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  • Writer's pictureKarli Messer

Sayonara, Vancouver!

Wow! What a day. Yesterday, most of my family was able to come out for Gaji Night at grandma and grandpa's. I was able to spread the word about my blog and update everyone on my trip. It still didn't feel like I would be in Japan the next day! We played games and ate delicious food until it was well past my bedtime.

I'll be honest... Since it was the night before my flight, I didn't even realize what time it was since I had so much fun. By the time I realized, it was already 2 AM when I went to bed. Even then, I was so excited for my flight the next day I couldn't sleep until 4:30 AM. Luckily, I still woke up with enough time to have breakfast and say my goodbyes to everyone.

These are some of the friends and family that I said goodbye to earlier this week. I was only in Vancouver for a week and a half, so I'm glad I got to see some friendly faces before I left.

The flight from YVR to Calgary was DELAYED by about an hour. This wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the one hour layover. Thankfully, the connection flight to Japan waited for all 23 passengers from my flight before closing the gates. Overall, a pretty great first impression for WestJet.

Here are some pictures of my food and in flight experience.

Now as soon as I arrived in Japan, I was excited to start speaking some Japanese and to my surprise everything went smoothly. I got off the plane, sailed through customs, grabbed my 50 lb backpack, and walked to the declarations area. So far, there were almost as many employees as there were people on my plane and everyone was very kind and accommodating. They asked to see my bag with all my omiyage and for a second I worried they would quarantine my nori since it's a plant. Everything went without a hitch and I found my way to the Low Cost Bus Ticketing Desk. I asked which route would take me closest to the ryokan where I'm staying and she recommended I take the train instead. I found the ticket booth and got a ticket for the Keisei Access Express train direct to Asakusa. Again all goes well, or so I thought, since I safely boarded my train with all my luggage and rode all the way to my stop.

Here's where the trouble starts. Somehow or another, everyone else had a ticket to exit the station except for me! I asked the attendant and he said when I entered the station I needed to insert AND pick up my ticket from the turnstile. OOPS. He let me through and I faced the next challenge. From the subway to the exit, there were no more elevators (that I could find). So, in the 35ºC humid, heat I carried all my luggage up 4 flights of stairs and reached the street. Thankfully, I had a handsfree fan to keep me cool!

I put in the address of my hotel and it looks like a simple 15 minute walk. "No big deal!" I thought. It's almost 7 PM and everyone is walking around Asakusa enjoying their night in the streets. I, however, am sweating, dragging my luggage, and somehow always walking in the wrong direction of all the pedestrians. I still don't know how to walk on the roads yet.

It's pretty late, so I'll try to introduce my ryokan another time! Good night, Japan. Good morning, North America!


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