Another Long Day

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 10:40:52 +0000

Ottawa Index Tokyo

It was a pretty tight schedule today. A four hour train journey from Ottawa to Toronto, then a 12 hour flight to Tokyo, with only a couple of hours to transfer in between. But despite being half zonked I successfully got through it all.

The real complication was that I had about $30 left, and I had to spend it all. Since I'm not buying souvenirs, I had to spend it on food from whatever stalls and kiosks I passed on the way. That's an awful lot of junk food. Thank God for Starbucks: their absurdly overpriced coffee soaked up a big proportion of my surplus cash. I eventually managed to spend every last cent: I fell two cents short of the chocolates I bought at the gate, but the nice lady let me have them anyway.

On the plane it turned out that I had the emergency exit seat with all the legroom, which was a nice surprise. Downside is that I didn't have a window to look out of. My neighbour was fun to chat to, a young bloke from Toronto on a holiday to Japan and Thailand. He had flown only about four times in his life, so I was able to endlessly lecture him on my accumulated wealth of travel tips. I'm sure he enjoyed that.

Tokyo is a complicated place to land in. It doesn't help that my Nokia doesn't have a unicode font, so all the handy webpages I'd saved have empty boxes where all the kanji characters should be. But I took my time and figured it out, and the system does make some sense. It turns out that my Japan Rail Pass extends to the airport express, which is nice. It still takes an hour to get to Tokyo though. Then I had to take the S-Bahn-like thing, and then the tube, and each of those is a different ticket. Not very joined-up thinking. But it's an efficient system, and there are plenty of English signs around the place. Combined with a fairly accurate and detailed map from the hostel, I found my way no problems.

I grabbed some quick ramen from a place around the corner, but that's all the excitement I can handle today. I've been awake for far too long, mainly running on Starbucks caffeine, so it's an early night for me.

Ottawa Index Tokyo