Los Angeles International Airport (9:50 Pacific Standard Time)
I went to bed at 2 AM pacific after posting the day -1 recap. Why -1? Simple, 1 day until I land in Japan. Anyway, I set my alarm for 7 AM to give myself plenty of time to wake up & mentally prepare for the long journey ahead. I surprised myself by waking up an hour ahead of time. So much for sleep. I’m pretty sure that 4 hours will be enough to at least make it on to the plane without falling down.
After cleaning up & double checking my belongings were all packed away safely I tried to check out electronically but the hotel system did not accept my request. So off to the lobby to check out & catch the shuttle to the airport.
The ride was much shorter than I had anticipated & I was at my terminal within 5 minutes. After getting a good idea of my surroundings I headed to the Korean Air counter after failing self check-in. A very cute counter girl asked if anyone was going to Narita. I raised my hand & got express service. Bonus!
Of course I was enjoying looking at her. She was trying not to laugh at my shirt (the fortune cat giving the Stone Cold Salute) but she let out a few smiles here & there. Once my check-in was completed I grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonald’s & then off to the dreaded security. This time it was completely quiet & the TSA staff were completely friendly. I got through the check point rather quickly & that felt weird.
Then the long wait to board. I tried to connect to the public wi-fi since I heard it was free. Nope. $5 for an hour of access. I ponied up the cash & finished this part of the post along witn tweeting with peeps. As I was writing this part I saw the flight crew. Hiro was joking that I was going to see a bunch of old aunties with permanent stink faces. I was expecting at least c-level K-Pop girl group hotness.
What I got is what Atron from NSK mentioned. K-drama level hotness. That I can live with. Only 30 minutes to boarding time & about 20 before my hour of net access is up. Next update from Narita or Tokyo.
Hotel Wing International Korakuen (01:02 AM JST)
My flight from Los Angeles to Narita was fairly uneventful and I found Korean Air to be a pretty great airline to fly. Their seats were not as cramped as JAL and the experience was similar to that I had with EVA Air back in 2006. Meaning that there was plenty of eye candy to keep my can’t sleep ass entertained.
Man, those Korean Air flight attendants are FINE. And only a couple were either fugly or fit within the “auntie” category. I was pleased with the view for the 11 or so hours I was on the plane. For the first couple of hours I watched the movie adaptation of the Hasbro game Battleship. That movie was total crap by the way. I’ll be sure to find some other piece of shit Hollywood production to watch on my way home.
I also had my laptop to keep me entertained. I ended up watching SCANDAL’s Temptation Box Tour and 2NE1’s Nolza Tour which helped kill about 4 hours. I have to admit that as I hit the 9th hour I was getting a bit of cabin fever and was praying that the plane would go faster so I could get off the damn thing. I tried to sleep the remaining hours away and in total I had about an hour and 45 minutes of rest.
Yeah, I don’t do well on long haul flights.
When the plane finally arrived at Narita we were an hour early. Wonderful. As soon as I got off the plane I could feel and smell the humidity in the air. My hoodie was not going to do me any good here. The temperature at 2 in the afternoon was 32 degrees celcius not counting the humidity. It felt a lot like 35 – 36 degrees.
Let’s put it this way, I was in the airport and I was working up a sweat just standing there. Now that’s hot. Much like my trip 5 years ago I got randomly selected for bag inspection. I was clean & by the time I cleared customs it was 3:30 in the afternoon and even hotter on the ground level of the airport.
I had to wait for my shuttle bus for about 30 minutes and ended up sitting with bunch of tourists from what sounded like mainland China. The bus was air conditioned and the cool air allowed me to catch up on lost sleep from the plane ride. Then things got interesting once I got dropped off at the Tokyo Dome hotel.
My sense of direction is fairly bad and I ended up walking the opposite direction of my hotel once I was dropped off. I ended up asking random people on the street how to get to the area where my hotel was located. That failed miserably and eventually I found the land mark that indicated my destination was near. That was was the amusement park in Tokyo Dome City.
Once I found that it was all gravy. Of course I was all gross & sweaty by the time I got to the hotel & tried to check in as quickly as possible. I ran into Dave and Anthony from New School Kaidan on my way in. I kind of skipped formalities because, well.. I was all gross & sweaty.
After checking in I found my room. Which really isn’t much of a room, but more of a cube with a bathroom. It’s really small. I thought the pictures I saw from other travelers were exaggerating but nope. The room is really small. Take a look at the picture in the gallery & you’ll see that I am not shitting you. I am not a tall person and I felt like I was a basketball player in this room.
Anyway, I dumped all my stuff, cleaned up, visited Hiro and went back to the lobby to properly greet my peeps. When everyone was ready we headed off to find some food. We settled on a Chinese food place and it was much different from North American Chinese food.
Normally when you get Chinese, it’s all greasy and makes you sleepy after. This take on the food was cooked in a manner that didn’t make you feel sick after eating it. It was good stuff and we all got our fill. Once that was done it was off to a supermarket to stock up on hydration for the days ahead. I ended up getting a lot of Gatorade equivalents, a smoothie drink and Cherry Coke.
After that we dropped Anthony off at the JR Suidobashi station, headed back to the hotel to configure our rental phones and called it a night.