Flight delayed, only about 30 minutes.
After about 10 hours flight, we arrived in Tokyo Narita airport after 5pm on Sunday. I had been to this airport numerous times, never going to Japan! This time we actually had to go through immigration and customs. The line at immigration checkin was real long, however, after waited patiently for about 15 minutes, we were redirected to a bunch of newly opened agents, so we got through pretty quickly.
We got some money at the ATM, then we found a cell phone rental at the airport and got a cell phone. (Later we found cheaper rates closer to the train station, so don't get it at the airport right away, go down a few levels to near the train station!)
I had researched about traveling around Japan by Rail before coming, so we were armed with vouchers for the Japan Rail pass we got back home, and found a JR (Japan Rail) office in the airport on the way down to the train station.
Our 777 to Japan
We exchanged the vouchers for the real pass and selected the starting date for our 7 day pass. If we were staying longer then it may make sense to get a 14 day or even two 7 day passes. The 7 days are consecutive so if you are going to be in one city for a while, then it may make sense to get 2 7-day passes etc. Because we are going to try the fastest bullet train (Nozomi) which is not covered by the JR pass, so I picked the optimal dates for the rest of the trip.
The thing I was worried most about this trip was the train travel, whether we would be able to find the station, navigate inside to find the boarding area and not miss our trains because the connection time was between 15-20 minutes usually. At the airport, we bought the tickets to Tokyo because our JR pass start date is not today, and found our way without problems.
Arrived in Japan, Kevin waits to board the Keisei Skyliner at the airport to Tokyo
I did have some trouble getting through the turnstiles with my luggage, too slow! After getting to our stop at Shimbashi
, we tried to find a map and locate our hotel. There was a free booklet in the station, with maps or several stations and surrounding areas. However, we didn't notice they did not point the top of the map at North until after we walked inj the wrong direction for a few minutes. After going back and exiting at the correct exit from the station, the hotel was clearly visible and very close from the station. We checked in and noted the high-tech toilet in the bathroom. The room was pretty nice, the bathroom has both shower and tub, and lots of amentities. OK, we are in Tokyo and ready for our adventure in Japan!
Tokyo Hotels & Accommodations review
Convenient Tokyo Hotel
I found this relatively cheaper 4* hotel in Tokyo, at about $200 per night. The location is very convenient, less than 5 minutes walk from the Shimbas… read entire review
Tokyo General Tips & Advice review
Traveling by train in Japan, JR pass
To go from a part of Japan to another, the train is probably the most convenient way to travel. For foreign visitors, the JR (Japan Rail) pass is a go… read entire review