Delicious Life!

Postcards from the edge: Why living on the fringes of Tokyo made my budget trip possible

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FIRST, let me tell you that I only had nineteen thousand pesos in my pocket when I boarded the plane to Narita.

I spent the odd thousand missing on the terminal fee, and could not get more because the ATM machine had a daily cap on your maximum withdrawals, and I had reached mine. And because they were already announcing my name on the speaker, I had no time to have my money changed to US Dollars or Yen, so I stuffed the cash into my bag and boarded. Huffing an puffing, thank you, because the gates closed right behind me as I stepped in the plane.

Was I going to survive notoriously expensive Tokyo?

I’m sending you my postcards to help my case that not only did I just survive my first time in Japan, I was led to the most amazing experiences and food by a ghost, the kindness of strangers, and a keen eye for finding the longest lines.

WHERE I STAYED

The Asakusa Raitei was the closest thing to a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) that I could find for a little over a thousand pesos a night. For that price, I got a private room (a rarity in packed Tokyo) and an en suite toilet! It was in Tokyo’s old district, which meant it was a little more quiet and was usually the last stop on trains from the center of the action, but it was a perfect trade off!

It also clearly stated that it was haunted by a Zashikiwarashi, a guardian ghost that came in the form of a child, who was known for both mischief, and good luck for travelers. I took that gamble and came out all the better for it. My Zashikiwarashi, it turns out, planned this trip for me better than any agency or blog could.

SMOKED OCTOPUS was filed under “to drink with Denki Bran”. I think it deserves to fall  under “best damn things on this menu.” Because one has to pay for your order a the counter upon coming in, you gotta be quick on that decision as there is a long queue behind you. Don’t hesitate when you are there, try this!

SMOKED OCTOPUS was filed under “to drink with Denki Bran”. I think it deserves to fall
under “best damn things on this menu.” Because one has to pay for your order a
the counter upon coming in, you gotta be quick on that decision as there is a long queue behind you. Don’t hesitate when you are there, try this!



WHAT I ATE AND DRANK

Tokyo’s oldest bar was a few corners from my hostel. That enough made me tingle all over!

Open since 1880, Kamiya Bar, despite the reputation of being one of Japan’s oldest bar, is still very much a local dive. In fact, I was the only tourist for the two nights I was there.

As luck (or was it my guardian ghost) would have it, I randomly picked a hostel that was right beside the oldest theme park in Tokyo (Hanayashiki) and Tokyo’s oldest and most significant temple.

In fact, I walked through the beautiful grounds of Sensoji Temple every night from the metro, and drank in both its crowds and its quiet.

(I flew on Cebu Pacific Air’s direct flight from Cebu to Narita.

The excellent schedule allowed me to maximize my trip because one leaves Cebu at 6am, arriving at 11am in Narita and leaving for Cebu at 12 noon, and arriving at a decent time of 4pm. Check out the schedules and promos on cebupacificair.com)

TAGS: ghost, Japan, kindness, Narita, postcards, private room, Tokyo, Travel
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