Japan Part 13

Day 15

We were up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6am so we could catch the Airport Limousine bus from the Conrad Tokyo next door. I’d made the reservation a couple of days before with the concierge and I’d pre-purchased the tickets on the day we arrived, so all we needed to do was hop on the bus at 7:15am that would get us to the airport at 8:40am.

Being a Sunday morning there was little to no traffic and we were at the airport dead-on time. Our flight was due to leave at 10:30am so we headed straight for the bag drop queue (I’d checked us in the night before and printed off our boarding passes) which was ridiculously long thanks to being a combined queue with China Airlines. It snaked back all the way to the end of terminal and so we took our place at the end of line behind 10,000 Chinese tourists all with ‘Made in Japan’ rice-cookers on their trolleys. An hour later we had finally managed to drop off our one bag (that was perfectly 20kg) and trundled off to the security queue  that was also ridiculously long with our mountains of carry-on. Half an hour in the queue through security and then we were heading straight for our gate.

We boarded with little fuss (except I nearly  gave myself a hernia lifting my bag into the over-head compartment) and soon we were up in the big blue sky and Japan was getting further and further behind us.

After about an hour it was snack time. I swapped my vegetarian salad roll for the salmon rice ball M received and we had orange juice and a mini-snickers bar:

I settled in to watch The Blind Side and spent the rest of the flight wondering how it won oodles of awards. My wondering was interrupted only by lunch:

We landed at KL 6hrs later and had an hour until our connecting flight so we headed for the gate and waited. I soon got bored waiting and decided to wander around looking for a piece of cheesecake (I figured it was the last chance I’d have to find it before landing in the cheesecake desert that is Perth…) Finding not much in the way of cheesecakes, I headed back to where M was doing sudoku puzzles and it was soon time to pass through security…again. While we were waiting for boarding we were entertained by an Australian teenager who had left her passport in the toilet somewhere and her father who was screaming at her on the other side of security. Entertaining stuff.

Once we’d boarded I kept waiting for the masses of people that never came and before long the doors were being closed. It was a half-empty plane so I quickly moved over to a middle row and had four seats, fours blankets and four pillows to myself and promptly laid down and went to sleep (with seat belt fastened over the blanket just to show how travel savvy I am):

Until dinner time:

Then I watched Up in the Air – which I thoroughly enjoyed because it reminded me of M and his work – and snoozed until we landed at about 11pm. Twelve and a half hours of travel and we were glad to get out of planes and airports and be back home.

Through customs we went and because we’d thought we’d play it safe and tick the box saying that we had over 4.5 litres of alcohol (the duty-free allowance) we were ushered over to the side by a customs officer and were told that we’d either have to pay a visit to the toilet and flush some of our alcohol or we’d pay duty on half of it (which would effectively make it more expensive than what we had paid for it). Fortunately (or not) the suitcase we’d checked in hadn’t made it to Perth with us and it contained most of the alcohol so we joined the ‘lost luggage report’ queue and left our contact details and a description of the suitcase and were told that it should turn up the next day…maybe.

Then it was through quarantine and I opened up the carry-on suitcases and showed them the 20kg or so of food. They took a bit of a half-assed look at it, said it was all fine and we were free to go. No appearances on Border Security for us! Then we hopped in a taxi and arrived home 30mins later.

The next day we had a call saying that the suitcase had arrived and so we elected to go to the airport and pick it up ourselves rather than wait an extra day for it to be delivered. My suitcase full of alcohol and food hadn’t been opened and everything was intact – yay!

I unpacked my haul as soon as we got it home:

Part 1
Part 2

Then there was the rice and the Starbucks beans:

The books:

The cute plates, chopstick holders, tea cups and tea-pot:

Scales:

Rice cooker:

Plum wine:

Bottles of awamori (alcohol from Okinawa) for M’s work colleagues:

And that was about it….not forgetting the 4 bottles of Jamaican rum, my electronic gadgets, cd, photos from ex-hubby and other assorted stuff. Phew.

So that brings to an end the Great Japan Trip of 2010. It was all over waaaaaaaay too quickly for my liking and I had ridiculously niggling feelings of not having bought/done/seen/ate enough while there. Hopefully we’ll get there again next year in Autumn around Oct/Nov…if my melon bread cravings can last that long 🙂

There will be a couple more posts of pics and practical stuff about *how* to visit Japan to come…

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