Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cycling Japan 2013 Day 1 : Kuala Lumpur To Tokyo

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                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Cycling Japan Day 1: From Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan : 7th November 2013
Small Group Ride - Kuala Lumpur>Tokyo

After months of preparation, the DAY is here!
Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo was schedule for 2:40 pm, upon Andrew's advice, we met at the LCCT terminal of the KLIA airport much earlier at 11:00 am.
It was a good thing too to be there early as a couple of our buddies hit a snag with their sports equipment allowance, this took some time to sort out. The weight of their bikes in the packing boxes were in excess of the baggage allowance that they have purchased for and sorely they had to pay a penalty for the overweight - at MYR50/- per kg. it was no small amount.
A word of advice here, when travelling with budget airlines, it is always prudent to purchase higher baggage and sports equipment allowance; it saves the heartache of paying those high penalties.

We put that ugly overweight situation behind us and happily boarded the plane, philosophically rationalising to look forward to an enjoyable trip.

Our flight, Air Asia X flight D7 522 landed at Haneda Airport, Tokyo at 11:15 pm local time - half an hour early. With our biometric passports, we did not have to apply for Japanese visas and cleared immigration smoothly.

Siew Yung had gone ahead of us, when we reached the baggage carousels we saw her happily smiling with our bikes and luggage. Thumbs up! All was accounted for and nothing went missing in transit, unlike my previous experience where my bike was lost in transit for a day (... see Cambodia : Pedaling Phnom Penh - The Riverside).

We cleared Customs easily too, no odd questions being asked about our bicycles. Siew Yung had booked a van and a limousine for the seven of us and the drivers were eagerly waiting for us at the exit. We managed to comfortably squeeze in all our bikes and luggage in and was soon heading for our hostel...

... after an hour's drive we arrived at K's House Tokyo Backpackers Hostel - this will be our home during our stay in Tokyo. The staff had finished work as 10:00 pm but had left the keys to our rooms in a combination safe box at the entrance.

K's House policy is based on trust and discipline of its patrons - we had not even paid for our rooms yet and they have allowed us in. Payment is to be made tomorrow.

Our rooms will be at the upper floors, at the ground floor is the common area shared by all patrons. This is the living area with cozy sofas and a couple of PCs for rent at 100Y per thirty minutes.

The kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is equipped with a couple of fridges, a microwave, rice-cooker and coffee pot. Each morning, the staff will prepare hot coffee in the pot for patrons.
As mentioned earlier, the principal here is maturity and disciplined. They are pots, utensils and crockery to be used, but one is expected to wash and dry whatever one uses. Things left in the fridge should have the owners name written on them. The fridge is cleared out every Wednesday. The "FREE BOX" in between the fridge is for patrons who have usable left-over to leave behind for future patrons.

To another corner is the TV lounge area with tatami mats sitting.

To the rear is a small lift, which was very convenient for us to bring our bikes up and down.
WinSin, Nash & me will be sharing a small room, but then most hotels rooms in Japan are small so no complains there. At a rate of 3200Y per night per pax it is a very affordable accommodation in Tokyo.

For those interested in staying at K's House, the above is their calling card with their address, Email, other contact details and even their rates. Please note that rate shown is per pax per night.

After moving our things in to our room, we adjourned to a 7-11 store, conveniently  just opposite K's House. Unlike their stores in Malaysia, the ones in Japan sell more edible food stuff, here we were able to purchase some food for supper and the following day's breakfast!

I got this pre-cooked pre-packed ramen and microwaved it at K's House. After this supper, we started unpacking our bikes.

Alas! When I started pumping the rear tire of my bike it sprung a leak. We had released the tire pressure of our bikes for the air flight, I had released too much pressure and did not notice that the valve was crooked when I started pumping air in.
Fortunately, Siew Yung had some notes on how to take out the back wheel of the Brompton (with a rear hub gear, it's not as straight forward as other bikes) and with her help I managed to change a new tube. By the time I finished with my repair works and got ready for bed, it was already five in the morning. Nevertheless I bunked in and looked forward to the next day's adventure.


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