Wednesday, 20 December 2017
In December 2017, I had a short business trip to Japan. The purpose of the trip was to introduce Minister Nancy Shukri to the Minister of Transport Japan, the management of JR East, and for Minister Nancy to experience the Shinkansen.
I took the Singapore Airlines SQ636 from Singapore to Tokyo (Haneda Airport). Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to upgrade my seats to Premium Economy. I find the SQ Premium Economy to be a major upgrade from the usual economy seat. Bigger screens, nicer headphones, more leg room and comfortable seats.
Arrived in Haneda Airport at 6AM. I wanted to exchange my Japan Rail (JR) voucher to the JR Pass, but the queue was too long. As I have pre-booked a Pupuru wifi unit, I went to the pickup point at JAL ABC counter. As expected, the device has been delivered with all its necessary instructions. The price was 5,940 Yen (RM210) for 5 days. This is my 3rd time renting from Pupuru and their service has always been excellent.
My airport transfer arrived around 6:30AM and they assisted me with my luggage.
About 40 minutes later we arrived at my hotel, the Tokyo Station Hotel. Given that most of our work activities will be near the station, I decided to take the opportunity to experience the prestigious hotel.
Since it was still very early and check-in only opens at 12 noon, I stored my bags at the hotel and went out. First stop was the JR tourism office at Tokyo Office. I exchanged my JR vouchers to the JR pass. The tourism office had lots of information and its perfect to plan your trips. The officers were very helpful too.
After that, I went for breakfast at Tully’s Coffee in the building next to the station. It was still very early so I took the time to read on things to do in the area.
Due to the ample time, I decided to experience a Japanese cinema. I had always wanted to try that. I went to TOHO Cinemas (a local chain) at Nihonbashi. 2 things I found interesting was: the food comes with a tray (very handy indeed), and people only get up after the entire film credits is done! Amazing!
On the way back to the office, I had lunch at McDonald’s at Tokyo Station. It was surprisingly packed with people in work attire.
I returned to the hotel and checked-in around 3PM. I was given a double-bed room. The room was immaculate and met my expectation of the famous hotel.
Later in the evening, I went to meet my boss, and we went for dinner with the Ministry of Transport officers at Kitaoji Ginza Saryo in Ginza area.