The fourth day in Tokyo started out slowly as it was a day that I didn’t plan a lot. I googled for a good breakfast place and a Eggs n Things showed up. I was looking for somewhere closed to Akihabara and Tokyo as I had to go pick up my jeans before taking the Shinkansen to get out of Tokyo.
After getting ready, I brought out my bag of goodies that I had bought over the last few days to the locker in Shinjuku-Sanchome to deposit in there (since I had only one bag that I could lock and there weren’t any storage in the room for other bag). Then I took the train to Ginza and walked along the shopping street to the Kirarito building. The only place that was opened at that time was the restaurant but there was a lift catered to reach that floor. Entered the restaurant that was somewhat empty and was seated at the end where I found myself a table that had an accessible power point that I used to charge my phone.
Ordered the delicious looking eggs Benedict and a nice cappuccino, for Y1976, taking it slow. This pace was relaxed, completely different from the previous few days where I was rushing from point A to B, and this time I found myself enjoying the moment.
After breakfast, I took the train to Akihabara and visited a Muji store at Akiba Tolim building. There was a entire level dedicated to Muji and had quite a range of products for home usage. I couldn’t find anything that I would like to buy though except for small card holders (and also because I had no more space to carry stuff back).
Proceeded to walk to Evisu store to get my customised jeans which was supposedly opened from 12 noon but they were opened earlier. Then I made my way to Tokyo station to search for Tokyo banana snacks which I only found after a while searching the huge area for that store. Bought a couple of them before going to the Shinkasen ticketing to get my ticket to Atami. for Y3670. Being too smart, I also bought tickets for return trip but I had forgotten to indicate the departure station to be Shizuoka. I realised my mistake and quickly requested the station staff to allow me to exit and rush back to the counter where they made the change for me, with a top up to final amount of Y5830. I made it in time for the 12:56 train to Atami.
It was a 48mins train ride to Atami on the Shinkansen and I took the time to catch some sleep. It didn’t last long as I was eagerly trying to catch the view of Mt. Fuji, which I did but it was shrouded in clouds.
Exited the station and just outside the entrance was the hot spring footbath for public use. I knew I had to do this and went to sit with the people there, took out my shoes and socks and dipped my feet into the hot water. It felt good. After a good 5mins, I removed my feet and allow the cold weather to dry my feet before putting back my socks and shoes and walked towards KKR hotel.
Initially thought I could just walked into one of the public onsens but as I was walking, I didn’t find one that was obviously a public bath and I didn’t really have that much time as I would be heading to Shizuoka to attend a concert. Since I had read previously from on online blog about KKR having this onsen, I just set my mind to visit that instead.
It was about 10mins walk and I had initially went to the back of the building, where one staff actually told me (in Japanese) to walk further down to reach the main entrance. At the reception, I asked if they spoke Eigo and was surprised they replied that they couldn’t. Anyhow, the staff informed the costs to be Y1728 and gave me a plastic bag with a tiny towel inside for use in the onsen (its advisable to bring a bigger towel for drying). I took the lift to the 7th floor and stepping out, I was welcome by the majestic view of the Sagami bay. I quickly googled on what was needed to be done before entering the onsen because I wouldn’t be able to use the phone once inside. So it was about showering, drying outside before stepping into the public bath – got it!
Once I walked past the main entrance, I left my shoes at the shoes cabinet and enter a place where there were lockers for use and a long vanity table. So I didn’t know if I should be just stripping naked there and then. Just then, one local took the locker next to me and I tried to start a conversation. Unfortunately his Eigo was limited but I managed to get the gist from him, yes strip, go bath and use onsen. Somehow it ended up with him saying he liked me (what?), which was pretty awkward.
After he stripped and proceeded inside, I did the same a little bit later. With the tiny towel that was good enough to cover my privates, I went to the bath to sit on the little stool to take my shower, using the shower foam and shampoo available there. There was also a pail available but I didn’t understand how that was useful when there was already a shower head for use.
I went to the long onsen pool, taking it slowly as my body got used to the temperature. It was really hot and I stayed there for some time before moving on to the jacuzzi hot spring. There was a sauna and a cold pool as well but those I didn’t utilised. Then I decided to go outdoor because having to stay in the hot spring with cold air in the face would be the most enjoyable experience. As I first step outside, it was a little chilly and stepping into the onsen felt fantastic. Once fully submerged, I just enjoyed the dip with expansive view of the bay in front of me (view was available indoors too but behind window), absolutely fantastic! Alternating leaving my feet in the water and exposing my top to the cold, this sort of achieve the idea of sauna and cold pool combo.
After about an hour and a half, I went back to take a water shower and dressed up to leave. I was rushing for a train ride to Shizuoka and would like to get there around 5pm. The Shinkansen tickets costed Y3050 and a short half an hour to the Shizuoka. The journey boasted views of Mt. Fuji, in which I was snapping away happily. After alighting, I changed to the local train to Shimizu, where the concert was being held. Upon arrival at Shimizu station, I managed to see Mt. Fuji in clear sight. During this time when the sun was about to set, I saw a pink Mt. Fuji.
Checked into my hotel, Vista Shimizu and retrieved my concert tickets, which was delivered to the hotel reception a few days earlier. I was glad that all went well despite this last minute whereby an online service provider, called Onegai Kaeru (O-ne gai means wish), helped to get the tickets from a reseller platform and arranged for the delivery of the tickets. Went to my room to put down my bag and charged my handphone and lazed a bit before heading out to Shimizu to get some green tea, as Shizuoka was known as the green tea producing city.
I walked into a traditional tea store and asked for Eigo but none was spoken but thought the store owner was extremely friendly. Noticing that we weren’t getting anywhere, he recommended that I visit another store so I got out. After a line of stores selling various things, I found another store that seemed to have tea sold in packages. Tried my luck again and this time it was a little better, as store owner seemed to understand a little English. Bought some green tea from there and proceeded to dinner at Macs, where I ordered myself a local flavoured Teriyaki burger meal. Like myself, I saw a couple of Ayumi fans having their dinner, and they were dressed for the concert, with items related to the queen of J-pop.
Returned to the hotel room to pack the tea into my bag and left for the Shizuoka cultural center with my tickets. I was looking forward to the concert as I had never seen a full concert of my favourite Queen of J pop, Ayumi Hamasaki and she had never had a concert in Singapore (other than a short one together with Avex artistes). My only worry was if I would be allowed in with a ticket that didn’t have my name. My worries were just uncalled for as there wasn’t a doubt at all from the staff and immediately after the security checks, I proceeded to the souvenir stall to get myself a tee (and a couple of confused exchanges because of the credit card issues) and then I was in the hall, seated and ready to rock n’ roll!
Handphones were prohibited for use though as much as I wanted to just capture an image to bring home. Throughout the concert, I didn’t see a single person using the handphone and I followed as well. It was a great concert even though I had not heard of the songs before (as I didn’t follow her albums for some time already), but the catchy beats together with the atmosphere from the Japanese fans were just electrifying. Had stood for almost the entire 2hrs of the concert including the encore, and together with the synchronised hand movements, it was as much as a light dance workout then a concert! The cost of attending this was expensive but I guessed its worth it for a fan who had yearned for years to watch her concert live, bucket list checked!
The same punctuality exhibited during the concert as with the Shinkansen, it ended on the dot of 9pm which gave me enough time to catch the last train back to Tokyo. I thought I could even make the earlier ride and returned quickly to the room to get all my stuff, checked out and headed to the subway. When the train arrived, I was surprised to find that it had all reserved seats and no one actually boarded the train. Without much choice, I waited for the next train at the original timing that I had planned for. Otherwise I could have taken a bath at the room.
At the Shizuoka station, I had some time before the Shinkansen arrive and I took the time to visit the store there to buy more green tea products. Then it was about an hour ride back to Tokyo station and then a further 17mins to the Shinjuku-Sanchome station. Retrieved my bags from the lockers and returned to the hotel.
I wasn’t ready to end the day so I left again to go visit a Don Quijote (also known as Don Don Donki in Singapore) to check out what’s to offer in this 24hrs shopping paradise. There was 4F worth of stuff to see and I managed to get myself a thermal flask that was incredibly cheap due to a sale and got a HelloPika at a discount too!
Went back to the hotel for another dip in the jacuzzi and then off to dreamland.