Saturday 19 December 2015

Tokyo Day 1: Shinjuku


After planning meticulously for more than 6 months for my maiden visit to Disneyland, our trip to Tokyo is finally here!! *exhilarating cheer*

To prepare for the trip, I read up a lot about Tokyo Disneyland and its hotels (two weeks before our trip, I even scrutinised the Disney Resorts webpage almost everyday! *laughs*) and sought the advise of fellow parent bloggers.

We also spent quite a bit of time in UNIQLO, checking out the latest winter wear and buying the winter jackets when they were on sale. It is hard to find winter jackets for babies under 2 years old so I was really happy that there were very cute winter jackets for babies/toddlers available (we bought a grey one for Baby Boy, which you can see in subsequent photos at the end of this post and other posts in this series).

Uniqlo also kindly sent us Disney T-shirts and HEATTECH innerwear for the whole family when they found out that we were going to Tokyo Disneyland in the beginning of winter. I love their HEATTECH clothes because they kept me really warm and comfortable during our Melbourne trip earlier this year. Recently they also launched a collection just for kids! Perfect =)

Uniqlo HEATTECH for Daddy, Mummy, Girlee and Baby Boy! =)
Winter hats and gloves as well in case the weather got too cold
(Thankfully it didn't so we didn't really get a chance to use it.
It will probably be useful for our Hokkaido trip next year!)

Another feature about the UNIQLO HEATTECH that I really like is that it is much thinner than other similar heat-trapping clothes. Case in point:

As compared to a random Korean brand of similar purpose that we bought from Seoul a few years ago, UNIQLO HEATTECH is at least 50% thinner. Yet it is not any less effective (tried and tested!).
Very good for packing into luggage! =)

With our UNIQLO winter wear packed neatly into our suitcases, we were all ready to fly! *yippee*

Wefie at the airport before checking in at Changi Airport Terminal 3

The Pockit stroller, which holds a Guinness World Record for World's Smallest Folded Stroller, that I ordered also arrived just in time for the trip (you can see it in the photo at the end of this post and other posts in this series)! I managed to pack it into my backpack and brought it along with us on board the plane! Will share more about my experiences with our Pockit stroller as we go along =)

Left: Pockit stroller packed easily into my backpack;
Right: Baby Boy enjoying the mandatory airport trolley ride while he can still fit into the top shelf.
With the Star Wars installation at Terminal 3

We went with our favourite Singapore Airlines this time, partly because the cheaper alternative ANA was sold out. We were not disappointed though. Although we paid about S$900 per adult, S$700 for my girl and S$200 for my boy, it was well worth the money as the service was excellent! Case in point, when one of the cabin crew saw that I had just finished feeding my boy a bottle of milk, she immediately offered to wash the bottle for me and even sterilised it with hot water so that it was ready for his next feed! I was so impressed and very thankful for the kindness! =)

Girlee was well entertained during the first few hours of our 7.5 hours red-eye flight and slept through the rest of the way. So did Baby Boy, thankfully!

Clockwise from left: My girl with her presents from Singapore Airlines;
The wide touch screen display! So awesome for catching up on movies that I had missed;
Baby Boy sleeping soundly in the Baby Bassinet for the last time as he won't be able to sleep in it anymore after he turns two years old in a few days. He is too big for it anyway as you can see!

The hubby and I tried to enjoy our infant seats with additional leg room for as much as possible because after this trip, Baby Boy will no longer be an infant so we will not have the privilege of sitting in the infant rows any more! *sob*

We arrived safely at Narita International Airport Terminal 1 at about 7.30am (Tokyo time, Tokyo is 1 hour ahead of Singapore). We passed through customs quite easily as the Japanese are well-known to be very orderly and collected our luggage.

To get to our hotel in Shinjuku, we took the Airport Limousine bus from the airport to Shinjuku Station West Exit (the bus also stops at a few hotels so you may want to refer to this Shinjuku route for more details).

Airport Limousine counter at Narita International Airport, Terminal 1
(there are a few of such counters at both terminals and airports so do check their website for information on their locations)
Bus ticket (child)
The queue for the bus is just outside the airport and its destination indicated very clearly.
You can also ask the friendly staff for help!
Clockwise from left: Mum sat with my girl;
The hubby, baby and I in the bus. As you can see, we're really excited!;
It's a must to fasten your seat belt! They do go around to enforce this!

The bus journey was approximately 1.5 hours and all of us slept the whole way because we were so exhausted. After we alighted at Shinjuku Station West Exit, we walked for about 15 minutes to our hotel with the help of Google Maps (we paid for daily Wifi via Changi Recommends).

After dragging our very heavy suitcases across many streets, we finally arrived at Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo.

Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo hotel

Despite its distance from Shinjuju Station, we decided to stay there because each room costs only S$197.95 per night. Plus, it is located very close to restaurants and shops.

As it was still too early to check in, we left our luggage at the lobby and explored the rest of the neighbourhood.

Yellow leaves adorning the trees that lined the streets of Shinjuku

We were hungry so we stopped by this ramen restaurant along the street because they had English menu.

Approximate Address: 〒160-0021 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukichō, 1 Chome−6, Japan
English menu so that you know what you're ordering
(technically you can possibly guess by looking at the picture no?)
Clockwise from left: Hungry girl very excited to dig into her ramen;
Picture of a bowl of delicious ramen with oysters;
Actual bowl of ramen with oysters (not as delicious as it looks though)
Gyoza on hot plate and various ramen we ordered
(the tonkotsu soup base, i.e. bottom left, was the best)

After lunch, we walked around the area and discovered a 100 yen store as well as a building that housed 5 floors of UNIQLO as well as 4 other floors of electronics and household stuff!

Five floors of UNIQLO and a 100 Yen Shop!

Things in UNIQLO Japan is approximately S$10 cheaper than those in Singapore! We shopped so much that we had already bought bags and bags of stuff even before we had even checked into our hotel room! *laughs*

Who knew that shopping would be so fun in Tokyo? =)

When it was finally time to check in, we lugged all of our shopping back to the hotel and checked out our room. As with most hotels in Tokyo, the room was really small but had almost everything we need.

Our home away from home for the next four nights
Clockwise from top left: Study table that is so maximised that there is even a safe in the drawer!;
Cups, hot water kettle and digital clock (useful for setting morning alarms);
View of the bed, TV and very narrow corridor;
View from outside our window.
The room was so small that they had to physically remove the sofa in order to put a smaller than usual baby cot in our room
Bathroom with a smaller than usual bathtub
Left: Sink with added shelves at the bottom for additional storage in a small space;
Right: Only two sets of toothbrush and toothpaste are provided in the bathroom.
You will have to get the rest of the amenities such as razors, cotton buds, etc from the front desk
(they do give it out freely so feel free to take as many as you need)
A set of kid-sized slippers, toothbrush and towel for the kids each! Kawaii! =)

As it was much colder at night, we piled on more layers of clothes/HEATTECH before heading out again in search of our dinner.

Brought both of our travel strollers with us as my girl was taking her nap.
We use Peg Perego Plinko Mini (left) and Pockit (right).
(You will also notice that we are all wearing UNIQLO jackets!)

The Pockit is amazing to steer despite its size and weight. It's easy enough to open although it takes a bit of practice and effort to close it. I guess it isn't easy trying to compress a stroller into the World's Smallest Folded Stroller! *laughs*

Left: Checking out Isetan in Shinjuku, which is unlike Isetan Singapore! Isetan Japan was so classy and atas!
We felt so out of place there!;
Right: Wandering on the streets in search of good food.

The streets immediately surrounding our hotel can be a bit, erm, "happening"  (a bit like Geylang if you know what I mean.. got good and not so good..) but the people usually don't bother you if they see you've got kids with you (it's not as bad as you think really!). Our hotel was also surprisingly kid-friendly (and totally not sleazy) for being located in such a "happening" street! *laughs*

In any case we walked and walked and couldn't find a suitable place to have dinner. That is, until we walked passed Seiryu, located along the same street as our hotel! Should not have wasted all that time and effort trying to search for a place to eat when it was just right there! =(

Clockwise from left: Hotpot on a cold night is such a lovely treat!;
Good enough pasta for my pasta-loving girl;
Chicken katsu with egg (yum!).
Perfectly grilled squid
Fresh "fish of the season" sashimi
(the tuna was the winner of this dish!)

When you're cold and hungry, a delicious meal is a great end to a beautiful first day at Tokyo! Love Japanese food! I could get used to this.. *grin*

Continue to >> Tokyo Day 2: Asakusa & Harajuku


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Tokyo, Japan 
as well as other travel itineraries!

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)


Disclosure: Complimentary HEATTECH inner wear and kids winter accessories (we purchased the other items such as adult winter jackets and gloves) were received from UNIQLO Singapore for the purposes of this review  No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.
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