Hello reader! I’m so happy that you stumbled upon my blog! For the next two weeks I’ll be traveling through Japan and I’d love to share my adventures with you. Besides these daily blog posts, you can also follow along in real-time on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (username @kimhornz).
It still hasn’t fully set in that I’ll be in Japan tomorrow! How did I get here? Well, my 25th birthday was two days ago and this trip is part of a very generous gift from my parents and boyfriend Adam. (Thank you!!)
To be perfectly honest, I originally wanted to celebrate my “quarter quell” by taking a long weekend trip with Adam to Washington, D.C.—tour the White House, check out some museums, learn more about American history—but he had other ideas… So here we are, 32,000 feet in the air en route to Japan! (Well, technically speaking, we’re en route to China, but from there we’ll transfer planes and then be on our way to Japan.)
What We’ll See
While we’re in Japan we’ll be visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Mount Koya, and of course, one day in Tokyo DisneySea! (My new life goal is to visit every Disney theme park around the world. Perhaps our next trip will be to Disneyland Paris?) I’ll share our full itinerary in a separate post so you know what to expect each day.
Right now it’s about 9:30 pm EDT, but it hardly feels like night time. When we flew over the Arctic a bit ago, everyone on the plane was instructed to shut their shades to keep out the blinding white light. Now we’re officially on the other side of the globe!
The entire flight from NYC to Beijing is 13.5 hours and we’re already over halfway there. Despite the fact that we are traveling to a foreign country where we don’t speak the language, the part of this trip that has been worrying me the most was the plane ride itself. But, I’m happy to report: So far, so good! Adam is great at keeping me calm when I get nervous. For those of you who don’t know Adam, take my word for it — he’s absolutely hilarious. He’s excellent at finding the humour in any situation, and this flight has been no exception.
Despite our best intentions, we actually got off to a bit of a rocky start this morning. After taking a cab to JFK airport and waiting in the long line for airport check-in, we only had about an hour to get through the security check before our flight would start boarding. The security line was huge and tensions rose as our boarding time came and went while we waited in line. Thankfully, we got to our gate in enough time, but it’s scary to think about what would have happened if we had missed our flight! We managed to keep our sense of humor, and by the time we were seated on the plane we were laughing and joking again.
This plane is huge! We’re guessing that there are between 500-600 people on board. There are also screens behind each seat that come equipped with free movies, tv shows, games, and a nifty plane tracker. Adam and I synced up our screens so we could watch Inside Out at the same time. (Side note: that movie is adorable—I highly recommend it!)
The only other slight hiccup so far was that my ticket wasn’t marked as vegetarian ahead of time and the plane didn’t have any extra vegetarian meals on board. The Air China staff was very kind about it and brought me fruit, yogurt, and 3 rolls as a makeshift veggie lunch. For dinner, Adam ordered beef and I ordered the other option: shrimp and noodles. Since I don’t eat fish (and the noodles kind of looked like worms), Adam ate both the main courses and I just had our side salads and another roll. He said the food was actually good!
I’m hoping to get some Wi-Fi when we land in China so I can post this!
Update — We Made It!
There was no Wi-Fi in China, but we seamlessly boarded our connecting flight to Japan where I slept for the entire 2 hour flight. We made it through customs very easily in both China and Japan. I’m surprised by how many people spoke English! Once we landed, Adam picked up the pocket Wi-Fi device he rented, so we should have wireless internet access throughout the entire trip!
I’m writing this update from a private bus that is bringing us to our hotel in Tokyo. We are sharing the bus with a couple visiting from Italy. I think the ride should be about 2 hours. It’s been over a day since we started our trip (I think?), but this is the first time we’ve seen actual night time. I know we’ll pass out the moment we get to the hotel.
Thank you for reading! I’ll be posting our full itinerary tomorrow. (Honestly, I don’t even know what day it is, but I’ll post it when I wake up.)