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11-hour non-stop LAX-NRT

Tokyo Travel Blog

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My life for the next year in these bags.
So, here I am again on another trip half-way across the world to Tokyo. Only this time, instead of on a study abroad program, I'm working as an English conversation instructor. I know, original right?

International flights never seem to get any easier. Instead of flying one of the dreaded US carriers like Northworst however, I went with Korean Air which made the trek a little more bearable. Highlights from the flight include being spoken to in a mix of three languages, Korean, Japanese, and English, as well as the in-seat group stretching exercises. It was funny to see hands and arms stretching in unison over the tops of the seats.

I arrived at Narita in the afternoon Thursday and was glad to be back on the ground.
However, a slightly empty feeling came over me once I reached the main terminal where, instead of a group of foreigners huddled around the waiting room and people holding signs with my name on it, there was just the regular bustle of an international airport terminal. That's when I realized that this trip is going to be much different than my last. My Japanese skills were immediately tested as I went through customs, exchanged my cash, and sent my two bags via the delivery service. Once again, such simple tasks become a daily battle.

Another hour and a half into the city brought me to my first destination that I'm sure every foreigner on a budget has traveled to: Sakura Hotel in Hatagaya. The room was about walk-in closet size with a breath-taking view of the staircase in the next building, but it was perfect for one night.
a familiar sight
Nearly starving and fully jetlagged, I hobbled over to a ramen shop (on recommendation by one of the very friendly staff members) and had clam-base ramen and a frosty mug of Asahi. It was cho oishii. Hatagaya is a nice part of town, convenient and comfortable, not a bad place to live if I had to.

A hot shower brought the end to my first night in Tokyo, a little before 9pm. I was dead tired but glad to know that, even after two years, the city had not changed; vending machines and convenience stores are on every corner, neon lights and vertical signs cover the buildings, and the crowds of Japanese people rush around in their silent, mysterious ways.
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My life for the next year in these…
My life for the next year in thes…
a familiar sight
a familiar sight
I tried to get a shot of the in-fl…
I tried to get a shot of the in-f…
final decision? dr. pepper.
final decision? dr. pepper.
clam ramen and beer!
clam ramen and beer!
I will try this one day!
I will try this one day!
Tokyo
photo by: maka77