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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Hokkaido 8D7N - Day 1 (One Night in Tokyo)


I finally made it to Japan the first time at age of mid 40s.  Had been putting Japan temporary off my travel list due to the Radiation leak in 2011 (and no money lolxx...).  Distance between Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant to Haneda International Airport (Tokyo) is 236km and 598km apart from Chitose Airport (Sapporo).  Should be safe I supposed since many had came back kicking and alive all these years.

Hokkaido first cos I needed snow.  Dec is not a good time for Tokyo (挨冻没雪看, what for?)  Free and easy is completely out as my Papa Voo becomes totally disoriented in overseas and myself can't drive.  Even if I can, I don't want to risk it on unfamiliar roads which can be slippery and covered up with snow during winter.  Though travelling by train is another option, but the thought of carrying luggage from train to train will sure break my arms.

There's too much research to be done for self plan itinerary, how easy can that be?  So we gotten Chan Brothers Travel to babysit us with no regrets.  Yup, take my money and save me from headache, heeheehee....

About a month before departing, we came for pre-travel briefing, at the same time made full payment for our package tour at Suntec City Exhibition Hall.
It's exaggerating, the crowd was massive.  Singaporeans sibei rich, really.  Not sure how many hundreds and thousands of people were going to Hokkaido in Dec.

At the same time, Chan Brothers had a little booth selling SIM Card.  S$25 for 8 days unlimited data was not bad a deal.
  I had this for myself while hubby wanted to try out renting a  portable wifi from Changi Airport.

 Tossed out those winter wear that my kids had out grown and gotten some from TaoBao .  All the airing and washing of clothes, packing them into the luggage took me 2 good weeks.
 4 luggage and 3 hand carries, phew....

Here we go!


Destination: Hokkaido Japan
Duration: 8D7N 14th Dec to 21 Dec 2017
Mode of Travel:  Hokkaido Passion Package Tour with Chan Brothers Travel
Flight: SQ to Tokyo, Air Do/ANA domestic to Hokkaido
Damage: S$3451/per pax (including all transportation, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners).
Tipping for tour guide and drive ¥6400/per pax (approx. S$80)
Travel Buddies:  Voo family of 4 with 2 teenage boys
Weather: 1 to -16 degrees with plenty of snow
Currency: We divide Yen with 80 to convert to S$
Time difference: 1 hour ahead of Singapore


Day 1

I hate morning flights, but had to make do cos my hubby can't sleep on night flights and will be "de-function" due to lack of sleep.
However, morning flight arrangement was "wasted" as he was too excited to sleep at night -__-|||
And that leaded to a horrible change in his temperament.  I wasn't sure it was his worst or was I in my lowest tolerance level 😖😣....

Hubby went to rent the portable wifi in the airport which was very affordable at S$5/day.  However, he queued almost an hour for it and we didn't get to eat breakfast.  So for those who are interested, you have to come earlier to the airport in case the queue is long.

The one hour was more than enough for me to explore T3's Hello Kitty and Sanrio decoration.

Too cute 💓

Excited, our first ride on SQ.

Excitement turned into dismay when we found out that we had to take a bus for ground boarding 😒

GROUND BOARDING..... win liao....
There was a mother traveling with 2 toddlers.  One hand carry baggage, another hand holding one child, the other child left to climb up the stairs (unstably).  Hubby became anxious and carried the other child up.  Thanks to the ground boarding.... I mean we didn't know we pay for ground boarding like budget airlines....

Anyway, like it or not, we climbed and boarded.  Christmas decors were delightful, foul mood cooled down a little.
I think I might had dozed off, cos I didn't know that the plane took off only an hour later.  Meaning we already missed our connection flight to Hokkaido.

The menu was given before serving.
We had ordered both the Japanese set and International Set.

Teriyaki fish + Soba Noodle + Rice + Assorted Veg & fish cake + Tofu

Roasted Chicken + Prawn Pasta + Assorted veg + Mashed potato
Both meals tasted better than they look, or maybe we were too hungry.

We were given mini magnum after the meal 😋

Arrived in Tokyo Haneda Airport safely, but no error, we missed our connection flight to Hokkaido.  Cause unknown till today.

A local coordinator with limited spoken English came, bought us a lorry load of bottled green tea, onigiri (triangle rice dumpling) and baumkuchen (layered ring cake).  All the onigiri I had in Singapore were with soggy and tasteless seaweed.  It's very crispy and slightly saltish here 😋, surprisingly delicious even though it's from a 24hrs store.
 At times like this, it's a great relieve to have the tour agent to solve the problem and get all the necessary arrangements done.  The next earliest flight to Hokkaido was only available the next morning.  Accommodation was arranged and cost borne by tour agent.  Can claim travel insurance again lolxx...

So we found ourselves one night in Tokyo.  We had an hour coach ride from the airport to Tobu Hotel.

 It was about 8pm when we reached the hotel.

The washroom was spotlessly clean, the way I always hope my house's toilet would be.
The WC was a butt warmer, as in the seat was heated.  The build in rinser was awesome.  Apparently most of the WCs in Japan are this awesome.

I took the body towel home, heehee.... can use as face towel.

Oh, see that light blue pouch on the table?  It came with the rental portable wifi which looked like a power bank.  I thought I took a photo of it but couldn't find it >.<

Everything was neat with 2 super singles.  The room was bigger than expected.  I thought rooms in Tokyo are small.

 We wasted no time, couldn't wait to see Tokyo.  Luis wanted shopping and Daiso, hubby wanted to be "safe" in a shopping mall for dinner, I wanted to explore Yotsume Street, Darren rolled his eyes.

The boss won, we walked into JR Kinshicho Station.  Like some of our MRT stations, there were shops and eateries.

We target for beef as we were told no beef would be included in our meals.  We didn't went far and found this eatery.  Judging from the photos outside and crowd, we hoped we weren't too wrong to get in.....

Negishi (ねぎし 錦糸町店)
1-2-47 Kinshi Sumida Tokyo東京都 墨田区 錦糸 1-2-47 錦糸町テルミナ2 レストラン街
The crews couldn't speak English, but they had English menu, so we point point point at pictures to order lolxx....

The place was cramp, we sat rubbing each other's shoulder.  Ordered beef, beef tongue, chicken and pork.

However I couldn't identify which were beef tongue lolxx....
While I thought taste was ok for the price we paid, Darren said the meat was too oily for his liking.  That pale yellow in the bowl wasn't chawanmushi, it was some creamy sauce which was weird to us and we left it untouched.

The bill was 4260, which was about S$53.

We wasted no time, hurried to Daiso at the next building but it was closed when we reached at 9.30pm.  Luis and I were so broken....😭😭

Walking back to the hotel, we saw a few Lawson which was like our 7-eleven.

Everything was fascinating from their Oden, to wide variety of ready-to-eat food, beverages and adult magazines.

Our hotel room over look Tokyo Skytree Tower which we could only admire from far.

A few hours later, we left in the wee morning without seeing Tokyo's daylight.  We will visit this city again one day, for sure...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your first Japan trip experience, it will guide many first timer travelers!!