On my way to Japan
Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
70Trip End Mar 17, 2013
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I checked out of my hotel in Seattle, WA and headed for the airport for my flight to Tokyo, Japan. The flight was fine other than being a little bumpy. When we got to Tokyo it was snowing, which caused us to be held up a while. We eventually were cleared to land. Tokyo was having a particularly bad snow storm and all forms of transportation were experience difficulties.
For much of the flight I kept wondering whether I had remembered to take my GPS out of the rental car. I could remember doing that twice but I'd had three rental cars in the last week. The first opportunity I had when I got off the plane I checked my carry-on bag for the GPS. I was very happy to discover it was there.
I purchased a Japan Rail pass in the U.S. They don't give you the actual pass. Instead, they give you a voucher that you then have to exchange for the pass after you've gotten to Japan. I tried to do the exchange but, unfortunately, the period when I intend to use it is too far in the future so I couldn't do that yet. I tried to make a train reservation for the following day but I was told that that wouldn't be a good idea due to the large number of cancelled and delayed trains due to the weather. At least I was able to buy a Suica pass, which is good for most of the subways and commuter trains in the Tokyo area, which I the used for the train to Ueno Station. I don't know whether I got a local or whether things were running differently due to the weather but it took over 90 minutes to reach my destination.
The sidewalks around Ueno Station were covered in several inches of slush making It difficult to drag my bags to the hotel. I eventually got there and checked in. I opened by bags to dry out anything that had gotten wet and discovered my bottle of Woolite had leaked. I had put it into a freezer bag to avoid a problem if this should happen but the bag leaked too. Things were getting off to a rocky start in Japan.