Day 1 - 30 April 2008 - Sydney to Narita

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So today began very *very* early. 4:45 actually. A completely inhuman time to be awake!!  The idea being to secure window seats, as these could not be obtained in advance on our tickets. Well we probably shouldn't have worried, as the plane is half empty, but we did also manage to secure window seats for the next flight tomorrow which potentially more interesting as it's primarily over land.

Just after we checked in, we went to the windows just in time to see an A380 pull up!!!  Although I've glimpsed one before (while driving) I'd not actually seen one up close. So that was very exciting.

First time I got to see an A380 up close
First time I got to see an A380 up close

Next stop was breakfast and a chance for Stu to get some caffeine into his system. We sat and watched a JAL 747-400 pull up and realised it was to be ours. Then off to buy some Yen and some Euros. 300 euro cost me $565 !! Eep!!  We shoulda gone to America lol :)

Then it was off to get through immigration and security. All very smooth and simple. So got to get up closer to the A380, and even got to see it being pushed out onto the taxiway before we had to board ourselves.

The A380 and our JAL 747
The A380 and our JAL 747

Had a seat on the left of the plane and we were taking off to the north so the lighting was good although of course didn't get to see the city. The coolest new feature of these planes is they have live cameras available on the seat-back channels (as well as the GPS locator thingie). So during the takeoff they showed the view out the front of the plane which was very very cool. And in flight can look ahead and also straight down!  Quite useful for seeing the various airports/beacons you fly right over. Watched the view over the Great Dividing Range and northern NSW/SE QLD before heading out to see over Mackay. Flew over the tail of PNG and Guam, although was on the wrong side of the plane to see Guam out the windows, had to look down on it :)

Taking off on our honeymoon!!
Taking off on our honeymoon!!


Stadium Australia (or whatever it's called these days) at Homebush
Stadium Australia (or whatever it's called these days) at Homebush


JAL 747 wingtip
JAL 747 wingtip


Leaving Australian shores
Leaving Australian shores. We flew over Hamilton Island and those are
South and North Molle Islands in the foreground



Over Port Moresby
Over Port Moresby


Interior of our 747
Interior of our 747

I watched Enchanted (very sweet - if you like fairytales heh) and The Golden Compass (not bad, I assume they'll be making movies of all three books?)

"Dinner" (at 4pm) was sandwiches.. Ham and cheese on white multigrain with yoghurt.. So poor Stu couldn't eat a thing :( Lucky we had along some extra stuff I'd brought from home..

Spent a bit of time reading our travel guide books and writing down ideas.

Coastline of Japan, Yokaichi-shi
Coastline of Japan, Yokaichi-shi


We flew over soo many golf courses!
We flew over soo many golf courses! They're not kidding about the
Japanese obsession with golf!


Finally it was time to land.

Narita airport confused us somewhat. The signage was just a little odd and at one point they redirected us to a different queue so it was all a little weird getting through immigration. The customs queues were also confusing as to which were for declaring stuff and which weren't, but when we actually picked a gate we essentially just walked straight through it!  Took about five seconds.

Found our bus stop fairly easily which took us to our hotel. We considered trekking into Tokyo, but it was getting late and it takes 1.5-2 hours each way so we decided not to go. So instead we just took the hotel shuttle into Narita and walked up and down the restaurant strip until we found a not too threatening one (ie, one that had english subtitles ;) ). It was a cute little place. The food was excellent and the staff guessed we were on our honeymoon heh :) We had a couple of beers and ended up much more relaxed but a lot sleepier, and glad we didn't attempt to go to Tokyo. Maybe next time!

My first ever meal in Japan.  It was really good!
My first ever meal in Japan. It was really good!


Japanese Yakult
Japanese Yakult


Stu took this photo of the tiny restaurant we ate in
Stu took this photo of the tiny restaurant we ate in


Vending machine with fresh flowers
I had always heard of the Japanese obsession with
vending machines and that supposedly you can get
just about anything in them. The reality of it is it's
mostly just drinks you can get. This remains (two
years later) the most unusual thing I've ever seen
in a vending machine - fresh flowers!



Train ticket machine at Narita station
Looking at this train ticket machine at Narita station we were glad we
weren't trying to figure out what to do to go into Tokyo!


So now it's back here at the hotel to crash and have a sleepin tomorrow.

1 Comments

Fiona said:

Looking down on the plane might freak me out a little!

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