- LAX→ Pudong Airport in Shanghai
- Maglev to Longyang Road [layover]
- Pudong Airport → Haneda Airport in Japan
- Nihombashi Muromachi BAY Hotel
- Coredo shops and restaurants
As I hopped off my plane in Los Angeles from San Francisco (after a day trip for work), I was super excited to start heading to the international terminal to hop on my midnight flight and start my vacation in Japan!! Fast forward my knocking out on the plane and waking up only when it’s time for food, we finally landed in Shanghai after 13 hours for our layover. Yes, I was still hungry.
After going through customs in China, (hint: you can stay there for up to 72 hours on a layover without a visa), we walked out to take the Maglev, the bullet train that goes from the Shanghai airport to Longyang Road which is another metro station hub with a strip of outdoor restaurants. Arriving at 7:30am local time, we were still a bit early so not everything was open. We walked around to see what there was– a bunch of local restaurants and chain restaurants. After walking around for a good 45 minutes, we finally settled for a noodle place where we got 2 bowls for $5 (USD). It was actually pretty legit and you definitely can’t beat the price!
Being the fatty that I am, I wanted a drink after so we went to 85 degree bakery and got a hot milk tea which they handed to us all readily pre-made. While we chilled at the spot where everyone was charging their phones, we decided we wanted something sweet and got bread to share. Well, we decided that wasn’t enough and headed to McDonald’s for our third breakfast because I wanted to try the congee and fried donut there, something they didn’t have in the US. It turned out to be bland and the texture was kind of odd. I couldn’t finish it so it was a loss.
Well, time to head back to the airport with the Maglev and good thing we arrived 2 hours before our departure time like the lady suggested because there was one hell of a line getting back into the international terminal. We finally got through, looked through some gift shops and then got on our plane for the last 3 hours to Tokyo.
Woohoo! Finally arrived in Tokyo. Went straight through customs and picked up our JR passes that we pre-bought in Los Angeles. The lady was nice enough to help us navigate the subway and buy a Suica card, the card to use for the subway. Then off we go to take the subway. It was pretty confusing because we had to follow google maps and tried to match all the stops, etc. We got on one and thought it was skipping stops and got off, but it actually turned out to be the right one, so we got on the next one. Somehow, we finally made it to our stop and the real trouble began when we didn’t know what exit to take. We just got out of a random one and used google maps to direct us. Thank goodness for t-mobile and somewhat of a 2g connection while travelling internationally.
The walk to our hostel was pretty quiet as the area had mostly businesses. It was kind of hard to find since google maps wasn’t too accurate so with our broken Japanese, we went to a shop to ask and they were nice enough to come out and point us in the right direction, which happened to be right in front of us. We finally walked through the front doors of the Nihombashi Muromachi BAY hotel where we took off our shoes, stuffed it in a locker, put on the given slippers and checked in at the front desk. The staff was nice enough to explain all the amenities and gave us a map of where everything was. They also gave us a mesh bag with a yukata, towels, comb, and bath sponge. We finally headed to our beds, but not before locking up our suitcases in a personal locker which I really appreciated.
Before we called it a night, we went out to dinner for our first official meal in Japan! There were a few Coredo buildings attached to the subway station with many restaurants in the bottom. Considering we couldn’t read Japanese, it was bit overwhelming so we resorted to looking at pictures or for something in English. After lots of walking in circles, we settled on Ginza Noodles Clam Ramen, a place that had clam ramen which happened to be sold out, so I got the chicken ramen. It was pretty good and the broth was still pork flavored, noodles al dente and the chicken was light and thin. Can’t complain about my first meal in Japan!
Got back to the hostel after getting lost with the GPS a bit, tried to solidify plans for the next days, and knocked the hell out!
Want to read more about this trip? Click below!
Japan Day 1 [Shanghai / Tokyo]
Japan Day 2 [Tokyo] Japan Day 3 [Tokyo] Japan Day 4 [Hakone] Japan Day 5 [Kyoto] Japan Day 6 [Kyoto/Nara] Japan Day 7 [Yamazaki / Osaka] Japan Day 8 [Tokyo] Japan Day 9 [Tokyo / Shanghai]