Greetings from Japan!

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Approximately 28 hours after I left my house yesterday, I have made it to my hotel room in Tokyo. It took three flights, an express train, a cab, and a little luck to get here, but it is worth it.

I was pretty nervous about the language issue before coming since I know roughly zero Japanese, but I’ve been shocked at how many things are written and said in both English and Japanese thus far. Of course, I haven’t strayed from the tourist hot spots, but it has been much easier than I expected.  I mean, they have Coke so for better or worse you know it is at least somewhat Americanized.  😉

I’ll post a better update once I get some sleep, but while I am on my “high” of making it here more or less by myself (though there were a few other Flyertalkers on my flight) I wanted to share my feeling of “you can do it, too”. You may be a stay at home mom wiping boogery noses most of the time (the hardest job on earth), but you can also get some coverage for the kiddos and make it to Japan to stay at one of the nicest hotels in the world on points by yourself, if you want.

It is an amazing and humbling feeling to know just how big the world is, and that it is there for you to explore. 20130328-204147.jpg

Now excuse me while I try to figure out how to work this fancy heated toilet.



  1. Did you buy a japanese rail pass? It a great and cheap way to travel. From Tokyo to Kyoto its about 2 hours if you choose the right bullet train.

  2. I will be going to Tokyo, Japan for the first time also. Fill us in on what hotel you are staying and how to get there from the Narita airport. Thanks

  3. Going to Tokyo in late November as a stop on the way to HKG. Coming into Narita in the evening. How was customs and hotel reviews and details would be good. Thanks.

  4. Take the Narita express or skyliner to get to and from airport… Skyliner offers a package with a 1 day metro pass which isgood for a layover.

  5. The Park Hyatt has a free shuttle to/from Shinjuku station, which is one of the Narita Express train stops. However, given how overwhelming that station is (like many in Tokyo!), I don’t blame you for taking a taxi on the inbound. The shuttle is much easier to use after you learn the ropes and is great for your departure to the airport.

  6. You came at the right time. The cherry blossoms are still on the trees for a few more days and it’s not supposed to rain until sunday.

  7. “How can you say ur a travel blogger and take a cab to your hotel in japan? One of the worst advice.”

    Who says she is? I thought she was a stay at home mom with some boogery nosed kids who happens to have a few CC affiliate links.

  8. Flew into NRT in 1984 then train to Osaka. In my mid-30’s by myself. It was so fantastic. Then train to Kyoto and stayed in ryokans. Great memories. Maybe do it again! I remember flying home in coach in a full plane and having a young Japanese man falling asleep on my shoulder. Oh my.

  9. I always buy the NEX/Sucia package. You get a r/t Narita Express ticket and a pre-loaded Sucia card for transportation within Tokyo for Y5500 – about $60.

  10. Wife and I were both in Tokyo earlier this year. LOVED IT. Hope you have fun!

    BTW do not order room service @PH Tokyo! Wife got food poisoning 2 days before our flight out….

  11. Timely post as I will traveling to Japan next month to catch a cruise. Glad to hear it isn’t as daunting as it could be with the language issues. Also, YAY! coke.

  12. Will post all details soon I promise, but I did take the express train from NRT and then got off at Shinjuku station. There is a hotel shuttle to the Park Hyatt from that station but it’s location was not immediately obvious, so I did take a cab the last 5 minutes of the 28 hour journey. It was less than $8 USD. I did not and would not recommend a cab from the airport. Train or limo bus are the best options from NRT. That said, while I did not take a cab from the airport, if someone did on their first trip to a very new city for them (especially if they were traveling by themselves), I would not blink an eye. Better to get there in a way you feel safe and secure, even if it means spending a few extra bucks, than not go or be overwhelmed on day 1.

    Will post way more details with pictures of signs for trains in trip report. I did buy the NEX/Sucia combo – very good deal.

    Yes, this was my rescheduled 787 flight now a 777 flight via LAX.

    Now back to trying to sleep…this first night is rough but makes it easier to get up in the middle of the night for the fish market!

  13. A taxi from NRT can easily run you $300+.
    In the vending machine did you notice the bottles on the bottom right ‘Pocari Sweat’. Always gets a giggle.
    And for heavens sake when testing those toilet seat buttons don’t do it while standing up. You’ll get a shot of water in the eye!

  14. Great Job!!! looking forward to you trip report. My wife is in Okinawa now and due back next Tuesday. Will be going back with my wife from Sept thru mid Dec of this year (First Class using miles & points, of course). Just get out and enjoy yourself. It’s not as hard to get around as people think. Thjere is always someone to help when you need it. Fish Market is great but don’t forget the SUMO tournament (still one more day to go). See ya at the FTU next month.

  15. The PHT shuttle stop is really hard to find at first in my opinion… And if you don’t get the shuttle (it stops at 9PM I think, so if you have a later flight in you’re outta luck), it’s quite a walk to get to the PHT. I also took a cab my first day to get from the station to the hotel!

  16. The vending machines are so cool, I love the cherry-flavored drink (forget the name but it comes in both fizzy and flat versions).

    You’re really missing out though, by staying at the Hyatt and not a Japanese local hotel. Really cool places at very reasonable prices, especially some of the business hotels, and you get much more of the local flavor than the same western chain hotels.

    Getting around Japan is easy with just a bit of effort in learning some things and the locals have always been quite friendly if I really needed help. Now I’m missing Japan…

    • Sensei, well according to my family I travel way too much. Compared to some who spend their lives on planes, no. All relative I guess. 😉

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