It was the last day of my trip which felt like I only just started – Time blew past like the Shinkansen. I woke up late and checked out. Went back to my trusty lockers at the station before going to having a breakfast at Shinjuku. Then Google gave me a restaurant Kabukichi かぶきち and I found it in no time. Entered and sat at the counter and was given an English menu. Pointed at a medium size Yakisoba and was served a tasty plate of yakisoba with a raw egg on top of it, for Y830. Delicious!
I spent some time at Sega with the UFO claw machines trying to game the machine but I lost Y800 combined. Then I made my way to Kaihimmakuhari station where the Tokyo Auto Salon 2019 was being held, some 1 hour away. Although I managed to get a seat, there were just too many bags and stuff that I bought that I was struggling to carry along.
When I arrived at the station, I was surprised that I couldn’t find a locker. And there were a lot of people around, which I thought was mostly attributed by the Auto Salon. I made my way to Plena Makurari and found some lockers there, but almost fully taken up. Quickly placed my bags into 2 small lockers, and brought the pillow that I bought along to the exhibitions, because it was too large to squeeze into the lockers.
As I had a flight to catch at 6pm and I had only arrived at 2pm as that was the time the exhibition was opened to public, I only had an hour to rush through it all (train ride was about an hour to Narita). There was an amazing number of people. I thought that a weekday would not generate so much crowd but I was damn wrong! It was a long walk to the halls and after paying Y3800 for the tickets, I tried to walk quickly around, firing camera shots as I went. What’s so different about the Tokyo Auto Salon and the Singapore Motorshow was that there were customised cars on display for the Tokyo one, and so many of them! Different body kits that was only limited by the creativity of the owners showcased how one car could looked so awesome! All the halls were taken up by the Auto Salon but I managed to rush through them in time. As I exited the hall and followed the human line, I was shocked to find myself entering another building with many more halls of car exhibits! Given the time I had, I had to give it a miss painfully, along with another section on rally cars.
I had missed the train timings and had to take a taxi to Narita from there. I didn’t have enough cash and so I went around trying to get an ATM but for those at the Mitsui Outlet, I wasn’t able to withdraw money. Feeling defeated, I decided to pick up my bags first and found an ATM by 7-11 that I was able to withdraw money from. Took out about Y100k in anticipation for this fare to Narita and went to the taxi stand near the train station.
Boarded the taxi and then it was a 30mins drive to the airport in which I took a short nap and let the meter jump without sweating over it. Thankfully I arrived at the airport just after 4pm, but I paid about Y13600 for the taxi, which translated to about almost SGD175! Expensive.
Proceeded to check in and it was self service kiosks which was pretty easy to follow through. I dumped my haversack and then proceeded to go through security with my 2 bags and my pillow. At security, they stopped me to look at the stuff I brought in my bags and unfortunately, I had the SK-II that I bought for my mother that was more the 100ml and that was not allowed! I totally forgot about it as I was more concerned about not checking that in and breaking it since my haversack was soft. Thankfully the staff was understanding and escorted me out to go through check in again. I was pretty stumped on how I could check in and at the counter, the staff provided a box for the my item to be contained and that could be checked in. Wow!
Went through security a second time and this time without issue (and the same staff recognised me and chuckled as I was successful this time around). Narita airport was as much a shopping haven as it’s main city. I walked around carrying my bags of goodies but couldn’t resist to just get the Bai Se Lian Ren 白色恋人 biscuits as that seemed to be representative food that tourists bring back from Japan. After that, I proceeded to go to the gate. There was quite a wait during boarding and once onboard, I was seated beside another Japanese man. At the window seat, I couldn’t make out what was out there since it was already dark by 6pm. There seemed to be a delay in take off but I just went to sleep, the sleep deprivation over the last few days was hitting me hard.
Throughout the flight, there wasn’t anything major except that I had to ask for a reset of the entertainment system. Otherwise, it was dinner followed by a lot of sleeping until the we landed safely into Changi, some time after 1am.
This was the first solo trip of my life and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, both because it was a different experience and that I loved the experience in Japan! However, I did felt a little sad to return back to Singapore as the trip felt a little incomplete… Wanted more time in the Auto Salon, wanted more time to taste the food, wanted more sushi and seafood from Tsujiki, wanted to visit more themed cafes, wanted more time to roam the streets, wanted more engagement with the Japanese people…it was a little rush in every aspect of the activities that I partook. I am sure I will be back in the future, but until then I will have to wait.