There are 4 types of décor based on 4 seasons in Japan. This one features summer, the favorite season for fireworks. Reason why the décor also resembles a bursting firework.


The décor here showcases winter with flying birds. We reached the observation deck at 350m in just seconds. So fast, yet we hardly noticed the speed.


Presenting the city of Tokyo at night.


Posing with Tokyo’s night view.


It changes color the moment you put your hands on its surface.


This equipment is called monitor deck. It consists of 3 combined screens, which play a time-lapse video taken from the observation deck of Tokyo SkyTree. The video showcases an aerial view of Tokyo from day to night.


You can press any area of Tokyo city on the monitor. A round blurb featuring a brief English intro of that area will appear. There are a lot of background history, can’t really remember them all… hehe.


For your info guys, Tokyo SkyTree is a broadcasting tower and the distinctive landmark of Tokyo city. It’s the tallest tower in Japan and second tallest in the world with a heaight of 634m. There are 2 observation decks, one at 350m and the other at 450m. Each offering a stunning 360 degree view of Tokyo city.


Geee the little girl in kimono is so adorable, posing with peace sign.


Emmm so cute. Got to buy one for Raiisah.


This is the see-through walkway where you can look all the way down. Many will get cool-feet… Hehehe must be extra careful when taking photo.


Keeping my cool. Luckily I didn’t go dizzy hehe…


Can you see the buildings underneath. Anyone who is scared of height will go mental at this altitude. Furthermore, at night with strong wind blowing.


Before dinner, here’s a selfie in one of the washrooms of SkyTree Tower for you.
http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/


It’s hard to choose the handbag that you really like in the middle of a sale like this.


Shopping for handbag at TOBU.


Hungry… looking at the window display of the restaurant already gives me an idea of what to order. Get in, make order right away. So easy, right? The name of this restaurant is Edomirakuchaya, located at level 7. It’s opened from 11am-10pm...hehe


I noticed that most Japanese restaurants are staffed with people of our dad’s age. We hardly see any youngsters working in restaurants like this. Compared to Malaysia, you can find mostly younger age restaurant staffs. Japan is different probably because her people are the hard working type who will keep at it till old age.


Just show this at the counter when making payment.


Whenever we dined at any restaurant, a wet hand towel will be provided for us to wipe our hands.


Edamame!


Aime odered fried tuna meal.


I had the tempura udon meal.


This is Aime’s.


And this is Nyah’s.


Mine.


Please help yourself!


Can’t wait to dig in after a long day of walking around town.


First time tasting such red colour tuna… Hehehe


What a satisfying meal, hehehe. Time to hit the road back to our hotel.
http://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/english/


Come check out our room. Each of us had one room all for ourselves. The room costs 12,900 yen (RM387) a night including breakfast. You can book a room in Shijuku Prince Hotel at Booking.com and Agoda.com. Both sites offer more or less the same price. I stayed here because it’s right in the city center and easy to take the train.


Ok, the bathroom is just perfect for a petite girl like me… hahaha


Shower time… auwww... bye!

If you need further information, just check out this website http://muslimguide.jnto.go.jp/eng/