Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting to Japan

Leave it to us, we managed to have some major adventures even before we got to Japan. We had looked into getting a Japan Rail Pass for our trip and the morning of, we did the numbers and decided that it would be the best deal for us. The only catch is that you have to buy it before leaving for the U.S. It said online that you could buy the pass from your airline at the airport so we called Japan Airlines to ask and the guy said that they "might" have some- he wasn't sure. Well, we didn't want to chance it so we called a local Japanese travel agency in San Jose who was able to immediately get the passes ready for us. But, San Jose is 20 minutes away and we had less than an hour before we were supposed to leave. We budgeted extra time so my sweet friend Alecia came and picked us up later so that I could drive to and from San Jose to get the passes. We still managed to get to the airport in time for our flight and just out of curiosity, William asked the ticket agent if they had some rail passes to sell. The agent replied that they always have them for sale. The extra trip was totally worth it for me to know that we had them for sure because we our luck, the airport would have run out. We definitely maximized our that pass- we used it on the Shinkansen (what they call their bullet trains) from Tokyo to Kyoto, Kyoto to Himiji, Kyoto to Hiroshima, and back to Tokyo and to the airport. We also used the pass to go to Nikko, Nara, and Miajima. It lasts for seven days and we used several times the value of what we paid for it. Just remember that you need to buy it BEFORE you leave the U.S. :-)

We lucked out and got premium economy class seats for the 11 hour flight!! They kindly upgraded us without us knowing so we were shocked when we sat down because we knew this was not what we had paid for. The premium economy on Japan Airlines basically just has much more leg room, wider seats, moveable lights, and a little greater ability to recline, though not as much as business or first class. Since it was a 777, we were able to watch movies and shows. I couldn't stomach finishing 2012- it was just so bad that I fell asleep. I also watched a movie about how every cut is so important in Japanese cooking. But I mainly slept and read. The food was ok as far as plane food goes. I didn't get very much sleep on the plane so I ended up going to bed quite early (9 pm) when we made it to our hotel on Wednesday night, March 3rd. By nature, I am very much a night owl except on this trip. Most of the temples and shrines in Japan close by 5, some earlier, so we generally woke up between 6 and 7 am and then would go non-stop until 8 or 9 pm at night. William is the best traveling companion because we both love to cram everything possible into our trip. And Japan is definitely a walking city with lots of stairs at the temples so I was just exhausted every night when we got back. I could not stay awake if I tried and William has stories of many funny conversations that I had with him while I was half asleep (most of which I don't remember). But don't worry, I'm back to my late night ways here :-)

1 comment:

Rach said...

I can't wait to hear all about the trip!
Glad you made it to the airport in is NOT fun running through the airport or panicking while you are waiting to go through security.