By the time that you’re reading this, most likely you are stuck at home on lockdown, unable to leave your city, or that Covid-19 has ended or at least subsided. Whatever the case is, I hope that you will enjoy my journey to Japan!

At the time of writing, it has a little over one month when I last visited Japan, writing this article out of boredom in lockdown Covid Circuit breaker (CCB) Singapore.

Before the trip

Despite much advice against visiting the land of the rising sun, I went ahead with the plan. Well, at that time, the severity of the virus was still quite under control. Numbers were low, and taking into consideration that Japan is not entirely small, the odds of getting the virus were slim.

But that does not mean that we should take safety for granted. Armed with four bottles of hand sanitizers, one bottle of disinfectant, and 60 plies of surgical masks, we were well prepared.

Flight to Narita

I booked a Singapore Airlines flight to Narita in Tokyo. This was my first time travelling to Japan.

The Itinerary

Day 1-5: Osaka, Kyoto and Nara

Day 5-10: Tokyo

Yes I know, I should’ve booked a flight to Osaka Kansai Airport instead of Narita. That was a stupid mistake, resulting in the loss of 3 hours of precious (Japanese) time.

Singapore to Japan

Unsurprisingly, the flight to Japan was only half-full with many empty seats. However, I was too tired to make myself at home and sat at my original seat.

Almost everyone wore a mask

There was almost no Singaporeans onboard the flight. Many were Americans, Japanese or from other countries.

Most people onboard wore a mask as well. The overall ambience was dreadful (everyone dreaded the 6 hours in a flying can) onboard, with occasional coughs from passengers to my dismay.

I managed to catch a few episodes of Family Guy and Top Gear while falling asleep multiple times.

I flew the Boeing 777-300ER

After months of anticipation, I was finally in the land of Anime and Sushi. I couldn’t imagine being confined in a metal tube flying over 40,000 feet for nearly 7 hours.

Our journey wasn’t over even after the 7 hours. Our bad planning meant that we had to spend an additional 1 hour on the Narita Express to Tokyo main station.

Upon arriving at Tokyo station, we had to catch the Shinkansen to Osaka. The entire Shinkansen Journey took a whopping THREE HOURS.

From Osaka to our hotel in Shin-Imamiya, we spent another hour and about 30 minutes of walking from the train station to our hotel.

That’s a whopping 12 hours spent transiting. Wow.

My dinner

It was late and most restaurants were closed. Now that calls for some Japan Convenience Store food.

Coming from hot and humid Singapore, I wanted a “kick” of Japan’s 10-celsius temperature.

I wore my home clothes down to the Lawson

… And a kick is what I got. I underestimated the cold. I barely wore anything, short pants and a thin white t-shirt. I caught a cold the next day 🥶.

Dinner was nothing luxurious. It was a bowl of Ramen from Lawson, which was just across the street from our hotel. Honestly, it was one of the best Ramen I ever tasted. The noodles were bouncy, and the broth was thick and bursting with Umami.

Verdict: 8.5/10

If they were to add meat in the ramen, it would be perfect.

Conclusion

It was already apparent that the world was heading towards a Pandemic on the first day in Japan. People were wearing masks, sanitizing their hands after coming into contact with objects.

However, things weren’t as bad as the current situation. If I were to book my trip a week later, I would’ve already canceled it.

The next few days in Japan were still fun, nevertheless. Follow my blog as I document my trip to Japan here.

harold

harold

I love working with people, integrating technologies, and adding value to my clients' company. I am a major WordPress geek with over 10 years of web development experience. On my free time, I enjoy traveling and mingling with people.

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