Friday, September 24, 2010

Tokyo, part 5: expenses

If a blog starts with a digression, is it still a digression?

Anyway, after I first came to Lombok I planned to wrote a post about how to get around, comparing information from the internet with the experience that I had, particulary on the price, accessibility of transport and what nots. Obviously now it all has got thrown out of the window and I'll be damned if I can remember how much money I spent on angkot, cikar, and ojek on my way to Kuta from Mataram.

But I just came back from 3-day trip to Tokyo, and considering the recent unveiling of Air Asia route to Haneda from Kuala Lumpur, if you're planning a trip, this post might worth your while, perhaps for planning expenses.

As I'm sure you've known already, I live in Kyoto. And the purpose of that trip to Tokyo was for a debating tournament known as JPDU Autumn--or something like that. I won't bore you with my debating woes, because that's not the intention of this post. But I digress anyway.

So I left for Tokyo from Kyoto station's bus terminal (hachijouguchi) in a bus heading for Shinjuku station. We planned to use JR bus (because we can get student discount from JR), but because it was a long weekend, the tickets were not enough for the four of us. So we used bus from another company (no, I don't remember its name, 6000 yen, 11pm departure, 6pm arrival at Shinjuku station). 

Because the itinerary for the first day and the first half of the second day was bound for the tournament, we were just going from Shinjuku station (arrival point)-International Christian University (debate venue for 1st day)-Soka station(nearest station to our hotel) for the first day. Itinerary for Monday morning was from Soka station-Tokyo University of Science. Afterwards, we split up, and I explore the area on my own, starting from TUS-Ueno station. Stopped for Tokyo National Museum and National Science Museum. Then go on different direction from Ueno station-Kamakura station-Hase Station, the nearest station to Kamakura-Hase Youth Hostel, where I spent the second night. 

The next morning, it's Hase station-Kamakura station. Stopped for the beach southward from the train station, gegoleran di pasir pantai, and for nglarung kacamata item. Yeah agak goblok emang. By mid-day, back to Kamakura station for Yokohama station. Then after securing my bag in a locker, to the Chinatown. Because I'm not really a shopping person (and there's not much grabbing my attention anyway, after seeing Yamashita park round, I returned to Yokohama, retrieve my bag, and head out to Kawasaki. Why I finally chose Kawasaki was pretty much a mystery, but from Kawasaki station I changed train and head for Kawasaki daishi, the nearest station to the shrine with iron penis. 

Have I bored you off? Bear with me, it was night already when I left Kawasaki for Shinjuku (again) to wait for the bus that then took me to Kyoto. 

Ga konkrit ya? Let me flesh out the expenditure posts for three days then (not 100% accurate, but you get the idea):

1. Lodging. 3400 yen for sharing a hotel room for two in Soka and 4300 yen for the hostel in Hase. 

Subtotal 7700 yen

2. Transport. Kyoto-Shinjuku: 6000 yen. Shinjuku-Mitaka (210) Mitaka-ICU pp (210x2) Mitaka-Soka (~810) Soka-TUS (~600) TUS-Ueno (730) Ueno-Kamakura (890) Kamakura-Hase (190) Hase-Kamakura (190) Kamakura-Yokohama (330) Yokohama-Motomachi pp (200x2) Yokohama-Kawasaki (210) Kawasaki-Kawasaki daishi pp (130x2) Kawasaki-Shinjuku (380) Shinjuku-Kyoto: 500 yen (promo ticket I bought from another debater). Needless to say Google Maps helped me a lot to locate the train stations and where to get off and the like. 

Subtotal 12120 yen for Kyoto-Tokyo-Soka-Tokyo-Chiba-Tokyo-Kamakura-Yokohama-Kawasaki-Tokyo-Kyoto

3. Food. I have to admit I have a weakness for sweet drinks, hence brief stops at vending machines and convenience stores (~1200). Meals (mostly bento) are around 400-500, but I did find a soba shop in Kamakura station, decent portion for only 380 yen. I reckon I spent (200+600+700+1000+800+380+380) for meals (excluding the one in the hostel). What's the 200 yen meal, you ask? It's that McD, of course.

Subtotal 5260 yen

4. Miscellaneous. Included here is the registration for the debate (2500), golden piggybank bought at Chinatown (500), coin locker (300x2), entrance to National Museum of Science (600), impulsive electronic purchase (4200) and electrical socket (400)

Subtotal 8800 yen

Total? 33880 yen.

Hmmm, gimana saldo tabungan mau tambah kalo begini caranya? Kalo ga dipake debat, dipake nonton summer sonic (27000), atau summer school (30000), atau buat balik (80000).

Unsurprisingly, the biggest expenditure is for transport, while the miscellaneous post swelled by almost 100% due to impulsive purchase of iPod charger, batteries, and iTunes card. But I was bored beyond belief waiting for the bus in Shinjuku and my iPod's battery was empty, with no plug in sight. I have no knowledge of a discount pass for Tokyo area, but I think there must be one similar to Kansai surutto card (?), a 2000 yen pass that you can use for going around osaka in a day or two (have never tried it personally, might do so in the future).

As for the sight I visited itself, I'd definitely visit the museum again in the future (belom puas, keburu tutup museumnya, dan belom juga sempet liat yang museum of western art di sebelahnya nat. sci. museum), the beach was a surfing beach, and the shrine was.... unusual. I'm sure I've babbled quite a lot about it on Twitter anyway. 

I'm currently entertaining the idea of visiting more places in Japan, perhaps northward of Tokyo. The hard thing is really, deciding where to go, as I'm not a shopping person, and not a shrine person (not feeling particularly religious at the moment). Some museums will inevitable only have explanations in Japanese, and climbing mountains isn't really my style (remember the disastrous ski trip?). One option is to visit Karlin in Kanazawa (and she mentioned there'll be another SEF senior, Oda, studying there from this October), but aside from that, we'll see how it goes. 

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