Japan Trip 2007(last updated on 2007/12/31)

2007/12/7-8 Going to Japan

Going to Airport

Coming home around midnight because of my work. I had to do the final check on my belongings, then set two alarm clocks, and went to bed around 2:00AM. I know I needed to catch a flight so I was determined, and not going to complain about the 2.5 hours of sleep. I woke up at 4:45AM, looked outside first because I was hearing it maybe possible to get some more snow. Took a shower, finished packing of all the stuffs, throwing away the trash, and left home around 5:45AM. I drove on freeway and arrived at the airport at 6:30AM. I decided to park my car at Blue deck again. I drove around and found a place on the first floor, near the terminal. Got my bags checked at a counter. Total was 75lb but one was exceeding 50lb so I was worried a bit on the extra charge, but came out to be okay. Phew... Passed security at 7:00AM after waiting in a long line. The airport was pretty busy.

Flight to Chicago: AA1637 DTW(8:35AM) - ORD(8:55AM)

After arriving at the gate, I boot up my PC and checked emails for work, sent out a couple of updates. I had no breakfast but did not feel like eating anything so I skipped it. Once I get on the intercontinental flight, I will get my lunch served a few hours after takeoff. So I just bare with a bottle of water for now... The plane had to be decided before taking off. It took us a while but there is no problem going to Chicago so the plane landed okay, on time.

AA1637 waiting at DTW

 A bunch of Northwest planes getting deiced Above the cloud, it's pretty sunny.

Flgiht to Narita: AA0153 ORD(11:05AM) - NRT(3:15PM 12/8)

After arriving to the airport, I walked around to find the next gate. I just found out that 11:05AM departing was pushed back by 5 minutes. At 10:30AM, the boarding began, then at 11:00AM, there was an announcement on 20 minutes delay. Finally at 11:23AM, the plane was ready for departure and left the gate. Took off at 11:36AM on runway 14L-32R and flew into bumpy air for a while but as soon as clear the cloud, it was smooth.

Looking outside right after the takeoff, a bit shaky... Breaking through the cloud, much smoother ride now

The air got turbulent again as it approached near Alaska, all the way to the Pacific ocean. I could not see Anchorage due to cloud cover... The plane flew over Kamchatka Peninsula (This is my first time seeing it). I did not know that the course can get shift this much west ward.

Alaskan Mountains Kamchatka Peninsula

The plane kept going and I get see some part of Hokkaido and Honshu before going out to Pacific Ocean. It's getting close to the arrival! I am not sure why, but the landing was at 3:30PM, which was later than scheduled. This is very unusual.

Finally slowing down Land insight

  After a long flight, I am back in Japan

I went through immigration and customs. I guess I am no longer suspicious, student look-a-like (I was stopped for that once...). I walked toward the exit, get my 500USD changed to 54,350JPY. Bought tickets to go home. I will be taking Narita Express 32, and Nozomi 69. I could get an earlier bullet train, but I asked for a longer time to allow myself to buy dinner.

To Nagoya: Narita Express 32 (Narita Airport - Tokyo), and Nozomi 69 (Tokyo - Nagoya)

Took Narita Express 32. departing 4:46PM at Narita Airport Terminal 2, arriving Tokyo at 5:45PM

When the train left the Narita Airport station, the outside was almost dark. All the city lights are on, and I did not get to see much of details. The train operated on time, and I got to Tokyo station at 5:45PM. I exited from the train and walked to the Shinkansen platforms. I needed to find out which is the right track to catch my connecting train. I figured it out then went upstairs to buy my dinner before getting into the train. While I was waiting at the platform, I found an unbelievable sign, which is from bankrupt NOVA. I am not sure why they still advertise...

Nova Rabbit... (Still there?!)

Got on Nozomi 69, departing 6:13PM, arriving Nagoya station at 7:55PM

The train arrived to the station, and departed on time. There was a guy who was sitting in a seat front of me wanted to know about the train. (Well, I guess that's why I'm here, right?!) I talked to him for a while and seems like he has a friend in Kita-Kyushu city; western part of Japan. He is stopping at Hiroshima tonight so I guess he will be on sightseeing tomorrow. For my case, I had much of baggage but managed to eat my dinner I bought at Kiosk, and a bottle of green tea.

Nihonbashi Bento (1,300Yen)
  • Left
    • eel sushi
    • egg
  • Middle
    • Red rice
    • White Rice
  • Right
    • Shrimp
    • Octopus
    • potato
    • Shitake

Coming Home

Less than after 2 hours after leaving Tokyo, the train began to slow down for its first stop in Nagoya. I got hold of all the baggage I have and got ready to disembark. I passed the gate and went outside of the building, looked for the place where I can get access to Meitetsu Bus Terminal. I got to the bus station at 8:15PM, which was 5 minutes after the bus left so I had to stay for another 1 hour before I can get on the 9:10PM one. Paid 400 Yen. The driver was not very happy about seeing me with large bag, anyways, I got home by 10:00PM

2007/12/9 Moving to Kobe

Waking up at 6:00AM, went to get hair cut. There were four people waiting in front of me so I got mine done around 1:00PM, Had lunch at home, which was a Japanese noodle. I needed to do some exercise so I walked to Hoshigaoka, buying a couple of music CDs which I wanted. After coming home, I packed my stuffs since I have to move to Kobe for my business trip starting tomorrow. Had dinner with my family member at 6:00PM, I got on the bus leaving the bus stop nearby at 7:17PM.


Nagoya 20:00 - Shin Osaka 20:53 (Nozomi 143) 9:17PM at Shin Osaka (Right = Train to Kansai International Airport, Middle = Old Express Train, Left = Local Train)

I arrived to Nagoya station, bought a ticket to bound for Kobe. First I took a bullet train, Nozomi 143 to Shin-Osaka, departing 8:00PM and arriving at Shin-Osaka at 8:53PM. From Shin-Osaka, I can go to Kobe but taking a Special Rapid train which departing at 9:17PM and arriving to Kobe at

9:43-57 Took train from Shin Osaka to Kobe, I switched train to Super Rapid to Rapid, then got off at Hyogo Station. After getting off the train, I walked north of the station

Arrived to the hotel at 10:00PM, going to bed at 11:00PM. It's going to be a tough week...

2007/12/10 - 13 in Kobe

2007/12/10 First day back in Kobe

I woke up too early. Non of the TV program was on the air

I could not stay sleep for a long time. Woke up before 5:00AM, went out for run around 7:00AM, had Ham and Egg sandwich for breakfast, Yogurt. There seems to be a change in company policy that they will not cover the breakfast anymore... Oh well. At least there is a convenience store nearby and 500Yen coin will feed me well.

  • Drinkable Yogurt
  • Ham and Egg Sandwich

After getting ready, left the hotel at 8:15AM, arrived to the office at 8:30AM. Since I am from affiliate company, I had to get a security pass. Greeted with my coworkers, Had curry and miso soups for the lunch. Spent afternoon at office, meeting up with former coworker, went for dinner together between 9:30PM-11:00PM, went to bed around midnight. News was covering about travelers from mainland China to Japan, they take a 5 nights, 6 days trip in general, arriving at Osaka, visiting Kyoto, Nagoya, Mt. Fuji, then Tokyo. They keep the Tokyo to the last because it is a place where people can buy luxury stuffs from all over the world. Asians are particularly sensitive to European brand named items, some likes Shiseido brand cosmetics.


  • Milk
  • Melon Bread (Just a name...)
  • Corn and Mayo Bread

Woke up at 5:00AM, stayed in bed until 6:00AM. Arrived at work at 9:00AM, stayed until 9:00PM, stopped by Tonkatsu Ganko (I did not like the curry taste...). Bought LAN cable since I could not access on the net without it. Went to bed around 11:00PM

Cell phone issues by the company

Kit Kat in a bottle.. 4 pieces per bottle (Sold in drink vending machine!)

Katsu Curry for dinner. I did not like the curry taste...


  • Vegetable Juice
  • Teriyaki-Mayo Chicken Sandwich
  • Cod Egg Riceball

Woke up at 5:00AM, went out for run, had sandwich, onigiri, vege juice. Rained a bit. Went to work, had lunch and stayed whole afternoon. Left office at 7:00PM, went to Kobe Luminarie from 8:00PM - 9:00PM

Pictures from Kobe Luminarie

Entrance Corridor of lights At the center of the park View from inside
A bell symbolize the recovery   View from observation deck at city hall  


Click the picture for larger view! (View from observation deck at city hall)

Went for dinner 10:00-11:00PM at Shirokiya. Wend to bed at midnight

Two Dogs, fruity beer by Australians (but this one was brewed in Japan...)


  • Drinkable Yogurt
  • Lettuce and Ham Sandwich
  • Spicy Cod Egg Riceball

Woke up at 5:45AM, reported to work at 8:00AM, went to run for the morning. Had lunch, Stayed until 6:30PM then Went to Gyukaku, had dinner with coworkers until 9:30PM, went to bed.

2007/12/14, 15 Time in Nagoya

2007/12/14 Going back home

  • Vegetable Juice
  • Ham and Egg Bread
  • Beef Curry Bread

Woke up at 4:00AM, worked on company assignment, finished and emailed around 6:00AM, then I went to run outside. It was chilly and windy. Packed my baggage and checked out the hotel around 7:45, walked to Hyogo station while dragging my baggage. Used Midorino Madoguchi. Their computer system can tell me exactly what I should do to get there fastest.
From Hyogo to Kobe, I took local train, then switched to Shin-Kaisoku departing Kobe at 8:05AM, which was at another platform so I had to run down with my bag and up. Got ride to Shin-Osaka, arriving at 8:45AM and I had plenty of time, and I get to see Nozomi 2, which is a newly redesigned type N700 Shinkansen. I only wanted to watch it so mine, which is Nozomi 68 left the station about 10 minutes. Anyways, arriving to Nagoya at 10:05AM, took a subway and bus leaving at 10:41AM. Arrived to home at 11:10AM. Left again after picking up my bank registers. I stopped by Nagoya Bank(at 11:30, took a bus 11:54), Mizuho Bank(1:00PM, then stopped by Hard Rock cafe) and Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Bank (Mister Donut at 2:10 and the bank 2:30PM)
The sky was getting darker by 5:00PM. Worked on my reports for the evening. Had dinner, used a Japanese bath around 8:00PM, and I felt sleepy after I finished it. Going to bed and did not wake up until next morning.

Type 700 Type N700, Began service on July 1, 2007

View from Shinkansen

Kyoto Station Sanyo Headquarter (Solar Arc)

Snapshots in Nagoya

Lunch from Mister Donuts Misonoza Theater

2007/12/15 Catching up with my friends

Woke up at 6:00AM, went for a half hour jog after breakfast. I get to see the changes in my neighborhoods. There were lots of changes for sure. There is no more the same bamboo forest or rice field I used to play around. Washed my cloth at home and took them to local laundry facility to get them dried. My house now have a drier but the onboard computer says it will take a 5 hour. Industrial drier can do it in 20 minutes for 200Yen. Headed out to Sakae, got on the bus leaving at 11:06AM, which did not come on time. I got to Ueda Subway station at 11:30AM, took a subway to Kamimaezu, meeting up my friend. He married last year and changed his last name, which is uncommon in Japan (also not possible without permission in some states, like California). We went to Yaba-ton for Misokatsu Don (seasoned pork fries on top of steamed rice). I briefly talked with another friend from high school on the phone. Hang around for a while then he had to go so I wished good luck for him. After the meeting, I walked around for a while, found a 2008 Nissan Skyline GT-R is on display. The attendant wanted to talk to me, maybe I am at lower end of targeted customer. If they are gonna give it to me for free then, sure I will take it. Hahaha. Coming home, seeing my grandma is still saying she needs to go to Nagoya station...

Miso Katsu Fillet luch Miso Katsu lunch

2008 Nissan GT-R

In the evening, I went to Furaibo with my friends from school. They are doing well. One of them is getting married soon. Since the alcohol limit for drunk driving is very strict, not many

2007/12/16 (my brother's wedding day)

Woke up at 6:00AM, went for a run in the morning. Got changed to dress suit and took a taxi to go to my brother wedding place. When the ceremony ended, both my parents left the room so I had to take my grandma downstairs. Since she does not remember me anymore, I had so much hard time convincing her that she needs to go to the first floor. With no family members around, she is confused or something. After 5 minutes working things out, I was able to take her to meet other family members. After a short ride on taxi again, we came home around 2:00PM, had tea dinner around 6:00PM, had Japanese bath, then headed to bed around 10:30PM.

2007/12/17 Coming back to the U.S.

To Narita Airport: Hikari 372, Narita Express 33

Woke up at 6:00AM, had breakfast and went to run for about half hour. I had to finish packing. My brother and his wife was coming so I stayed at home. After a short chat, I needed to go. Saying goodbye to my family members, I left home around 12:48PM, caught a bus to the nearby subway station. The train leaving Hoshigaoka station at 13:04 came in after a short wait.

There is no Nozomi available, so I used Hikari instead. It will make a stop at Odawara, but won't be passed. After getting on it, I had my lunch, watching outside.

Nagoya Mansai (1,000Yen)
  • Upper Left
    • Pumpkin
  • Upper Middle
    • Salmon
  • Upper Right
    • Miso-Katsu (fried pork)
  • Lower Left
    • Ten Musu (fried shrimp roll)
    • Hitsumabushi (broiled eel roll)
  • Lower Right
    • Rice over chicken

Some pictures from the view

Ocean Tea Farm, Shizuoka Mt. Fuji

International Driving School Metro Area, Tokyo
Hikari 372 Leaving Nagoya 13:58, Arriving Tokyo 15:43 Narita Express 33 Leaving Tokyo 16:03, Arrive at NRT 16:54

After arriving Tokyo station, I needed to change the train to Narita Airport. Unfortunately, I did not have my boarding ticket, so I had to look for Midorino Madoguchi to buy a ticket. The guy mistook that I have not paid the fair

Train leaving Tokyo... Time to go back to the U.S.

ToChicago: AA0154 NRT(7:05PM) - ORD(3:50PM)

AA0154 at Narita International Airport

At 6:30PM, the boarding began. I had to wait for the folks in first class and business class, but as soon as the platinum is good to go, I went inside and took my seat. The plane took off on time and headed to the U.S. The plane landed at 3:10PM, which was quite earlier than originally scheduled. We had to wait for a while before the doors opens

Missouri River Wisconsin River Chicago O'Hare Airport

To Detroit: AA0510 ORD(7:00PM) - DTW(8:20PM)

The plane's boarding gate kept changing from H12, H10 then finally H17. Got on board the plane at 7:10PM, departed, in the dark sky. I could see many approaching flights in the sky.

Chicago Terminal decorated for the holidays

Leaving for Detroit, I could see the lights from the planes getting ready to land at Chicago...

Coming Home

After arriving at Detroit airport, there was a problem. I must have forgot to turn off the map light, the battery was dead and I could not get help for almost one hour. I came home after midnight.


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