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
Thanks to the practical and sound advice of a very knowledgeable traveler, I booked my flight out of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and entered China at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport.
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’!
However the ubiquitous kitchsy Hello Kitty culture could still be found everywhere! I have a weakness for real cats however these overly cutesie cartoon? Nope!
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!
I flew on the Pokemon jet back in ’05. That’s a fact. What is less likely to be empirical is if the menu offered grilled pikachu.
Seriously?! I just can’t connect cartoon like creatures with those giant metal birds in the sky! 😉
By the by, if you’ll be in Jakarta in late May, perhaps we can meet?
Haven’t yet fixed my dates but tentatively aiming for around then. Still working on drumming up some tie-ups here to go market there… 😉
But yes – If I am – that would be too fabulous! Will keep you posted! 🙂