Tokyo Travel Journal. December 10-23, 2016.

Day 1 - A whole travel day

Friday - Monday, December 9 - 11, 2016

Day 1 was actually a three day journey. Our flight to Tokyo left YVR at 6:15am and included a stopover in Calgary. To avoid the rushing out the door at 4am and dealing with a taxi in a potential snowstorm, we stayed at the airport Fairmont Friday night. The first thing the kids did was hide in the closet. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have closets in your apartment. The hotel was great. Had a great view of the planes, and we watched them clearing snow all night. Looked like hordes of little Roomba vacuums going back and forth all over the place.

One downside of spending the night at the airport was that we were going to miss our friend Wilson who flew to Vancouver from San Diego the night before. He just arrived, we were just leaving. But, he’s such a nice guy that he hopped on the Canada Line and met me and Elaine at the Fairmont bar while the kids slept upstairs. After a couple of beers and a slice of apple pie, I was fading and told Wils we’ll see him when we get back.

4am wake up. A quick walk down the hall to check-in. Everything went smoothly. The Air Canada agent seemed more excited for us than we did. She and the baggage guy gave us some recommendations, including Hokkaido cheese tarts.

Calgary’s airport is awesome. They have pinball. And, they have these little electric shuttle buses that drive you from gate to gate. We ate breakfast and sat around for a couple of hours.

The flight was long. I was getting bored. Movie selection wasn’t great. Kids seemed alright though. The highlight movie for me was “Evergreen Love”. The Japanese woman in front of me was watching it. So, I watched it. Then Elaine followed me. And, Kali followed Elaine.

Touch down. Picked up a PocketWIFI, which gives us unlimited LTE data, and hopped on the NEX line from Narita to Shinjuku Station. Bought our Suica cards (like our Compass card) then headed to our hotel. Thank goodness for GPS and Google Maps as we would not have found our hotel without them. The hotel rooms are small as expected. We had to book two rooms since they’re so small. Kids in one, adults in the other. We dropped the bags and headed out to eat.

Can’t speak Japanese, no problem, order ramen off of a ticket machine. Walked around for a bit, checked out some electronics and toy stores, and played some video games. The kids were obsessed with all the vending machines.

We were basically awake for 24 hours at this point. None of us really slept on the plane much.

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