Wednesday, December 2, 2015

(Japan Jan 2015) Day 15: Hakodate to Aomori, Aomori to Tokyo. Stay at Narita Airport.

Day 15 (6 Feb): Hakodate to Aomori, Aomori to Tokyo. Stay at Narita Airport.

Day breakdown:
(last day of our 14 days JR Railpass usage)
0724-0915 Hakodate to Aomori via Ltd Exp Super Hokucho train (111mins)
Deposit luggage at Aomori station's coin lockers
Walk 5mins to a nearby Fishmarket for Nokkedon
Have Nokkedon breakfast (i think it is called Furukawa Fish and Veg market)
Walk to Seikan Ferry Memorial Hakkodamaru (too bad it was closed on the day of our visit)
Last minute bought some food at Aomori station for our lunch later for the long Shinkansen ride.
1323-1328 Aomori to Shin-Aomori via train (train departures are infrequent though)
1352-1704 Shin-Aomori to Tokyo via Shinkansen
Visit Character street's cute shops at basement of Tokyo station
Bought some food from dept store food hall for our dinner later onboard Narita Express train
2003-2113 Tokyo to Narita Airport via Narita Express train (last train of the day)
Checked in at our overnight stay at capsule hotel 9-hours at Narita Airport.

It's been a long trip, and I spent a really long time planning our train routes and timings for this particular trip, especially we decided to use the railpass to travel to Hokkaido instead of using domestic flights.  

Since I understand that the Shinkansen route will soon be extended to Hokkaido, so in future it might be even easier (and faster) if you were to decide to travel to Hokkaido by train instead of by domestic flight.  Of course, taking domestic flight will still be faster than taking train due to the long distance between Tokyo and Hokkaido...but still, for people like me who loves train travels (and hates taking planes), this can be something for you to consider.

So anyway, this would be our last day of our JR railpass usage (the 14 days version for 3 of us, and the 7 days' version for cousin R and PW since they only joined us halfway into our trip) so we would have to make our way back to Tokyo by the end of this day.

We started off this day really early by catching the early morning 0724hr Ltd Exp train at Hakodate station in Hokkaido (well, southern Hokkaido to be exact) and arrive at Aomori station at 0915hr, in time for us to search for breakfast.

Well, most people travelling via train to Hokkaido would transfer to the Ltd Exp train at Shin-Aomori station since that's the last stop of the northern-most Shinkansen station...but even though our Ltd Exp train from Hakodate does ends at Shin-Aomori station, we chose to alight from the train about 1 station earlier, at Aomori station.  

Why, because in Aomori, we can find Nokke-don.  And that's what we were planning to have for our breakfast.  Apparently, you can only find this Nokke-don concept at Aomori, and not in other parts of Japan (that's what I read, not 100% sure of this though).

Upon arriving at Aomori station, we deposited our luggage bags at the coin lockers at Aomori station.

Then we walked about 5-7mins to the market that sells nokkedon.

Not sure if it's due to it being winter, most of the shops we came across were closed actually.

Since Aomori is famous for their apples, so of course we'd come across a stall selling many varieties of apples.  

Not long after this, we finally arrived at our destination.

Here's a google map of the place:

The fish market where we were going to have our breakfast.

This market is a small market consisting of many small stalls. If you are a Singaporean, then it's kinda like our wet market.  

Nokke-don is a concept where you buy a block of coupon tickets, then you use the tickets to exchange for rice, and toppings at the various stalls.

Here's an English explanation for Nokke-don:

First, you go to the small counter next to the door to buy your coupon:
A set of 10 coupons costs 1080yen, so each coupon is worth about 100yen.

Then you go to any of the stall with the Orange sign to get your bowl of rice (can't remember if it's 1 or 2 tickets)

My bowl of rice.
Then, you can start shopping for your toppings.
Go to any of the stalls with the blue sign (as shown below) to use your tickets to exchange for any toppings which you want. They usually cost either 1 to 3 tickets, with the occasional 4 tickets for the pricier ingredients.

Some stalls sells food that you can just buy using money and not tickets.

Here are some pics of the food from the various stalls.

Since I'm a person who doesn't eat any raw fish, so I was happy to see a stall here selling fried food.

There are also quite a few tables here where you can sit down and eat your Nokke-don. But since they don't have any staff to clear up after you, so please remember to clear away your own trash after you are done with your meal.
They also have a jar of water for you to pour for yourselves if you need a drink.

Here's what we bought.
Mine. Their hotate (scallops) were although not cheap, but they were really huge and delicious! 

Think this is my brother's
My Hubby's. The 1 piece of grilled meat is from the beef stall.

Cousin R's

Think this is PW's

Us and our nokke-don !!
Since we loved the food so we bought more tickets and went for a second round!! :)

There's 1 beef stall, which is able to help you grill the beef you bought from them.

After spending about 2hrs at the market leisurely eating our nokke-don, we decided to walk to the Seikan Ferry Memorial Hakkodamaru ship. 

Aomori has heavy snowfall during winter...

Check out this bicycle park! Snow everywhere!

But when we reached the ship, we realised that it was closed.  :(

We went to a small mall next to the ship to spend some time before having to catch our train.

Since it's nearly the time we had to catch our train, so we headed back to Aomori station to buy some food to eat onboard our long Shinkansen ride later.  
Here are some pics of the food you can buy at Aomori station.

Bye bye Aomori

From Aomori, we took a short train ride to Shin-Aomori station, to catch our Shinkansen train ride back to Tokyo.  I didn't really take photos during the train ride since I think I napped abit during the journey.

So anyways, we reached Tokyo station around 5pm plus, where we then stored our luggage bags at the coin lockers so that we can shop at ease.

I've mentioned this in a few of my previous Japan trips' posts...but there's a cluster of shops at the basement of Tokyo station that sells cute products like Miffy, Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Pokemon, Snoopy, Tamagotchi...etc... so if you like cute stuffs, you should check this place out.

Here are the pics of the shops at Tokyo station.

JUMP shop, selling products from animes like Naruto, One Piece, Slam dunk, Dragonball...etc...

After shopping, we went to a nearby departmental store's food hall (I think it was Daimaru's?) to buy some food to eat for our train ride later.

Took a quick photo of Tokyo station from the outside before we had to catch our train.

The 3 of us (my brother, my hubby, and I) will fly out of Narita Airport the next morning, whereas cousin R and PW will be staying at Tokyo for a few more days before flying back to Singapore.

Since our flight would be on the morning of the next day, therefore we chose to make full use of our railpass (it's the last day of our railpass) to take the pretty expensive Narita Express train from Tokyo station to Narita airport on this evening instead of paying to take the same train on the next day. 

 This also means that we would be staying overnight at Narita Airport's 9-hours capsule hotel on this night instead of staying at Tokyo city.

Boarding Narita Express train at Tokyo station.

 Since the capsule hotel is located AT Narita Airport, so we wouldn't need to rush the next day, which was a good thing.

Since the sections for the males' and females' sleeping capsules are separated, therefore, here's the photos I took of the female's side...although I'd assume that the male's side were almost identical.

My brother and hubby informed me the next morning that the air-con on their side is not really cold, whereas the air-con on my side (female side) is pretty cold to me.  Not sure if it's a one-off thing, or has it been always like that though.

Anyway, once I entered the entrance door that leads into the female section from the lobby, this is what I see. A locker room for you to put your luggage and change clothes. You'd also have to take off your shoes here.

The capsule hotel provides you with towel and sleeping wear, so it's really convenient.

This is my pretty messy locker
 Here is the sleeping area.

My capsule:

 There is no TV at this place, but in each capsule, there's 1 electric outlet for you to charge your phone.

Here are the shower rooms.

And thus, this is the last post for this particular trip.  

With the exception of my brother, the rest of us (cousin R, PW, my hubby and I) will be going on another Japan trip in Feb 2016. So stay tuned for posts for that trip.

Coming up next, would probably be my entries for our Europe trip in Sep 2015.

Sorry it took nearly 1 year for me to finish posting all the entries for this particular trip. :p

Go to previous blog entry: Day 14 Sapporo Snow Fest

Go to this trip's main index: here

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