First trip to Japan
I decided to fly with Jetstar, which I was nervous about given the last four trips I’ve had with them were either cancelled or very delayed. Nevertheless, it was a few minutes late but nothing unusual for most airlines really.
Upon arriving in Narita Japan I felt an instant feeling of ease. I was so tired and dehydrated but it was a very seamless experience. And parts of it gave me a good giggle. Like the lovely camp Japanese employee who bid us a merry welcome and waved us through a couple of trestle tables after having our vaccination statuses by some officials. The next check was about a 15-20 min line shuffle to a row of booths. I said hello to the lady at my booth (just to let her know I don’t speak fluent Japanese haha). She leaned towards me and said in her best slow English “how you feel?” I said “good!” and she smiled and waved me through. The best.
The Narita train station is situated at the airport, along with everything you need on arrival such as sim cards and currency exchange, all the usual things, and all in one area. Down in the train station is where you can exchange your JR pass. I lined up for about 15 min to get mine before deciding it was late and I would prefer to catch my shuttle bus to my hotel where I could eat dinner and shower. With a 2hr time difference for me it was well past my bedtime and I felt it! (I think that’s called aging…)
I didn’t realise how well I had chosen for my first hotel stay in Narita. It’s called Hotel Mystays Narita (I can see the "Art Hotel" from my window, it was meant to be!). I chose Mystays because of the really good room price. AU$129 for a single Queen bed room which I booked, along with all of my accommodation, through Booking.com. It’s absolutely amazing (and shmancy!). A free shuttle bus from the airport (and into the main part of Narita for today to meet my long-time friend Anita), absolutely amazing and lovely staff, a quiet and clean room with the comfiest bed in the world, and vending machines with cans of beer. Hello holiday!
I had dinner in their downstairs restaurant which was a mix of Italian, Western and Indian food, which I was disappointed in because I was hoping for something a bit less carby. I found out after there was a Japanese cuisine restaurant upstairs, my bad. It may have been closed also for Covid reasons.
Even though most of the world has made it past the Covid trauma, Japan has only just recently reopened their borders. They have downgraded the Covid level to the same as the flu but not everything is 100% back to normal yet for them.
Today I am off to see my life-long friend Anita who has been living in Japan with her Japanese husband and son for about the last 20 years or so. She suggested taking me to Disneyland and man I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to reunite with your childhood friend after 12 years of not seeing other, than with a trip to Disney. And some shopping….