Oct 202011

So, 1:45am rolled around, and it was finally time to for flight(s) to Tokyo, via Yap and Guam. Boarding was a bit late due to a late arrival from Yap, and we were getting quite concerned about our 45 minute connection in Guam. Of course, it was also 1:30am and we were completely ready to pass out, so I’m not sure if sleepy or concerned was winning out at this point.

Continental 186, Koror, Palau to Yap
Depart 1:45, Arrive 3:50, 1:05 flight time
Boeing 737-800, Registration N35236, Manufactured 1999
Seats 2E, 2F

Honestly, not much to say on this flight. We accepted a couple of glasses of wine upon boarding to ensure the inevitable, and passed out until landing in Yap an hour later. I remember hitting the tarmac, but honestly nothing after that…including the takeoff. Yap was one giant blur, which is exactly how I hoped it would be. This was the best case scenario for what I consider the absolute worst redeye flight in the world.

Continental 186, Yap to Guam
Depart 4:30, Arrive 6:00, 1:30 flight time
Boeing 737-800, Registration N35236, Manufactured 1999
Seats 2E, 2F

Again, we totally did not remember taking off at all, and were in Guam before we knew it. Total flight time was only 3:15 including the time on the ground in Yap, but we slept pretty much all of it, so no complaints whatsoever! Arrived Guam almost 30 minutes late, so it was a major scramble to our connection. Got to our friends at CBP, and realised…yes…I’d left my passport on board. ARGH! Fortunately, the Continental BusinessFirst Concierge had escorted everyone into Immigration, and RAN back to the plane to get my passport in under five minutes. This is the Continental I remember and love, and hope the service level remains a part of the combined airline/

Made the gate with almost 20 minutes to spare, and we were off!

Continental 161, Guam to Tokyo
Depart 7:10, Arrive 9:45, 3:35 flight time
Boeing 767-400, Registration N77066, Manufactured 2002
Seats 1K, 1L

Flight was pretty uneventful, and the crew was unfortunately quite cool. Meal was served, but no warmth or real “service” at all…but that was fine, because again…what we really wanted was to maximize SLEEP! We got another two hours each or so, and arrived in Tokyo rested enough to take on a pretty full day! Upon landing, we were right off to the ANA First lounge for a quick shower, and the best part is they were able to hold out bags until our flight that evening. Backpack in tow, we were off to the Narita Express to head into Shibuya Station.

Took us a couple tries to find the correct window, but soon we had return tickets into Shibuya station…with a bit of time to grab some Starbucks at the station’s caffeine purveyor to spare!  Onto the train (reserved seating on a local train?!  Seriously?!) and we were off.  But not before the very helpful escalator sign that warned us to watch our step:

We were a bit hungry, and let’s face it: Japan is fascinating. Unlike any other developed country. Still a very unique and in many ways “un-westernized” culture, so we had to satisfy our hunger on the train. Swiss cheese and octopus strips anyone? Can I interest you in some fermented seaweed and cheese? Yup, tasty! Soon enough we were alighting in Shibuya, and off to the park to see the Harijuku crowd. I’d been told that since it would be Sunday when we were here, we had to head to the park to see the Harijuku “Costume Play.” Unfortunately, it seemed to be only a few odd westerners out acting strange, but was still fascinating to see!

After the park we wandered the area, and ended up grabbing Tako-Pachi Octopus snacks. If nothing else, Tokyo has some of the most fascinating food in the world!

Followed of course, but the most famous dish of Harijuku – crepes. Filled with whatever you want…including eel, octopus, etc. I went with the much tamer ice cream and cinnamon apples!

Last stop in Tokyo we had to see a “Cat Cafe.” Since residents of Tokyo are often not allowed to have pets in their apartments, a bunch of “Cat Cafes” have sprung up where lonely city dwellers can go for some feline company. We had to see this for ourselves, and maybe we just hit it at a strange time, but it felt really creepy and artificial. Even the cats didn’t seem overly interested in us being there. Perhaps it was because we didn’t shell out extra to buy them treats!

After this last stop it was a rushed trip back to the airport, to catch our flight onwards to Bangkok!

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