Japan trip – day one!

It’s been ages since I blogged something which wasn’t just my Instagram account, but I thought I’d use it as a record of my second trip to Japan. After working since last Christmas without a break, I’ve headed off to Japan for three weeks.

It took a long time to get to my first destination in Japan.

First I had a twelve hour flight from London to Tokyo Haneda. I used my Avios miles to upgrade from Premium Economy on British Airways to Club World, so all in all it was a very pleasant flight! I left Heathrow at 9am and landed in Tokyo at 4.55am Japan time. Getting through customs and immigration was very fast compared to Dallas which I’m used to, and my bag came off pretty quickly too.

After that I had a six hour layover, so headed to the Domestic terminal of Haneda, and used my BA card to get in to the JAL lounge, hoping to get a sandwich. No joy! They had wifi, and a great view of the airfield, but the only food available was instant noodles! Not too impressive.

My next flight was two and a half hours to Naha. I slept quite a bit of the way and it was a really modern plane – news headlines and some TV I couldn’t understand on overhead TV screens. I had half an hour to connect in Naha to my next flight – and so did my bag. After the pilot announced we were going to be fifteen minutes late I began to panic a bit. I’d timed my flight to catch the last ferry of the day to my ultimate destination.

Panic increased when the stewardess asked me to please hurry when we landed. In the end, I ran up the gangway to our arrival gate and then looking like an idiot, realised my next flight was departing from the one right next door – two steps away. And it was still boarding! So rush over, I got on the plane which was ….. Not nearly as nice as the last one. It looked about thirty years old.

An hour later, I arrived on Ishigaki island. Then I got a 45 minute bus to the ferry terminal, and managed to lug my bag onto the ferry (not the last one of the day either!) to Taketomi Island, home for the next three days.

I really wanted someplace to relax for the first part of my break, and the Hoshinoya Okinawa resort on Taketomi Island certainly fits the bill. I have my own Japanese style villa with a massive futon bed and relaxing area. It’s gorgeous. I was taken straight to my villa and given a map of the resort, asked what time I wanted housekeeping to call in the morning, all very civilised. My room service (not very japanese pizza with vegetable crudites and miso dip to start) arrived and then after several glasses of mini-bar Chablis I slid into my futon for my first night on my three week trip of Japan.