IO – Japan seems to never stop coming up with something fantastic. The country’s culture, with its high-performance working ethos, always amazes everyone who comes over. It’s no exception for the Independent Observer team who currently has the opportunity to visit the country famous for its technological, anime, and sophisticated fashion style.
Upon the arrival at Narita International Airport, the second-busiest airport after Haneda, direct-order sights start to amaze your eyes. Guard officers politely direct tourists to go straight into the Immigration Section. The queue line stretches back according to the number of arriving visitors.
There are several alternative transportation modes for travellers if they want to go directly to Tokyo from Narita International Airport: the bus or the train. For the train itself, there are several options, KEISEI Skyliner or Narita Express (NEX). NEX is our choice; besides being fast and convenient, the train will only stop at big Tokyo stations such as Shinagawa, Shibuya and Shinjuku. However, for backpackers with a minimum budget, it’s not recommended to take this train service because it is relatively expensive.
As a capital, Tokyo is indeed a centre of political, economic, cultural and academic activities. In fact, the Japanese Emperor himself chose to live in this city. Not only that, Tokyo is also the most populated area in Japan. At least twelve million people live here and every day hundreds of thousands commute to business and work. Tokyo is also known as a city that never sleeps. Pedestrians, subways, and bus stops are always crowded, with locals and tourists alike.
Behind its fast-paced life, people have not forgotten one basic thing: be obedient to rules and orderly follow traffic regulations. Tokyo residents maintain orderly habits that seem to have been taught for generations. Tokyo has become one of the favourite tourism cities. Its polite, fast and dynamic lifestyle, culinary, eccentric dressing style and culture, apparently manage to make tourists fall in love with it. Going around Tokyo by subway is the best choice. Taking this transportation, we can see the atmosphere of a crowded and sophisticated underground station. In addition, subway trains cost less than taking a 400-yen taxi service (Rp51,341) once you open the door. Some of the must-visit districts include Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Shinagawa.
Aside from Tokyo, another city worth your visit is Osaka. This industrial town is 503 Kilometres from the capital. Heading to Osaka, we decided to use the fast train – the Shinkansen. It’s also possible to reach by a regular train. Time efficiency is our first consideration to choose Shinkansen over the regular one, as Shinkansen only needs two hours to arrive, while regular trains stretch out longer: seven to nine hours. However, Shinkansen fare is quite expensive as the compensation of faster travel time, priced approximately at 14,000 yen (Rp1,797,252) for one trip.
In Osaka, there is a one-stop entertainment area called Dotonburi. This place has become a hangout centre for locals, even many tourists scattered around, because of plenty of fashion stores, cosmetics, culinary and bar presence within the perimeter. In addition, there is a “Glico Running Man” landmark which has gone viral in social media. No wonder many visitors take pictures and imitate The Glico Running Man pose.
In addition to Osaka, for those who seek village serenity with many temples, it is recommended to visit the Kyoto Area. On Sunday, many people worship at temples. Travellers allowed to capture the moment of worship through the camera but should consider not disturbing their sacred activities.
Japan is impressive. Its technological advancement facilitates its residents to maximize mobility. Also, wonderful natural scenery could captivate your eyes, as well as its citizens who are always ready to help tourists whenever asked upon. Japan, as if it’s never stopped shining. Sayonara. (alen)