Dear readers,

I have obtained my own domain and will move from here to there. If you enjoy reading or have enjoyed reading this blog, do drop by the new one, please. Thank you.

Linda L.

Fri Dec 22 2006 (Day 1) - We've arrived..finally

It's been a long, long flight from Melbourne to Sydney to Narita. Said goodbye to everything for 5 wks and left before dawn. JAL has such tight spaces...maybe it's economy?! Anyway, the in-flight Jap movie UDON was quite good.

My first impression of Narita was that it resembled airports from 10+ years ago. Not futuristic or at least modern as I envisioned Japanese airports to be. And customs, as is anywhere in the world, wasn't great and was pretty unorganised. Anyway, we managed our first Japanese transaction and got reserved seats on NEX (Narita Express) to Shinjuku. The trip took about an hour. I was fiddling with the backpacks during the trainride, to make it right to carry as soon as we alight and felt sick on the train - motion sickness, all the way to Shinjuku Station. Luckily i didn't throw up..that would be a real drama.

The platform for NEX

View Larger Map

At Shinjuku Station, we were two lost backpackers amongst the weekend crowd. The crowd is unbelieveable. No wonder this is the world's busiest station. My backpack was extremely heavy because it was done up wrongly. And we still had to find our hotel. Luckily the map guide is quite detail - we just have to locate a McDonald's and turn left. Should've taken photos but when you are in that situation, you tend to not bother and focus on getting to the destination as soon as possible to unload.

The hotel we stayed in - Nishi Shinjuku Hotel...*a sigh of relief*

We still haven't had dinner so we ventured out searching for food...first option was Makudo (McDs) but saw a Japanese eatery across the street. We should have Japanese. It was the coin-operated type...okay, that'll be easy. problem is there are no pics on the machine (except for the specials), just Japanese characters which we can't read. So we tried to match the characters to the plastic display on the window outside. After some fiddling and learning that we had to insert coins first before making selection, we got our order tickets and gave them to the 'ojisan' at the counter. He waved to me shortly after we sat down, indicating for me to go over to the counter. He placed 2 bowls on the counter - 1 containing udon and 1 containing soba. I knew he was trying to ask which type of noodles we want for our order. Soba definitely. Not a big fan of udon.

From then on we learned to say 'soba de' everytime we gave our order tickets.

Kee had this - tempura squid on soba

I had plain soba with some seaweed and spring onion.

This is how the eating area looks like

Sugoi Oishi.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to get drinks from a vending machine. The blue label indicates cold drinks and the red label indicates hot drinks. Hot can drinks from a vending machine...that's something unusual..for me at least. And these vending machines always seem to be working, that's what you term efficiency, unlike in some countries where your coins get 'eaten' by the machine. The coffee are a bit light though and they seem to all taste the same...

Next day...


lasilasi said...

i really really love soba there! i just discovered u r in melbourne too!!!! now I really gotta link u up gal!

Junkgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junkgirl said...

Dear lasilasi,
Soba is the best among the types of noodle in Japan. They're especially great for people on a budget.