My July 2014 Tokyo Chapter closed uneventfully with the usual travel routine of wake-up, breakfast, check-out, flight and off to my next stop – Shanghai – with an extra bonus!!
Tokyo Day 3
For those not familiar, these were the original airports – since replaced by massive international airports on the outskirts of both cities. However both continue to be used for domestic and limited regional flights – like the one I took. Which is a huge advantage for travellers as the old airports are conveniently close to the city centres!
What a difference it made!
Before I knew it, the bus reached Haneda Airport…where everything from check-in to customs and security clearance had a distinctly more relaxed approach. Thinking back on it, I also don’t actually recall seeing any other gaijin at either airport. Clearly this route is for ‘those that know’!
And you could not compel me to catch a Hello Kitty plane?!?
However unlike kitschy kitties, I simply could not pass up Royce’ Nama chocolate. First introduced to these morsels of yumminess in Singapore, they have become my partner’s favourite! So naturally I picked up several boxes with extra to join a small stash of gifts I brought with me for Shanghai.
Shanghai Day 1
A HUUUGE highlight of my Japan – China trip was an opportunity to spend a few days with Zhongguo Jumble!!
Again thanks to her advice to fly via Hongqiao Airport, I had the most hassle free entry into China – EVER! And reached her place in record time – went from landing to her doorstep in under 45 mins. Amazing!
We had great fun catching up and it was such a treat to finally meeting her hubby ‘in person’ – as opposed to happy hellos and hand waves over Skype!
To me, this is the best part of travel – a chance to spend time with people that matter.
Sure – seeing interesting sights and doing interesting things is great fun. But a place is best defined for me by those who chose to live there and – when you are really lucky – they are generous enough to share a slice of their life with you too!
- Tokyo Day 2 – Work, Water and Whisky
- Tokyo Day 1 – Wandering around Shinjuku Nichō
- Whirlwind Trip – Tokyo Chapter