My first flight completed, I find myself in Tokyo for a 10 hour layover. Since leaving Vienna, luck has been with me. I scored three empty seats so I was able to lie nearly flat in my row and get a few hours sleep. This has always been a problem while sitting in a normal seat. And the plane arrived about an hour late. Now I’ve only got about 9 hours to kill before my flight to Christchurch.
I’ve booked a “Day Room” right in the airport. Similar to a hotel, these rooms have a bed and shower so you can rest and freshen up. But they’re only available during the airports hours, not overnight.
After passing through a security checkpoint, I locate the dayroom between Gate 25 and 26 in Terminal 1. You really can’t get any closer than that! About 2 minutes travel time from my plane! I check in, find that my room has a nice little single bed. Perfectly clean, but quite an old room. No worries, I’m there to SLEEP. After a quick shower, I find a remote control for TOILET (if you never been to Japan, you need to know that they have a strange obsession about their toilets. And many many other things…)
The bed is comfortable and I soon find my alarm is going off. It’s still about 3 hours before my flight, but I want to explore what the Tokyo airport has to offer! I’ve only spent a few days in Japan on a previous visit to Sendai (yes, where the tsunami hit. I was there just a few months prior.)
First stop: COFFEE. I wander around the airport and much to my dismay, there isn’t a single decent looking coffee place other than Starbucks. I order some delicious chicken curry with rice and get a latte from the restaurant. It’s not bad, but I’m still disappointed. Then I remember that canned coffee is quite popular. I find a machine and buy a HOT can of coffee for about 1,100 Yen (about 1 euro). Mmm, quite yummy!
Caffeinated and belly full, I head towards my gate to board the flight to Christchurch. On the way, I see an odd looking plane. The cockpit windows make it look like a spaceship. It’s the NEW Boeing 787! (UPDATE: Just a few days later all these planes were grounded due to faulty batteries. One caused a fire on the ground in Tokyo.) What a beautiful plane!
My luck doesn’t hold out though. On the last flight, it’s full. But I meet a very nice father and daughter on their way home. They tell me a bit about New Zealand. I can’t wait to get there!!