On my second transit, I decided to stay near Narita airport because I arrived quite late at night and my friend and I thought that it would cost me the same: staying at her place and staying at a cheap hotel near Narita because the fee that I had to pay to get to her place and to get back to the airport was about the same amount that I had to pay for a one-night hotel stay. Besides, I would be too tired to just take the trains to get to her place and get back to Narita early in the morning. It’s not worth it. It’s better to stay close to the airport and explore the nearby places.
I stayed at Hedistar Hotel Narita. I booked it through Expedia when I was at my friend’s place on my first transit in Japan. They offered free shuttle from and to the Narita airport by reservation. It’s also a short walking distance from Narita-san park, where Narita-san Shinshō-ji temple was, so at least I’d get to visit one temple. And I guess that’s all I needed, that’s what mattered the most to me. I just needed a place to rest peacefully with low cost and strolled around a nice place in the morning before returning to the airport. Yes, it wasn’t that expensive. I booked a smoking room since it was the cheapest. (It’s $51.74).
When I arrived at the airport (around 8pm), I immediately contacted the hotel to reserve the shuttle. I messaged them through Expedia and I also called them using my Skype credit. (Well, yeah, T-mobile gave me a free unlimited roaming service for the data/internet and texts but not with the call, that’s why, I didn’t want to be charged for the call so I used Skype). I requested the 9.30pm shuttle because I read one review that if I missed the shuttle, I’d have to take a taxi, which was expensive. Well, Japanese people were on time, and if I found the bus/shuttle stop quite late, I’d surely miss it and I didn’t want it. So I just played it safe.
Afterwards, I went to the information center to ask about the post office or where I could get a stamp for my postcards. Unfortunately, they were already closed, so I went straight to where I should wait for my shuttle. I ran into some airport officers (people who worked at the airport?) and asked them for directions. Again, I got to practice Japanese again. Haha Silly me. But hey, it worked. They understood it better when I spoke Japanese instead of English. But I couldn’t understand them well because you know how limited my Japanese was. LoL
I waited for the bus and actually it wasn’t 9.30pm yet, it was still 8.30pm but the bus came so I just made sure that it went to Hedistar hotel and got on. I guess that’s because the bus came in hourly service so it’s okay for me to hop on and not wait for the 9.30pm shuttle that I requested. I wanted to rest soon anyway.
The driver was so friendly and chatty I loved it. I was the only guest he picked up so I got to practice my Japanese without having to worry about getting embarrassed for making mistakes. Haha He asked where I was from, when I would leave, what I liked about Japan, if Indonesians loved Japanese, etc. And of course it was my chance to show off my Japanese. Haha Not that much though, because I only got to repeat the same structures with different words such as, ‘I really like One Piece.’, ‘I really like Japanese people.’, ‘I watch Japanese movies and dramas,’ etc. He seemed happy, though, It made me happy. And actually there were some questions that I didn’t understand so I couldn’t answer so I just said, “Sorry, I don’t understand.” in Japanese repeatedly. I was so lame. Haha But I was really happy 😊
When I arrived in the hotel, I checked in and went straight to my room. It was gorgeous except for the smell (well, that’s because I booked a smoking room). They even provided a free hand-phone that came along with some free calls, texts, even internet data for us during the stay at the hotel. We could even take it outside and return it when we checked out. I didn’t use it, though. I’ve got my phone already so I didn’t really need it. Then I broke my fast using the meal I saved from my flight. Guess what? Maybe they read my blog since this time the Muslim meal was not a middle-eastern one, it was Gule kambing, which was so Indonesian! I couldn’t be happier. Then I fell asleep, I guess I was too exhausted. When I woke up, it’s already past dawn. Dang, I missed my prayers. And so I prayed but it’s a bit bright already, but that’s alright, it wasn’t intentional. Besides, I didn’t plan to fast that day either since I would fly back to the US and the timezone difference would make the fasting timetable quite in chaos. It’s allowed, so I used it.
I couldn’t go back to sleep that morning, perhaps because I wasn’t used to sleeping in the morning. So I just showered and packed everything. I got ready to get to Narita-san temple and explore the park. It was a nice morning walk. When I saw people, I just nodded or bowed while saying おはよう. LoL, me. I might have been acting too friendly. Haha But I was really excited to do it. That’s what they do in the movies! They greet each other, right? 😀 So that’s what I did.
When I arrived at the park around 6.30ish, it was still quiet and not so many people were around. I only saw two or three people passing by probably going to school or to their workplace. Someone went to pray in the shrine before continuing her journey. I just watched and observed. Even witnessing all that felt like a dream. I’ve never thought I could really do all that. It’s really an experience that I’m thankful for. I took a lot of pictures, of course. Some of them selfies and some of them used my camera’s self-timer. Not so many people were around so I couldn’t really ask anyone to take my pictures for me. Only when it’s getting more crowded, probably around 9, when the tourists started coming, I could ask for somebody to take my pictures. Even someone, I guess he was a tourist too, offered to take my picture but of course in return I should take his. Haha Well, with a pleasure, Sir 😊
The park was really big and beautiful. I felt like I could spend all day just staying and walking around the place. It was peaceful. I really loved it. But perhaps that’s because I came early in the morning. And as I was strolling around the park and the temples, I kept looking at my watch because I needed to catch my 9.30am shuttle to the airport, which was so wrong of me. And I’d tell why in the next post.