Such a lonely day shouldn't exist. Sayanora Japan.

Narita Travel Blog

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Leaving Japan from Narita.
Last minute shopping and back home :(

I had everything ready to go and checked out, but I left my luggage at the storage area in the hostel for now.  I went back to Asakusa for some last minute shopping, I figure the best place to get some souvenirs and Japanese pastries is Nakamise-dori street.  I bought some pastries, and an assortment of souvenirs for my family.  Picked up my luggage at the hostel, and took the train for Tokyo station for Narita Airport Terminal 2.  But before boarding the Narita Limited Express train, make sure to get a seat reservation, free if you have the oridinary JR pass.
  Apparently all the cars are reserved.  It took almost 1 hour to get to Narita terminal 2, returned my cellphone to the carrier, and checked-in for Japan Airlines.  

The check-in process was simple, and the Japanese employees were very friendly and helpful.  I pass through the detector gates without any problems.  The security was light, they didn’t have me taking off my shoes or belt, and going to double metal detectors.  There was no hassle whatsoever.  I figure taking a flight back to Los Angeles, United States would require more security checks, but it was the complete opposite.  On the other hand going back from the Philippines to the United States is a different story.   I walked around the many shops inside the airport as I waited for JAL to board the  passengers.
  I bought some more Japanese pastries and chocolate, a bottled water and some snacks to eat while on the plane.  Boarded the plane at 530 pm, I was lucky to have an aisle seat, most of the passengers were Japanese, and sat next to this 2 Japanese couple.  I spent most of my time in the plane watching Japanese movies subtitled in English; I couldn’t sleep at all.

Touchdown Los Angeles

The flight back to Los Angeles took just 9 hours 30 minutes compared to 11 hours going to Tokyo.  I arrived at LAX, got questioned by the custom and border officer, and this officer kept looking at me and my passport, he had a hardtime distinguishing me from my passport photo because my hair was down and was a mess.
Last minute shopping before departure.
  He asked me a whole bunch of questions, what I did for a living, why was I born in Saudi Arabia, and what my real nationality is.  He let me pass through after finding out I was Filipino because he is Filipino himself also.  I got lucky there, I thought I would get detained for questioning. 

Because I bought all those pastries, and the fact that I took Japan Airlines meant I was in the international foreign airplane terminal, so getting out of there took me more than 30 minutes.   And the fact that I also bought pastries meant I had to go to another line where they x-rayed my luggage for the food contents that I bought.  I got out of terminal 2, and was hassled by some African-Americans claiming to be airport volunteers.  They ask if I needed help, and when they help you, they hassle you that they are part of an organization to help poor children, so they ask for donations in cash.
  I wasn’t going to get hassled twice, because they did that to me before I left for Japan.  I waved my arms and hands to tell him to bug-off.  That guy was really annoyed, and I felt good waving him off.  

I went to the local terminal to check-in, and they wanted me throw away my water bottle, annoyed by this, I did it anyways, I understand that was their job.  But before taking the bus towards the gate, I exchanged all of my Japanese yen for dollars.  The lady at the counter said they don’t take Japanese 1 yen or 5 yen coins.  So I was left with a whole bunch of 1 and 5 yen coin souvenirs.  I boarded the bus to the local domestic gate.  I wanted to call my mom, but my cellphone battery died.  I waited for an hour before boarding the plane.
The flight I will be taking.
  It took less than 1 hour to get from LAX to Fresno, California.  As the plane descended, I looked out the window to see Fresno and the surrounding area.  I was too depressed to come back to this city, so I closed the window.  I was greeted by mom and brother after I picked up my luggage, and headed towards our home in northwest Fresno.  

This was my first major travel experience on my own, and it was a great success.  All the planning I did beforehand paid off big time.  Even I was surprise that I managed to get around Japan so easily and see all the sites I wanted to visit.  Japanese people as I have said prior were so friendly, helpful, and polite.  Everywhere I went in Japan, people were courteous and respectful of other people and their surrounding environment.
Aisle seats are almost as good as window seats imo.
  I’m fortunate to have met so many fellow solo travelers in this trip who were also in similar mindset that I was in, to just travel, learn, and explore the culture of Japan.  14 full days went by really fast, I wish I could have stayed longer, I wish I could have taken the initiative to have seen more of the world during the last 4 years that I’ve been working.  But this is just the first step, and I gained a lot from this experience.  As Kentaro Oe from the anime Golden Boy would say, “Life is study.”  And I learned a lot about Japan from planning to finally visiting.  I’ll definitely be back; Japan to me is one of those countries that I just have to come back to.
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Leaving Japan from Narita.
Leaving Japan from Narita.
Last minute shopping before depart…
Last minute shopping before depar…
The flight I will be taking.
The flight I will be taking.
Aisle seats are almost as good as …
Aisle seats are almost as good as…
In-flight entertainment.
In-flight entertainment.
photo by: ellechic