Journey to Tokyo

I love Tokyo, as I expected I would.  Though I’ve only officially been in Japan about 24 hours, it’s been an extremely positive experience so far, starting with the flight…

The Flight: LAX – HND

The cab driver called just as I was throwing the last item in my over stuffed suitcase — perfect timing. It was a short ride to LAX from West Hollywood and a quick breeze through check in and security. My attempts to upgrade to business class  failed, but I was confirmed for Delta’s new Economy Comfort seating instead (it’s free for Diamond and Platinum medallions).  There was a noticeable amount of extra leg room and a LOT more recline. Luckily I also had the entire row to myself and stretched out across the 3 seats (my bootleg version of the full flat bed seats in business class) for a nice 6 hour nap after I finished watching 3 Idiots. Overall, it was a pretty decent flight – no babies crying and very little turbulence.

Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport)

We arrived in Tokyo on time, around 5am (1pm PST) and I felt very well rested.  Everything is so clean and organized and everyone is exceptionally nice. Given it was so early in the morning, immigration was even a breeze  digital fingerprints, a quick photo and the standard security questions and I was on the other side.  I even made a new friend, Tacuma, who lives less than 15 minutes away from me in Los Angeles.  Being the advanced Japanese speaker and future linguist that he is, he gave me one of his Japanese – English dictionaries to help me along the way.   It saved me trip to the store and has really come in handy!  Thanks Tacuma! :-)
I exchanged some cash (1 USD ~ 80 Yen) and bought a pass for the Airport Limousine bus for 800 Yen ($10).  The metro is also available for about 200 Yen less.  I opted for the bus which offers door to door service for many of the hotels, instead of having to make a transfer on the metro and walk several minutes to get to my hotel, while dragging my luggage along with me.  I had the entire bus to myself and spent half the trip piecing together Japanese phrases to chat with the driver.

Park Hotel Tokyo

The Park Hotel Tokyo is situated atop the Shiodome Media Tower in the Shiodome area of Tokyo. It’s amazing views, close proximity to public transportation and numerous attractions made it a great choice.  Not to mention they are currently offering a special which includes breakfast, free mini bar access and free internet. I’m also looking forward to taking advantage of some of the aromatherapy spa services if time allows.

After having a traditional breakfast at the hotel, I dropped off my bags and headed out.  I spent my first day exploring the Shinagawa, Shiiodome and Shibuya areas.  I have a laundary list of places and things I can’t wait and already know I want to come back again in the near future!

You can also check out a few photos from the trip on the Absolute Travel Addict Facebook page and subscribe for more updates and tips for your next trip to Tokyo (coming soon)!
I have a few days left, so if you have any suggestions on places to go, things to do and other advice, please share!

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  • Sondra says...

    Enjoy reading your travel posts, I like your conversational writing style. You bring the reader along with you for the ride. Had thought about putting Tokyo on my travel list, after your post I think I’ll be making plans! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Sondra! Definitely give Japan a try. I was there way too short of a time to really dig in, but what I did experience was awesome!

  • AJ says...

    Hi I found your Website in a forum and decided to check it out. It’s great and very interesting. I was wondering if you are a travel writer and travel for your work, combined your hobbie with workd so to speak?

    • Hi AJ. I only write part time and do marketing and other work to fund my travels.

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