Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bill Arrives in Japan

Well, I can't sleep. I managed to be blissful slumber from between 7:30pm to 2:40 JST but I think it's going to be a while until the circadian rhythms adjust. I took a sleeping pill and some melatonin before bed which seemed to help, but I was exhausted even before hitting the hay.

It only feels like yesterday, but it is now technically two days since I left April, Victoria, and Canada behind. However, I have only had one sleep. They magic of intercontinental flights is powerful.

The flight itself was uneventful. I found it an easier flight than LAX to PPT, although it was approximately the same length. I think the sleeping pill helped as I slept for a good half of the flight. My bag made it from Victoria to Narita in one piece and customs reminded me of U.S. customs in Seattle. My first impression of the airport was one of familiarity. Having been through so many airports in the past five years, I have come to understand that there is only so much one can do with airport design and function outweighs design wherever you must go.

I took a taxi to the airport hotel here in Narita. It is a functional hotel owned or partnered with JAL. They are giving me a complimentary breakfast tomorrow. I wonder if it is going to be the 800 Yen breakfast or the full traditional Japanese breakfast which was 2300 Yen-- I am thinking the former, but I have been looking forward to trying out a traditional Japanese breakfast sometime.

In the hotel gift shop I managed to find the appropriate flat batteries for my bedside travel clock. I received for a stocking stuffer a number of years ago, and I think this is the first time I am using it. I'm sure glad to have it!

Last night I splurged a bit and decided to go to the Sushi bar in the hotel. I had Nigiri Jou-- a standby we have at Sen Zushi in Victoria-- miso soup, and a ginger ale. I was mightily impressed by the quality and freshness of the fish. The Miso soup was unlike any I have had-- it was very dark, had three shelled clams, and little green onions in it. Green onions are common, but the clams were new to me. It was not unenjoyable. The ginger ale came in a little green glass bottle, and emblazoned on its side were the words and logo of Canada Dry. I pointed to the bottle and said "Canada" to the waitress with a smile-- I think she understood I was from there.

Everyone has been friendly and helpful. I have been use lots of arigato, domo arigato, arigato goziumusu, with konichiwa and konbanwa thrown in for good measure. I think it's almost time to start to move onto to some new phrases.

I miss April, but she will be here soon enough. She reports that he cat is confused by my absence and has been wandering around looking for me. I have been providing her with tips and directions on the journey. I guess all that advance-man training is still paying off.

Sayonara for now. It's back to the airport today and up to Sapporo. I arrive in the afternoon, so there should be some time to go out and explore Sapporo around my hotel. I understand Hokkaido is famous for its Ramen noodles, so I will be seeking those out this evening for dinner.

Here are a few initial pictures of the room at the Nikko Hotel, Narita:

(This is me in the Japanese style cotton robe they provided. My heels fall off the back of the little slippers, but that's ok)

1 comment:

  1. Update: Breakfast was a buffet. I tried to do a little bit of everything and there wasn't anything I disliked. - Bill