Well, this day wasn’t really a full day, it was just our trip to the airport and back to New York. Japan was so much fun, even beyond what I thought it’d be before we went. I love the food, the convenience, the service, the cleanliness and just so many fun things to do. That said, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, and not having to worry about what was on the agenda for the day.
Our flight was around 3:00 pm so we left the apartment around 10:00 am. Anna’s brother and his wife left for work before we went off to the airport. Anna’s brother reiterated to me how happy he was to meet me and that Anna and I were together. He had said it many times before, but I was paranoid that it was the alcohol talking 😛 It made me very happy that he was so pleased.
We took the Skyliner train from Nippori to Narita airport. I was amazed by the turnstile to get onto the platform because you actually put BOTH your subway and Skyliner ticket in at the same time, but the machine is smart enough to take the small ticket and then give you the Skyliner ticket. I’m very easily impressed.
While on the train we had some sports drink thing that Anna won as part of some promotional campaign at Seven-Eleven. It was very gelatinous which I wasn’t expecting so it felt really weird in my mouth.
When we got to the airport we picked up our luggage and reorganized stuff that we had in our bags, but we were careful to keep our precious Totoro merchandise on us so we could keep our eyes on it at all times. When we came to Japan we put a smaller suitcase in a large one because we knew we were going to buy a bunch of stuff, but we ended up having more space than we needed. We filled a lot of empty space with food like instant ramen, but there was still a lot of empty space. It was okay though, because it would suck if we got charged extra for having luggage over the weight limit.
The last thing we did before going through security was drink the self-heating hot sake that Anna bought at the store. I was excited to see how it worked, because it reminded me of the scene from the Cowboy Bebop movie where Spike eats the self heating instant ramen.
You press the button on the bottom of the can and then it starts heating up. When it got hot enough, steam started coming out! O_O Quickly I started blowing on it so the steam wasn’t visible, because I couldn’t think of anything more suspicious to have in an airport than a small handheld object with steam coming out of it. If we had been in the U.S. I feel like it would’ve been even worse.
Finally it was done and Anna removed the top. You can see on the inside there’s a central core which is where all the hot stuff is. It was REALLY hot. I didn’t think about the sake steam going up my nose so I choked really hard into the sake and ended up spilling all over myself T_T We were both laughing a lot because it really got everywhere. We finished it off and went through security without incident.
Once we got through security we realized we should’ve bought food before going through because our options were extremely limited. I bought some junk food and also some Piyokos from a store nearby the gate. Piyokos are a very typical Japanese souvenir food, but I wanted them because of that scene in Cowboy Bebop when Spike comes back with piyokos and feeds them to Ein. Anna went to another stand to get some sandwiches for the flight.
At the gate I was already missing Japan. When people got in line it was absolute chaos. It was the most disorganized line I had been in for two weeks 😛 Even the Japanese workers seemed less organized than ones I had seen during our trip.
Once we got onto the plane we had some difficulty putting our luggage in the overhead bins because some people were taking more than their fair share. I was getting worried about the Totoro stuff as we tried stuffing the luggage into the bins. Then some other passengers were moving our luggage around to fit theirs! I very anxiously watched to make sure our Totoro stuff didn’t fall.
One thing we noticed was that the food on this flight was much better than the flight from NYC. Clearly, the food was made in Japan. One of the better in-flight meals I’ve had. This time the in-flight movies were working so I saw most of “Salt” which was pretty stupid and all of Despicable Me which wasn’t as mean spirited as I was hoping it’d be, and the ending was super saccharine at the very last minute. The minions are too much like the Raving Rabbids too. They also played “Grown Ups” which we skipped and I also watched Spider-Man 3 which was as bad as I remembered, but still entertaining.
We got to JFK in the mid afternoon and took a cab home. Our doorman welcomed us back and we were home! Anna’s cat Inari was a little freaked out and for a little while was hiding from us, but once she realized it was us she and Anna were inseparable.
We did our best to unpack and organized our Ghibli merch all on our coffee table. It was truly a beautiful thing to behold. Now, over a month later we still have stuff to organize properly, but now that we’ve finished blogging that means we’re free to do other stuff finally 😛 It took us about two weeks to get over jet lag. For a while I was waking up around 4 or 5 AM even if I went to sleep at 1 AM the night before.
Next up I’ll write a summing up post with some final thoughts on our trip and its highlights!