Arriving at Tokyo Narita Airport
Most international flights from overseas generally land at the Narita International Airport. There’s also the Haneda International Airport which is mainly for domestic and short haul flights – we took that for our flight to Hong Kong.
Once your plane lands at Narita, like many international airports you will find yourself lining up at the customs counter. Despite having the visitor form pre-filled on the plane our wait was about 30-40 minutes. We could have filled it in during the wait. Once you pass customs your luggage should be waiting for you at the carousel.
Train station right from the terminal
Our hotel was situated at the Skytree area – Oshiage station. We made the mistake of lining up at the ticket counter to get the train despite having our PASMO (Stored value pass – A must get for all Japan visitors).
Note to self, avoid the lineup and just head on down to the train station and reload the card at one of the ticketing machines.
We took the Narita access express which usually has a direct nonstop train from Terminal 1 to Skytree – Oshiage station. However we didn’t get there early enough. The last direct train departed at 6pm, so we just took the one which had one stop and changed to a Keisei train at Aoto station.
Note to self – Get yourself a data sim card! Google maps with internet connectivity is way better than relying on maps and screenshots.
I forget how much we had to pay for the ticket but it is definitely slightly cheaper to take the train instead of the limousine (bus/shuttle). The bus station for the limousine to our hotel is not very far but far enough to be a hassle to drag the luggage all the way there.
A hidden gem hotel – perfect for our stay
Our hotel of choice was the Richmond Hotel Premier – Oshiage. It is super convenient, located right next to the a grand shopping mall – Tokyo Solamachi as well as steps away from the Oshiage train station. The hotel actually sits on top of a large supermarket – Life Central Square Oshiage for all the supplies you will need for the trip.
The room we had picked was one of the smaller rooms (280sqft). However, despite so its still much larger than the usual rooms you get at the other hotels in Tokyo (Many less than 200sqft). We brought our child and there was enough space for her to sleep on the floor. In addition, the hotel is brand new so the room was quite new and clean. There was even a coin laundry on one of the floors which allowed us to pack lightly so that we can maximise our shopping loot.
Japanese tech – All in one coin laundry
These machines were all advanced two in one clean and dry laundry machines. All you had to do was load your laundry, insert 400 Yen (Large Load), set a passcode (so that no one can steal your laundry), press the wash and dry button and let it do it’s work. The best thing was the machine automatically dispenses detergent so you don’t have to worry about putting any in! We frequented the laundry room daily usually right before we are out on our adventures as the clean and dry cycle can take up to three hours. The machines were lightly used as I have yet to bump into any other people during my weeks stay.
As for other facilities, theres two floors with vending machines and microwaves so that you can heat up meals that you can purchase at the convenient store or the supermarket.
Mightnight cravings for the Jetlagged travellers
In case you get in late, Life central square closes at midnight. You can pickup discount cooked foods and sushi there starting around 8:30 pm till around close. There’s also a 24hr Family Mart right around the corner. We frequently visited the store during the first few days of our stay as we were jet lagged and woke up really early in the morning. Nothing around the area opens until 8 am in the morning.