Monday, January 18, 2010

On The Ground in Japan

Yes, we got our paid upgrades - outrageous! We sat in C SIN-NRT, a seven-hour 3300-mile flight for $50 each and 10,000 miles from our account - we earned a total of 6600 with our 100% bonus so we very nearly broke even. Our only concern is how actively UA will be selling these upgrades while we're waiting for our complimentary upgrades to clear.

A noodle breakfast and a beautiful chicken chow-mein-type wrap, washed down with several sips of champagne in very nice C seats made our investment very worthwhile.

We can now safely make some generalizations after entering Japan for the very first time, not counting all the times we've transited Narita on our way to and from various Asian destinations.

First, Narita is a small and not too busy airport. We landed 40 minutes early and whisked through Immigration and Customs in time to catch the 3:25 p.m. limousine shuttle to the Conrad. Prices are reasonable in Japan. For 6000 Yen (a bit over $60 US), we have a round-trip ride (about 1 hour 40 minutes) between the airport and the hotel along with two days of subway passes.

Second, Tokyo is not a crowded city. We drove in from the airport on a multi-lane expressway far less busy than I-5 around Seattle or the Trans-Canada out of Vancouver during the same afternoon rush.

Third, Tokyo has lots of available land, and large hotel rooms with water views are easy to obtain.

Fourth and finally, don't believe generalizations that casual tourists make. Our observations above are made tongue-in-cheek. We did have an absolutely effortless arrival and we're sitting in the 37th-floor Executive Lounge at the Conrad Tokyo, marveling at using our accumulated points to stay in such a place. Kathy computes that one night on points in the Conrad equals two nights on points in a typical Hampton Inn. We're definitely ahead of the game.

Our room is fantastic. The bathroom alone is worthy of its own post. Let's just say for now that the toilet has more options than our toilet. At the least, our RAV 4 doesn't have heated seats.

Photos (not explicit) will follow, along with a list of the amenities, although Brian adamantly refuses to be photographed in the pajamas.

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