Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Japan2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 1

Date of Travel: 2-12 Aug 2013
My first trip to Tokyo! (Taken on Day 8 at Shinjuku)

Day 1: The challenge of getting out of Haneda Airport

(Note: This is a lengthy post for those with AirAsiaX tickets and don't know how to get to the city. Skip this if you just want to see photos of the trip)

One of our goals in life is to visit Hokkaido. And we picked the Lavender season to visit. I imagined walking through fields of purple, but I gotta admit, early August was a tad bit too late. The most likely route to Hokkaido would be via Tokyo, followed by Osaka. If you have booked early enough, your air ticket would most likely be from AirAsiaX. And if you have booked AirAsiaX, you would be arriving Haneda airport very late, in my case, 11:00pm. It took us 30-40 minutes to clear immigration and baggage claim. From then, my research showed that I have 3 options:
a) Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station, last train 12:08am, 470¥
b) Keikyu Airport Express to Shinagawa, 11:51pm or 12:01am, 400¥
c) Limousine Bus 12:00am to Shinjuku, 1200¥ normal, 2000¥ after midnight

Being kiasu, I did not want to risk any of the above options because the flight may have been delayed. So we picked a hotel nearest to the airport, and Toyoko Inn Haneda Kuko I did just the trick. They provided a free shuttle bus from Haneda departs at 23:12,23:27,23:42,23:57,24:12. Even if I do miss the scheduled free shuttle, I figured that I could always catch a short taxi ride to the hotel. To locate this bus, head to the group buses waiting room, walk out the door to the street, and turn left and wait for a minibus that clearly says Toyoko. We eventually caught the 11:57pm bus and arrived at the hotel about 00:20am.

For 8480¥ per night with breakfast, I ain't complaining. It beats the alternative that most Malaysians took, i.e. sleeping on benches at Haneda airport.
Hotel Toyoko Inn Haneda Kuko I & II are next to each other. I serves Japanese breakfast, II serves western breakfast

Toyoko Inn Haneda Kuko I - 8480¥ with breakfast

Very compact room, with a Queen sized bed.

Though it's late, we still gotta eat! At 1:00am, we were out hunting for food. Just walk farther away from where the bus dropped you, and you will find a 24 hour cafe on the first floor. This is what we ate on the first night. Not bad at all. Total cost for two is 919¥

Delicious! But perhaps too heavy to eat at 2:00am

We eventually slept at 3am, and have to wake up at 6:30am, in order to make our flight to Sapporo at 11:55am the following day. I'm too old for this.

Cost of Day 1:
Return flight to Haneda: RM1475 for 2 pax including 2 check-in luggage and some food
Hotel: 8480¥, including breakfast
Supper of beef hamburg + porridge: 919¥

Other days in this series:
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 1
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 2 (Furano)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 3 (Furano)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 4 (Unkai, Mitsui Factory Outlet, Sapporo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 5 (Sapporo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 6 (Otaru)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 7 (Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Tokyo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 8 (Tokyo - Kichijoji and the best darn steak ever!)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 9 (Tokyo - Asakusa & Tokyo Metropolitan Govt Building)  
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 10 Final (Shibuya) 

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