Friday, March 10, 2023

Tokyo Rest Stop

There’s no question that the timing of our return flights as far as Tokyo was, well, awkward. Leaving around Midnight and landing in the early hours at the next destination does not lend itself to a great sleep. Anyway, we made it work, what with sleep pods in Ho Chi Minh City.

We landed at HND (Tokyo Haneda) in our Japan Airlines A330 after a smooth flight. We were warned about a turbulent approach to HND before takeoff, and the flight attendants were seated and buckled in with 30 minutes to go. After all that drama, the approach and landing were smooth and uneventful, despite the clouds and low visibility.

We had to complete significant “paperwork” (in quotes because it was actually online forms either in apps or on websites) to enter Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Japan. All of the research paid off, as every entry was painless.

At HND, for example, we were funneled toward the right spots by a multitude of sign-carrying employees. We showed our so-called quarantine bar codes, our immigration barcodes, and our customs arrival barcodes along the way. A drug beagle intercepted us at one point, but its handlers were  satisfied when Kathy produced the wrapped cookie she had decided to bring along from the plane.

Within a half hour of landing, we were picking up a ride to the Hilton Odaiba in the taxi queue.

The ride set us back about $45 and we don’t regret it one bit. The post-Covid environment reveals the reality that not everything is running as it used to.

We were feeling better than we might have (although Brian is now fighting off a cold), and we’ll average down when we return to the airport Monday for our late-afternoon departure to LAX.

Checking in at the Hilton Odaiba before 9 AM was interesting. The clerk indicated that she could offer us an early check-in. That’s great until she pointed out that it would cost us an additional $148. Ah, no thanks.

She then went on to find us an available room “for free” up on the 9th floor with a view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge. Fine with us…

After a short nap, we ventured as far as the nearby shopping mall, stopping to admire a replica of the Statue of Liberty replica that we’ve seen on the Seine in Paris.

The Hilton is just across the way.

After a short stroll around the mall, we unashamedly returned to the Hilton, a walk punctuated by an eerily quiet group of at least a hundred uniformed students, presumably on their way to watch a movie in the mall’s cinema.

We then enjoyed another nap, awaking in time for happy hour in the Tokyo Hilton Odaiba.

We won’t be ashamed to call it a day, and do our best to rest up for some Tokyo sightseeing over the next couple of days.

A rather stunning view from our balcony awaits us.

Three nights to rest up, and then it’s HND-LAX-JFK-SEA-BLI, with one more hotel overnight at JFK. We’ve almost made it.


Gregory said...

Since my nephew and I will be at that very hotel the night of March 18 (before transferring to the Conrad the next day), I'd be grateful if you can add some more detail about the property. How is the Executive Lounge? Is breakfast for Diamonds available in the restaurant as well? Though we're not likely to be too peckish after 14 hours in UA Polaris, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask when Happy Hour occurs. We're scheduled to land at Haneda at 17:00. I'm planning to take the Tokyo Monorail to Tennozu Isle and then switch to the Rinkai subway line to Tokyo Teleport, which is less than 1 km from the Hilton. If things are as quick for us as they were for you, an arrival time around 18:00 or so doesn't seem unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

Small World again! We may just add a post about the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba.

FriendlySkies said...

Another fun post. Feel better, Brian!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! A good night’s sleep in a real bed helped considerably.