Japan Day 16: Coming Home

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

After going to bed at 02:00h, we wake up at around 09:00h and start walking to Ueno train station. We grab a couple of eats from the bakery we’ve been visiting every morning in Tokyo, and make our way to Tokyo station to catch the Narita Express to the airport.

Our JR Rail Pass expired a couple days earlier, so we had to pay out of pocket for our train ticket to NRT. It was about $45 CAD for the 2 of us, though this puzzles me. We asked up be upgraded to first class but first class seats are over $40 per person. Even for regular reserved seating is about $30 per person. I’m not too sure if he gave us a discount because he knew that our JR Rail Passes expired, or if he just punched in the wrong tickets.

We get to the airport and we noticed that the Air Canada booths were not open. We got to the airport at 11:30h as the flight was scheduled for 14:00h.

… or so we thought.

I apparently mixed up the time and we were not meant to depart NRT until 16:00h. Jason was not very impressed but it gave us some time in the airport to eat lunch and to do some last minute shopping. We decided that our last meal in Japan would be katsu.

Ever so delicious katsu...

Ever so delicious katsu…

We go through security and start shopping in the Duty Free section. What’s upsetting is that with our transfer in Vancouver, we were unable to take advantage of buying duty free booze (due to the liquid restriction on flights). We picked up a couple of cartons of cigarettes, some smaller sake bottles that were less than 100ml each, and a couple trinkets and we walk over to our gate.

One of the many reasons why I love the Narita Airport is this…

Indoor smoking rooms.... I love you, NRT! <3

Indoor smoking rooms…. I love you, NRT! ❤

Ashtray and they even have lighters! Talk about courtesy!

Ashtray and they even have lighters! Talk about courtesy!

… if I wasn’t travelling with a non-smoker, I wouldn’t have left this room until I had to board.

Due to another typhoon, our flight from Japan was delayed by an hour. This made me panic, as I had it perfectly planned that once we landed at Edmonton that I would be able to sleep for a decent amount of time before going to work that evening. They rebooked our connecting flight from Vancouver, as we would have missed our connection, and instead of landing in Edmonton at 13:00h we were scheduled to land at 17:00h.

… thank goodness I asked for the first 4 hours off, so I started work at 23:00h instead of 19:00h.

After praying to every religious deity out there for no further delays, we boarded our plane and were on our way to Vancouver.

I had a lot of problems trying to sleep on the flight. I don’t sleep on flights usually, but I’m able to doze off for about 30 minutes every couple hours. This did not happen on this flight. Maybe it was due to me being worried that I might miss work if there were any further delays, maybe it was the turbulence on the flight, maybe it was the group of Japanese youth that was really irritating me on the flight. Either way, I didn’t sleep and couldn’t nap on the flight.

Air Canada announced prior to take off that they would be serving us 2 meals on the flight; one 2 hours into the flight and another 2 hours before we landed. Our last meal didn’t show up until 55 minutes before we landed and it looked like this.

Apparently what's in the middle is scrambled eggs... it didn't look or taste like scrambled eggs.

Apparently what’s in the middle is scrambled eggs… it didn’t look or taste like scrambled eggs. It was served with 5 tater tots, salsa, and a questionable and sad piece of broccoli.

Unimpressed, I begrudgingly ate it because I was so hungry (Jason just ate his tater tots and the side of fruit they provided). We land in Vancouver in one piece (but unfortunately with some damaged luggage) and make our way to customs and security to board our flight to Edmonton.

Looking at the schedule, we noticed that there were 2 flights that flew to Edmonton before ours. We asked a very nice Air Canada employee boarding at another gate named Linda Clarke to see if we could get on an earlier flight back. She checked for us but informed us both flights were completely booked. She did, however, give each of us a $15 meal voucher due to the extended layover.

… her helping us was the only quality service that we received from Air Canada. Thank you very much, Linda.

We go eat a proper breakfast (bacon, how I missed you) and then get one of those 20 minute airport massages. It was more than what I wanted to spend but it was very much needed.

Boarding the flight to Edmonton, we were stuck in the very back row so our seats could not recline. The entire trip back to Edmonton was the most painful and uncomfortable experience; partially due to the seats, and partially because of how long we’ve been awake for.

We finally land in Edmonton and Jason’s dad picks us up from the airport. I finally get home around 17:30h, go to sleep at 18:00h and wake up at 20:15 to get ready to be at work.

After 16 days of traveling, walking, taking trains, seeing the sites, more walking, eating delicious food, even more walking and experiencing Japan in 8 cities, it is kinda nice to be home again.

… now to start planning my trips for 2014 🙂

Things I Have Learned from This Day
1. I’m going to avoid taking Air Canada flights unless it’s super cheap or because I have to. Looking back, I don’t mind that the flight was delayed but I think next time I will pay the extra money and fly with JAL or Cathay Pacific. Maybe they will serve me edible food and not damage my luggage.

2. Depending on the next trip and the cost, I might splurge for Business Class/First Class tickets. After seeing the type of “accommodations” they had on the flights to/from Japan, it might just be worth it.

3. If I have to fly with Air Canada again, bring more snacks on the plane.

4. Either cut your vacation a day short or book another day off work; going to work that evening was killing me (and I was only scheduled to work 8 hours of my 12 hour shift).

5. Bacon in Canada taste better than bacon in Japan.

  1. mudcore says:

    Fantastic Japan blog entries! I love the *things I learned so far* parts. I’m planning to travel to Japan next year and some of your notes will surely help since I’ll be going there alone and would need some internet guidance 🙂

  2. Cassandra says:

    One of the best airlines I have been on was British Air. You got a little bottle of wine with your meal and they served hot tea just after dinner as well. It was quite nice, though I didn’t really sleep on my flight to London either.

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