Arriving in Tokyo – How I almost got hit by the trains!

December 7th was the day of my flight from Frankfurt to Paris to Tokyo. I was already so excited when I had to say goodbye to my parents and my best friend at the airport. And when I boarded the tiny jet to Paris I remembered that it was getting real.

The plane was so tine, it was the smallest plane I ever flew in. But it was comfy, no turbulences, and they even gave snacks.

In Paris, I actually had to rush to my gate since I had to take a bus to my gate area. When I arrived at my gate, people were already queueing to board. This was it! That should be my flight to Tokyo! I still couldn’t believe it.

My excitement disappeared very quickly though after realising that my seat neighbours – two french guys- were acting a bit awkward. That made me feel awkward. I can’t really explain it, but sometimes, people act in a rather awkward, distant way that makes you feel stupid and awkward yourself. I don’t know if you know what I mean. I also couldn’t sleep properly because the guy next to me (I had an aisle seat) turned to his right side, facing my direction and his knees were bordering to my area. So if I wanted to sleep I also had to turn to the right, the aisle side, which meant that many people heading to the toilet were bumping into my knees and shoulders. That was extremely annoying! I just hated this flight so much! I think it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I ever had. At least, the japanese school class heightened my mood a little bit with all of them wearing their school uniforms… on a long haul flight. That’s what I call discipline! :’D

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

When I arrived in Tokyo, finally, I picked up my suitcase and went to look for a sim card. I found one for 7 seven days and I bought it. It was without a telephone number, only internet. But I would get a proper Sim Card in the city anyway.

First, I had to go to the office of my share house to sign some papers, read about the house rules and pick up my key. Actually, it wasn’t really that far away from my share house, but it was just annoying carrying around a big ass suitcase with you everywhere. It really sucked the energy out of my body and by the time I was done at the office, I could feel how tired I was getting. Luckily it was still bright outside. When I took the train back to the metro stop I had to get out at, I missed it and had to get out at one stop after. Luckily, the trains here in Tokyo come in 5-10 minutes and I also didn’t have to change the platform.

When I finally arrived at my metro stop, I struggled to find out how I was supposed to walk. I thought I had to cross the train tracks. The barrier was still down, and as soon as it opened, I slowly walked and stumbled across the tracks with my suitcase that is almost as big as me. I haven’t even crossed 1/3 of the tracks when the sound was ringing again. The barriers were coming down and I was still in the middle of the tracks. Actually, I wasn’t really standing on a track, but like a pathway between the tracks. Still, it seemed like I was in danger.

Luckily, a police man saw me and came for my rescue! He put the barrier up with his hands and took my suitcase, running, and me running behind him. When we were finally safe and sound I had enough! I spotted a taxi right in front of me, another streak of luck for me. Thank you for your prayers, dad! I think they actually helped :)

So I entered the taxi and showed the driver the address. He started driving but after a few minutes he stopped and searched on his gps again. Then after around 5 minutes he stopped and told me that I should better pay the 800 yen first before he drives around without knowing exactly where it is which would make it more expensive to me in the end. That was really nice of him to say that. So I paid and after that he tried everything to find my share house. He also asked a little boy on the street if he knew where it was. I was getting stressed and desperate. It was past 3pm at that time. The only meal I had was on the plane at 7 or 8am. I was starving, at the same time I was tired as hell and I just escaped death. And now it seemed like my share house was impossible to find. I was already imagining myself sleeping on the streets and was about to cry. I decided to look up the directions on Google Maps myself.

And then a miracle happened. We actually found it!!! I was so happy! And the taxi driver was really happy as well. When I asked how much I had to pay he said “daijobu” (it’s alright). I was even more touched and felt my eyes water. He was sooo sooo nice!

Still, the struggle was not over yet. When I entered the share house, no one seemed to be at home. I was on the second floor so I had to carry my stupid suitcase up the tiny stairs. And then it happened. I hit 23kg on my tiny toe and it was one of the worst pains ever! I had to scream and felt the tears in my eyes again. I was cursing this suitcase and the effed up tiny stairs. I quickly went into my room and what do I see between my fridge and my bed?!! A FREAKING DEAD COCKROACH!!! I sat down on my bed and cried. It was all just too much! It was the worst arrival of my life. I couldn’t believe that this was reality! In my imagination I was full of energy, easily finding my share house and then quickly leaving to explore Tokyo, see the busy Shibuya crossing, the loud streets, the colourful neon signs, eating Ramen on my first evening. None of them happened. The worst things that could ever happen happened to me. Murphy’s Law! I was hungry, tired, almost died, spent half an hour finding my share house, hit my f*cking suitcase on my toe, and now this disgusting cockroach was in my room. Although it was dead, I just couldn’t take it anymore. After crying my eyes out I tried to calm down. I heard someone outside so I looked and it was the cleaning man. I asked him if he could please remove the dead cockroach in my room. He laughed and said sorry and took it away in a tissue.

It seemed like as soon as the cockroach was gone, my thoughts were getting a bit more positive as well. I took off my clothes, and put on my pyjamas that I luckily put into my hand luggage.

I was tired, thirsty, as well as hungry, but I could surprise the hunger and the thirst. But my body just couldn’t stay awake any longer. I fell asleep right away, at around 4pm and woke up at 10pm. I slept 6 hours through. When I woke up my throat was dry and hot. I needed water! It was rainy outside but I really needed water. I knew there was a 7/11 around the corner so I prepared to go outside. After I just left my house, I saw 3 vending machines right next to our share house. I didn’t feel like walking in the rain so I just took a bottle of water out the machine. So convenient, seriously! Things were slowly starting to get more positive and easier now. I think sometimes, one just needs a good rest, and then everything just turns to the better.

In general I was still very lucky and thankful. Although I had a difficult start (Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement here), I had the chance to experience the kindness of japanese people right away. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful. More than I have seen in any other country. And after all, it was my suitcase’s fault that all of those bad things happened to me.

So this was my adventurous arrival in Tokyo. I hope it wasn’t too much or too boring for you guys. I just wanted to describe all my experiences coming to this city. And when I have negative experiences and write about it, you guys can be prepared if you ever plan to come here.

IMG_20171209_194648_784

To sum it all up, here are some Do’s and Don’ts when arriving in Japan:

Do’s:

  • Eat something small at the airport, or take some food and drinks with you to eat on the way. The commute from the airport to the city can take a bit longer than you expect.
  • Buy yourself a Suica or Passmo Card. It’s a rechargeable metro card. So much more convenient when using the metro on a daily basis. You can also pay with that at conbinis (7/11, Family Mart & Co.) or use it to buy drinks at vending machines (not all of them though).
  • Use Google Maps to navigate the metro system. The metro system in Tokyo is the biggest I have ever used (I have already used the ones in Beijing, Shanghai, London, Paris and Barcelona), and if I didn’t have Google Maps, I would have lost my way even more often. Either check the directions at the airport and screenshot everything. Or get yourself a sim card or pocket wifi for your stay. It’s gonna be extremely helpful! Trust me.

 

Don’ts:

  • If you can, try to take a middle sized suitcase with you and maybe a bigger backpack to carry on your back. The streets in Tokyo are not really suitcase friendly.
  • Take care at the tracks! Don’t walk slowly! Some people even run to cross it, because not even after 1 minute the bell rings again and the barriers close. The safest option to cross to the other side is actually by using the metro passages. They also have elevators, so that’s better for suitcases.
  • Make sure to sleep on the plane. I know, sometimes it is not possible, but if you can, definitely do it, please! You will be more wake and energised and positive when you have to navigate through the city to find you accommodation.
  • Don’t force yourself to walk to your destination. If you seriously are exhausted and can’t take it no more, just take the taxi. No money is more important than your wellbeing. And who knows, maybe you will encounter such a nice taxi driver as I did as well :)

 

This was everything about my arrival. I am sorry that you guys had to wait for such a long time until my first post. I was quite busy with all the bureaucratic stuff and editing photos and videos.

You can watch my first video about my arrival here:

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Merveille.

Advertisements

ABC – Travel List: J – Japan, Johannesburg, Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

It’s quite remarkable how fast I managed to finish choosing the J-letter destinations. The country was 100% clear already, and I only had to decide upon the last two options which was done quite quickly as well, due to the fact that there actually are not so any places starting with J. Here is my choice.

J

1. Country: Japan

Bildergebnis für Japan
Source: swap.ca

Japan has been on my must-travel list since my childhood already. I think I have even wanted to visit this country even before I wanted to visit the USA. I have actually given up on visiting America, but my interest for Japan as been growing even more ever since I have lived in China for 10 months. I can tell you right now that this post is gonna be enormous with all the places and cities I wanna see in Japan. Maybe, I can even make all of this come true :D

Tokyo

Bildergebnis für Tokyo
Source: hoganlovells.com

Tokyo cityscape with Mount Fuji in the background is a classic sight. I wouldn’t want to climb up Mount Fuji, but anything that has the mountain in the background is an amazing place to see. More about that later.

-Shinjuku

Bildergebnis für shinjuku gyoen
Source: kcpwindowonjapan.com

Shinjuku Gyoen is THE place to be during Sakura Season. Just Shinjuku in general is a must-see I guess.

-Shibuya

Bildergebnis für shibuya
Source: travel.gaijinpot.com

The most iconic sight of Tokyo must probably be the Shibuya Crossing. Seeing this always amazes me. It makes me feel so small thinking about all these people walking in the same or opposite direction as me. I had a similar experience in Shanghai, when crossing the street in front of the Bund with SO many people it made me feel kind of excited and small at the same time.

Bildergebnis für shibuya hachiko
Source: flickr.com

Another must-see: The Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station. If you have seen the movie, you know why I wanna see it. I just hope I won’t start crying :'( If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you doing? Leave everything, and go watch it!

-Meiji Shrine

Bildergebnis für meiji shrine tokyo
Source: potolkimaker.com

-Kiyomizu Dera

Bildergebnis für kiyomizu dera tokyo
Source: travelcaffeine.com

-Sensoji

Bildergebnis für Sensoji
Source: thejapanguy.com

-Takeshita Dori in Harajuku

Bildergebnis für Takeshita dori
Source: dreamstime.com

Takeshita Dori is this huge, crowded street in Harajuku where you can find anything from cosplay shops to cotton candy cafes and several pet cafes (cat, dog, owl, hedgehog,…). I would probably spend half of my money here if I’ll ever get to Tokyo, but who cares, right? :D

-Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

Bildergebnis für Tokyo Tower
Source: travel.gaijinpot.com

The Tokyo Tower, being the Eiffel Tower of Japan, is the iconic modern landmark of Tokyo. It serves as a radio station, but I think you can also climb up the tower to get a view, but I heard it to be quite expensive and the view should not be that amazing. I guess it would be better to get somewhere higher, where you can actually see the Tokyo Tower included in the skyline, such as…

Bildergebnis für Tokyo skytree
Source: nytimes.com

.. the Tokyo Skytree of course! I heard the lines are extremely long, but it should be worth the wait. I would definitely do it :)

-Akihabara

Bildergebnis für Akihabara
Source: coolphotojapan.com

THIS must be paradies on earth for all the geeks, nerds, otakus and gamers, tourists and locals alike. I’d definitely be able to spend my whole day in this area, with all the gaming arcades, merch shops and maid cafes awaiting me :’D

Bildergebnis für akihabara pokemon center
Source: aminoapps.com
Bildergebnis für Akihabara
Source: pinterest.com

-Yoyogi Park

Bildergebnis für yoyogi park
Source: travel.gaijinpot.com

Another famous park for Hanami, but this being more popular amongst young people and cosplayers.

-Izakaya: Bakawarai Junsui

Bildergebnis für -Izakaya: Bakawarai Junsui
Source: libest.co.jp

Youtubers EatYourKimchi have already considered this Izakaya bar as the most amazing bar not only in Japan, but in the whole wide world. This has to mean something, so that’s why this location will be very high on my dinner plans in Tokyo. Just any izakaya in general should be on everyone’s Japan List if you really wanna try authentic japanese food that is not too expensive.

Kyoto

Ähnliches Foto
Source: photoworldadventures.com

Reds and oranges must be the general colours that pop up in our minds when we hear Kyoto. The photo above was taken at the Daigoji temple in Kyoto, and it looks divine. I think I can’t imagine a more beautiful and serene garden as this.

-Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Bildergebnis für arashiyama kyoto
Source: potolkimaker.com

It’s a wish of mine to wear a traditional kimono in red and walk through this bamboo forest…

-Fushimi Inari Taisha

Ähnliches Foto
Source: flickr.com

Another dream destination! Again, I’d just walk around in a kimono all day in this place, trying to shoot photo over photo. It’s just a wonderful, impressive place.

-Kinkaku Ji

Bildergebnis für kinkaku-ji
Source: japaninfo.com

The golden temple of Kyoto, probably looks best when the trees are turning red and gold in autumn as well.

-Himeji Castle

Bildergebnis für himeji castle
Source: steamtradingcards.wikia.com

Okinawa

Bildergebnis für okinawa
Source: tripadvisor.com

I seriously didn’t expect Okinawa to be THAT tropical! It looks amazing! I’d seriously love to live here!

Hiroshima

Bildergebnis für hiroshima heute
Source: asien.net

I think visiting Hiroshima leaves everyone heartbroken, reminiscing of the horrible atom bombs caused by the US. I have seen some videos about the museum and how the people who visited it were starting to cry, and they weren’t even japanese people, they were foreigners.

-Itsukushima shrine, Miyajima Island

Ähnliches Foto
Source: blog.bluesky.pl

Doesn’t this look magical? Just like out of a fantasy movie.

Hokkaido

Bildergebnis für Hokkaido
Source: Dronestagram.com

Hokkaido seriously looks tropical as well, althoug it’s usually quite freezing :’D Japan has some seriously beautiful beaches, I am heavily impressed.

This is the Cape Kamui, Shakotan.

Here is a link with even more things to see and do in Hokkaido, since I can’t include all of them. Especially the Lake Biei and the Shibazakura speak to me a lot.

Nara

Bildergebnis für Nara
Source: globeandmail.com

Aren’t they just beautiful and cute at the same time? I’d love to spend my whole day with these lovelies <3

Osaka

Bildergebnis für osaka
Source: japanspecialist.com

I think Osaka is a cheaper and less crowded alternative to Tokyo, so I’d actually like visiting this city. And I feel like it’s more relaxed with less touristy spots and sights and more every-day life of locals.

Bildergebnis für osaka
Source: welcomekansai.com

This is Osaka Castle and it looks royal! Worth seeing in Osaka I’d say.

Bildergebnis für osaka glico
Source: gojapango.com

This is the famous glico running man of Osaka. Everyone takes photos here. Why, you ask? Because glico is probably one of the most famous candy brands in Japan (they produce the Pocky sweets), and the logo is world-famous.

Fukuoka

-Beppu Onsen

Bildergebnis für beppu onsen
Source: tripadvisor.com

The Beppu Onsen is actually not directly located in Fukuoka, but it is easy to get a connection from there, so that’s why I mentioned it here. Visiting an onsen is a must-do when in Japan, so here I just looked up the best Onsen places in Japan, and Beppu was one of them.

Miyagi Zao Fox Village in Shiroishi

Bildergebnis für fox village japan
Source: iamaileen.com

Japan is seriously famous for anything animal-themed: There are not only pet cafes, but also areas of wild animals roaming about (deer park in Nara, cat island in Thashirojima, and also a rabbit island in Okunoshima)

Bildergebnis für cat island japan
Source: johnnytimes.com
Ähnliches Foto
Source: odditycentral.com

Oh my, what a wonderful, dream-like country Japan is. I am quite afraid that if I will finally get there, I might not come back :’D although that’s actually something exciting rather than frightening.

Well, the post is already too long, and I haven’t even finished yet.

2. City: Johannesburg

Bildergebnis für Johannesburg
Source: sothebysreality.com

I have already heard so many amazing things about this city in Africa, that it really makes me wanna visit.

Here are some things you can do:

-Lay on the beach

Ähnliches Foto
Source: sarugbytravel.com

I actually didn’t expect the beach to look like this. It kinda reminds me of the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

-Apartheid Museum

Bildergebnis für apartheid museum
Source: apartheidmuseum.org

Didn’t know there was a museum like this in Johannesburg. Definitely sounds super intersting and I think it would be worth a visit.

-Krüger National Park

Bildergebnis für krüger nationalpark tiere
Source: fotocommunity.de

Of course, a safari tour should not be missed out when you are in Africa, no matter which city. But if you even have a nationalpark as an option, one should definitely visit it.

-Mandela House

Bildergebnis für mandela house
Source: tripadvisor.com

In general I think that there are not as many touristy sights in Johannesurg as in other places. It seems to be more of a relaxed city with beaches, cafes and nice music to explore while you go.

3. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

Ähnliches Foto
Source: anna.aero.com

I have heard many great things about the South Korean island Jeju, but I didn’t know that it was famous for its volcanic tubes.

Bildergebnis für jeju volcanic island and lava tubes
Source: nps.gov

It actually is quite a picture-worthy place that should be on anyones South-Korea travel list.

With this, I will finally end this extremely long post. I am really sorry that it got so long, especially the part about Japan, but I hope I could give you some nice and new ideas about places to go and things to see.

Tell me about your J-letter destinations at the top of your travel list. I’d be happy to find out about more places to add on my list.

Until next time!

Thanks for reading and travelling with me.

Merveille.Bildergebnis für jeju volcanic island and lava tubes

 

 

Crystal Castles – Knights

Since this song has no lyrics, because it is electronic, I will just short write down my opinion about this song and video.
I have discovered this band after watching the british series “Skins”. After listening to their song ‘Alice Practice’, I immediately searched for more songs. They surprisingly had a lot of original videos on youtube (since many videos are put down from youtube in Germany here). When it comes to their songs, I can’t really decide which is my favorite, but this video is my favorite one. It is set in Japan, Tokyo (the huge crossway hints to Shibuya), one of the dream cities I want to travel to. Furthermore, I like the idea of a bunch of young people (not too young, in their 20s probably) taking some pills together and playing around in the fountain, through the city and ending up in a club.
I also have the imagination that Tokyo is a futuristic city, fond of new technology, and that’s why I love it as a setting for an electronic song. Everything fits perfectly.