So I’ve been in Japan for the past week, and I do want to share some of my experiences here so far. I went with my brother, and began exploring Japan for the first time.
When we got into Japan, we each got ourselves a Welcome Suica IC card, which is a NFC payment card used for transit and other various things such as restaurants, vending machines, and more. The main different between this and a normal Suica card is that this card:
- Is only available for foreign visitors,
- Requires no card deposit,
- Expires in 28 days, and
- Has a special design meant for visitors to keep as a souvenir when they leave Japan.
It’s pretty cool, and was very convenient. I’ve had experience with Hong Kong’s Octopus card, so it was pretty cool to also have that in Japan. I wish we had a system like that in Vancouver.
For our first four nights, we stayed in the Tokyo area. The hotel we stayed at was called Hotel Wing International, located near the Japan Rail (JR) Shinjuku Station. It was a pretty decent place: clean and tidy, but a little dated. The staff there were really nice, and even when I spoke my work-in-progress Japanese, they understood me, and I was able to understand them as well.
On our first day, we went to Tokyo Skytree, located near Oshiage Station (and a bunch of other subway stations). There’s quite a lot of stuff to look at in the adjacent mall. We went to the Pokemon Centre there, and bought some gifts for friends. We also ate at the food court there, where I used my Suica card to purchase items. That was definitely really convenient.
Once we finished with our meal, we finally headed up the Skytree. There are two levels, 350m and 450m. We bought the dual set ticket for 3100 JPY. When we got to the top, we got to see a spectacular view. Luckily for us, it wasn’t foggy, so we were able to see pretty far. Some photos below.
This was a pretty good day, more posts to come!