Japan Trip 2010 - June (last updated on 2011/03/06)

2010/06/08 Heading to Japan

Going to airport

Woke up at 5:00am, I needed to head out by 5:30am so I had to stretch my body, take shower very quick then packed all the stuffs back to the bags. I departed from the hotel at 5:40am, the outside is slightly bright due to the sun rising, but otherwise it's still dark. Drove east on North Houston parkway then changed to JFK Blvd. the airport's rental car return terminal. I was so busy and did not pay attention, so I handed the whole set of keys to the lady at the rental car company. Of course I get my portion returned... Going upstairs to catch a shuttle bus to the terminal. One was just about to leave so I had to jump in. After a short ride on the bus, I was at terminal A at 6:05am.

Flight to Dallas AA588 IAH(7:50am CDT) to DFW(9:05am CDT)

AA588 at Houston International Airport

After a short bus ride, I was at terminal. I took an elevator up to the ticketing floor. I had to line up for check in but wait was only for a short while. After dropping my bags (One was 50.3lb, another was 23.0 lbs so it was very close to the limitation) and get my tickets issued. Everything looks good so I lined up for the security screening at 6:20am. It was already three fold in the line so it took a quite long time to pass through it but made it to the gate by 6:40am. I turned on my PC and started typing up my reports and also updated my blog, which I neglected to upload for a while. The boarding for the plane started at 7:30am, and it departed on time at 7:50am. It was a long wait before the plane can actually take off. So finally be at the runway at 8:20am and took off to south, then turned around to head to north. It was only a short ride, the plane flew over DFW airport at 9:00am, and kept going to north for approach. The plane took its course to south, and landed at 9:15am. The plane taxied for a short period time then getting off the plane at 9:25am.

Departing from Houston Seeing blue sky to top, and white clouds on the bottom
Flying over DFW Seeing its own shadow on cloud

I checked the monitor for the connecting information and found that I have to go to terminal D so I decided to take Skyline to the terminal. A weird thing happened and the train was stuck for a while, it looked like that the doors could not be closed. It fixed itself in about a couple of minutes. Good, I don't want to be late.

Flight to Narita AA175 DFW(10:05am) to NRT(1:10pm, 6/9)

AA175 at Dallas Fort Worth

I bought a bottled water as I walk toward the gate, the plane is already boarding so I'd better hurry. Finally arrived at 9:50am and the inside of cabin was already pretty full. I took a seat and I am ready for 14 hours flight. The plane was very much ready to leave but then they had to put more bags from last minute passengers, so the plane is still at the gate at 10:15am. The plane took off at 10:30am, changed the course to west to fly toward Japan.

Departing from Dallas Departing from Dallas

The plane flew over Dalhart, TX, south of Fishers Peak near Rockies at 11:40am, Alamosa 11:45am, flew over north of junction city, then salt lake city. The flight data is reporting at 32000 at -32F. Reached Tacoma at 2:00pm. Reached Anchorage at 4:30pm. Snack was served at 5:00pm, flying by Bristol bay at 36,000ft and -45C

Lunch Snacks
Dallas Farm land over Texas Fishers Park Mountains

Ft. Carson Alaska

2010/06/09 Arriving at Tokyo

Arriving at Narita

At 7:00pm, passing the international date line at 37,000ft and -60C, there seems be a lot of students onboard, they were taking pictures together for a while. At 9:30pm, the plane was flying at 1,000km from Tokyo, FL360 and -53C. I just cannot wait to be in Japan! At 10:00pm 400mi from Tokyo and breakfast was served.

10:25pm, monitor shows only 0 minutes to go. At off Iwaki city and descending to 9,906m, after that, the plane was maintaining altitude at 7,000ft while turning on the ocean. Made final turn at 10:40pm and now the plane is on the straight path to the airport. The final approach was not pretty, the plane had to fly through pretty turbulent air, while holding the altitude around 7,000ft. The negative G are just killing me. The plane landed at 11:00am in Japan time. Getting off the plane at 11:20am.


Get a stamp on my passport. Gathered my bags, and passed the custom.

Back in Japan!

Going to Tokyo

Limousine bus to Shinagawa

Passing ETC gate on high way Arriving at Shinagawa

I will be staying at a hotel at Shinagawa, and was recommended of taking an Airport Limousine bus from the airport. I bought ticket at 1:45pm for 3,000 Yen. Called home from a public phone to let my dad know that I arrived okay. The bus came to the boarding location and left at 2:20pm, make a couple of stops before leaving airport properties so it was around 2:40pm when we left. Arrived at Shinagawa Hotel at 4:00pm.

Dinner in Shinagawa

Checked in at the hotel, get my room and called my coworker and met up at Gotanda station at 6:00pm. Had a beer at a restaurant called Uo-Kin. Came back to the hotel for drinks, rather than the drink, I enjoyed the night view from the windows. Going back to the room around 10:30pm, I went to bed straight.

My hotel room

Looking at Tokyo Tower Night time in Shinagawa

2010/6/10 Visiting Tokyo Office

Visiting Tokyo Office

I woke up at 3:00am due to jet lag once, then again at 6:00am. It's no way that I can go back to sleep again so I decided to go outside and walk around to check out the places. I went to a convenience store to buy my breakfast.

I get picked up at 9:15am. Took a taxi to the office. Spent whole day at a meeting room, then went to lunch at a Korean restaurant around 1:00pm. Came back for the meetings and stayed until 4:00pm.

Meiji Memorial Hall Beer Garden

We are going to Meiji Kinen Kan for beer (Japanese's so called beer garden) so we left around 4:00pm. Started to drink from 5:00pm and had a good time. Rain started to fall but had umbrellas provided by the store. The only catch is they cannot serve anything while it is raining... We come back to the hotel and I went to bed around 11:00pm. Tomorrow we are moving to Kobe!

2010/6/11 Visiting Okubo Office

Checking out from the hotel, moving to Shin-Kobe, visiting a company

Looking out from the window, I can see the company I work for Shinagawa Station in the morning, too early so many people around.
Outback steakhouse is the U.S. No. 1?! TGIFridays

Woke up at midnight then at 3:00am, I could not go back to sleep so I went to outside to walk around to get breakfast from nearby convenience store. Check out from the hotel at 7:15am, and walked to Shinagawa station. My boss and I bought tickets and get on Nozomi 13 departing at 7:57am, expect to arrive at Shin-Kobe at 10:40am. After arriving at Shin-Kobe, we checked our bags to the hotel, met with a coworker who was coming to meet us. Took a taxi to a sister company in Port Island. Had sushi for lunch at Port Island then we headed to the company's factory.

Moving to visit another company

We went there by a taxi, and I walked around to meet with my new coworkers for a while then had a meeting until 5:00pm. I received a pair of shoes, uniforms, and safety hat. I was given a locker so I put the all the stuffs in there. I will be on training here from Monday! Took a taxi to the hotel, and rested up.

P&H 255A displayed at the factory.

Evening at Sannomiya

In the evening, we went to a restaurant called Kokubu, a steak house. When we came out, it was very hard to find the taxi, one of them did not want to take us, but I found another one. The view from the hotel, looking at the Kobe downtown was beautiful. Going to bed around 10:00pm.

2010/6/12 Move in day, also homecoming

Morning: Receiving the keys to the apartment

Kobe view in the morning from the hotel.

Woke up around 6:00am. Today was a bit cloudy, but I guess it is okay then. My boss is heading back home while I need to check in at an apartment for my six months training. I had breakfast at the hotel, packed my bags and checked out from the hotel around 9:00am, took a subway from Shin-Kobe to Sannnomiya for 200yen. The train left at 9:10am and arrived there in 5 minutes. I switched to JR line. A train leaving at 9:24am was late by a few minutes, which arrived at Akashi station at 9:39am. The store opens only from 10:00am but when I got there, it looked like already opened, so I walked in to the leasing office. I filled out paperwork, received the key which is like a magnetic card, then I walk back to the station, took a train to the apartment.

Moving my stuffs to the apartment

Apartment I will be living for 4 month from now

This is my first time using Leopalace 21 (people call it "Leopa") apartment. The place is small as it looked but very efficient. I walked out from Nishi-Akashi station and started walking toward the properly, but I took a wrong path, so I found the apartment complex below the bridge I am walking on... Managed to get back there, opened the lock and went inside. Washer and Refrigerator are already there, also a microwave, kitchen burner, TV and table, two chairs. I guess I can live. After checking everything looks okay, I head back Nishi-Akashi station, get on a S.Rapid leaving at 11:33am to go back to  Sannomiya, which I arrived at 11:55am. I had to pay 560 Yen. Took a subway again to the hotel, picked up my bags and left hotel at 12:05pm and walked to Shin-Kobe station. I took a bullet train Hikari 465 to Nishi-Akashi, then took a taxi to the apartment. I got there at 12:40pm, soon I received futon bed delivered by Kuroneko. Now I can head to Nagoya to meet my dad and brother.

One small step for a man... Storage units Fridge and Microwave

Toilet Bathroom

Living has a table and a TV The space above hallway, you can sleep here Received rental futon bed


Unpack all the items from the trip and repack for the weekend trip in Nagoya. I walked back to Nishi-Akashi station, bought a non-reserved round trip ticket between Nishi-Akashi and Nagoya at a ticketing window. When I get up to the platform around 1:20pm, there is no one waiting and I wondered why. I then found out that a train has just left, and next one is one hour away... I guess I have to waste time here in Nishi-Akashi. I thought about taking a local train to Shin-Osaka, but I guess it won't make much difference in the time I am arriving Nagoya. So, I pulled out my phone and called a couple of friends, and also ate my lunch.

Hikari 475 at Nishi-Akashi (Series 700)

Hikari 475 departing Nishi-Akashi at 2:15pm, departed toward Nagoya. The train made stop at Shin-Kobe, Shin-Osaka, Kyoto then at Nagoya. Getting out from the train around 3:30pm. I walked to the city subway station and then connected to bus to go home. Met with my dad, then headed to my brother's place for dinner. Come home around 9:00pm.

2010/06/13 Prepare for the training

Visiting grandma

I woke up around midnight then again at 3:30am. The outside is getting brighter around 4:30am. Had breakfast with my dad around 6:00am. I need to go see my family member, so I left home around 10:40am to get on the bus. Took a subway going to Nagoya at 11:02am, which arrived there in about 20 minutes. Took an express train leaving at 11:29am and arrived at Narumi station around 11:50am. I walked outside toward grandma's place while feeling some rain drops. I got there at noon, had lunch with my aunt and uncle, and stayed until 3:00pm then headed back to Nagoya.

Sushi for lunch

I used a local train instead of a rapid so it took a lot longer than I hoped. After arriving to Nagoya, I stopped by at au store at underground mall, to buy a cell phone. Since I don't need to make a year long contract so I decided to go with a prepaid one. The first location did not have the phone I want so I had to go to another location. The outside is getting darker due to the change in weather. I was at the store at 4:30pm, had to fill out paper and also wait for getting clearance. I finally got my phone, the whole process took about one hour. After receiving the phone, I walked toward the train station under misty rain.

Got my cell phone

Coming back to Hyogo

Arrived at platform for west bound Shinkansen. I got on Nozomi 183, departing Nagoya at 17:25. The train moved smoothly and arrived at Shin-Osaka on time at 18:16. Since Nozomi does not stop at Nishi-Akashi, I had to switch. I waited for 5 minutes then took next train which was Hikari Railstar 581. I thought this will stop but it won't... I guess I have to wait for a Kodama. I get on the train at 18:22 and off at 18:35 at Shin-Kobe station. I had to wait another 20 minutes before Kodama 765 comes in at 18:53 at Shin-Kobe, and rode to the next station which is Nishi-Akashi. It was already passed 19:00 so the outside is getting darker. Anyways, I am back, had to buy dinner for tonight and tomorrow's breakfast. Come home around 8:00pm. Went to bed around 10:00pm. I will have to survive the life in Japan until December.

Hikari Railstar 581 (Type 700) at Shin-Kobe Kodama 765 (Type 500) ay Nishi-Akashi

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