Left DIA at 0755 on September 20. Perfect time to go through this airport, virtually no lines at either the United checkin or security. Had plenty of time to get a good breakfast and mosey over to our gate.
Had a 3 hour flight to Vancouver,which has a nice international departure area, though for reasons unknown I could not connect to WiFi. After a 4 hour layover we had an on-time departure for Tokyo. Only a handful of Westerners on the flight, which was overwhelmingly Japanese. Who would have guessed? At this point I’m thinking that it was probably not necessary to have emailed our friend Miharu a current photo of us. All she will need to do is look for the only two 60-ish looking Americans that come through customs at Narita Airport. Speaking of almost seniors, by coincidence we arrive in Japan on September 21, which is Respect for Old Person’s Day, a national holiday that also made it difficult to find a reasonably cheap hotel in Tokyo.
Flew Air Canada to Tokyo, and had the good sense to book Economy Preferred seats, and to choose a non-US carrier. After flying crappy US carriers this was a welcome treat. Wide seats that are actually comfortable and that actually recline, plenty of legroom, complimentary pillow, blanket, eye shade, and earplugs. Excellent hot food served on real china, metal utensils, and complimentary wine. Bathroom that you can turn around in. I haven’t seen the likes of this since flying Singapore Airlines a decade ago, not even on a complimentary first-class Continental flight from Houston to Belize City.
Our friend Miharu met us at Narita airport and got us to our hotel (Ueno Hotel, near the train station). If it was not for her help we would probably still be on the train, endlessly searching for the correct stop.
Since we were in Tokyo during a holiday Miharu had a couple of days off that she spent with us. She introduced us to a couple of nice Japanese restaurants, one in the Ueno train station/shopping mall and one in Asakusa district. She took us to the Senso-ji Buddhist temple in Asakusa as well as the Tokyo Museum, located in a large park near where we were staying. The museum has a large collection of Japanese artwork. We were also fortunate enough to be there during an exhibition of about 70 paintings, some done by Claude Monet, and others done by other artists that were part of part of Monet’s personal collection.
Unfortunately we only had three days in Tokyo so our time was very limited. We hope to spend more time in Japan on our way back to the States next spring.
To our frind Miharu, thanks for showing us around Tokyo. It was so good to see you again after so many years. We hope to see you again on our return trip.