Location: Narita, Japan

Got up insanely early (6am), drove to airport, waited in several delightful queues, got on a 747, and eventually took off. The highlight of this process was the bitching from the customs officer about “those bloody stupid yanks”, having noticed the stupid big envelope they stapled to my passport along with the visa.

Spent a further delightful ten hours feeling cramped, watching a little pixelated plane getting towards Narita (Tokyo). The food and service on the plane were actually surprisingly good, and it had one of those semi-new-fangled in-flight entertainment systems in every seat, which helped relieve the boredom.

Wandered through the airport (still faster than the travelators though), and was assailed by overly corteuos Japanese efficiency at every turn. The closest I came to getting the slightest bit confused was when the hotel turned out to have an extra word (Nikko) in its name. Even the shuttle bus was exceptionally quiet, clean, and smooth. Chatted to a Canadian guy while waiting (only 5 minutes) for it… he was wearing shorts and t-shirt, and looked decidedly uncomfortable in the 5 degree weather.

Discovered that hotel suites are basically the same the world over. Also discovered, to my exceptional dismay, that not one electrical appliance in the entire room was earthed, including the fridge and lamps with metal bases. This was particularly relevant because it meant that
the travel adaptor I had carefully purchased in Sydney to allow me to recharge the laptop in Japan was useless, leaving me with 30 minutes of battery life to write this entry, and get to the USA. Doh.

Boggled at the fact that the airport starts on the other side of the road from the hotel, yet it took the bus 15 minutes to get here. Surmised that the airport is enormous (duh).

Tired of eating shapes and salsa, and went to check out the restaurant. Paid 1800 Yen (nearly $30 AUD) for a crappy curry chicken that Dong Dong’s would knock out any day of the week for $6.80. Would have liked to try some Japanese food, but the only such thing on the menu (which consisted mostly of things like hamburgers and an “American Club Sandwich with fries”) cost a fortune. Still good to eat something hot, though.

Set the automated wake up call, hoped I got it right, and am now heading off for bed.

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