Narita International Airport Terminal 1: Alcohol….Oh, Alcohol

Narita International Airport Terminal 1 entrance

Paying 1,000 Yen to the driver with tie, receiving a receipt, ending with taking a back seat, I was now ready to explore the Higashi Kanto Expressway. This was the same street I passed by for the first time after arriving in Tokyo a few days ago.

Taking 70 kilometer asphalt road and within an hour, I felt asleep along the two prefectures passed by JR Kanto Bus, namely Tokyo and Chiba. I woke up when the bus had arrived at Narita International Airport and stopped for a while at Terminal 2 to dropping off some of its passengers. Now I was stricken with worries when the bus had passed Terminal 1. But I was trying to stay calm and go with the flow of bus.

I was lucky when I saw Terminal 1 nameboard far ahead. Yups, it turned out that my stop point hadn’t been missed.

On 4:41 p.m., I was dropped off at the drop-off zone by JR Kanto Bus driver, then rushed into one of Narita’s entrances. I was increasingly confident with the presence of Peach Aviation logo on logos board of airline which operating in Terminal 1.

“I’m at the right terminal”, I cheerfully thought.

But another challenge came, I was still five hours away from scheduled departure. The self-check-in counter hadn’t let me print my boarding pass yet.

“Okay, I would just wait”, I patient myself.

Two and a half hours of waiting at a departure hall seat, I finally managed to do self-check-in process on 19:25 hours. I grabbed a boarding pass and steadily stepped towards the gate. Upon arrival, it turned out that the gate was still not ready.

Peach Aviation counter.
World Sky Gate_Narita as the new branding of Narita International Airport.
Narita International Airport Terminal 1 floor plan.

Until finally, I decided to look for a minimarket to hunt for dinner. I found Lawson in one of the corridors and entered without a second thought. I quickly took a pack of onigiri for 248 yen and the cheapest mineral water for 103 yen and took it to the cashier.

After paying, I continued to walk to the observation deck, then sat in one of its chairs to enjoy the plane traffic of various airlines which were busy going back and forth at Narita International Airport. The outdoor observation deck was blown by a cold winter wind that consistently chilled the body.

Even though it was uncomfortable because it was cold, I still tried to enjoy dinner, still sat on one of the observation deck benches and continued to be fascinated by the pair of take-off and landing activities of large planes.

I kept trying to show my best smile while chewing onigiri, not wanting to be outdone by happy expressions of passangers around me when they were enjoying restaurant foods with nice aroma which inhabited along the side of observation deck.

The last piece of onigiri was complete. I then opened my bottled mineral water. I opened its lid and without hesitation drank it like a thirsty person. A mouthful of water finally smoothly glided down in my throat. But my eyes bulged because my nose was stung by a foreign smell. A warm sensation enveloped along my throat. And finally, automatically, I profusely coughed.

Not pure mineral water!…A clear drink clearly contained alcohol in it. Finally I could feel the sensation of alcohol even though it was accidentally….I didn’t drink alcohol before.

I still didn’t want to throw away the alcoholic bottled water and put it in my backpack. If later it wasn’t confiscated at the screening gate, let it be a memory while in Osaka.

Finally, after enjoying the airport traffic, I immediately headed to the gate and prepared myself to fly. HHmmhh… As soon as I entered the gate, the delay information immediately approached. Out of curiosity, I directly asked the female ground staff about the validity of this delay. She confirmed that Peach Aviation flight number MM6320 did experience a delay in arriving at Narita and I would have to wait another hour later.

Pretty simple boarding pass.
@Kids park, waiting for the plane to coming for pick me up.

I spent the next hour extra with closing my eyes in the waiting room. I sat next to Kids Park near Terminal 1 gate….

Tokyo Shuttle from Narita International Airport to Tokyo

I jumped from the front door and then white and slanted eyes faces were intently watching me. It was nice to be able to mingle with the middle class citiziens on the bus. I and all passengers would move towards downtown Tokyo. Then I sat down in the third row from back, right next to window pane. I was helped by the presence of an electric socket to increase my smartphone power, but unfortunately I couldn’t use the Wi-Fi.

Bus with green and white color combination consistently emited a mixture of emissions and water vapor from its exhaust at the freezing limit of Narita’s air. The color combination of red-green name was very striking to remember that transportation mode brand which shared the same ownership with the giant private railway company in two prefectures of Chiba and Tokyo. Keisei was the name of that transportation company.

The “Tokyo Shuttle” as the bus was called, would travel for an hour to Chiyoda District where Tokyo Station was located. Down the city streets for 65 Km, bus passed Higashi Kanto Expressway.

Higashi Kanto Expressway in Chiba Prefecture.
JR Bus Kanto passed by.
Willer Express Bus which pursuit it.

The toll road were bordered by guard rails and each segment only consists of two lanes. An ordinary inter-district toll road. Some of trees which looked barren due to dormancy became a frequent sight on this trip, leaving the finger of branches pointing at the sky.

Meanwhile, giant sutets consistently straddled toll road, supplying electricity between cities with valor. Going further, my journey began to show wide and clean canals maintained with several low, medium and high apartments at a distance which couln’t be called close together.

When most of the passengers fell asleep and were swallowed by bus speed, my thoughts were getting worse. I couldn’t feel the smooth stamping of driver’s gas pedal which managed to hypnotize all passengers to sleeping.

“Will it be as easy as turning my palms when looking for a train to Nakano?”

“How to find a button to buy a one day pass at the station later?”.

“Can I endure stifling cold out there?”

I was drowning in my own anxiety in whole way. Unabled to fully enjoy beautiful scenery out there. In fact that all time I had miss Japan. Hmmh….

The shorter of distance from downton, the scenery changed. The canals which were still clean were crammed with apartment and office buildings which closely lined up along the canals. But still, everything looked neat, clean and orderly. That nation was really civilized.

Entering Koto District, Tokyo Prefecture.
Ariake-nishi canal.
Heikyu River.

I arrived at Tokyo Station and was dropped off at bus stop in the shape of a rectangle with 5 feet which placed on its two sides, on the edge of Sotobori-dori Avenue right in front of Tekko Building. I had never found any definitive directions to station gate.

Not even looking for clues, I had been struggling against Japan’s winter air. It became even more surprising why local residents just walk around in a layer of office clothes, without gloves, without covering their heads and ears. Unliked me, who had a second layer of jacket with an additional t-shirt in first layer of my clothes, winter gloves and earmuffs. Still I trembled against the freezing temperature.

I continued down the street without Latin clue. Until I found the first Latin writing since I got off the Tokyo Shuttle bus. “Tokyo Station”, I slowly read a large signboard above station building. “TOKYO STATION Yaesu North Entrance”.

Let’s heading for Nakano.

I thought I’d better get into the station and got some warmth than freeze out there.

It was time to think about heading to Nakano.

Video link of this trip:

Transportation from Narita International Airport to Tokyo city can also be found on 12Go or the following link:

Narita International Airport Terminal 1: Alkohol….Oh, Alkohol

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Pintu masuk Narita International Airport Terminal 1

Membayar 1.000 Yen (Rp. 136.000) kepada pengemudi berdasi, menerima selembar tanda bayar, diakhiri dengan menduduki bangku paling belakang, kini aku bersiap menelusuri Higashi Kanto Expressway. Ini adalah jalanan yang sama ketika aku melewatnya untuk pertama kali sesaat setelah tiba di Tokyo beberapa hari lalu.

Menempuh jalur aspal sepanjang 70 kilometer dan dalam tempo satu jam, membuatku terlelap di sepanjang dua prefektur yang dilalui oleh JR Kanto Bus, yaitu Tokyo dan Chiba. Aku terbangun ketika bus telah sampai di Narita International Airport dan berhenti sejenak di Terminal 2 untuk menurunkan beberapa penumpangnya. Kini aku diserang kekhawatiran apabila bus telah melewati Terminal 1. Tetapi aku berusaha tetap tenang dan mengikuti arus bus.

Beruntungnya diriku ketika melihat nameboard Terminal 1 jauh di hadapan. Yups, ternyata stop pointku belum terlewat.

Tepat pukul 16:41, aku diturunkan di drop-off zone oleh pengemudi JR Bus Kanto, lalu bergegas memasuki salah satu pintu masuk Narita. Aku semakin percaya diri dengan keberadaan logo Peach Aviation di deretan logo para maskapai yang beroperasi di Terminal 1.

Aku sudah berada di terminal yang tepat”, batinku riang.

Tetapi tantangan lain hadir, aku masih berjarak lima jam dari jadwal keberangkatan. Konter self-check-in belum mengizinkanku mencetak boarding pass.

Baiklah, aku tunggu saja”, aku menyabarkan diri.

Dua setengah jam menunggu di sebuah kursi departure hall, akhirnya aku sukses melakukan proses selfcheck-in tepat pukul 19:25. Kugenggam selembar boarding pass lalu melangkah mantab menuju gate. Begitu tiba, ternyata gate masih saja belum siap.

Konter Peach Aviation.
World Sky Gate_Narita sebagai branding baru dari Narita International Airport.
Floor plan Narita International Airport Terminal 1..

Hingga akhirnya, aku memutuskan mencari minimarket untuk berburu makan malam. Aku menemukan keberadaan Lawson di salah satu koridor dan memasukinya tanpa pikir panjang. Dengan cepat aku mengambil satu kemasan onigiri seharga 248 Yen (Rp. 34.000) dan air mineral termurah seharga 103 Yen (Rp. 14.000) lalu membawanya ke kasir.

Selesai membayar, kulanjutkan langkah menuju observation deck, kemudian terduduk di salah satu kursinya untuk menikmati lalu lintas pesawat berbagai maskapai yang sibuk hilir mudik di Narita International Airport. Outdoor observation deck itu dihembus oleh angin musim dingin yang konsisten membekukan badan.

Walau tak nyaman karena dingin, aku tetap berusaha menikmati makan malam, tetap menduduki salah satu bangku observation deck dan terus terpesona dengan pasangan kegiatan take-off dan landing pesawat-pesawat berbadan besar.

Aku terus berusaha menampilkan senyum terbaik dalam menguyah onigiri, tak mau kalah dengan mimik bahagia para khalayak di sekitarku ketika menikmati harumnya sajian restoran yang mendiami sepanjang sisi observation deck.

Potongan terakhir onigiriku tuntas tak bersisa. Aku lantas membuka air mineral kemasan. Kubuka tutupnya dan tanpa ragu menenggaknya layaknya orang kehausan. Setenggak penuh air akhirnya meluncur mulus di tenggorokan. Tetapi mataku melotot karena hidungku tersengat aroma asing. Sensani hangat menyelimuti sepanjang tenggorokan. Dan akhirya, secara otomatis, aku terbatuk sejadi-jadinya.

Bukan air mineral murni !….Minuman bening itu jelas memuat kandungan alkohol di dalamnya. Akhirnya aku bisa merasakan sensasi alkohol walau secara tak sengaja….Duh, istighfar atau menikmati ya?….Wadaow.

Aku masih saja enggan membuang air kemasan beralkohol itu dan memasukkannya ke dalam backpack. Jika nantinya tak disita di screening gate, biar saja menjadikannya kenangan selama di Osaka.

Akhirnya, selepas puas menikmati lalu lintas bandara, aku segera menuju gate dan bersiap diri untuk terbang.HHmmhh… Begitu memasuki gate, informasi delay langsung menghampiri. Karena penasaran berat, aku menanyakan secara langsung ke ground staff wanita perihal kevalidan delay ini. Dia membenarkan bahwa Peach Aviation bernomor terbang MM6320 memang mengalami keterlambatan ketibaan di Narita dan aku harus menunggu kembali hingga satu jam ke depan.

Boarding pass yang cukup sederhana.
@Kids park, menunggu pesawat datang menjemput.

Kuhabiskan waktu tambahan selama  satu jam ke depan dengan memejamkan mata di ruang tunggu. Aku terduduk di sebelah Kids Park  dekat gate Terminal 1….

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Tokyo Shuttle dari Narita International Airport ke Tokyo

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Aku melompat dari pintu depan dan tak lama kemudian wajah-wajah putih bermata sipit  memperhatikan dengan seksama kehadiranku. Senang rasanya aku bisa berbaur dengan kaum menengah di dalam bus itu. Aku bersama seluruh penumpang akan bergerak menuju pusat kota Tokyo. Lalu aku sudah saja mendudukkan diri di baris ketiga dari belakang, sebelah kanan dekat dengan kaca jendela. Aku terbantu dengan keberadaan soket elektrik untuk menambah daya gawai pintarku, tetapi sayang Wi-Fi itu tak bisa kumanfaatkan.

Kotak transportasi dengan warna kombinasi sepadan hijau putih itu konsisten menyemburkan campuran emisi dan uap air dari knalpotnya di limit beku udara Narita. Warna nama kombinasi merah-hijau sangat mencolok untuk mengingat brand moda transportasi yang satu kepemilikan dengan perusahaan kereta api swasta raksasa di dua prefektur yaitu Chiba dan Tokyo. Keisei nama perusahaan transportasi itu.

Tokyo Shuttle” begitu nama bus itu, akan merayap selama satu jam menuju Distrik Chiyoda dimana Stasiun Tokyo berada. Menyusuri jalanan kota sejauh 65 Km, bus melewati  jalan tol Higashi Kanto Expressway.

Higashi Kanto Expressway di Prefektur Chiba.
JR Bus Kanto melintas.
Willer Express Bus mengejar.

Antar ruas jalan tol itu berbataskan guard rail dan setiap ruasnya hanya bersusun dua jalur. Jalan tol antar distrik yang biasa saja. Sebagian pepohonan yang tampak gersang akibat dormancy  menjadi pemandangan yang sering dalam perjalanan ini, menyisakah jari jemari dahan yang menunjuki langit.

Sementara sutet-sutet raksasa berjarak konsisten mengangkangi tol, mengalirkan listrik antar kota dengan gagahnya. Masuk lebih jauh, perjalanan mulai mempertontonkan kanal-kanal lebar dan bersih terawat dengan beberapa apartemen rendah, sedang dan tinggi pada jarak yang tak bisa dibilang rapat.

Ketika sebagian besar penumpang terlelap dan tertelan laju bus itu, fikiranku semakin runyam. Aku tak bisa menikmati injakan halus pedal gas sang sopir yang berhasil menyirap semua penumpangnya itu.

Apakah nanti akan semudah membalikkan telapak tangan saat mencari kereta ke Nakano?”.

“Bagaimana mencari tombol untuk membeli one day pass di stasiun nanti?”.

Bisakah aku menahan hawa dingin mencekat ini di luar sana?”

Aku tenggelam dalam kegelisahanku sendiri sepanjang perjalanan. Tak mampu menikmati dengan sepenuh hati pemandangan indah di luar sana. Padahal, bukannya selama ini aku merindukan Jepang. Duh….

Semakin pendek jarak dengan pusat kota, pemandangan berganti. Kanal-kanal yang masih saja bersih di jejali dengan bangunan-bangunan apartemen dan perkantoran yang berbaris rapat menongkrongi sepanjang kanal. Tapi tetap saja, semua tampak rapi, bersih dan teratur. Sungguh beradab bangsa itu.

Memasuki Distrik Koto, Prefektur Tokyo.
Ariake-nishi canal.
Heikyu River.

Aku tiba di Stasiun Tokyo dan diturunkan di halte bus berbentuk persegi panjang dengan 5 kaki yang diletakkan pada dua sisinya saja, di pinggir Sotobori-dori Avenue tepat di depan Tekko Building. Aku tak pernah menemukan petunjuk pasti menuju gerbang stasiun itu.

Bahkan belum juga mencari petunjuk pun, aku sudah bersusah payah melawan udara musim dingin Jepang. Menjadi semakin heran kenapa penduduk setempat berlalu lalang begitu saja dengan selapis baju kantoran, tanpa sarung tangan, tanpa penutu kepala dan telinga. Berbeda denganku yang sudah berjaket lapis dua dengan tambahan t-shirt di lapisan pertama bajuku, winter gloves dan earmuffs. Masih saja aku bergetar melawan suhu beku itu.

Aku terus menyusuri jalan tanpa petunjuk latin itu. Hingga kutemukan tulisan latin pertama semenjak aku turun dari bus Tokyo Shuttle. “Tokyo Station”, pelan kubaca signboard besar di atas bangunan stasiun. “TOKYO STATION Yaesu North Entrance”.

Mari menuju Nakano.

Kufikir lebih baik aku segera memasuki stasiun dan mencari kehangatan daripada  membeku di luaran sana.

Saatnya berfikir untuk menuju Nakano.

Link video perjalanan ini:

Transportasi dari Narita International Airport menuju ke kota Tokyo juga bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut:

Kisah Selanjutnya—->