Day One: Traveling to Japan

Well our day began Friday morning with me getting less than four hours of sleep. I still had some work stuff to finish up before our trip so I opted to get up around 4:15. For anyone who knows me you realize that I am NOT a morning person. Adam was prepared for me to be extra cranky with less than four hours of sleep but honestly having a little extra time before leaving the house without him rushing me made for a very pleasant morning. He finally woke up around 4:50 and by 5:00 we were out the door and walking to MARTA.

All of our stuff for 10 days in Japan
With MARTA only about a mile away we tend to walk to the station prior to trips. I didn't realize how cold it'd be in Atlanta at 5am in the middle of March. It was barely 30 degrees and it was chilly! We saw two different runners out at this time and kudos to them!

With Adams impending interview travel this year, we opted to get the American Express Reserve Credit Card, which builds is MQM status towards Silver Medallion and allows us access to the Delta Sky Club. Our flight was out of the new international F terminal and so we were excited to check it out as well as the new club.

After breakfast in the Sky Club we headed off to our 8:10 flight to LAX. Even though there were 21 seats available on this flight, we ended up numbers 23 and 24 so no first class upgrade for us :( The whole plane was loaded and we thought we were set for take off. Unfortunately there was a problem with the plane and an initial hour delay turned into 3.5 hours and switching to an entirely different plane. Once we got off we checked with the gate agent and three people who were in business class decided to reroute their trip resulting in us getting the upgrade after all :)

With the delayed flight our 7.5 hour layover turned into just 4 hours. We headed to the Sky Club in LAX just in time to watch the Buffs game. Unforunately the game results were not favorable but it was still nice to be able to watch the game there and make some new friends.

The day prior we had received an alert at check in that our flight to Tokyo was oversold and they were looking for volunteers to travel the following day. Adam and I had decided our break-even point to delay our vacation would be $1000 a piece and/or less money with a business class seat. When I got to the counter to negotiate the best the lady could offer us was $600 a piece and most likely middle seats at the back of the plane the next day. Certainly wasn't worth it to us. The plane continued to be oversold by 14 people and they were still limited on their negotiations. They upped it to $800 but it still wasn't meeting our minimum. We had spoken with another gentleman who had given up his business class seat in exchange for $800 so we knew if he wasn't getting much more, we really had no chance of hitting our $1000 minium. Within 10 minutes I was being called back up for what I thought was another negotiation attempt. Instead it was the lady explaining that Adam and I would no longer be seated next to one another because my seat had been upgraded to first class. WAHOOO!!! A 12 hour flight with another lay flat bed, she didn't have to twist my arm. That extra foot of height difference between Adam and I, however, meant he would be the one to end up up front and I'd be stuck in the back. He was beyond ecstatic and a little while later we were boarding our plane to Japan.

We were 10 minutes from take off when the same Delta gate agent comes frantically onto the plane stating she decided she could give me the $800 and a business class seat the next day; however, she'd have to separate Adam and I. He'd go on that flight and I'd travel 24 hours later. As great of a deal as it might of been, I really didn't want to have to separate us travelling internationally. I had to decline her final offer. The doors of the plane closed and finally we were off to Japan...Adam in first class and me in coach.

My meals in Coach
Adam's meal in First Class
The 12 hour flight seemed like it was never going to end. I watched Life of Pi, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the beginning of Liberal Arts. I had started to fall asleep right around the 6 hour mark of the flight because I was purely exhausted. Adam had said he'd switch seats with me half way through the flight but when the 6 hour make came and passed, I figured he was asleep and I'd just stay put. Apparently he came by around 6.5 hours to find me asleep so he didn't offer to trade :P I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable and finally many hours later we were making our final approach into Haneda International Airport.

We got off the plane only to enter into the longest customs line I have EVER been in. We landed at 10:30 PM and it took us nearly an hour to get through the entire line.

I headed off for a bathroom break and encountered the old fashion Japanese toilets....

... I opted for the Western toilet.

Once we made it through customs we took the Tokyo Monorail to our hotel, the Sotetsu Fresa Inn. Adam and I were so exhausted by this point so it took us a while to get our bearings down. We ended up walking in a few squares so a 5 minute walk from the station turned into 25 minutes. We eventually found it the hotel.  Our little Japanese hotel room:

I had to try on the jammies they provided for us:

After 32 hours of travelling it was finally time to head to bed and get ready to begin our week of exploring. 


  1. Hope you are having a fabulous time. Love reading your blog or whatever it is called....journal with pics. Hi to the fam....be brave and use the Japanese toilets and try to get a room with tatami instead of bed! We loved it! Love all the pics.... Thanks for sharing!


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