Arrival in Japan. From Narita to Asakusa

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Narita International Airport

Four years ago I graduated from college, and started working full-time a week later after graduation at my current job.  I didn’t have the resources or the income to just go and travel for a few months after I gaduated, I practically didn’t have any money, that’s why I had no choice but to work right away.  I’ve been working full time basically non-stop in the last 4 years, taking 7 to 10 days off in a row every year.  At one point I had enough paid-time-off vacation hours saved up to travel for 6 weeks.  But I never really planned or implemented my dream of traveling.  I was content just working and playing videogames on my days off.  But if I did find the time to travel, Japan would be the first place I want to visit.


I fell in love with Japan despite the fact that I’ve never been there.

  I grew up playing a lot of videogames, and some of the best videogames I played were made in Japan.  I also enjoyed watching anime and reading mangas.  I guess those are just some of the reasons why I wanted to visit Japan, but I also  really like Japanese culture, their way of life, and their latest innovative technologies.  I don’t know if you remember International channel, which was changed to the AZN channel on cable TV here in the U.S.A., before finally being removed, which was kind of sad because I really like that channel.  Well I would watch that, and sometimes they would show Japanese movies with English subtitles, and everyday they would have a little show which lasted 10 minutes showing Japanese life, technologies, all narrated in English.  That’s how I learned about Japan, and those are just some of the reasons why I  wanted to visit the country.  To this day, I still enjoy playing videogames, watching anime, reading mangas, watching Japanese movies subtitled in English, but now I find it hard to balance and find the time.
Waiting for the Keisei line.
  I guess when we grow older we take on more responsibilities and have to balance the demands of what is more important in life.


I left for a plane to Tokyo May 13, 2010.  I had to do a connecting flight from Fresno to Los Angeles, then from there to Narita, Japan.  I was exhausted because I worked 13 hours the night before, and when I got home, I had about 1 hour to get everything ready before my parents dropped me off at the local airport.  I ended up using my 22 inch luggage over the 26 inch luggage, because I could easily fit it in the overhead compartments in trains.

   So I highly suggest a carry-on size 22 inch size luggage if you plan to travel.  I took Japanese Airlines, and I arrived the following day May 14 in the afternoon, going through customs was really simple, the employees were so polite and kind.  Way different than when I left the United States, where the homeland border officers and security just seemed really uptight and obnoxious from the way they talked and from their facial expressions.  It’s probably understandable with what happened in 9/11, but still no need to act like a jerk about it.  I exchanged my 2 week JR pass, which I plan on activating on May 17th, also went to the foreign currency exchange counter, and rented a cellphone for my stay.


I bought a Kesei line ticket which cost about 1000 yen or so on my way to Asakusa to stay in Sakura Hostel Asakusa.  This was my first Japan train experience.  The last time I rode a train was when I went to London with my folks, so I had somewhat of an experience what it was like.

Asakusa at night.
  I changed train once before finally arriving to Asakusa station.


It was nighttime when I arrived.  I walked north to try to find Sakura Hostel.  I passed by a huge red temple gate, so I knew was in the right direction.   I went up Nakamise street, took some pictures of the shops, although some of them were closing already before arriving at Senso-ji temple, the temple itself was covered with scaffolding all throughout when I went since they were doing maintenance work on the outer walls.  I passed by a shopping arcade before finally arriving at Sakura Hostel.  This was my first hostel experience ever.  Check-in was easy, went up to my room on the third floor, and took the top bunk bed since that was the only one left.  I decided to go out that night to explore the areas around the hostel before calling it a night.

rheagirl says:
Nice. I really want to see Japan so soon! :D
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011
kori1317 says:
Hi! i like your blog cos i want to visit Japan as well. i have no idea when but once i will surely be there :)
good luck
Posted on: Jul 21, 2010
planisphere says:
i'll be going solo to japan as well... waiting for more of your stories. :)
Posted on: Jun 18, 2010
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Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport
Waiting for the Keisei line.
Waiting for the Keisei line.
Asakusa at night.
Asakusa at night.
Temple gate leading to Nakamise-do…
Temple gate leading to Nakamise-d…
A temple pagoda near Senso-ji.
A temple pagoda near Senso-ji.
Izakayas in Asakusa
Izakaya's in Asakusa
Playing sports during the night in…
Playing sports during the night i…
Tokyo Hostels review
Sakura Hostel Asakusa
This is the very first hostel I’ve ever stayed in, located in the northwestern part of Asakusa, about 10-15-20 minutes walk from Asakusa station dep… read entire review
photo by: maka77