Saturday, November 3, 2018

(Japan Sep 2018) Day 4: Visit Sendai

Day 4 (18 Sep 2018) : Visit Sendai

After hours of travelling on the overnight bus, we finally arrived at Sendai at 5+am in the morning.
The temperature here was much cooler than Tokyo, and I finally could put my jacket into use.

Sun is just rising, and we were walking to our hotel from the bus drop off point.

Sendai Station

Since it was still too early to check-in to our hotel, so we just deposited our luggage bags at the hotel, and went for a walk around for a stroll to look for places where we can spend some time to rest while waiting for shops to open.

This is how we ended up at a Manga cafe (DICE) near the Don Quijote store as well as our hotel.  
This particular chain of manga cafe requires membership signup, so we spent some time trying to figure out how to sign up for the membership, since everything was in Japanese, and both myself and the staff there was trying to figure out how to fill in the address section of the membership form, since there wasn't an option for me to select for my country (the form caters to Japan address).  

This chain seemed to be slightly more expensive (compared to the others I've been to previously), but then, it's fast becoming my fav manga cafe chain.  We got a 3hr pack, and chose a private soundproofed room where we could also sing karaoke.  Not just Japanese songs, but there were also some English and Chinese songs too (but both of us mainly just selected songs from our fav Japanese idols, heh.) 

We also ordered some food (fried rice for me, spaghetti for my friend) that were delivered to our room. 

Although most manga cafes offers free flow drinks from their vending machines, but this particular manga cafe also offers free flow soft-serve ice cream!! This is how we end up eating ice cream so early in the morning.

After spending 3 hours at the manga cafe, it's finally time to take a stroll along the sheltered shopping street near Sendai station.

We passed by a UFO catcher that has my husband's fav sheep character!!
And so, I gave it a try, since I gained abit more confidence after helping my friend catch her Tigger the previous evening.

After spending about 1500yen, I finally caught it!! Yey!!
Damn it's huge!  Now I had to figure out how to carry this around for the rest of the trip.  Haha. 

We then took a short subway ride to Yaotome station, because the family name of 1 of the members in the group that we like (Hey! Say! JUMP) is "Yaotome".  There's basically nothing much near this station other than residential area, so we just took some photos and then went back to Sendai station.

Member mascots for Yaotome Hikaru and Yabu Kota from Hey! Say! JUMP.

Member mascot of Yaotome Hikaru at Yaotome station.  We also managed to buy a station name keychain too.

Returning back to Sendai station, we went shopping at Sendai Parco, which is just next to Sendai station.

There's also a Pokemon store here too.

Then, we walked around again, looking for lunch, as well as heading for a 2nd hand book store (Book-Off). 


2nd hand mag and books browsing at Book-Off
 There are actually many outlets for Book-off across Japan.
Japanese magazines that we usually get from Kinokuniya at Singapore are like SGD15-17.  
But over here, I could get 2nd hand magazines between 100-600yen each (about SGD1.30-SGD8).
Not just jpop and idol magazines, I also like to browse japanese handicraft magazines too, which I also bought a few of during this trip. 

Around late afternoon, we checked-in into our hotel room, and took a short rest before heading out to find dinner.

Katsudon from convenience store again.

Some time in the middle of the night (close to 1am), while I was lying on the bed reading my ebook while trying to sleep, I felt my bed shake. Since I have encountered minor earthquake before during my previous Japan trips, so I know that this is an earthquake.  
I checked jma website as well as switched on the tv, and sure enough, there's the earthquake alert.
From the magnitude, I figured that I don't really need to dash out of the building, so I monitored the website and tv for details for another 15mins or so, and then went back to try to sleep.
My friend apparently slept through the entire earthquake without knowing. -_-

 Go to Sep 2018 Japan trip's main page.
Go next to Day 5: Visit Matsushima

Thursday, October 11, 2018

(Japan Sep 2018) Day 3: Visit Kichijoji and Overnight bus from Tokyo to Sendai

Day 3 (17 Sep 2018) : Visit Kichijoji. 
Overnight bus from Tokyo to Sendai.

After checking out from our capsule hotel at Shinjuku, we brought our luggage with us and deposited it at coin lockers near the Bus Terminal side of Shinjuku station so that it will be more convenient for us to retrieve it later in the night just before we had to board the overnight bus near midnight.

We then arrived at the Shinjuku Takashimaya about 5 mins before the mall opens for business.
There was already a neat line outside the main doors by the time we arrived, and their staffs were offering small cups of drinks and sweets to all of us who were in the queue.  
This is what I love about Japan.  Top notched Customer Service! 

My shopping basket :)

Lunch at Ichiran Ramen

We spent a couple hours at Tokyu Hands and Disney store inside the Takashimaya dept store before going to my favourite Tokyo neighbourhood, Kichijoji.

From Kichijoji station, it's just a short 5-10mins walk to our destination, which is a hammock themed cafe

Time flies, and by the time we left the hammock cafe, the sky was turning dark. We strolled through the shopping streets near Kichijoji station.  
Unexpectedly, we came across a Kiddyland outlet, and there went another hour of shopping.

While on our way to look for dinner, we spotted this from across the road.

SHAUN THE SHEEP!! My husband loves this sheep! 
I grabbed Sandy and we crossed the road and headed straight to the cafe at 4th floor (remember, we just came out from the hammock cafe not too long ago) and ended up having cakes and drinks here.

We were led to this table at a corner, where there's a "friend" in halloween costume waiting for us. :)

I had chocolate cake.

After our 2nd consecutive cafe visit of the day, we walked back to Kichijoji station, and took a train back to Shinjuku station, since we still have an overnight bus to catch later in the night.

Remember the Tigger that we tried to catch but couldn't managed to catch on Day 1 of our trip?  
Well, we came across another machine that has that same Tigger too.  
And this time round, Sandy was adament that she really REALLY wants this Tigger.  
And so this time round, our strategy plan was that she feeds the coins to the machine, and I do the catching. :)
After about 1500yen, I finally managed to catch this for her! 
I actually took a photo of her happily hugging the Tigger, but she will probably kill me if I had posted that pic here. Heh.

Since we still had a couple hours to spare until we had to pick up our luggage and catch our overnight bus, so we went to a manga cafe for about 2 hours, and ate the Katsudon that we bought from the convenience store in our room here.

I love Manga cafes. But, since the staffs don't usually speak English (since they deal with mainly Japanese local customers instead of foreign tourists), so I would advise you to have some sort of basic Japanese knowledge before you visit one.

Manga cafes are walk-ins only, and you cannot make reservations beforehand.  There are many chains of Manga cafes, with the cheaper ones that are just seats in lounge or semi-enclosed cabins with board partitions, or there are the more expensive ones that has your own private sound-proof enclosed room.  Some outlets even have karaoke in the rooms too!

This particular one that we went have private soundproof rooms, so it is a tad more expensive than the usual, and instead of free flow drinks, they only offer us a 1 free drink coupon that we can use with their vending machine.

My late dinner early supper of Katsudon, bought from the convenience store next to the Manga cafe.
 After the manga cafe, we walked back to Shinjuku station to pick up our luggage from the coin lockers, and then went to the nearby Shinjuku Bus Terminal to wait to board our Overnight bus to Sendai.
This is actually my first time taking an overnight bus in Japan. 
Although I booked this bus from the WillerExpress website, but this particular bus that I am taking is not operated by WillerExpress.  
There are many overnight bus options, but for me, I would definitely want to have a toilet on the bus itself, so my choices were more limited than others who are not that picky.
There are many websites where you can book overnight buses in Japan, but if you only know English, then WillerExpress's website is probably a good place to start off with since the site is quite user friendly. 

The bus we are taking to Sendai

My seat.  There's a power outlet at every seat, so I could charge my devices while I sleep.

 Go to Sep 2018 Japan trip's main page.