Our first stop after landing was the bathroom! I avoid drinks on the plane due to tiny bathrooms, so once we get close to the airport I chug water like I’m about to be stranded on a desert island… Desert island? Surrounded by sea water? Do those really exist? Whatever… Hello weird toilets! So at the airport the choices were a traditional squat toilet or a Western-style toilet with buttons. Say what?! Obviously, I’m not about that life for the squat toilet. Shoot, I would’ve fallen on my butt into it probably. No thanks! Western-toilet it was. So in Japan, the toilets have bidets! Clean butts for everyone! Now that we’re back home I think we all have mentioned that we miss the Japanese toilets at least once or twice.
Our next stop was the customs/immigration line. Since we had stopped for a potty break, we missed the long lines (plus I think we were the only international flight at that time). We were done in under 5 minutes. Wahoo! Now what? Gotta get some cash money, yo. After spending some time on the phone with our credit card company to get a PIN number we had some dinero. (It was a new credit card account and I didn’t realize I needed to set the PIN before getting a cash advance). Conveniently, just across the ATMs was a booth we could rent a portable Wi-Fi unit. This thing came in handy since not too many places offered free wifi. There are ways to get free wifi, especially as a visitor, by downloading a few apps sponsored by the government (I think it’s the government). I don’t remember what the apps were but there was a brochure at the airport with information. We picked up our wifi unit and off we went to the area we would catch our train from. After sis-in-law picked up her prepaid rail pass (she was going to be making a long day-trip visit to Mt. Fuji) we hopped on our train. A few stops later we were walking in rain to our hotel. On our way there we saw two Japanese men stumbling about. One was helping his obviously drunk friend get to the station. Oh don’t you know how to welcome people, Japan? 🙂
Since we didn’t really have much sleep on the plane and we were tired we almost fell asleep as soon as we got settled down. However, our stomachs grumbled and mumbled and we decided to wander around for food – not really though. Hello, we’re in a foreign country and don’t know the language. We were not about to get lost. We asked the front desk staff for help and suggestions. We chose a little ramen restaurant a few minutes away. Thank goodness for pictures on menus. Our food was out fairly quickly and it was also pretty inexpensive for the three of us. The food was beyond delicious and very filling. One thing about Japan: you do not tip and you still get superb service! We quietly said arigato (thank you) and were on our way. We stopped at 7-11 to get some snacks in case we had late-night munchies and to get more cash out. I bought a delicious looking chocolate mousse thing. I had no idea what surprises I’d encounter when I ate it.
True story (as all of this is): I forgot to get a utensil of some kind to eat the deliciousness mentioned above. What did I do? Well, hubby had fallen asleep and the lights were out so I sat in my bed (we had individual beds) and used my tongue like a puppy to eat the darn thing! There was chocolate mousse, surprise banana, and a little brownie-type thing at the bottom. The banana was seriously a surprise, especially in the dark, haha. The next day I learned how to use the Google translate app to read the ingredients and lo and behold the kanji for banana was on a very prominent sticker on the package. My bad. And that’s how I learned to write banana in Japanese kanji (バナナ).
With full bellies and tired bodies we slept great and were ready for the big wedding the next day!