January 2nd, 2023 Departure for Japan, and after more than three years of absence, I can finally return to my second “home”.
Before the pandemic, I went to Japan every year for vacation, and I used to go three or four times a year.
I also studied Japanese for more than three years because I liked to travel to Japan.
Unexpectedly, a Covid19 messed up the whole world.
It took a while for the world to get back on track… But I believe there is still a way to go.
Some things may not return to the normal state of affairs before the pandemic.
But the days still have to pass! Just enjoy and have fun!
This time I chose to take the flight of Starlux Airlines Taoyuan~Tokyo, and I can really see the CEO’s good intentions every details.
The plane is new and the meals are super delicious, this time the plane is an Airbus A330NEO.
Although it is an economy class, the seats of the two people by the window make you feel like Deluxe economy class.
In the past, the escape method demonstrated by the flight attendant. Starlux Airlines used animation to express it is really interesting.
The meals are also produced by a joint restaurant, and they even have patterns on the toilet paper.
If you fly to Tokyo and want to see Mount Fuji, you must booked the seats on the left and right side on the way back.
The flight landed at Tokyo Airport as scheduled, but the captain said we could not disembark.
It was delayed until later: Japan’s airport received suspected explosives, so it had to be inspected on the plane, although no one came up later.
But we just stayed in the cabin for more than two hours… I’m shocked and speechless.
(Surprisingly, this January 2nd news event was only reported by Taiwan media on the 11th, which shows how cautious Japan is about this kind of thing)
We finally got off the plane and prepared to use the pre-applied QR Code to pass the customs, it was really fast and efficient.
It only took me half an hour to go through the immigration, but when I was waiting in line for the last level, my friends who were traveling with me didn’t keep up with me.
I was worried and thought, was she stuck with her American passport? Fortunately, Narita Airport has a well-developed network, and immediately used Line to call her.
Found out that she had logged in to the wrong Japan visit web, because she originally applied for it with a Taiwanese passport, and later because of vaccine certification.
Changed back to the US passport to log in, she herself remembered to log in to the old account by mistake, and almost couldn’t go though the immigration.
But the Japanese customs officer is really friendly, if the QR code never comes out, you just have to fill out the paper again, at least they won’t send you back to your country, hehe!
Finally, we all got our luggages out of customs, passed through the final declaration counter, and excitedly started our journey in Japan.
When I want to get the e-SIM card before taking the Skyliner, my friend’s works fine, mine is not working at all…
I’ve tried while I was in Taiwan the night before, and it didn’t work, so I deleted it first and thought I can do it again after arriving.
Didn’t expect !!! I did not read the instructions clearly, and the QR Code provided after purchase is only allowed to be scanned ONCE, and it will be invalid if it is scanned.
Oh, my GoodnessI contacted customer service immediately, fortunately they could send me a new one, but told me not to lose it again.
Relying on the wifi on the Skyliner to successfully get the e-sim works. the advantage of the e-SIM card is convenience.
But it is true that there are many set-up details, it also took a while for my friends to get her e-sim worked. Fortunately, the customer service is contacted by line, so it is instant and convenient.
Anyone interested can refer to their website: https://djbcard.com/
Take Skyliner to Nippori Station, and there is a discount on tickets booked online in advance, just go to the counter and exchange them with a QR code.
The counter will help you arrange the nearest train and hand you the exchange ticket for the return trip, which is very convenient.
Skyliner official website: https://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/tc/index.php
After arriving at Nippori, we have to transfer the Yamanote Line to Ikebukuro, and after transit to the Yamanote Line, we can directly use the Suica in the iPhone to take a ride.
You don’t have to buy a physical Suica like before, you can set-up it in the iPhone wallet, you can also add value by credit card, or go to Japan to add value from the machine with cash, super easy to use!
Friends have recommended staying at this Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro, so I chose this place this time.
But to be honest, it is really a bit hard to take your luggage and transfer trains, because many stations in Japan do not have elevators at the entrances and exits.
Fortunately, we combined 2 luggages in one, and there were escalators to take smoothly, and next time if it was not for Haneda Airport.
I would still like to live near Ueno Station or Tokyo Station, which will be a lot less troublesome.
Finally arrived at Ikebukuro Station, in fact, the hotel is next to the station, but Ikebukuro Station is so big…
Follow the direction written on the hotel website, it still take a while for us to figure out…
Finally arrived at the hotel, after different situations, and we were almost late for the reservation of our dinner.
I had to ask the hotel staff to call the restaurant first to postpone the time, really appreciated their understanding, Japanese are very punctual…
Since we were going to Hokkaido the next day, we couldn’t change our original reservation when booking a hotel at Agoda.
When I rebooked, only the double room was left, but fortunately, the staff said that we could upgrade it, and the upgrade fee was only 5,000 yen which is worth.
We decided to upgrade, although the room was not as spacious as expected, and my friend said that the night view was not beautiful enough…
I didn’t expect to get up the next day and see Mt. Fuji outside the window, which was an unexpected surprise.
~To be continued~