Japan Trip 2014 - February (Part 1 - Nagoya) (last updated on 2014/10/12)

2014/2/1&2 Going to Japan

2/2 Nagoya: 12.9/5.4

To the airport

I had to be working on the machines at the plant after the shift until very last minutes. I was hoping to leave early so I can take a shower at a gym before heading to the airport but I now have no choice but head to the airport direct. I drove on the toll road which the traffic is not so bad but there are some speeding drivers passing by... Arrived at the parking at 5:00am, get signed up for a car wash, and get on a van and left there at 5:08am. There were two people going somewhere else, and they got off at Terminal A.

To Los Angeles: UA3 IAH(7:20am CST) - LAX(9:10am PST)

I got dropped off at terminal C at 5:20am and began walking toward the building. The place was less crowded and I had easy checking in with no wait. Dropped off two bags and paid $100 for the 2nd bag fee. Received the ticket and chat with the agent a little before heading to the security check. There was no line here also so I passed in 10 minutes. After retrieving my stuffs, I then realized that the flight leaves from Terminal E, not C. I walked to the terminal E while watching many stores in the terminal are getting ready to open up for the business. Arrived to the gate at 5:40am and took a seat after buying a bottled water at nearby coffee shop. Began checking on the net, sending emails to my friends. The current temperature at Houston is 65F, while Nagoya is at 45F.

Gate E8 for departing to LA, almost no one nearby

Getting on board the UA3 at IAH

Taking a seat

Plane climnbed above cloud level

Los Angeles Downtown East Los Angeles

Landed at LAX

B787 to Narita preparing for departure

Soon the boarding started at 6:30am, and I took a seat at 6:35am since I was in group 2. Patiently waiting to finish the boarding process. The sun comes up by 7:00am, and the plane began to push back at 7:30am. The plane taxied to a runway and took off to the south. The plane climbing into low clouds while heading to west. Soon the plane broke off from the layer of high clouds and I get to see the sun. Took a nap since I felt finally relieved after finishing up the work for the last 6 months, and safely drove to the airport. Next time when I got up, the plane was flying over Arizona. The plane began to make approach to LAX from the east, seeing Los Angeles downtown to the right then landed. After the landing, the plane had to wait for 5 minutes off runway since there was a plane departing from another runway located between the terminal and where we were. Began taxing at 9:00am and arrived at the gate. Getting off from the plane at 9:20am.

To Narita, Japan: UA32 LAX(11:05am PST) - NRT(4:00pm on 2/2 JST)

I have to change the gate for connection so I walked to the gate 76 at 9:30am. Under the sunny California weather, I spent quiet time at the lobby while resisting sleepy feeling. The boarding began on time and I again get on the plane with group 2 priority and took a seat at 10:30am. This is my first time in B787 Dreamliner, the roomy cabin with new look was pretty cool and also the window using polarized blind. They were even giving people a souvenir which a deck of playing card. The departure was supposed to be at 11:05am, but was delayed due to a computer issue. The door finally closed at 11:30am, then pushed back 5 minutes later. During the pre-flight, CA announced that were are allowed to use portable electronics for entire duration of flight, adding that once landed in Narita, it is not allowed. Just made me laugh a bit...

Waiting for the turn fot departure Deparing from LAX


The plane began taxing at 11:40am, then took off to west then turned right and flew toward land and to Baker's Field, passing Fresno, CA at 12:15pm, then continue toward the northwest. Soon the plane crossed into ocean. Lunch was served and then I finally get to sleep so the next time when I wake up was at 5:29pm (10:28am in JST) when the plane was flying over southwest Alaska, flew over Cold Bay, AK, about 5 hours to go with the plane was flying 866km/h at 40,000ft.

Lunch served

The lights are up at 2:20pm in Japan time, the plane was flying at east of Aomoti, 617mi away from Narita, with 500mph still at FL400 where -53C is reported. A meal was served. At 3:20pm, the plane began descent from 26,000ft, and display shows 30 minutes to go. The plane changed the heading to west then reached to the shore line where the plane was flying at 6,500ft at 261mph, at 3:36pm. Made the left turn toward the final at 3:45pm and landed 5 minutes later. The plane taxied for another 5 minutes and reached to the gate.

Breakfast served

Landed at Narita

B787 at Narita

To Nagoya

From To Depart Arrive Duration Method
Narita Airport Shinagawa 4:44pm 5:52pm 1:08 Narita Express (NEX) 38
Shinagawa Nagoya 6:17pm 7:51pm 1:34 Nozomi 57

After getting off the plane, I began walking toward the immigration. While I waited for my bag at the baggage claim, I called my dad. This time, I was able to pick up both of my bags, unlike the last time. Walking out the doors after passing the customs. I am back in Japan!

Approached to JR ticketing counter for a ticket to Nagoya. I will be taking a train to Shinagawa first then switch to Super Express there to Nagoya. I paid 13,490Yen then began going down to the platform. This was my first time I get on the new Narita Express. The first leg, which was on Narita Express (NEX) 38, left the airport at 4:44pm. The train moved without any problem, passing Narita, Tsudanuma and other stations without a stop, just saw a completed Tokyo Skytree right before the train going underground. Arrived to Tokyo's underground level 4 station then the train separated into two 6 car formation, and mine began heading to Shinagawa and arrived there at 5:52pm.

NEX 38 at Narita Airport station

Skytree in a distance

I stepped out to the platform under chilly and dark sky. I felt the air of Tokyo in the winter. I could hear familiar train station's melody as I walk up the stairs. Passed the gate to Shinkansen at 5:55pm and grabbed dinner at a store.

So many to choose from....

When I walked down to the platform, there's been quite a lot people waiting. I am glad that I bought a reserved ticket. The Nozomi 57 left Shinagawa on time at 6:17pm, the train was packed. The train moved under dark evening sky, made a stop at Shin-Yokohama then kept moving without stop until Nagoya. The train began to slow down after passing Mikawa Anjo, arrived at Nagoya at 7:51pm.

Nozomi 57 arriving at Shinagawa

My dinner~

Moving in dark

Train is fairly packed.

Walking with bags, I decided to take city transit to come home, so dragged my bag to downstairs. Left Nagoya at 8:00pm, arrived at a bus station near my home at 8:40pm, come home at 9:00pm. Took a quick shower and went to bed around 11:00pm after talking with my dad and brother.

2014/2/3 In Nagoya, Visiting Sakae and Nagoya Station

2/3 Nagoya: 13.9/6.7

In the morning

Woke up at 3:00am because of the jet lag but managed to stay in bed until 5:30am. Had breakfast with my brother's family in the morning and stepped out to get my slacks and shirt cleaned at a cleaner which can get the job done by Wednesday after 9:00am. I have many errands to run today, so I stopped by at a Post Office, a bank and a bicycle store for the morning. Come home and began unpacking and packing for my trip later this week.

In the Afternoon at Sakae

For the afternoon, I left home at 12:15pm and get on a bus to a train station, switched to a subway train which left at 12:42pm. After arriving to Sakae, I stopped by a bank to withdraw cash to allow me to stay in Japan without being cash strapped, then began walking toward Nagoya City Science Museum at Shirakawa Park under cloudy sky. I used to go there many times when I was a junior high school student. Since today is Monday, the place is closed but I was able to check out some of the exhibits placed at outside; old light rail car, locomotive, an engineering model of ISS's Kibo unit.


Nagoya City Science Museum

Old street car which City of Nagoya used to operate

In the Afternoon at Nagoya

I continue to walk to Nagoya station, and bought a dress watch which is powered by solar at Yamada Electric Appliance store around 2:00pm. The belt needed to be adjusted for the size of my wrist, which took about 15 minutes so I walked around the store checking out magnificent 4K TV and 3D printer. The both were great but I am not sure if I need them. After getting my watch, I began walking back to Sakae after eating a late lunch at McDonald's at 2:30pm, purchased a book about Tokyo at nearby book store. Before I hop on the train back to home, I needed to stop by at Crispy Creme to check out the place. Ate a few donuts at 3:30pm then left Sakae before 4:00pm. Back home at 4:30pm, relaxed unit dinner time. My dad wanted to eat together so we walked to a nearby restaurant and had hot sake, doteni, salad, sashimi... Come home at 8:00pm and then read book with my nephew until he and niece went to bed. I stayed up until 11:00pm.

Reconstruction of Dai Nagoya Building has began

Nanachan in school uniform...

Krispy Kreme in Sakae

2014/2/4 In Nagoya, taking things easy...

2/4 Nagoya: 12.4/0.4

Woke up at 4:00am, stayed in the bed until 5:30am then stretched my body. When the sun come up, I realized this morning is sunny unlike yesterday which was whole day cloudy. Went for a run in the morning, it was nicely chilly but enjoyed. Logged about 5 miles and took a shower after coming back.

Sunny winter day

Stepped out under sunny weather later to buy groceries for tonight's dinner, as well as gifts but could not find some. In the store they had many banners to recommend customer to buy electric appliances before the sales tax rate increase in April. I think it is not a great way encouraging consumer to buy stuffs by using scare tactics. Come home and gave the groceries to my sister in law.

Electric appliance on sale ahead of sales tax increase

Had lunch at Komeda Coffee at noon. I had a fried pork cutlet sandwich with bean paste while reading book about Tokyo to decide where to go. The sky turned darker and became windier and even some rain. I just updated my webpage for the afternoon. The sky turned to sunny again but still windy, expecting freezing temperature by tomorrow morning.

Having lunch at Japanese Cafe while reading walking-tour book about Tokyo

2014/2/5 In Nagoya, Visiting a Museum, Relatives

2/5 Nagoya: 5.5/-1.6, Kesennuma: -0.4/-8.4

Morning at SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

Woke up around 3:00am again. Stayed in the bed until 5:00am then stretched my body. I had breakfast with brother. Packed and left home around 8:15am, hoping to catch a bus leaving at 8:20am. However, when I get to the bus stop, I realized that they have changed the timetable. Now I switch to a different route. Arrived at Nagoya at 9:10am, just enough to catch a train to the museum I am planning to go. I stopped by at Midorinomadoguchi to buy tickets for tomorrow's trip. Walked to the trail platform for Aonami line, it was a little chilly so I took a seat inside the waiting trail. Just realized that they have a heated seat... The train left Nagoya at 9:20am on aonami line bound for Kinjo Futo

After arriving the terminal at 9:44am I walked out from the building and headed to SCMAGLEV and Railway park. It was before opening time but seen several people already waiting in front of the door. Inside the museum, I was able to see all Shinkansen and other trains I used to see and the old ones which I have never seen before. Admission was 1,000Yen, and I guess it was worth the price I paid.

Meet the Bullet trains~ (and more)!

Pictures from the museum

Visiting relatives

I walked out from the museum around 9:50am to get on a train back to Nagoya. The train left at 9:59am, and arrived Nagoya at 11:22am. I changed to Sakuradori Line and getting off at Aioiyama at 11:58am. It was 10 minutes walk to my uncle's house. We had lunch together and chat, stayed until 2:00pm, stopped by at the apartment where my grandma used to. Got a ride to nearby train station, and waited for the train leaving at 2:50pm. It was a little cold to just wait at outside. Arriving back to Nagoya, changed to a bus going to my home. Picked up my laundry at 4:00pm, used local Laundromat for 30 minutes to get the Landry from the morning dried. Began packing my suitcase for shipping to the airport so I don't have to take all my belongings to my trip from tomorrow.

Dragged my bag to a near by dropped off location and come home. My dad wanted to have a dinner with me, so we stepped outside in cold air and walked to an Italian pizza place but the place was closed for today. We settled at Japanese BBQ place. Come home, went to bed around 11:00pm but kept looking.

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