July 11 – On a Wing and a Prayer!

The day had finally arrived when to board a plane and fly west for an exceptionally large amount of time. I took an Embraer from Chattanooga and then hopped on a 787 to Tokyo-Narita.

Goodbye Chattanooga!

This was my ride to Tokyo. As she glides up to the boarding area.

I had the bright idea to get a window seat so I could look out over Alaska and Canada. As such, this was my view!

Even if the giant wing wasn’t in the way, with the electronically controlled dimming of the windows, the windows were forced to be dark the entire flight so people could sleep (as if anyone could sleep on an airplane!)

One of my uncertainties about this trip was how I was going to pass the time during my 12 hour flight. I don’t exactly love sitting and having nothing to do in a very confined space!

Takeoff

Elapsed Flight Length
17 miles

Spirits are high after takeoff!


Meal Time!

Elapsed Flight Length
865 miles

It’s time for some famously delicious airplane food! On the menu tonight is some BBQ pork. It is not good.

Entertainment: The most recent Hello Internet podcast!

Spirits: Still high


Welcome to Canada

Elapsed Flight Length
1444 miles

I’ve finally crossed our northern border. I have an inexplicable urge to put put gravy and cheese curds on french fries. Alas, I don’t have any of those things. Probably for the best.

Entertainment: Batman vs. Superman.  That movie is silly.  I can’t keep track of anything that’s happening.

Spirits: High eh!  It’s Canada!


Back in the USA!

Elapsed Flight Length
2300 miles

Back in America for the moment as we cross over Alaska for a bit!

Entertainment: Inside Out.  Great movie.  Toward the end someone must have cut open some onions the galley or something…not sure what happened.

Spirits: Fading, along with my childhood apparently.


Ok…this flight is getting long…

Elapsed Flight Length
3322 miles

As we cross the halfway point at somewhere over western Alaska, I’m kind of ready for the flight to be done with.

Entertainment: Trying unsuccessfully to read something on my Kindle.  Watching Groundhogs day off the screen of the person in front of me.  Can’t hear it – don’t really care.

Spirits: Low


Blah…

Elapsed Flight Length
4710 miles

Flying by Russia (which American Airlines thankfully does not fly over). Had a snack at some point…it was decent.

Entertainment: Watched “The Martian” for the thousandth time.  Started fading at the end.

Spirits: In that strange state of being very tired and not being able to sleep.


Finally!

Elapsed Flight Length
6528 miles

After 12 hours of flying, we finally touch down in Narita Japan!

Entertainment: Looking at all of the giant planes parked at Nartia Airport!

Spirits: High, but tired

After touchdown in Nartia, I went through customs and whatnot which was no big deal at all. I think my plane flew in at a down time.

Atlanta, take note, I flew in, got my bag, cleared customs, and arranged transport to Tokyo – all in an unfamiliar language – in about 30 minutes.  That’s about the time it takes Atlanta to get the bags to the belt.

After getting into Tokyo, I successfully navigated the Tokyo subway system to get to my hotel in Shinjuku. I got in at about 6pm and had intentions of doing a walkabout my surroundings and maybe getting a bite for dinner (although I wasn’t hugely hungry)…but then I laid down in bed and was gone for the night.

My hotel is quite nice.  I picked a hotel that’s a bit off of the main drag, but a little nicer (that means a little bigger when it comes to Japanese hotels).

One difficulty I had was trying to get my hotel without any sort of cell service (my Wifi hotspot was waiting for me in my hotel).  I had recently looked at teh route in Google Earth and strangly enough, I rememebred enough to find it without asking anyone for help!

Tomorrow, I don’t have any grand plans aside from figuring out my surroundings and getting acclimated to Japan. I’ve got a few errands to run (gotta get my bullet train pass!) and I’ll scout out a couple sites.

The forecast is calling for rain, so we’ll see what kind of trouble I can get myself into.