#Tokyo #Japan Day 1
JAPAN – ANOTHER WORLD
We made our unexpected flight to London without issue, and stopped over in Frankfurt on our way to catching the 11 hour flight all the way through to Tokyo, arriving early in the morning. I watched a few movies on the flight including Still Alice, True Story and another which can’t have been too good as I have forgotten its name now! I struggled to sleep, but eventually dozed for an hour or so.
What a different world Japan was from any of our other experiences. The airport was very efficient and modern, and while there were English translations on most of the signs, it was in minuscule print making it rather difficult to decipher.
Nevertheless, we found our way to the baggage claim, immigration and customs and out to the arrivals area. The kids were hungry and I scrounged around for something, anything, which looked vaguely familiar to satisfy their hunger. I happened upon a ham and cheese sandwich looking product which would have to do for now, plus some water too. Not that I could find any mineral water. I sure had a hankering for some good fizzy water.
We were directed to the “limousine” bus which would take us through to our hotel at Maihama Bay. The next one was departing in five minutes! So it was a mad dash to the orange coloured bus and we made it! Everyone was rather exhausted and dozed off on the bus.
We were dropped off at the wrong hotel, next door to our one. The staff very kindly drove us bedraggled exhausted looking Australians over to the correct one.
By this time it was 11am. I was informed in broken English by the check in staff that check in was not until 4pm and that if we wanted to check in earlier, it would cost 20,000 yen to check in one hour earlier, 40,000 for two etc. So we decided to check in at 1pm. I had to give of all our passports (this had never happened anywhere else on our travels) to be copied, and seemingly sign away the rights to my first born son (I exaggerate of course), such was the formality of the check in process. We were illegally bringing Ada into the room consisting of four double beds, and so her details weren’t handed over. I kept getting fearful we would be hauled away by the Japanese Secret police.
The hotel foyer was something else indeed, a huge open airy bright expanse, centred around a wedding chapel with massive pink and white ribbons ascending to the top of the 20 storey building which enclosed the foyer on all four sides. There were multitudes of Disney themed shops around, including a Barbie boutique, a Disney poster shop, and a generic disney souvenir shop. We lounged on the lounge chairs (that’s what they were for of course) until our designated 1pm check in, munching on packets of potato crisps, something at least that we were able to recognise in the foyer mini-convenience store!
Finally, it was time for check in. We made our way up to our room on the top floor which overlooked Disneyland and from where we could see the sea and the overflow parking lot which was empty at that time, but which, to our surprise, became filled up on the weekend.
Our room consisted of four double beds lined up in military rows, each pair of beds facing a massive tv screen. One needed an engineering degree to control the toilet, with various heating, washing and drying controls at varying intensity! Who would have thought that perineal hygiene could be so complicated. There was an abundance of complimentary toiletries, all the way down to toothbrushes, day cream, night cream, razors and everything in between. Then there were the sleeping garments provided for all, which all of us took advantage of, except for Ada as it would have formed a trip-hazard train for her. Any anyway, she was fast asleep before too long. There were the house shoes too…..and even a tiny Ada sized pair.
In such a fancy place, we were surprised as to the absence of room service, though my foraging husband returned with some baked goods from the bakery and healthy potato crisps for me.
Everyone was asleep by 5pm. Ada was up at about midnight. Thank heavens for the ipad and fast internet. She had a My Little Pony Marathon through until daybreak.
Tomorrow – DISNEYLAND!!