Hello everyone, I am back from Tokyo, Japan! I’ve had a lot of amazing adventures, seen a lot of awesome things and bought a lot of great stuff! I can’t wait to tell you all about it~! I’ll try to tell everything as detailed as possible, but of course I might forget some things. Maybe I’ll tell things twice, but please bear with me. ^^ Ok, here we go. I hope you enjoy my reports!
I’ll start with a little bit of pre-history, if you don’t mind. ^^
After my dad and I had returned from Tokyo last year, we were of course very enthusiastic. We showed my mom all our pictures and I couldn’t stop telling her about all the great things we had seen. Then quite soon after my mom said she wanted to go too and before I knew it, plans were being made! Back in those days, my educational future was still unknown, so we decided to go in October again. If I got accepted for one (or more, hehe) conservatories, it would be autumn break. If I didn’t get in, there wouldn’t be any problems.
My parents have wanted for years to go on a big trip with the four of us, but unfortunately my brother did not want to go with us. Since he really didn’t want to, my parents eventually decided to make it a ‘three persons trip’. ^^
The weekend of 13 and 14 October was quite eventful: my mom and I packed our suitcases and we drove our dogs to the places they would stay It was hard to say goodbye to them. :( But at least they were in very good hands. ^^ On Mondaymorning, October 15th, I woke up quite early to say goodbye to my brother, who had to go to school. Again, strange to say goodbye for such a long time, but at least we could talk on Skype. My brother left, I ate breakfast and then went upstairs to pack my last things.
My suitcase looked a lot like last year: some of the books are exactly the same. Even my bed sheets are the same. XD
I will admit it: I had the biggest suitcase of all three of us. *blush* It was huge, I swear! But it was all because my mom wanted to bring my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright umbrella with us and because it’s quite a big thing, we needed a big suitcase. I didn’t really mind the size though: I brought a lot of stuff with me including my Jewelry Jelly jumperskirt and a petticoat (which I completely had to squish in a plastic bag, poor thing). The only thing that got me nervous was the weight of the suitcase when I was done packing. My parents persuaded me it was fine, but I seriously doubted at first. XD
Everything was packed and at 10:30 am we were ready to go! Our neighbor had offered to drive us and our suitcases to the train station, which I really appreciated. The first idea was our dad driving my mom, me and our suitcases there, returning home and then walk to the station. Ok, it’s not that far, but still… -_-
Our suitcases ready to go! Guess which one is mine? ^^
While my mom, our neighbor and me were waiting outside, my dad checked everything an then closed the door.
My dad with his tensed ‘We’re going on a trip-face’. XD
We arrived at the station, said goodbye to our neighbor (who also took care of our dog Twinkle) and walked up to the ticket machine to buy tickets for my parents (I didn’t have to, I have my super expensive all year-card). We walked up the train platform, where we waited for our train. It was a sunny day with some clouds, perfect flying weather!
Waiting for the train! Usually I wait on this platform to take the train to go to school.
The train arrived and my mom and I sat down across from our suitcases, while my dad sat somewhere else and read a newspaper. As soon as we departed, the wellknown female voice that always tells you through the speakers at which station you are, said we were sitting in the train heading for the opposite way! This was impossible, since there was no way we were going wrong. XD Immediately after the driver said: ‘Please ignore that last message: this is the train heading for Amsterdam South and Schiphol national airport.’ I thought it was quite funny. XD
My mom, me and my dad in the train. All excited!
Finally, after about 45 minutes, we drove into a long tunnel, indicating we were approaching the airport. The train stopped and we had arrived! I pulled my video camera out of my bag and filmed a little around. I tried to film more this time so I can make a long music video. ^^
We went up the escalator and found ourselves in the middle of the hall of the airport. Whenever I have to transfer trains at Schiphol I like to go up the escalator and look around for a few minutes, just for fun.
(I am sitting in the train while typing this and we are driving through the airport tunnel right now). ^^
Now I was there because I actually had to be there! Before we went to check where we had to drop off our luggage, I showed my mom the amazing cakes at Starbucks. I rarely buy something from Starbucks, but their cakes are amazing. *_* I could finally show them to my mom. XD
After the cakes we walked up to a sign that showed all the departing times and we quickly found our flight.
Can you find our flight? ^^
Our luggage drop off was at 9-15, so many choices. ^^ We walked up to the arrival halls (we had to go that way) and took some pictures.
I really like this picture of my parents. ♥
We went up some more escalators and arrived at the big hall where we had to say goodbye to my mom last year. But this time she walked with us through the gates, yay! =D
The luggage drop off was the same as last year: we had to put our suitcase into a niche where it got weighed, scan our passport and confirm the details about our flight. I was glad we got rid of our suitcases: I highly preferred walking around dragging my colourful little suitcase around then my big black tank suitcase.
While I was checking a picture on my camera, we walked up to the passport check. I had my passport and boarding pass in my hand and before I knew it an airport staff member pulled my papers partially out of my hand and told me where I had to get my passport checked in a very bored way. That startled me, haha. XD
We got our passports checked and walked through the gates.
My mom, happy after having her passport approved!
We found ourselves in the actual airport, which is like a holy place for me. XD
My dad was clearly relieved (my mom says he always calms down after our luggage is checked in and gone) and he told us to look around for a bit while he went to get some Japanese money. My mom and I walked into a perfume shop and browsed all the goods for a bit. I especially liked ‘Dot’ by Marc Jacobs, but to be honest: purely because of the ladybug-like bottle. ;) There was also a new skin product on display, which was an ‘illuminating’ product, represented by a slowly spinning head covered in tiny mirrors. Great photo material, naturally.
We tried to take some creative pictures during our trip. ;)
My dad returned with money (yens!!!) and we decided to take a look in the nearest bookshop. They had a lot of cute, cupcake-related goods, but we didn’t buy anything.
We had gotten quite hungry, so we went up another escalator and decided to get some sandwiches and drinks. The restaurant was opposite of the café my dad and I had gotten coffee and hot chocolate last year. ^^ I chose a sandwich with tomato and mozzarella and juice, while my parents both had coffee and chicken sandwiches.
Our delicious sandwiches. ^^
We enjoyed our meal and I looked at the big windows on the other side of the hall where you could see airplanes! Unfortunately, not long after they put the blinds down. -_-
We decided it was time to head towards our gate (after we went to the toilet). It’s funny, when we got at the junction where my dad and I had to go right last year, this time we had to go left. There were a lot of moving sidewalks again (which I loved, it’s like you can walk superfast without effort). We passed a wonderful restaurant that served all kinds of Dutch dishes. I didn’t really care for the food, but the entourage was amazing! Giant Delft’s blue tea cups and tea pots to sit in or on!
My dad and the giant tea pot! Phineas and Ferb was one too. :3
We stepped onto another moving sidewalk and suddenly, I saw a shop with a giant Miffy! I love Miffy, so we walked back and took a picture with him! I mean, it’s my cultural heritage! It was just… obligatory! ;)
Me and my buddy Miffy. Or Nijntje as we call her. ♥
I also saw Dutch Barbies, they looked so cool. ^^
We walked around the corner, following the signs that led us to gate F8 and some pilots in uniforms passed us. It’s not that I have a thing for uniforms, but pilots are pretty cool. *_*
Me and my dad. ^^
We arrived at our gate, where we had to put our stuff into little crates so they could get x-rayed. This time we even had to take off our shoes! After I got scanned myself, my legs got checked, probably because I was wearing a long skirt. My mom got a full body check, haha!
We got our things together and walked up to the windows to take a look at our airplane. And it was big! As soon as I looked at it I got more excited!
Our plane~! Every plane has the name of a city, this one was called ‘City of Atlanta’.
We sat down for a while and I tried to take a picture of all three of us, but I failed miserably. The first picture was my mom, me and 50% of my dad and the second picture was my dad all blurry, my mom and 45% of me. A woman sitting across from us offered to take our picture, very nice. ^^ We had to wait for a while longer, but then it was finally time for us to board! We walked through the hall and then stepped into the plane. We quickly found our seats. They were almost the same ones as last year: only one row of seats in front of us. I took place at the window, my mom in the middle and my dad at the aisle. At this moment, my mom’s tears came up. She’s really afraid of flying, but still wanted to go really badly. So no pictures of this moment, sorry. ^^’
While people were getting seated, we talked a little with a lovely steward. He was really nice and cheerful, I really liked him. ^^
While more people were getting seated (mainly Japanese who slept within a second), I looked out the window. I could see airport staff loading pallets and suitcases on the plane. I didn’t see our suitcases, which freaked me out a bit (yeah, losing my suitcase is a bit of an irrational fear of mine ^^’). I also saw an incredibly expensive-looking white car ready to be loaded! I heard it was a Ferrari Italia. Some of the airport staff were taking pictures of it! Apparently it was quite unique to ship out such a car!
Then our plane started moving! We departed later than planned and the pilot told us he was hoping he could make up for the lost time. We slowly drove to our airstrip and the plane started to make speed. It went faster and faster and then we flew! My poor mom didn’t like it at all. ^^’ It’s funny: last year flying was so new to me, now it was like I had gotten used to it already!
Luckily I could see more of my country this time! Although there were clouds the houses on the ground were clearly visible.
I loved how the sky was dotted with little clouds. In this way I could still see so much!
After a while we were offered something to drink and a bag of nuts and almonds (best almonds I ever had *_*). My mom started to feel better, luckily. ^^
I took my remote controller to see what kind of entertainment was offered and I was very happy: a lot of great movies including the Hunger Games which I was hoping to see! I showed my mom how to use her remote controller and then I switched to flight tracking for a while. Unfortunately there was no camera that filmed under the plane this time, but it was nice to see where we were, how fast we were and how high we were. ^^
Our journey began!
Around 5:30 pm we had dinner, after we had received our (very) hot towel. We could choose between beef and chicken (Japanese and Western) and we all chose beef. It existed of rice with a brown sauce, mushrooms, little potatoes, something beefy, a little salad (which was really nice with the additional dressing), little pieces of more beef and a jelly-like dessert with lychee and kiwi. This was served with soy sauce in a fish-shaped bottle and a little bread roll.
Everything in this meal was delicious! I can’t get over how much I actually like airplane food! I’ve heard so many complaints about it, but I love it! I think it’s genius how they manage to create a nice, filling meal on a tiny plate!
My dad and I watched the Hunger Games at the same time. I loved that movie, I cried. ;_; It really made me think and I could discuss about it with my dad.
The window curtains were being closed and around 9:30 pm we got a movie snack: a little cup of water and Dutch caramel waffle (stroopwafel) ice cream. ^^ I had also taken some mini Mentos packages and a Mars, which I gave to my dad.
I also watched about half of Brave, but I didn’t really like it. Maybe I need to watch it again when I’m not so tired. XD I also watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.
My mom reading a book and my dad watching a movie.
I tried to sleep in every possible way, but it was just impossible. Me and sleeping in an airplane is not a good match. -_-
I even put my vest on in the wrong way so I could hide my face underneath the hood and I lay my head on a pillow on my mom’s shoulder, but no. It didn’t help. Eventually I gave up.
My mom looked under the window curtain and it had gotten light outside! Not long after we received breakfast: scrambled eggs, a potato thingy, vegetables, fruit salad, a piece of carrot cake and a bread roll. Very nice. ^^
Finally we were flying over seam, indicating we were approaching Japan! My mom said she thought she saw whales. O_O We received our immigration forms and took a while to fill them in correctly.
Finally there was land in sight, Japan~!!! We saw mountains, villages, cities and, believe it or not, Mount Fuji! We could actually see the famous mountain far in the distance! I let out a cry of joy, haha!
We made a big turn like last time, giving us a good look of Japan’s coastline.
We’re almost there~!!!
While my mom and I were looking down (me partially lying on my mom, ahem), it was time to sit down properly and buckle up. We descended quite gradually and I didn’t feel anything in my ears this time, yay! We got lower and lower and suddenly we could see Narita Airport! Then the wheels hit the ground and the airplane started to slow down.
We had arrived in Japan!
Even though our flight, arrival and first day in Japan felt as one long day, I count the flight and arrival as day 1. ^^