Japan day 1 and 2, part 1


I had booked a 3-week trip to Japan, where 14 of those days were group travel with 22 participants from different countries, where we were to experience 35 activities. The last week, I was going to be alone. 


- Oslo, Gardemoen. 

- Helsinki, Finland. 

- Tokyo, Japan. 


- Meet the group. 

- Visit temples senso-ji which I talk about in the next post. 

I had intended to pack at least a week in advance, but ended up packing the suitcase the day before. It was a 60L suitcase/backpack, and a slightly smaller 32L backpack to wear on the back. Yes, it gets messy when you pack, even if you have planned what to bring in advance, it will not be the same when you pack. You bring in something new and toss out something else.

I had bought a Japan Rail Pass for the train and a SIM card for the phone for Japan in advance, but I ordered some to be sent so I wasn't sure if it would arrive before I left. It was a few hours before I had to leave in the morning, so it came just in time! 

Day 1: The trip starts with a flight from Gardemoen to Helsinki, and from Helsinki to Tokyo. Mum, Dad and the family dog Gizmo drove me to the airport. Went well and got the boarding pass and luggage tag. Got a boarding pass right away then relaxed and did not have to think about it when I arrived in Helsinki, Finland. It was great.

Was told at check-in that the luggage was going directly from Norway to Tokyo, so I relaxed and thought about it on the way. The flight to Finland took approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes. Because I have an EU passport, I didn't have to go through security when I landed in Finland, I only had to show my boarding pass and passport. The layover itself took 2 hours and 30 minutes, and it actually went really fast.

It was a big airport in Finland, bought some food sat me down and then went on from Helsinki to Tokyo.  

The flight to Japan is the biggest plane I've been on, but there are regular straight up and down seats. I sat in the middle (here I came to regret that I had told the travel agency that it was exactly the same where I sat, and that I wanted cheap seats because that was not the most important thing on the trip). Since it was a long flight, we got a blanket, a bottle of water and earplugs for the TV right in front of us. On the TV, you can choose to look at the front or back of the plane, watch movies, listen to music, or play games, you could also follow the times and when food and drinks were served, or when they turned off the lights because it was bedtime. The flight took approx. 11 hours +/- Was served two meals on the plane, dinner and breakfast. Got chicken and rice, as well as some pasta for dinner and chicken curry for breakfast, as well as salad, here you had the choice between chopsticks and cutlery.

I thought the food was ok. Anyway, I was sitting in the middle seat, couldn't lean back that much because there were people sitting in the seats behind me, couldn't just go to the bathroom when I wanted because there were people sitting in the seats next to me who slept quite a bit , then I would have had to wake them up to move me, and you just don't do that, unless it's a complete crisis, so I only went to the bathroom twice on the plane, before bedtime and after breakfast. It was very hot, and there was quite a bit of turbulence in the middle of the night and I woke up to the pilot talking on the radio. I slept and woke up an incredible number of times, and I get travel sickness too. Maybe that's why I was so hot. I took a travel sickness tablet before the flight in Finland and one in the middle of the trip on the flight from Finland to Japan, they did not worked. When I woke up again in the morning before breakfast, which was at 07, then I was nauseous, and had a really bad stomach ache, I had to vomit but there were two people next to me who were sleeping, I considered using the vomit bag in front of me, but managed not to. I drank water, what I could and tried to sleep, maybe that would help, also had a really bad bum and back after sitting upright for several hours. Soon after, breakfast was served, then my sidemates woke up, so tried to eat first and got something down, before I finally got to go to the bathroom. 

This was the worst flight I've ever been on, but now it's the first time I've had such a long flight as well. Next time I will save money so I can go with business class because there they have seats they can lie in, and no matter how much money you want to save, at least I think now it would have been worth it. I used the airline Finnair for everything, through the travel agency Kilroy, as they were the ones who booked and arranged for me. https://www.kilroy.no But now it must be said that the staff were very good, and there was nothing wrong with my side mates, the reason why I had a bad experience was because I felt so sick. It sucks to get tralvel sickness when you love to travel, but it's worth it in the long run once you're at your destination. 

Day 2: The plane landed, in Japan FINALLY! 

Then I had to get from the airport to the hotel in Tokyo. I collected my luggage, bought a train ticket and got on the wrong train. After we had driven one station, the conductor told me that I was on the wrong train, and that this train was not going any further, and that I had to go up to the reception and get a new ticket. It was a bit difficult to find my way as I didn't understand everything the conductor said, even though he spoke some English. But I eventually found my way to the ticket desk, where I explained to her at the checkout that I had taken the wrong train and said where I was going. She gave me a new ticket without me having to pay anything for this. Then I went to where the trains left, but now I had become a little unsure if I was in the right place, so I looked that there was a mother and daughter together so I asked them and showed them my ticket. They were a little unsure at first because the train was out of service before it suddenly changed again, but when the doors opened they waved me over and showed me the way onto the train, so I thanked them for their help and sat down in the seat I had been allocated on my ticket. Here in Japan, the vast majority are very kind and helpful, as long as you ask, regardless of whether they speak English or not. 

When the train arrived, I got off, found my good friend google maps and found the hotel. The hotel is called Sakura Hotel Nippori. Here there are bunk beds and a roommate. I share a room with someone called Samantha who is from New York, who is on the same trip as me. I'm at the top of the bunk bed, and my luggage is strewn across the room, hehe. There is a shower and toilet in the hallway. I was alone in the room and started unpacking what I needed then and there, when my roommate suddenly came in the door. After we had greeted each other, we found out that we had many similar interests, and both dreamed of visiting each other's countries. So it was great, then I already had a friend, before we met the rest of our travel companions. It was good, because I was a little afraid to meet people, because imagine if they didn't want to get to know me! But it was no problem at all! 

Here are some pictures of the hotel 

Here we had a room with a bunk bed, and a curtain we draw on the bunk bed if we want some peace, and a small sofa. There are shared toilets and showers, which are in the hallway. On the way to the shower there are first many sinks and mirrors, before you go further in and there are three different rooms with showers with doors. Is private. On the other side of the hall there are a couple of toilets, they are very fancy toilets as you can put on the heated seat, rinse behind and in front after you have been to the toilet, in many places you can listen to music etc. in the toilet. At the reception you can pick up free toothbrushes, and ask for new towels if you want this. At this hotel, breakfast, toast and jam were included, and you could fill up your water bottle there. There was also the seveneleven, and familymart close by, where you could withdraw money, or buy food or snacks. 

We started the journey in the big city of Tokyo. 

After greeting my roommate and settling down, it was time to meet the rest of the group. We met near the reception, there were people from different parts of the world such as Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, Great Britain and me from Norway in Europe, there were also people from Australia and America, and more. It was only me from Norway, so I got to use my English so to speak. Here I learned that half the group was on a 10 day trip and the rest of us were on a 14 day trip. Here we also met our guide Beth, who was from the travel agency onelife, https://onelifeadventures.com.au It is also recommended to travel with them! We said our names and which country we were from before moving on. 

(see more in the next post)