Wednesday, July 21, 2004

20/7/04 Tokyo, Hotel Nikko Narita

Got up early today and caught the red eye special from Adelaide to Sydney. I had to get a bit of a move on at Sydney to catch the connecting flight as there was only about 1.5 hours between flights, luckily there were no hitches, so all went well.

11 hours to Tokyo, it was not as tedious as I thought it was going to be. To while away the time I kept a log of the flight using the passengers navigation system (a good toy).
Didn’t see Port Moresby as it was slightly off to the left (I was on the RHS). A lot of cloud was over New Guinea (as expected) but I could see the Owen Stanleys sticking through, very impressive and I didnt see the tallest part! I took some pictures but they never turn out as well as the actual view.
There was lots of cloud over the Coral sea/Pacific. We overflew Guam and although very cloudy I had worked out our ETA to within a minute. I couldn’t see anything out the window but there on the entertainment screen we passed smack over the airfield.
On then for about 5 more tedious hours over the water, to make landfall not far from Tokyo. Where we crossed the coast there were a string of wind generators clearly visible (and 2 golf courses). One was located completely on an island in a river.

Then we all got off the plane, after about 40 minutes waiting for a parking spot, into 33 degree 50% humidity. It is very sweaty. So much for being forced to wear a wind cheater this morning. Customs was a bit of a let down:
Customs Man "Where are you from, Sydney?"
SWK "and Adelaide before that"
Customs man "Go through then"
Obviously not much getting smuggled from Australia to Japan at the moment.

Got to the hotel along with about 100 other passengers. After booking in I went for a walk in the very warm and muggy evening. No footpaths to speak of in this part of town (Narita) and I almost fell down a manhole! (well not quite). During the walk I found a storm water manhole (approx 800dia), with a big heavy steel lid, open. So I had a look in. Most unusual to have something like that open. A bit further along found a second one open. Both quite proud of the ground, so really people would have to be very unlucky to fall in. However, further along was a third! open and flush with the ground. Much more of a hazard there.

After that I went to tea in the `cheap` restaurant in the hotel. As well as having their menu out the front they also have a display cabinet with models of their meals. The cabinet in front of the chinese restaurant had five little figurines on display as well. 3 were definitely Monkey, Sandy & Pigsy from Chinese mythology, although it wasn’t really clear who the other 2 were. Anyway, what do you have for tea in Japan. Like the old saying, when in Rome do as the Romans, so I had spaghetti. Well I would have had something a bit more local but they only seemed to have seafood, and I am not a great fan of seafood at the best of times.

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