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16 July 2016 @ 10:23 pm

Two weeks off five years after we said our goodbyes and left, softlykarou and I are back in Japan! And this time with friends! tropicanaomega, tastee_wheat, and a few more people all signed on when we said that we were going to go back to Japan and would anyone like to come, and, well:

The view from the Narita express.

We woke up at five a.m. to make sure that we could shower, eat a leisurely breakfast, finish our remaining travel checklist items, and still make it to the airport on time. And we did. Even though Midway had a three-hour-long line at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday for no reason, we sailed through O'Hare's security in five minutes, got to our gate, and then I wandered around for a while, because I was going to be sitting for almost twelve hours on an international flight and there's no reason to do too much sitting before then if I didn't have to. We boarded our Air Canada flight to Toronto, went through the perfunctory customs screening given to those making international connections, and then settled down to wait.

While we were waiting, we sat across from an elderly East Asian couple talking to each other, and I got a bit discouraged when I couldn't understand a word they were saying. All was explained when a tour guide came by and handed them a map that softlykarou could see was clearly in Korean, though. Oops.

softlykarou's nationalist former co-worker is probably fuming to himself right now and doesn't know why.

The flight boarded late, but once on board we were pleased to see that the projected flight time was an hour shorter than we had thought. Which isn't that much when it's already over twelve hours long, but I'll take it. There's not much else to say about the flight. It was long, it was cramped, the food was tolerable (beef yakiniku, then omelets we picked the sausage off of), someone's toddler kept making a break for business class, softlykarou watched Batman vs. Superman and made a lot of faces, and I played a lot of Dragon Quest IV on my iPad. There was a USB charge port on the back of the seat just under the touchscreen menu, which was a nice surprise.

I especially liked the part where we arrived forty minutes early and then sat on the runway because our gate was still occupied. No good deed goes unpunished.

Japan's customs form was a bit more elaborate:

As the birthplace of the katana, Japan is well aware of the destructive power of swords.

But customs didn't take any real time at all. After maybe an hour we were through, had picked up our wifi (where speaking Japanese prevented a misunderstanding, so hurray me), and were waiting for one of our friends to eat something before picking up our JR Passes and getting on the train to Ikebukuro.

We made it to the hotel, checked in without any trouble, and eventually went out looking for food with 5/7ths of our group, two of them having crashed out in the meantime. We ate ramen from a ticket machine ramen joint, came back to the hotel, and then everyone went to bed.

I'm not going to keep a super exhaustive account of everything I do this trip, because I'll be here for two weeks and writing takes time. But I had a lot of down time on the flight to write in between killing slimes in DQIV. And now, it's time for bed, because for my body it's 8 a.m. and I've been up for 27 hours.

Tomorrow, Japan!
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: 君が代