Monday, April 13, 2015

Just "like" our FB page...

We had good intentions, but we are 10 days into our trip and blogging just isn't happening. We are having an AMAZING time and updating our FB page very regularly with all the epic and less-than-epic updates so follow us there!!! ( We don't pay any attention to who is following it and don't really care so you're seriously not a stalker for "liking" us. Sorry we suck at being travel bloggers. Live and learn.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Just a quick point if you're packing light or need to do laundry in Japan.

Some hotels will have coin operated laundry but some (including our current Tokyo hotel) do not.

You need to look for (or ask your hotel front desk) where the nearest 'coin laundry'.  Not laundromat or anything else.  Coin laundry.

Some require you to add detergent, some don't - we packed a few travel detergents with us to cover all bases.  Also the dryer probably will not completely dry your clothes- be prepared to hang some things in the bathroom to dry.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


We've started posting photos from our current trip!  Check them out at the "2015 Photos" link at the top of the page or click here.

You can also "like" our Facebook page to get all the super current updates!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Timeline: From Airplane to Hotel

It's hard to estimate how long things like getting off the airplane, through immigration, etc will take - and I always wish I'd paid attention later when I want to estimate for the next time we travel. There are so many variables, but at least an IDEA of how long it MIGHT take is nice. Luckily, my iPhone now makes it really easy for me to make a timeline! Here it is:
  • Landed around 3:20-30 PM
  • Off the plane by 3:36 PM
  • Got to Immigration line at 3:40 PM
  • Done with Immigration and waiting for luggage at 3:57 PM (the sign totally lied to us)

  • Got luggage, went through Customs, stopped at post office to pick up our mobile hot spot, and were at the JR Office to redeem our JR Rail Passes at 4:20 PM
  • Got to the head of the queue for JR passes at 5:05 PM
  • Got to the train platform for our express train to Yokohama at 5:15 PM
  • Train departed 544 (as scheduled) - scheduled to arrive in Yokohama at 7:18 PM
  • Checked into hotel at 8:00 PM

Thoughts: Our Flight to Japan

Today we took a non-stop Delta flight from MSP to NRT (Minneapolis, MN to Tokyo, Japan). It was right on time and it seemed most seats were filled. We booked late and were in the 2nd to last row. The plane was a 777 with a 3-3-3 layout, but our row was unique: 2-3-2. It was nice not having a random neighbor! Our seats had adjustable head rests with bendable "wings" - a nice touch.  There were quite a few very young children on our plane, but they all seemed to handle the flight just fine.

Before each meal, we got a warm cloth to wash up before eating (this is customary in Japan.)  Our first meal was a chicken and rice type thing. The menu had said it was chicken and mashed potatoes, but it was definitely rice. 

I let the flight attendant know I especially liked the dessert brownie so she brought me 2 more. The person in front of us overheard and also gave me her brownie. I'm perfectly happy with 4 desserts! Alcohol was complimentary throughout the flight so John and I relaxed with beer and wine.

Each seat on the plane was equipped with a tv screen that provides free access to tons of movies, tv shows, games, and other things of that sort. We watched The Penguins of Madagascar then we started a Hobbit marathon - I stopped watching after 1 1/2 of the 3 movies to get some sleep, but John watched all 3. I ended up watching my favorite parts of Into the Woods and Frozen and then watched Lost in Translation.

We got a snack bag midway through the flight. It included a banana, a sandwich, and cookies. They also passed out 20 oz bottles of water which was very appreciated!

Our last meal was breakfast and it was not the omelet the menu promised, but rather a quiche thing. It was fine, though. It also came with a roll, fruit, and chocolate.

Overall, the flight was very smooth and uneventful. We saw Mt Fuji as we landed and that was pretty cool!  People around us (and me) were kind of unsure if the plane had actually landed because the landing was so incredibly smooth and quiet! 

More to come on our adventures at the airport!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Leaving on a jet plane

At the gate in MSP waiting for boarding to start!  We had a sandwich (ordered via the ubiquitous on-table iPads at this gate,) then grabbed a bottle of water and a little treat (Reese's mini cups.)  Not a very exciting morning but before we sleep again we'll lose a day and be on the other side of the planet!