In Japan Day 2, part 2

June 24th, 2009 4:06 pm

I’m feeling so much better that I got some good night’s rest. I only slept for about 6 hours, but that shouldn’t matter.

Looking back, the flight experience yesterday was both good and bad.  The bad – my seat didn’t recline.  The good – I didn’t know wine was free with the meal on international flights.  More good – on the first flight, we got the row right behind the first class area – row 5 on this chart – that it was really comfortable.  More good – on the international flight, we sat 5 seats behind the main cabin exit – row 25 on this chart – that exiting out of the airplane was really easy, which helps a LOT after that.  By exiting early, we were one of the first ones in the immigration control area.  They opened the aircraft door at around 5:30PM, a bit behind the schedule, but we were legally in the country of Japan by 6:00PM.

The difficult part is actually getting these seats.  Since we fly Northwest, and Northwest reserves these front section of the economy seats to Elite members, they are normally inaccessible to us.  I only discovered that they open up these seats to everyone close to 24 hours before the departure, at which time I jumped on to these couple seats.  Another bonus for these seats – it’s so much quieter, being in front of the engines.  I highly recommend sitting in this area if you can manage it.

Once we left Narita Airport, (use the map’s zoom to see approximately where that is in Japan, since Google Map display everything in Japan in Japanese), with my uncle driving us, we stopped at a local sushi restaurant, a recommended place by my uncle.  It was a big hit with me, and as for minisylf – I think she was too tired to enjoy it fully.  She still liked the fact that she got her first sushi (She wanted some at the Minneapolis airport too.  I had to convince her out of it, because we were so close to real sushi, and the packaged sushi at the airport looked dry and icky…).

Right now, we are in a city that was once called Omiya-shi.  Around FIFA World Cup in 2002, they merged several cities to form Saitama-shi, a new big prefectural center of Saitama prefecture. (Wikipedia link)  More fun will unfold today.  It’s 6:45AM.  People will start to get up soon, and we are off to some more fun.

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