Just sharing some recap/tidbits regarding our recent vacation to Japan.
1. It’s dangerous to travel during Autumn season in Japan– Autumn in Japan is one of my favorite time of the year. The leaves change colors, the air is crisp and fruits abound! There is a phrase in Japan describing autumn as “shokuyoku no aki”, which roughly translates to “great Autumn appetite”. Autumn is harvest time so there’s plenty of fresh produce during this time. BUT also at this time of the year, the Pacific Ocean brews stronger typhoons during the months of September-November and there is a great chance the flights can get really nasty while passing through the thick clouds or even worse, fly through a storm, head on!
2. Going via Singapore is the long way– There’s a direct flight via Emirates Airlines to Osaka, Japan but it’s expensive and we still need to take domestic flights to Tokyo. This year, we booked our flights via Singapore Airlines, wishing to have one day transit in Singapore and see the Lion City. The downside was Singapore-Narita (Tokyo) flight is quite long, 7 hours. Last year, we took a flight to Narita via Hong Kong. It was the best bet since it’s only 2 hours from Hong Kong to Narita.
3. Airbus 380 rocks big time– and I’m not talking about the turbulence that rocked the double decker plane. I’m referring to the uber fascinating inflight entertainment! You can choose movies, games, music but it doesn’t stop there. You can pause, forward, rewind your preferred movie! You can also insert a USB stick and view your vacation photos on screen. The seven hour flight from Narita to Singapore wasn’t a pain at all and we almost wouldn’t want to get off the plane because of the entertainment we had on board.
4. It rains in Japan during Autumn season– frequently. It rained in Narita when we arrived and most of the days we were there. I love rain but when it rains for the whole day on three consecutive days, hmmm. Not too cool.
5. Pristine loves transparent vinyl umbrellas – since it rained a lot, we had to buy umbrellas and she chose the transparent vinyl ones over the colored or printed because she wanted to look up and see the rain falling from the sky.
Photo from Kirainet.com
6. Autumn travel means bigger luggages – filled with tights, wool shirts, socks and my trusted Columbia Sportswear Fleece Jacket.
7. Autumn wardrobe can get expensive– only because we live in Dubai where it’s t-shirt weather most of the year. We have since bannished thick jackets in our small closet so when we got to Japan, we had to buy things to keep us warm. That was a surprise travelling cost for us!
8. Vending machines can become an addictive habit – Pristine was overwhelmed with the vending machines in Japan that spits our cold and hot drinks at a drop of a couple of pennies.
9. I need a bigger capacity SD camera card – I have a couple of 1GB and 2GB cards but if I use the SLR or take short videos using my point and shoot cam, it’s not enough and it’s a pain to stick another card. I would love to have a Sandisk 8GB SDHC Memory Card since it’s getting cheaper or go all the way and get a 16 GB SDHC so I won’t have to worry about erasing photos or videos!
10. I need to have a hankie in my hand while on board– because I easily cry over sappy movies. Can you believe? I cried a river watching Lindsay Lohan’s first movie, The Parent Trap!
11. Traffic in Tokyo is worse than traffic in Dubai – the only reason I thought Dubai traffic was the worst was that I never travelled by car through the streets of Tokyo before. There’s no traffic when using trains. The Tokyo roads are complicated, narrow, filled with trucks, has a traffic light every few meters, dirty tunnels and bumper to bumper traffic at any time of the day, not just on rush hours.
12. My Dubai based phone automatically roams– This was a surprise. When I looked at Etisalat’s website and talked to their customer service rep, they said I need to make an application to make my phone use the roaming service outside of the UAE. And I need to deposit 2000 dhs, too (which really sucks). I almost gave up but when I arrived in Narita and turned on my phone, it rang and I got a message saying “Thank you for using Etisalat’s roaming service in Japan”. It’s still a mystery to me.
13. My husband really needs to get a grip and learn to travel light– I really, really, painfully envy people who, after checking their baggages, line up in the immigration area with a small shoulder bag and nothing else. I try to pack light but my big handbag is at least, always 5 kilos heavy because it contains 2 fresh sets of clothes for Pristine and I, my personal stuff, wet tissues, hand sanitizer, a water bottle (to be filled up after baggage check – I’d like to have water always ready as the plane atmosphere can get really dry and sometimes the stewardess is not always available). But my husband? He has one big backpack, one bag containing piles of paper and another bag containing his big laptop, charger and freaking mouse – with wire! I wish he would get a Samsonite Toploader with Wheels so he can put his darn bulky laptop and piles of paper in one bag and drag it away easily! Anyone who has this bag would swear by the great functionality. Now on how to convince him.