Japan – Day 1 Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku

My friend and I randomly decided to book a trip to Tokyo one fine day. Since we’re headed to Japan, we decided to take Japan Airlines (JAL). The service is top-notch and i love the bigger tv screens and night lights. We took a connecting flight via MAS from KL (KLIA) to Singapore (Changi Airport) then JAL from Changi to Tokyo (Haneda Airport). The return ticket costs about RM1300 and the journey was about 7 hours. Lucky for us we took the night flight so it didn’t feel too long.

We arrived Tokyo in the wee hours of the morning at around 5.50am and just in time to see the sunrise (how apt since we’re in the land of the rising sun).

Upon arriving Haneda Airport, we took the Limousine Bus to Shinjuku train station. It was about an hour ride and costs 1230 Yen. Reached there at around 7am and we navigated our way through the big station to find bag lockers as our checkin for the AirBnB was only at 3pm.

You can find a bunch of bag lockers at this station ranging from S-M-L sizes. We each took the L size locker for our bags (800 Yen per day). You can use either cash or SUICA/PASMO card (Reloadable travel card) to pay. For convenience sake, we simply used our SUICA. The locker is quite easy to operate and has english instructions as well so you don’t need to worry about that. But do take note that once you put your bag in, you can’t take out your bags in between as it is a one time use only. If you take it out, and put it back in, you will need to pay again. So make sure you grab all you need from your luggage before putting it in. Once you secure your bag in the locker you will be given a receipt which will also indicate which zone your locker is located at. We also took a picture of the surrounding area just to make sure we don’t forget where our bags are (Shinjuku station is pretty huge).

After leaving our bags, we were now free to explore! :D Here’s a view outside the station early in the morning. I believe this was taken before 8am (before any shops were open).

We then took our first train ride to Shibuya via the JR Yamanote Line. We exited through the Hachiko exit and sure enough we saw the famous Hachiko statue and Shibuya crossing.

It was still very early so we walked over from Shibuya to Harajuku. On the way we found Meiji Temple and dropped by for some photo ops. We even had a chance to witness an actual traditional Japanese wedding that morning.

After walking a little further from Meiji Temple, we found the iconic Harajuku Station and across from there is the bustling Takeshita Street. You will find all sorts of things here. I ended up buying clothes, makeup, snacks, socks and a bunch of random stuff. I recommend the huge Daiso store for cheap Japanese snacks (100 yen). Other shops worth visiting is Tutu Anna (a shop filled with a bunch of cute and fancy socks). You can pick and choose 3 socks for 1000 Yen. I ended up going for a 2nd round (couldn’t resist!).

You could also try out a number of snacks such as the Calbee potato chips (freshly fried on the spot), Crepes (a must try!), and a lot more. At the end of Takeshita Street, you will see the higher end of Harajuku which is closer to Omotesando where you will find boutiques, cute cafes, sneaker shops and etc. The shops here look really fancy! (check out that Ralph Lauren building! So pretty!)

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By the time we were done checking out Harajuku, it was already 3pm and we made our way back to Shinjuku Station to collect our luggage from the lockers and head over to Shinjuku-Gyoenmae via Marunouchi line which is just a short 2 stations away. Our Airbnb was just a short 10min walk from there. We have a number of convenience stores on the way (Lawson, and 7-Elevan) so we picked up some snacks, and our dinner there. Such a wide variety of onigiri and bentos which were pretty much our staple food during our stay. I LOVE Japanese convenience stores! The food there is legit good and relatively cheap too.

And that’s all for Day 1~

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