A few hours in Tokyo before heading to Niigata.

Ah, quarantine is finally over. FREEDOM!!!

Ah, sweet freedom (lol). Last Sunday, I’ve officially finished my 14-day quarantine. Yay!

I travelled with two friends (fellow scholars) who stayed in the same “quarantine hotel.”

From the hotel, we rode a [free] shuttle to the Narita Airport. And from there, we took a train (JR Narita Express) to Tokyo Eki (えき:train station). The fare was around ¥3,000.

The train was pretty empty at first, but then it became more crowded as we neared Tokyo.

After about an hour, we reached Tokyo Station.

To pass time, I played a bit of Animal Crossing (lol) and Unpacking.

We were then fetched by my friend’s friend, who generously offered to show us around Tokyo.

First stop: The giant cat in Shinjuku (lol)!

Yes, it’s that 3D cat billboard! I specifically begged for this lol.

It’s basically a huge billboard featuring a cat acting all cute and fluffy (lol).

The weather was nice, I actually had to remove my coat since it was pretty warm and sunny.

While walking around Shinjuku, we randomly passed by a flea market next to a じんじゃ (jinya: shrine). There were rows and rows of trinkets (i.e., old postcards and photographs, kokeshi dolls, bowls, artworks, books, carpets, bags, ceramics, jewelry, vinyl records, etc.).

こけし: (kokeshi) Traditional Japanese wooden dolls.
I LOVE small bowls. It’s an obsession lol.
Not gonna lie, I was so tempted to purchase one of these tiny cat thingies haha.
Yup, it’s Hachiko!
Shi-shi-shibuyaaa (Crossing).
Yassss, yasssss!!!!!

After spending two weeks in quarantine, subsisting on a somewhat repetitive roster of hotel and コンビニ (konbini: convenience store) meals, all I really wanted was a big bowl of ramen.

And ramen (ラメん), I shall have!

I’m interested how urban design works for mega cities like Tokyo. That big patch of green is a park.

Next stop: Shibuya Sky, an open-air observation deck.

After all these people left, my friends & I just HAD TO sit on those netted thingies too (lol).

I’m not really a fan of mega cities (I still have this fantasy of someday settling in a quaint little town surrounded by nature, strange shops, and weird people lol), but I do love how Tokyo never fails to give off this mad rush/massive energy that no other city can. Also: everyone’s so fashionable haha!

The last time I was in Tokyo was years ago. To save money, my friends and I boarded a night bus from Kyoto. We then stayed in a cute capsule hotel haha. The highlight of that trip was, of course, the Ghibli Museum. I’ll definitely return one day!

And that ends our [extremely] mini Tokyo adventure!

Back in Tokyo Eki to board the shinkansen.

We had to board the しんかんせん (shinkansen: bullet train) at a particular time in order for us to catch the [free] bus operated by our university, which will then take us to our dorm.

The ride (JR Joetsu Shinkansen) lasted for about 100 minutes. And the fare was around ¥8,000.

On our way to Niigata!

Alright, that’s all for now! This grandma needs her sleep (lel).

On my next post, perhaps I’ll write about my first week on campus: dun, dun, dun!

So far, so good.

I’m still adjusting quite a bit to the cold weather…. I do wonder how I’ll fare in my new home — aptly dubbed as Snow Country — during winter HAHA.

Oh, such exciting times ahead!




I have short hair now.

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