Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Japan April 5-6, 2010
April 5-6, In transit: E-ville to Fukuoka
I want to sleep
Swat the flies
Modan da/Kiree da to omoimashita
I thought it was modern/beautiful
United flight is three hours late. The good news: they reach us before we head to SFO so we don’t leave as early for the airport. The bad news: the last hour delay means we miss our connection to Fukuoka unless we switch to another flight and move down from business class to economy. We opt to stay with our comfy biz seat/beds and rebook to take the last flight out of Tokyo to Fukuoka.
In Tokyo, we land to see the largest non-moving immigration line in our airport history. It appears to be well over two hours long, maybe 300-400 people queuing; they are fingerprinting and photographing everyone (not sure if that is the holdup, it is a slow process). DB finds a sympathetic agent that allows us jump the line so we can make our connection, otherwise we would be taking the first flight in the morning to Fukuoka.
Domestic security is one slow line, even with only 6 people in front of us (is this a trend, we hope not!), You can take large bottles of liquids through, do not have to take off your shoes, and can scan your own boarding passes. Something tells me that domestic airline terrorism is not such a huge worry here.
In the airport, we buy sushi-to-go, for $15 we get 11 pieces in a box, and I get the sea urchin, clams, eel, half the tamago (egg?), and two fish, DB gets scallops, half the tamago, salmon eggs, and 3 fish. Fresh made, pretty good. One mochi (sweet bean paste in a green soft “mochi” flavored rice paste layer), $2. The guy selling says in English: eat within two hours. No problema, senor. Arigato gozaimas. Hai!
Bassu-ruumu update: the airport toilet stalls have short poles with toddler seats on top of them so you can bring your baby into the stall with you and not have to put the kid on the floor or your lap. Obviously, I had never seen anything like this before.
Also in the airport, I see two young security guys approach each other and salute briskly. One guy then appears to hand the other one a candy bar. More salutes, and off they go to providing more security.
Our flight to Fukuoka is delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft. Since this is the last flight of the day, to be expected. More than half the flight is female, including kids which all seem to be girls. The plane (and the airport) are very hot, which makes for an uncomfortable flight, along with Japanese size seat cramping our knees.
We check-in at the Grand Hyatt and our room is very very nice. There are three ways to take a shower, a toilet that needs a 4 page user’s manual (see picture), and a king size bed that is hard without being too hard. Plus: Bonus round! Free high-speed access with router and cable provided in the room.