Sunday, May 31, 2009

Japan Day 0 - I'm in Tokyo!

I had a great flight to Tokyo. Right now I'm waiting in the northwest lounge for my next flight at 6:20pm Japan Time, and enjoying the free wifi. The great part of reserving your frequent miles ticket 9 months in advanced is that amount of points needed to upgrade to business class is just a little bit more. So for the first time in my life I got to ride in the front of the bus!

The first class seats on the domestic flights (mco->atl->dtw) are wider and bit more leg room but not much more comfy than coach. The seats are almost vertical in pitch and I ended up using the extra legroom to slouch to get comfy.

Japan Day 0

Now the business class on the 747 is super nice. The seats fold out flat for sleep (however not horizontal). The food was great and it was nice to be called "Mr. Doll". I sat on the upper deck (super cool) and it felt like I was riding in a small luxury jet. I couldn't hear a single crying baby!. The overhead bins were a lot smaller- my bag had to be turned side ways to fit but it wasn't a big deal because no one up there brought very much (after all you have to carry it up a flight of stairs). Another nice thing was the side storage bin between the window and the seat. It was large enough to stash the pillow and blanket when I didn't need them.

Japan Day 0

The inflight media system made the time fly by after I got some sleep. Great selection of movies!

I had been warned to expect a arrival delay because of the paranoid bird flue checks they are doing but for us it only took about 5 minutes.

Japan Day 0

Our plane pulled in right next to the Delta 747 So I got a couple of pictures of but none of them are great because of how they routed us on our way out.

One interesting difference from my travels to Europe is that I didn't immediately exit and go through customs. Apparently I will do that when I get to Osaka. So I filled out all the customs paperwork for nothing. One thing that caught me off guard is that your only allowed to bring 200,000 yen (about $2,000) worth of personal property in the country with you. Which freaked me out because Laptop + camcorder would exceed this but looking online there are exceptions not listed on the small card I got on the plane -

"Clothes, toiletries, and other personal effects for your personal use, as well as portable professional equipment that will be used during your stay in Japan, are all free of duty and/or tax, if they are considered quantitatively appropriate and are not for sale." So - I'm good!

More Photos

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost Time

Well it's just a couple of hours till I leave. The bags are almost packed. This laptop will be the last item!

Double checking the list and I'm going to get a hint of sleep before I leave home at 3:00 am!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Getting Packed

Ah. The joy of packing. I'm shaking with excitement. I depart in about a day and half!

So I'm trying to go as light as possible. In the past, this means a single carry-on suitcase but this time I'm packing a little bit more. So far I have 4 bags: Backpack, Camera bag, Rolling carry-on and a small duffel to check. So not as light as I would like, but it is a 5 week trip and I still can pass Study Aboard's packing test- can you carry all your stuff up 3 flights of stairs? Yes!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2 Weeks

Wow it's hard to believe how fast time flies. I started my summer studio class this past week and now we are getting seriously close to when we leave for Japan. It's going to be great. I leave early May 31st early and will be in Osaka late on June 1st. Depending on internet availability, I plan on posting a lot of my photos and videos online while I'm there.

Stay Tuned