Japan

Entry Info

4th (Mon)
Jan 2010

[day1] JL717 Narita to Bangkok

JALFirst Class Check in CounterThe limousine bus drove me to Narita Airport along the Tokyo high way at dawn. As it was a holiday season, I was worried about the traffic condition but the early morning on New Year eve doesn't cause any traffic jams and the bus arrived at Narita Airport Terminal 2 before 7 o'clock. Besides, few people were there and only a couple of them were waiting in front of the check in counters which hadn't opened yet. No sooner had I joined them than the counter opened and I started checking in.

Check in

JAL first class counter in Narita was indeed just a ordinary counter. While I heard some international airports have services which let customers sit on soft sofas and process the ticket, this time doesn't vary with the usual economy class counters. Well, it was only a short process to leave my luggage and check the passports and tickets and doesn't take long anyway. Incidentally, my check-in luggage had 23KG weight including the carry-on luggage of the laptop and the camera equipment, the total weight of my luggage was almost 30KG. I'm wondering how this figure will change hereafter. Actually as part of my luggage consists of souvenirs, the bag should become lighter as I give out these gifts.

JAL First Class Lounge

JALFirst Class LoungeAfter crossing the passport control, the JAL first class lounge was in front of me and I entered there immediately. The truth to be told, it was my first experience of entering a lounge at the airport and my heart was beating faster than usual. I may be flattering myself but it's first class indeed. I wouldn't have come there unless I'd used such a tricky technique.

Nevertheless the first word uttered from my mouth was 'Hmm.' Though they are well furnished and the airplanes seen though the windows are beautiful, I would say they lacked a sort of premium atmosphere which rouses your inspiration. I know I was comparing with Park Hyatt which is an embodiment of premiums but the lounge should be on a par with the hotel. Taking a seat at the business centre and updating the blog with a light meal, the boarding time had come much earlier than I felt. I went for the boarding gate making final phone calls in Japan.

Bording

JAL First Class SkysleeperAnd at last, I was on board. The priority lane induces a bit of my feeling of superiority. Again however, the seat disappointed me because its type was way too old style. Even though I had known the fact that the old type would be used on the flight, I couldn't be shocked as I was thinking about cutting edge first class seats. Well, I can use them later. Typically, the flight from London to Sydney will be Qantas A380's first class. This must be the real one.

Actually, despite the previous complaint, the seat was way better than normal economy seats. I had 4 windows by my full flat seat. Since it was a day time flight, I didn't recline it completely but it was a nice refreshing nap on the seat.

In flight services

Japanese LunchDue to the lack of sleep and a little jet sickness, I decided to have a light weight Japanese course. What is more, since there will be fewer chances to eat a decent Japanese meal as of now, it was a good chance to eat the one when it's possible. The theme was Winter Taste of Japan and there are many dishes of Fugu fish! I guess, actually I don't have many experiences to eat formal Japanese dishes but anyway the meal was excellent. Besides, the Japanese Sake which went really well with Sashimi added extra enjoyment.

I still didn't find any feelings of leaving from Japan maybe because of the atmosphere made by a Japanese company JAL. I know a person who always uses non Japanese flight companies when he goes to abroad because this prompts his feelings towards abroad. Surely my flight kept a totally Japanese atmosphere. Incidentally, we had 3 stewardesses for 8 passengers in first class. Whenever I asked them something, they responded very politely. Although we see a lot of negative news about JAL's business in these days, I realised their service for the top level remained unsurpassed.

Arrival

After the 7 hour flight, the airplane arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. On Arrival it was very hot and humid as if I'm in a soft sauna. Though it's actually winter, it is definitely hotter than Japanese summer. I used a taxi for the accommodation and the strange view through the window made me realise that I at last had come to a different country.

Entry Info

3rd (Sun)
Jan 2010

[day1] airport limousine

At 5 o'clock in the morning, at the empty lobby in the Park Hyatt, I didn't even feel a sensation for the departure on the round the world trip although I was waiting for the limousine bus for the airport holding a huge backpack. In the dark before the dawn, I just left a word 'See you.' and stepped onto the bus. I had known the fact that I'm leaving for far abroad but the farewell was simple as if we had promised to meet again the next day.

Maybe my feelings toward the idea of farewell were distorted due to the international student life in Australia. During the days when I was studying on the language course, we had a lot of farewell parties as students came and graduated every week and always said 'Good bye.', 'See you again.', and 'Keep in touch.' I’d wept often at first, however as time went by and the farewells became a weekly routine, tears seldom dropped from my eyes.

Thanks to the advanced aviation technologies, the temporal distance is surprisingly short. Anybody can reach the main cities of the world within 24 hours though overseas travel was very limited only 50 years ago. If I push myself hard, it is always possible to visit someone who I want see. What is more, by using the internet technologies like facebook, skype, and email, we can make contacts literally free. In terms of the mental distance, we should be able to bring it under our control, however the physical distance is long.

A meeting and a parting are two sides of the same coin. I, who realised that continuous hope lets me to see my friends again, won't shed tears due to anxiety and loneliness. The bus departed to the air port with me a little bit reluctantly watching the dawn view of Tokyo.

Entry Info

31st (Thu)
Dec 2009

[day0] Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo Since the first flight left Narita Airport in the morning and the distance between Shizuoka which is my home town and the airport is too long to make a direct trip on the day, I decided to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo as this has long been a dream of mine. It's much easier and safer to take an airport limousine bus as it takes me to the airport terminal directly and in case I overslept the hotel staff would shake me out of the bed. Incidentally, the airport limousine is not for hotel users only. Maybe you can use it someday. I can certainly recommend using it.

I have been longing to stay at this Park Hyatt Tokyo with someone special for more than 5 years. Surprisingly, one of my sisters got a job there some years ago and its restaurants became much more accessible than before but staying still seemed out of my league. Nevertheless, this is the last chance for the next year and staying there would match the concept of this trip of going to various sorts of places. Finally, I made up my mind to book a normal deluxe type room with a rack rate as there is no discount available for the holiday season.

Club on the Park

The image with which I come up when I talk about Park Hyatt is gym and pool area located on the 46th floor of the building. Unfortunately, I couldn't take photos as there are other visitors but I really enjoyed being there. A spacious high ceiling and a dazzling Tokyo night view, though the pool is not that big (only 20m), if I could exercise here every day I would work out harder than ever. I didn't enter the spa area, but 1km of crawl made my stomach ready for the dinner.

The Last Supper

Park Hyatt TokyoThe Last Supper was held at the New York Grill & Bar which as well as the hotel itself had been brought into the spotlight by an Oscar winning movie, ‘Lost in Translation.’ This time we sit at table near window and I thought any girl would be positively knocked out by this view and atmosphere. We ordered beef steaks for the main and some a la carte menu as I had insider information that their course menu would bloat my stomach. Although I guess there are many better restaurants than there but the rib eye steak I had there is the best for now. I’m looking forward to eating some in Australia and Argentine.

New York BarAfter the restaurant, we had a dessert which had a surprising message from my sisters at the bar. With listening to live music and eating delicious sweets, I felt as if I'm in an inside of a movie. Multilingual conversations could be heard over the tender rhythms of foreign musicians. I was wondering about the country where I was at the time. I guess it was the best place to ponder over the worlds I'm going to for this trip.

A comfortable room

Park Hyatt TokyoThe quality of the room was actually awesome. In fact, I had stayed at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo and this place compared favourably, in fact, I’d even say I prefer the design of the Park Hyatt. A simmering plain light behind a mini bar, a big bath tub in a massive marble setting, a large, simple bed, I feel comfortable with this less decorative design style. As I stretched out in the roomy bathroom, I considered having a room like this myself in the future.

The pool with night view, the delicious meal, the generous bath and bed, I had a fabulous time like a dream and woke up from a real dream at 5:00. It's almost the time for the airport limousine.

Where I am

Loading map..

On Twitter

Loading Tweets..

Recent Entries

From Flickr

  • Big Beach Festival 11
  • Big Beach Festival 11
  • Big Beach Festival 11
  • Big Beach Festival 11

Powered by

  • expression engine
  • midPhase
  • 世界一周ブログランキング参加中

First Class Backpacker © Satoshi Onoda. All rights reserved.