Owing to the difficulty of landing at Narita, and the refueling stop in Nagoya, the plane was of course very late and I missed my connection. By the time we got to Narita, it was many hours after my flight to Bangalore had left. JAL didn’t have the equivalent flight the next day, so here was their plan for me and my co-passengers on the same itinerary:
- Retrieve our check-in luggage (mine was 2 heavy suitcases, since I was planning to be away for a month).
- Go through immigration and customs.
- Catch a shuttle to the hotel, where they were comping us one night + breakfast. (It was way past dinner time, around 11 pm)
- At 5.30 am, return to NRT to catch a shuttle-bus to Haneda.
- Get a flight to New Delhi from Haneda.
- Get an Air India flight from DEL to Bangalore.
Nope. With my level of energy by then, this was just not possible.
“When is the next flight to BLR from NRT?” I asked the agent, “Can you get me on that?”
“We only pay one night at the hotel,” she said.
“I’ll pay for the rest,” I said. Oh… that changed everything.
She booked me on the next flight, which was the day-after-tomorrow. Fine with me. And she could re-tag my suitcases so I didn’t need to pick them up. Yay! So after duly filling in and handing over the immigration and customs forms, off I went to the bus stop to wait for the hotel shuttle.
This is the good news part of the whole Japan Airlines adventure (along with not needing the farewell messages).
I waited at the bus stop on a nearby bench. It was cool and pleasant. I pulled out my passport wallet and put away my papers, and read my book. The bus came, and I was about to board when someone tapped me on my shoulder and handed me my passport wallet that I had forgotten on the bench. (Thank you, kind person! It was the porter who was dealing with the luggage carts.)
When it was time to get off, the lady standing beside me offered to help me with my backpack. I didn’t need it, but it was sweet of her to offer. I’d expected a basic functional place, but the Mystays hotel was really nice, with rooms that had everything I needed, including overlapping light-blocking drapes and good wi-fi. I love the decor – low-key Japanese, including a dry landscape garden – now actually filled with rainwater so it’s got streams and lakes.
It cost less than I expected – about $120 for 1.5 extra days. (It’s $71 per night.) Maybe we should consider it for a Con! Though I don’t know if they have meeting rooms!
They also have a 24-hour Family Mart, with food, snacks, t-shirts, underwear, cosmetics, and adorable little kitschy souvenirs. I am being tempted by a Totoro purse with a catbus on it.
I dropped my reading glasses somewhere. I reported it to the Reception. Within an hour, it was left hanging on my door handle in a plastic bag.
People in Japan – so kind and helpful. Just pleasant.
I thought of taking a trip to Ueno Zoo to see a shoebill stork, and then Ueno Nakadori, but it’s raining and I think I need downtime. So anyway, for the price of $120 (and whatever I don’t stop myself from spending at the combini downstairs), I am getting a lovely rest day.