Main, Travel

Making It to Tokyo and Beyond.

November 4, 2014
Redondo Beach, California

Redondo Beach, California

So, let’s start from the top. It’s Sunday, the 2nd of November. After picking up a friend from LAX, we’re heading back to Pomona, California to attend a music festival. As we’re on our way, we start hashing out how we’re going to get me to the airport the following day. Since the shows shut down at 11 p.m., we figured we’d crash out early and head to the airport around 6:30 a.m. (L.A. traffic is awful all the time). Well, 11 p.m. came and went. Not sticking to the plan had us out all night, returning to the hotel at 5 in the morning. I knew I was completely and utterly screwed if I didn’t make any moves—everyone excluding me was pretty toasty at this point, and I was the only one sober enough to drive. Deciding this was no time for the faint-hearted, I grabbed some breakfast, lots of coffee and charged my phone and computer up one last time, knowing I’d soon be stuck on a plane.

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I’m sitting in the Tokyo International Airport, impatiently waiting to board my next plane. Not that I’m that excited about sitting for another 8 hours, but it sure beats sitting in the airport—at least on a plane we’re going somewhere. Tokyo is definitely an interesting place. It’s like Australia because they drive on the other side of the road, but that’s really all the similarities they share. When I first hopped off my plane, I couldn’t figure out if I should go through customs or not because I had a connecting flight. So I said to the wind with the customs paperwork and didn’t fill it out, thinking that I wouldn’t need it. Turns out, I was wrong. Not only did I need the paperwork, my connecting flight wasn’t even at the Narita Tokyo Airport; it was at Haneda Tokyo Airport—a whole hour away. Once I figured that out, I had to spend another 20 minutes with a few frustrated customs agents since I didn’t have my paperwork, and I probably landed myself on the No Fly List for being an idiot.

So remember, ALWAYS fill out the customs paperwork unless you REALLY know you don’t need it. If you think you don’t need it because you have a connecting flight, make sure it’s out of the same airport…

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