A Travellerspoint blog

Day 1 & 2: Monday, June 30, 2008 & Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We’re waiting at the airport right now to board our flight. Surprisingly, check-in and the security check point was pretty quick. I think we got to the airport at the right time. As we left the ticket counter the lines had gotten a lot longer. The security check was also the shortest I have seen it in a while.

Our flight is pretty full today – overbooked I should say. Fortunately for us, because it was overbooked our seats were upgraded to the next class. So from economy we now go to “premium” economy - supposedly we get extra leg room.

The trip still hasn’t quite “hit” me yet. I’m still waiting for the moment where its “Yes, you are finally on your honeymoon!” I’m sure when it hits, I will quickly add it on to this. To celebrate going on this trip I am wearing my pink Godzilla shirt with him holding a sign that says “Tokyo” trying to hitchhike. It’s pretty cute and I’ve been waiting to wear it for a while, holding off until today. I tried to convince Thomas to wear it, but alas, he doesn’t do pink. Haha. He also doesn’t do matching shirts with me.

Since there is plenty of time to wait at the airport, I thought it would be a great time to write my observations thus far which is mainly about the people around me. There is this Japanese man who has the brightest lime yellow newspaper boy hat on and a similarly matching color shirt. It’s quite bright and noticeable. The other thing that I noticed is the amount of flight attendants that are on our flight. They take up a good chunk of seats and they all seemed to arrive at the same time. They seem to have the same hairdo too – ponytail in the back, colorful scarf at the neck. Granted they are all supposed to be matching. Other then the flight attendants and some of the people who are waiting for the flight, the airport seems rather quiet. Not that is a bad thing, but for some reason I feel that
Mondays should have more of a hustle and bustle feel to it.

We are now a little less than hour before boarding and I’m surprised at seeing how few people there are – or that they are all stuck at the security gate. We are taking ANA and I’m pretty excited about going on a Japanese airline. Not only because I heard the service was great, but also to help really set the mood for our trip.

~ * ~

We just got onto the plane and the premium economy is very nice. The seats are wider and much more leg room. They even have a foot rest that comes up. The plane is very Japanese. They had a program running showing the do’s and don’ts on the flight ~ very cutely animated. They even provide slippers which we can even bring home. They are so comfy and soft ~ beats wearing my sneakers on the plane. Another thing we noticed right away, were the remotes for the TVs. It’s in the seats which you can pop out when you want to use. It comes with an instruction manual. More about it later.

So as we’re exploring the gadgetry and watching the cutely animated do’s and don’ts the plane starts to move. After the safety video – 3D animated, the screen switches to a camera that is on front of the plane. This is pretty neat since we get to see what the pilots see out their window. It was quite mesmerizing. So as we went through the different runways we could see where we were going. It’s quite interesting to see the difference in color of the regular “cruising” lanes versus the take off lane. To put it mildly, regular lanes are concrete color (very light) and the take off lane is black. Now they are made of the same material, so you can imagine the amount skid marks that would make it black. Then off we went and it was quite fun watching us take off and actually see the plane lift from the ground. Kind of like an amusement park rollercoaster ride. The best part is that camera doesn’t turn off once we take off it seems to switch views so that you can see what is underneath the plane. This is great since those of us not next to window can see. I watched it rather intently as we slowly ascended through the clouds. They turn it off on the main screen, but we have the option to turn to it to watch whenever we want.

Soon afterwards when we started to level off they started the cabin service. First thing I have to say is that the flight attendants are very nice and polite. At first I thought they were color coordinated by the cabin they were servicing, but I was wrong. They are all in nicely coordinated blue and pur-ple attire. They started the service by handing out hot warm towels (as well as a very very long international survey. This was followed by drinks and a Japanese snack. I think I prefer the Japanese rice crackers over the peanuts that are usually served. I was quite happy when Thomas didn’t want his. Hehe.

Now to go back to the electronics, because this is why I think I will always fly ANA for any longterm trip. First off, the remote is also a game controller, movie controller and just about everything else. We can start watching a movie whenever we want, stop it in the middle, fast forward, rewind or even start another movie. There are about 14 movies to choose from which is great. I had watched “21” and will follow that with some other ones. The other fun thing is they have some neat games that we can play. For instance, solitaire, blackjack, and some other fun computer type like games. Bonus, is that it’s in all the cabin classes. Many kids are quite occupied by the Disney game. The kids are quite quiet on this flight when I think about it. There are at least 3 babies on board and I haven’t heard them!

The other great thing is that the upgrade gave us seats with an A/C port. So we are able to work on the computer without killing the battery while on the plane. Thomas was quite excited that he could work on his thesis. He already started sketching things in his notebook. So I got the computer to start typing up this blog. Not sure that I’ll be able to keep this up over the course of the trip, but hopefully I’ll have several entries. Granted there are only so many things you can on a plane for 14 hours- so a long first blog will be the result.

At this point we are a quarter of the way to Japan. They have turned down the cabins for “sleep/night” time I think to help us adjust for the day we lose going over. Problem for me is that it’s only 5 pm here. But we got a nice pillow and blanket and some bit of extra room which helps.

So periodically they show a clip of 3 Japanese stewardesses doing exercises in the seats. It’s kind of funny, but at the same time helpful. They were saying to make sure you don’t get too sore to do these different stretches in your seat. The funniest part though - is that once they finish demonstrating a stretch, they all put their hands back together in their seat and just look straight at the screen.

~ * ~

We finally landed and some adrenaline kicked in. I will admit it didn’t really hit me we were in Japan until we got to the hotel and even then not quite. The trek between the airport, train and hotel wasn’t too bad. We rode the Narita Express from the JR line (big train company in Japan). It took about an hour from the airport into Tokyo Station.
We got there and we faced the problem of trying to figure out where we should exit. It’s kind of a crazy station. Fortunately we chose the right exit to take and found the taxi stand. The person was very kind to help us and we got to our hotel pretty quickly. Once we got there we got our room which is a traditional style Japanese tatami room. We decided not to venture out, just showered and let everything sink in. Then we went to bed. The futons were really, really comfortable!!!

Sorry this was so long!

For pictures please go to our albums in photobucket.
Pictures: June 30
Pictures: July 01

Posted by kalara 16:01 Archived in Japan

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