Flying to Tokyo

Although there are no direct flights, it’s straightforward enough getting to Tokyo from Dublin. I flew via Paris with Air France, reaching Paris yesterday evening on a dinky little Cityjet plane.

We flew out across the city and got a wonderful view of the city centre, Poolbeg, Sandymount Strand – all the way from Howth to far beyond Dun Laoghaire, in fact, laid out before us like something from a next-generation edition of Google Maps.

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The flight direct to Tokyo, however, would take something a little more…(Jeremy Clarkson voice)…substantial.

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My first time on a Boeing and it’s nothing less than a 777. Not that I could tell you anything about it of course other than it’s really big (80m long?) and next time I want to fly first/business/god class and sit in a couch at the front of the plane – whatever those tickets cost, it’s worth it. Wow!

Anyway, extraordinary engineering aside it wasn’t the nicest flight ever: an overnight long-haul flight demands a good sleep enroute which is always very hard on a plane. On the plus side however, the food was good, plentiful, included a free bottle of wine and accompanied “Blades of Glory” very nicely.

On arrival in Narita airport, things (and people) are quick and punctual, as they always promised everything would be in Japan: immigration was unexpectedly brisk for us non-Japanese (450 Japanese vs. 25 foreigners) and baggage and customs a mere formality prior to collecting my Japan Rail Pass and boarding the 7.13 Narita Express to Tokyo Station.

And it did, indeed, leave – as promised by all the guide books – at precisely 7.13.

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