Tokyo Station: Finding Trail to JR Expressway Bus Stop

Preparing to leave Harajuku Station.

A little past two in the afternoon. I started leaving Meiji Jingū via Harajuku Station. I retraced Yamanote Line, turning south through Shinagawa District, then back to north. It covered a distance of fifteen kilometers and costed 200 Yen.

I arrived at Tokyo Station a little past three-thirty in the afternoon and was dropped off at platform number four near Marunouchi North Exit. Maranuochi itself is a business district located in west of Tokyo Station.

I continued down an underground passage and kept looking for directions to get out at exit gate located closest to JR Expressway Bus Stop. Since morning, I have decided to use bus to movimg from downtown to Narita International Airport.

Once down the stairs then I was faced with a long corridor. Right on the wall in front of the last step was a wide yellow signboard. The sign directed me to exit at Yaesu South Exit. That was the closest exit from the JR Expressway Bus Stop. Do you know about Yaesu?….In the opposite direction of Maranuochi then Yaeshu is an area located at east of Tokyo Station.

Location directions in the corridors of Tokyo Station.
Those who don’t want to bring a backpack, please rent a locker.
This is rental locker at Tokyo Station.
Where are you currently?
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

The commercial side of this station is so dominant. Along the underground passage, the station sell locker facilities to passengers. These storage facilities are known as Coin Lockers. This locker type has a rental price which varies from 600 to 1,000 Yen per day.

Along the corridors of Tokyo Station was so crowded. I kept stepping and starting to get disoriented. Unknowingly, I have arrived at Shinkansen Transfer North Gate. Until finally a station staff helped to direct me to the nearest exit. For his services, I finally managed to get out at Yaesu Central Exit.

Yups….Arrived at Yaesu Central Exit.

The time lag for my flight schedule was still long. I also didn’t want to be at the airport too long. So I decided to take a seat in the courtyard of Tokyo Station. I continued to observe the activities of Tokyo residents who seemed very busy. While enjoying the busyness, I consistently opened the skin of guazi and chewed it seed by seed. And because I couldn’t find a trash can, I threw the peel of guazi on the roots of ornamental plants. I didn’t think that an officer to notice my bad behavior. I responded quickly, before he came to me, I showed him the half-filled guazi packaging. Miraculously, he just smiled and nodded. In fact, if he reprimanded me, then I was ready to take that organic trash again.

Guazi skin problem is over….

I got up from my seat and headed for JR Expressway Bus Stop. Arriving at the location, I immediately entered a long queue at the number seven bus platform. Exactly at four o’clock in the afternoon, I boarded JR Bus Kanto which was typical white with blue color.

I handed over 1,000 Yen to the driver, who was very well-groomed and in a tie. After he gave me a receipt, I took the back seat.

Located at JR Expressway Bus Stop.
Let’s got in!

I was getting ready to head to Narita International Airport Terminal 1.

Writing Prayers and Wishes in Meiji Jingū

 
Get ready for second day of adventure in Tokyo @ Nakano Station platform.

The tragedy of losing my wallet at Nakano Station made me gulp in fear, it turned out that there was still a coward side behind my courage to explore the world. I calmed down for a moment by sipping drinking water from free water station at one of Nakano Station platforms.

The silver and yellow colored commuter of Chūō Line arrived, I took a step into a middle carriage and sat at long bench on left. I deliberately chose to sit right above a console grill heater. That was my habit while riding Japann’s trains which was slipping into the winter.

I continued to follow the Chūō Line towards east and then turned into south after changing to Yamanote Line at Shinjuku Station. Within twenty minutes, I arrived at Harajuku Station after traveling for about seven kilometers. I only had to pay 170 Yen for this trip.

Crossing the long corridor of Harajuku Station, I came out from West Exit directly opposite Meiji Jingū First Torii Gate on the right. But gosh……

Now that I’ve lost my right glove, how could I resist cold air if my equipment disappeared? I retraced my path when I exited the station platform and finally I found one of those gloves in the middle of corridor after automatic fare collection gates. I didn’t know why?, since this morning, I’ve been stuck losing things even though it were found again. Could this be the start of all surprising things ahead of my adventure?

Alright…Focused back to my steps…..

Now I was posing in front of Meiji Shrine gate. The Torii was so distinctive, the inspiration for a famous automotive company logo in “the Land of Samurai”. I walked through smooth gravel as the entrance to the temple. The path had a width of one meter on left side, combined with a one meter wide paving block path bordered by rope for exit route on the right. Meanwhile, in some parts, the path was bordered by bamboo fences which were neatly arranged as high as the waist of an adult.

In front of the gates of Meiji-jingumae Station “Harajuku” (Chiyoda Line) as part of Tokyo Metro Subway Network. But I didn’t take the Tokyo Metro.
In front of the Meiji Jingū Torii.
Sake drums (kazaridaru).
Wooden wine drums.

Meanwhile, an old officer removed leaves from road using a backpack-leaf blower. Leaves just needed to be pushed aside to road side and allowed to become natural compost, so environmentally friendly.

Within four hundred meters, on the right, I was blown away by neat arrangement of kazaridaru dedicated to Meiji-tennō and Shōken-kōgō. While right on the left side was an arrangement of wine drums made of wood.

Arriving at the main Torii of shrine, every visitor must wash their hands at Temizuya with water using a long-stemmed dipper. This ritual of self-washing or misogi aimed to purify the body and mind before standing in front of a deity to pray.

Temizuya (shinto shrine pavilion for purification) in Meiji Jingū.
In the middle of temple.

For a moment I stopped after passing through main gate, I was amazed by the size of the Meiji Jingū . This was a shrine dedicated to the spirit of Meiji-tennō , the ancient ruler of Japan.

Meanwhile in some parts of the temple was being renovated. Workers in white carpenter uniforms, complete with various carpentry equipments on their waists and wearing safety helmets, were seen standing on the step ladder, busy making repairs.

While at the end of the shrine, tourists could be seen queuing up at a shop which sells ema and omamori boards. The shop seemed to be guarded by beautiful women dressed in white and red kimonos, they looked polite and graceful to serve the visitors.

While I was busy writing a prayer on a piece of paper, then I put it in a box. While some tourists wrote prayers and hopes on the ema board they bought, then hang it on the spot provided.

The carpenters were on duty.
Shops selling omamori were amulets that were believed by the Japanese to bring good luck and safety.
What was I praying about?
An ema board, a small wooden plaque decorated with handwritten art which expressed hope.

It didn’t feel like an hour and a half walked until I finally finished exploring all parts of the temple. This was my last destination in Tokyo, because I would soon be heading to Narita International Airport to catch Peach Aviation flight number MM6320 which would depart at 21:35 hours.

I finally decided to head straight to Harajuku Station and rushed to Tokyo Station, because I was planning to take JR Bus Kanto to the airport.

Let’s go……..

Get ready at Harajuku Station….To Tokyo Station.

Stasiun Tokyo: Mencari Jejak Menuju JR Expressway Bus Stop

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Bersiap meninggalkan Stasiun Harajuku.

Lewat sedikit dari jam dua siang. Mulai kutinggalkan Meiji Jingū melalui Stasiun Harajuku. Aku kembali menelusuri Yamanote Line, memutar ke selatan melewati Distrik Shinagawa, lalu kembali ke utara. Menempuh jarak sejauh lima belas kilometer dan berbiaya 200 Yen (Rp. 27.000).

Aku tiba di Stasiun Tokyo lewat sedikit dari jam setengah tiga sore dan diturunkan di platform bernomor empat di dekat Marunouchi North Exit. Maranuochi sendiri adalah kawasan bisnis yang berlokasi di sebelah barat Stasiun Tokyo.

Aku terus menelusuri lorong bawah tanah dan terus mencari petunjuk untuk mengeluarkan diri di exit gate yang berlokasi paling dekat dengan JR Expressway Bus Stop. Aku memang sedari pagi telah memutuskan akan menggunakan operator bus tersebut untuk berpindah dari tengah kota ke Narita International Airport.

Begitu menuruni tangga maka aku dihadapkan pada sebuah koridor panjang. Tepat pada dinding di depan anak tangga terakhir tersebut terdapat papan petunjuk lebar berwana kuning. Papan itu mengarahkanku untuk keluar di Yaesu South Exit. Itulah gerbang keluar terdekat dari JR Expressway Bus Stop. Apakah kamu tahu tentang Yaesu?….Berlawanan arah dengan Maranuochi maka Yaeshu adalah kawasan yang terletak di sebelah timur Stasiun Tokyo.

Petunjuk lokasi di koridor Stasiun Tokyo.
Yang tak mau bawa backpack, silahkan sewa loker.
Ini dia loker sewa di Stasiun Tokyo.
Dimana posisimu saat ini?
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

Sisi komersil stasiun ini begitu dominan. Sepanjang lorong bawah tanah, dimanfaatkan pengelola stasiun untuk menjual fasilitas loker kepada para penumpang. Fasilitas penyimpanan ini terkenal dengan nama Coin Lockers. Loker jenis ini mempunyai harga sewa yang bervariasi, dari 600 Yen hingga 1.000 Yen (Rp. 80.000 – Rp. 135.000) per hari.

Sepanjang koridor Stasiun Tokyo itu begitu ramai. Aku terus merangsek dan mulai mengalami disorientasi arah. Secara tak sadar, aku telah tiba di gerbang Shinkansen Transfer North Gate. Hingga akhirnya seorang petugas stasiun membantu mengarahkanku untuk menuju gerbang keluar terdekat. Atas jasanya itu akhirnya aku berhasil keluar di Yaesu Central Exit.

Yups….Tiba di Yaesu Central Exit.

Jeda waktu menuju jadwal penerbangan masih lama. Aku juga tak mau terlalu lama berada di bandara. Maka kuputuskan untuk mengambil tempat duduk di halaman Stasiun Tokyo. Aku terus mengamati aktivitas warga Tokyo yang tampak sangat sibuk. Sembari menikmati kesibukan itu, aku secara konsisten membuka kulit kuaci dan mengunyahnya biji demi biji. Dan karena tak bisa kutemukan tempat sampah, maka kubuanglah kulit kuaci itu di atas akar tanaman hias. Tak kusangka seorang petugas memperhatikan kelakuan burukku itu. Aku berespon cepat, sebelum dia mendatangiku, aku menunjukkan kemasan kuaci yang masih berisi separuh itu kepadanya. Ajaibnya, dia hanya tersenyum dan mengangguk. Padahal jika dia menegurku, maka aku sudah bersiap diri mengambil lagi sampah kuaci itu.

Masalah kulit kuaci sudah usai….

Aku beranjak dari tempat duduk dan menuju JR Expressway Bus Stop. Sesampai di lokasi, aku langsung masuk ke antrian panjang di platform bus nomor tujuh. Tepat pukul empat sore, aku menaiki JR Bus Kanto yang khas berwarna putih dengan kelir biru itu.

Aku menyerahkan 1.000 Yen (Rp. 135.000) kepada pak sopir yang bepenampilan sangat rapi dan berdasi. Setelah dia memberikan selembar tanda bayar maka aku mengambil tempat duduk paling belakang.

Berada di JR Expressway Bus Stop.
Ayo naik!

Aku bersiap menuju Narita International Airport Terminal 1.   

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Menulis Do’a dan Harapan di Meiji Jingū

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Besiap untuk petualangan hari kedua di Tokyo. @ platform Stasiun Nakano.

Tragedi kehilangan dompet di Stasiun Nakano membuatku menelan ludah ketakutan, ternyata masih tersisa sisi penakut dibalik keberanianku menjelajah dunia.  Aku sejenak menenangkan diri dengan menyeruput air minum dari free water station di salah satu platform Stasiun Nakano.

Komuter silver berkelir kuning penguasa Chūō Line itupun tiba, kuayunkan langkah memasuki gerbong tengah dan duduk di bangku panjang sisi kiri. Aku sengaja memilih duduk tepat di atas console grill pemanas. Itulah kebiasaanku selama menaiki kereta Negeri Matahari Terbit yang sedang tergelincir ke dalam musim dingin.

Aku terus mengikuti arus Chūō Line menuju timur lalu menukik ke selatan setelah berganti dengan kereta Yamanote Line di Stasiun Shinjuku. Dalam waktu dua puluh menit, aku tiba di Stasiun Harajuku setelah menempuh jarak sejauh tujuh kilometer. Untuk tarif sepanjang itu, aku hanya perlu membayar 170 Yen (Rp. 23.000).

Melintasi koridor panjang Stasiun Harajuku, aku keluar dari West Exit yang langsung berhadapan dengan Meiji Jingū First Torii Gate di sisi kanannya. Tetapi astaga……

Kini aku kehilangan gloves sebelah kanan, bagaimana aku mampu menahan beku jika perlengkapan itu raib?. Dengan terpaksa, aku kembali menelusuri jalurku ketika keluar dari platform stasiun dan akhirnya aku menemukan sebelah gloves itu di tengah koridor setelah automatic fare collection gates. Entah kenapa?, sedari pagi, aku terundung kehilangan barang walaupun kembali tertemukan. Mungkinkah ini permulaan dari segala hal mengejutkan di depan petualanganku?.

Baiklah…Fokus kembali ke langkahku…..

Kini aku sudah berpose di depan gerbang Kuil Meiji. Torii itu begitu khas, pengilham sebuah logo perusahaan otomotif kenamaan Negeri Para Samurai. Kutapaki gravel mulus sebagai jalur masuk menuju kuil. Jalur itu memiliki lebar sedasa meter di sisi kiri, dipadu jalur paving block selebar satu meter berpembatas tambang untuk jalur keluar di sebelah kanan. Sementara di beberapa bagian, jalur itu di batasi oleh pagar-pagar bambu yang tersusun rapi setinggi pinggang orang dewasa.

Di depan gerbang Stasiun Meiji-jingumae “Harajuku” (Chiyoda Line) sebagai bagian dari Tokyo Metro Subway Network. Tetapi aku tak menaiki Tokyo Metro itu….Alias nampang doang….Hohoho.
Di depan Meiji Jingū Torii.
Drum-drum Sake (kazaridaru).
Drum-drum anggur berbahan kayu.

Sementara seorang petugas tua, menyingkirkan dedauanan dari gravel menggunakan backpack leaf blower. Dedauan itu hanya perlu dipinggirkan ke sisi jalan dan dibiarkan menjadi kompos alami, begitu ramah lingkungan.

Dalam empat ratus meter, di sisi kanan, aku terpesona dengan susunan rapi kazaridaru yang didedikasikan untuk Meiji-tennō dan Shōken-kōgō. Sedangkan tepat di sisi kiri adalah susunan drum anggur terbuat dari kayu.

Sampai pada Torii utama kuil, setiap pengunjung wajib membersihkan tangan di Temizuya dengan air menggunakan gayung-gayung bertangkai panjang. Ritual membasuh diri atau misogi ini bertujuan untuk memurnikan tubuh dan pikiran sebelum berdiri di depan dewa untuk berdoa.

Temizuya (paviliun bersuci shinto untuk pemurnian) di Meiji Jingū.
Di tengah kuil.

Sejenak aku terhenti setelah melewati gerbang utama, aku terkagum-kagum karena luas dan besarnya Meiji Jingū . Inilah kuil yang dipersembahkan untuk menghormati roh Meiji-tennō , penguasa Jepang masa lalu.

Sementara itu di beberapa bagian kuil sedang dilakukan renovasi. Para pekerja berseragam carpenter warna putih, lengkap dengan berbagai peralatan pertukangan di pinggang serta mengenakan safety helmet tampak berdiri diatas step ladder, sibuk melakukan perbaikan.

Sementara di ujung kuil, tampak para turis mengantri pada sebuah toko yang menjual papan ema dan omamori. Toko itu tampak dijaga oleh wanita-wanita cantik berbaju kimono putih berpadu merah, mereka tampak sopan dan anggun melayani para pengunjung.

Sementara aku meyibukkan diri untuk menuliskan sebuah do’a pada selembar kertas, lalu kumasukkan ke dalam sebuah kotak. Sedangkan beberapa wisatawan menulis do’a dan harapan pada papan ema yang dibelinya, kemudian menggantungkannya pada spot yang telah disediakan.

Para carpenter sedang bertugas.
Toko penjual omamori yaitu jimat yang diyakini masyarakat Jepang dapat membawa keberuntungan dan keselamatan.
Aku berdo’a apa ya kira-kira?
Papan ema, plakat kayu kecil yang dihiasi dengan seni tulisan tangan yang mengungkapkan harapan

Tak terasa satu setengah jam berjalan hingga akhirnya aku selesai menelusuri seluruh bagian kuil. Inilah destinasi terakhirku di Tokyo, karena aku akan segera menuju Narita International Airport untuk mengejar penerbangan Peach Aviation bernomor MM6320 yang akan berangkat pada pukul 21:35.

Akhirnya kuputuskan untuk segera menuju ke Stasiun Harajuku dan bergegas menuju Stasiun Tokyo, karena aku berencana menggunakan JR Bus Kanto menuju bandara.

Mari……..

Bersiap diri di Stasiun Harajuku….Menuju Stasiun Tokyo.

Kisah Berikutnya—->