Basically this starts where I left off from yesterday’s blog post on How Cathay Pacific Airlines Left Me Stranded in Tokyo for 24 Hours. When I got to the Hilton Narita airport, I was frustrated because the hotel was so damn far from the city. Having been to Narita before, I knew there was nothing around there to see other than Narita town which I’ve visited thoroughly twice before. I was on a mission to sightsee in Tokyo and I had to drop my bags and leave the hotel as soon as possible if I want that to happen. I wanted to check out the widely famed Tsukiji Fish Market auction and needed a place to chill in Tokyo before standing in line at 3am. I used Google Maps to find an economical way to Tokyo and the only way was to catch a bus from Terminal 2 which goes straight to Tokyo Station. Under intense time pressure, I immediately Google “24 Hour restaurants in Tokyo” and the results were not fruitful. There aren’t many places in Tokyo open 24 hours and there weren’t any near Tokyo Station.
The hotel shuttle to the airport runs on a strict timetable and I saw that there was 15 minutes until the next departure and I would get into Tokyo city at 11:40pm. I hastily checked hotelscombined.com for a cheap option and I saw that there was a capsule hotel available for 3600 Yen ~ ($35.45 USD) taxes included. That was an amazing price and the capsule hotel was walking distance within Tokyo Station and the Tsukiji Fish Market. I’ve always wanted to stay at a capsule hotel, but not for the long term. Since I arrived at 11:40pm and the Tsukiji Fish Auction didn’t start until 4:30am, it made sense to book a cheap accommodation (even if I was not going to sleep overnight, but just to get away from the cold).
The shuttle from the Hilton Narita hotel to the airport took 10 minutes and there was a check-point before entering Narita International Airport (NRT). The officers hopped on board the shuttle bus and checked everyone’s passport onboard. I thought that was strange since I’ve never had to do this at any other airport, but I guess it’s a security precaution.
As soon as I got to the airport, I connected to the free wifi hotspot as I was letting some friends know where I was and going to do in Tokyo. One of my friends said that the Tsukiji Fish Auction market is closed on some Wednesdays and doubled checked the calendar for me. It turns out that it was closed on Wednesday May 14 which was unfortunate luck. Now my plans were crushed and at this point, I was just going to hang out in the city after hours and freshen up at the capsule hotel. The subways start running at 4:30am which was perfect to go out and explore Tokyo.
I quickly scoured the arrivals hall to look for a bus ticket counter and I found the Limousine Bus counter. I asked if it went to Tokyo station and the lady said yes, it would be 3,000 Yen ~($29.55 USD). In my head, I was like “Are you serious??” I had Google Mapped the route before and it said 1,000 Yen for the bus. Then I realized the counter next to the Limousine Bus was the Bus counter and it was closed for the day, but there was a sign saying to pay the driver instead. I asked the Limousine Bus counter agent if I could have a refund and she happily obliged. I also asked her where the regular bus was and she gave me the location.
I boarded the bus at 10:10pm where I paid the driver 1,000 Japanese Yen ~($9.85 USD) for a one-way trip to Tokyo Station. The bus basically looked exactly like the rip-off Limousine bus! The only difference is that the Limousine bus stops at various major hotels and it also stops at Tokyo Station. If I’m ever in Tokyo again, I will be taking the 1,000 Yen bus to Tokyo Station and take a 200 Yen Tokyo metro ride to my hotel. During the bus ride, I was amazed at how many tolls there were on the highway. The bus ride was smooth and arrived exactly in an hour since there was no traffic.
At around 11:10pm in Tokyo Station, I saw many Japanese businessmen and women dressed up like they just got off of work. The men all dress the same with black slacks, black jacket, and a white collared shirt for work. The women dress conservatory as well. At this point, I wanted to check out the capsule hotel that I booked which was within walking distance of Tokyo Station.