Trip to Japan – Day 1 (2023)

– A new start to a new adventure. Off to Japan! Or, at least, I hope so.

After many, many years I finally had the chance and opportunity to travel to Japan! I prepped, organized, even poisoned myself with the three doses of the COVID-19 shot allowing me to travel to Japan at last! I waited, and waited for this time, FINALLY having the time to travel there, all the while of having to be taunted and mocked by Dutch trolls and online ex-gaming-friends always wanting to boast about doing things before me. You know where they are. They’re gone, and I’m heading to Japan now! Nice! Over 20 years! 23 years? Something around that. I desired and wished to travel to Japan for so many years, FINALLY having the time to travel there.

I’ve fought with COVID-19 nonsense, with budgeting for a plane ticket, of workplace abuse, having lost my two parents and Sparky the dog, with depression, being treated like absolute crap in the online gaming world and workplace. Always this social outcast, yet FINALLY traveling to Japan. I also nearly died from the COVID-19 shots. It didn’t hit me until I entered the van of those helping me out to which I had a severe reaction to the shot. My senses were all screwed up from that third booster. I felt like I had a cold/flu, fatigued. I felt like absolute shit for that night, into the next day. I hate Trudeau so much, I had to leave for my 1 month and a few days worth of escapism.


FINALLY Accomplishing my goal in the ‘Year of the Rabbit’! Born a rabbit, traveled on a rabbit!

(Locally March 20th, 2023 in Ottawa, Canada.)

– I see they’re building the LRT expansion to the airport. Finally Ottawa is doing something worthwhile. What a stupid city.

I was let off by my roommates at the airport, went to my arrival area, tried to process my flight information to obtain tickets needing to be assisted by United Airlines staff. They helped me undo the self-check in errors. I’ve even screwed up tagging my bags. I was tired, yet relieved to finally be traveling… I was losing my mind from all the excitement. The anxiety.

Process my bags, having my passport checked out, even placing my bag on the belt. Moments later I was searched, and even process for security to then get flagged for my bag being “suspicious”. The screen even showed there was something suspicious in my bag. Shame. Told them what they needed to know, how much I’m carrying, where I am going, what’s in my bag, and what electronics I had. Standard stuff, yet made more awkward by the security’s posture. Everything was awkward for that 1 hour to the point I was pulled aside to have my bag checked. Just sat there, like a fool. Worried my flight to Japan would have been canceled there and then even before starting. No fun allowed allegedly because of the stuff in my luggage. I may have packed more than I should have, something that’s genuinely my fault. Many minutes later (felt like an hour later) I was bag searched (not my luggage), was asked where I’m going, how long I would be at Washington Airport.

While I was waiting in the security room I was bagged search noting my figure collection in a phone box, my JR Rail pass, among other stuff. The boarder security woman even noting – “Wow, you’re actually well prepared for this!” – to which I noted I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I pre-booked half my hotels, etc. Thankfully leaving the rest open for future adventures.

What a pain, relating to security struggles. I always have to get dinged by them. Why do I have to suffer this awkwardness. I was eventually let loose worried about my flight, especially my luggage. Even how to get from one plane to the next, IF I’m allowed to travel from Washington airport to Japan.

– I was finally allowed free. United Airlines Flight UA3660 – Ottawa to Washington.

I waited a few hours. I was simply watching Youtube, worrying about my flight, about my luggage, and how the trip would fair. I was worried, with special thanks to being flagged for my luggage. Everything is new to me and I’m basically going solo (alone) to Japan.

Took a few hours, I eventually was allowed to purchase a giant ICE bottle of water. I forgot to bring my own water bottle which would be a problem in my travels. Thankfully, Japan has us covered with ‘Conbini’.

It genuinely makes me happy finally being given the opportunity of traveling to Japan in the ‘Year of the Rabbit’, being a rabbit myself. I originally planned for September, instead moved it closer to late March because of the ‘Moving Gundam’ allegedly closing sooner than later. I belatedly found out it was moved later. I now had the Cherry Blossoms to look forward to, and they were glorious!

– While waiting a United Air Force (USAF) aircraft ironically landed at my airport. I failed to spot it, yet knew of its presence. A RCH3224 aircraft. I caught it on taxi and take-off.

United Airlines – 3660 – Let the adventure begin!

To note: I flew from Ottawa to Washington D.C because Air Canada flight was becoming more than I could budget for. From $2000 to $5000 Canadian overnight. Other options had go through Toronto Pearson, something I refused to do. I didn’t want to have my luggage lost enroute to Japan with overly valuable stuff. It was going to be Ottawa > Montreal > Japan and back, or this Ottawa > Washington > Tokyo and back via Vancouver to Ottawa. I’m happy I took this American route. NEVER, EVER fly through Toronto Pearson airport, you’ll regret it. Fly from Montreal or Vancouver instead, or other reliable airports.

– Gate 3 – I guess this is it. We’re going! Finally!
– UA 3660 – That’s my plane to Washington to allow me to travel to Japan.
– UA 3660 – Bit-by-bit! We’re doing it!
– I asked if I could see the cockpit, I was allowed. Much awkwardness.
– What made this even special was how this aircraft is an Embraer aircraft. Nice!
– Catching the USAF – RCH3224
– A shot from the video viewing the USAF – RCH3224.

So, why am I heading to Japan?

Short answer is: Anime.

Long answer is: Anime, music, J-Vloggers (Roger Swan, TkyoSam, Tokyo Cooney, etc), wanting to experience authentic Japanese experience, the food, the landmarks, for Kantai Collection, to visit Kantai Collection hotspots/landmarks, and to meet new friends. It’s a long reason why. It’s been 20+ years since I’ve desired to go to Japan, long painful 20 years. I simply needed to experience the good sides of Japan.

I’ve also had a side goal which I desired to achieve, yet failed to accomplished. I’m simply not allowed to be happy in a certain way. I’m only allowed to suffer. It’s because of that suffering I’m heading to Japan to release all that pent up frustration and pain to finally explore my dream destination. Even a location various Dutch folks taunted and mocked me for.

– Very cloudy in Canada. Cloudy from Ottawa down to the US-Canadian boarder.

Passing the airline booth, the security, waiting for the flight, getting on the flight. I viewed everything as a checkpoint. Constantly going from one checkpoint to the next wishing everything would connect and flow properly allowing me to escape to Japan for 1 month and a few days.

– Cruising past a snowy Canada.
– Inflight snacks.
– What a gorgeous Canadian sight.
– Entering USA, still snowy. Can gradually see the divide.
– Lovely wing view.
– Trying to capture a plane in the shot.
– Trying to capture a plane in a shot, part 2.
– On arrival to Washington. Was a fairly lengthy steady approach to the airport with little to no ascending.
– (Video) On approach to Washington Airport, however took too long.
– (Video) On approach to Washington airport on a very lengthy approach.
– Funky airport cautionary warning signs. Very unique to me. Flight arrived 20 minutes early than planned.

After having arrived I asked where to go to catch my next flight. I had to go to a certain gate, then to a shuttle allowing me to go to Terminal B, then taking a train from there to reach Terminal A.

– Inside an airport bus at Washington airport.

I heard a very random comment on the shuttle bus:

“What a stupid driver, must be the mayor.”

I don’t’ know what that was about, it was however highly curiously hilarious.

– Trying to capture a unique airport shuttle bus shuttling people between terminals.
– A380, thanks to my Vancouver trip.
– Shuttle bus focus.
– A lovely line-up of various planes.
– Trying to figure out how to get from one area to the next in sections. Trying to follow the signs while meeting a few people along the way making quick friends.
– The experience of getting from the shuttle to this terminal was an experience in itself. Going up and around, up an escalator inducing fear of heights, etc.
– Arriving and waiting for the shuttle train to take me to my gate.
– A failed attempt at a train shot.

– Briefly met some new folks who later went off their own way. We tried to reach our plane.

We met up at Terminal 2 while trying to make our way to the train from the shuttle bus. We talked for a bit, laughed a bit. At one point they felt the need to go for food to not meet up again. We went our own way eventually. I was left meditating, even writing in my travel journal. Just…. Spacing out. Waiting. Anxious.

We met while enroute from one Terminal to another, took a picture, checked in, talked a bit, went to get food to never talk again. I’m still wondering if I had done something to annoy them in any way. I am taking this trip to escape. The woman in the image even told me to visit a fish market, something I’ve failed to do. I have however visited everything else.

Making my way through the main terminal was overly epic seeing the sakura pedals Washington airport prides itself on. Every souvenir from Washington was painted with Cherry Blossom pedals on it, from Japan. The various flags lining the terminal from one end to another making it a truly international “show-of-force” spectacle. I was slightly intimidated as a Canadian on American soil, especially when seeing that. It was impressive. Sadly I didn’t take proper images of the terminal at that time.

After eating a few snacks, failed to purchase from Chic-fil-a, I decided to take an image of Arnval with the All Nippon aircraft seen in the background. They wouldn’t accept Canadian currency, let alone my card working in various manners. Couldn’t get the VISA card to work. Shame.

– Arnval in Washington.
– Plane focus.

Regarding the ‘All Nippon Airways’ I was hoping for a Star Wars themed aircraft. I was lied to by Flightradar24, flightaware, among other sites. Shame.

– The only food I was allowed to eat before my flight. I wasn’t allowed to eat from Chic-Fil-A. Refused my card.
– With time to burn I decided to check out the A380 nearby.
– A better view of the shuttle buses.
– An Turkish Airlines flight having slight problems with the tug bar at front.
– BIrdy! Lovely Sparrow.
– At first I assumed I was crazy, eventually realizing it was from this bird.

UA7941 / NH101 (Codeshare flight):
6:30 pm EST to 9:45 PM Tokyo Time.

After much delay, even looking into a specifically crafted All Nippon Terminal in Japanese decorations, we had to wait even longer for a delayed flight. Roughly 10-30 minutes later we were allowed to board the plane. I even had to overhear a very loud guy talking for ages how he was going to have a layover in Tokyo wondering if he should go into Tokyo or stay at Haneda Airport. I assume I eventually talked to that same loud guy on the phone uncertain what he should do in Haneda for 10 hours for his layover to Singapore. He was loudly wondering to stay in Haneda, to go into downtown Tokyo worried not able to make it back, etc. Constantly brainstorming. When boarding (or in line-up to do so) I showed images of the snow divide line (as shown above; Prior to landing at Washington), and how I was a Canadian holding a Canadian passport. Short conversation.

The plane was late thanks to a late arrival. 6:35 pm boarding; 7 pm Take-off.

– Finally! We’re finally on our lengthy way to Japan! Nice!

I sadly had to sit next to two ‘valley girl’ morons simply being in their own crazy world. They were being the hipster girls, types I hate so much thanks to their immaturity level. They thankfully left me alone, which is lovely, their vocals annoyed me so much. They were indeed polite in that they left me alone, even at one point indirectly allowing room to venture to the washroom, which I never had to go during the flight. Thankfully. However, my rear end hurt so much from the flight the longer it went on. Just sitting in that seat for prolonged periods of time made my ass sore. I hated how rough and cramped it was on me, even using blankets and pillows to ease the pain. I suffered in this flight.

– Transitional windows able to be dimmed and lit up. The sun was setting.
– Video – Take-off from Washington while having to deal with ‘valley-girl’ type girl type nonsense. And off we go!
– Taking off from Washington, even strangely circling around it while gaining altitude.
– In flight snack as a breakfast. Very delicious.
– Dinner. Actually very good.
– This was very surreal. How dark it was both inside and out, yet the phone makes it appear darker. Just imagine being in a constant tunnel for hours on end.

Watched a few movies to pass the time.

  • Vesper
  • Dune
  • Lego Jurassic Park
– Breakfast. I attempted to keep my Steam Deck plugged into the USB port with little success. Couldn’t really play Holocure on the flight for extended period of times. A Switch device would have been a better idea at this point, or a proper power bank.
– After having cruised over Northern Canada, into Alaska, it was overly satisfying having cruised closer to Japan.
– Sapporo to our right. I was desiring to travel to Kushiro, never went there. Was awesome how we were nearing Japan, especially Tokyo.

During the last hour of the flight I kept falling asleep in 5 minute intervals over and over again. I tried sleeping earlier when the lights were off, it sadly took the landing of the plane to cause me to constantly fall asleep. The girls next to me may have observed me spacing out constantly, thanks to my fatigue. Jetlagged like mad.

– Video – A failed scuffed attempt at an approach into Tokyo Haneda with everything being black outside, minus a few lights.
– The summary of the journey. Ottawa to Washington; Washington to Tokyo.

Arrived in Tokyo! March 21st, 2023:

Finally arrived in Tokyo, now needing to go through various procedures.

– Tired, confused. Jetlagged. Trying to make sense of everything.
– Having arrived, we had to get our COVID QR Codes ready. We had to show 3 of them

Before my trip I was debating whether I should bring my drone or not. I was ready to, yet decided against it not having the patience, nor time to do so. I purchased the drone ID gadget from Japan Amazon, never went through with it. I instead purchased and brought over a 360 camera, especially for the ‘No Drones allowed’ signs. I didn’t want to get my drone registered, go to a Police Koban, among other weirdness. Too much work for so little time.

– No drones!
– Welcome to Tokyo! Being greeted by Miku Hatsune, and taken for my American Anime friend.

After having been processed, having no travel insurance, even being dead tired, I had to obtain the basics. I needed to get a decent amount of Japanese YEN, try to obtain either PASMO/SUICA. I was originally aiming for a SUICA, instead obtained a PASMO for my travels.

I briefly conversed with a guy who wondered what’s up. He asked me where I was heading, I noted Tennozu Isle, and how I had everything noted. Showed him my travel journal I had prepped. I went off on my way.

I had to take a Tokyo Monorail from Haneda Airport to Tennozu Isle which would be 8 stops.

– Taking a JR line to Tennozu Isle for my hotel. No internet, just airport wifi at times and internet reconnection at the airport. (Tokyo Xpress Platform #2)

Once I left the airport I relied on my phone’s GPS to guide me to the proper station. I was waiting for the Google Maps GPS marker to land on Tennozu Isle Station.

– Relying heavily on Google Maps to get to and from various area.
– Arrived at Tennozu Isle. The bird noises caught me off guard.
– The “first” vending machine I saw in Japan. At least, one I was aware of.
– Walking over a lovely walkway noticing some interesting scenery. I’m still half Canadian mode while trying to realize this is Japan. It’s all surreal to me.
– A sleepy & jetlagged double-take.
– This view is precious to me. It’s overly special, because this signifies that I actually am in Tokyo, and in Japan. Seeing the Tokyo Tower far off in the distance, yet was close up in my perspective. This is a special view to me.
– Taking in my scenery as much as I’m able.

After having arrived at the hotel I registered, had assistance registering, even asking for my wireless internet package. A few jetlag screw ups, a small shirt, and me forgetting my phone downstairs later, I finally settled in for the night.

– The code-share flight NH101 took a curve while landing at the airport. Sadly couldn’t see much on camera, in person it was awesome.

Having misplaced both my phone, and my card, a resident helped me into the elevator. I was painfully jetlagged, I was losing my stuff, my mind, and my sleep.

– Charging my various devices, charging up my wireless device, even getting ready to bed. I’m jetlagged as heck.

After this, I simply went to sleep. I awkwardly undressed with the curtains still unpulled with people able to see inside. Thankfully nobody was there, or so I noticed. I figured this out shortly after. I forgot my phone having to get it from downstairs. They had it aside with an office posted note slapped on it. While down there I had to obtain other amenities. A person had to help me with an elevator.

I went to sleep all jetlagged waking up every few hours. Everything felt spooky, intense. It felt like I had a cold/flu constantly waking up to a fever and chills. My jetlag was horrible. It was painful. I wasn’t allowed to sleep properly constantly waking up all stressed out.

I was a mess. Memories may be jumbled from the jetlagged brutalities.

4 hours of sleep was noted for this night.