Here's the first update, consisting of
the trip over, and some sights seen. .
First, here's JAL's business class on the 777 - plenty of room and a
nice seat. This is row 5 and Seatguru
should note this
has extra legroom. I had the row to myself, which was
As you can see, the 777 is huge! As big as all the land from
Po-town to Albany.
Their map system shows items I wouldn't think an aviation system would
note, such as Hudson Canyon.
Business class amenities are not as nice as first class, such as you
just get a bunch of little packets, rather than your own pyjamas and
Our route was cloudy for quite a while, but eventually it cleared up
over Alaska, where I got a few shots of Anchorage. I discovered
it was Anchorage through analysis of our flight path from Flightaware
and the time of the picture. You can see Ted Stevens airport
the center of the picture.
In this photo there are these large fields, which I imagine are either
farms or gas storage facilities. Elmendorf Air Force Base
is in the upper left.
Another shot, showing the large mountains southeast of the city.
This is further on about an hour, in the area of Wood Thicket State
Park, north of Dillingham
This is landfall, around Kegun Kagati Lake (or so says Google Maps.)
A snack midflight before I tried to sleep. Shrimp in saffron
rice, salad, fruit, and a tiramisu.
I made good time after landing, 30 minutes from gate to being on the
Friendly Limousine bus. Upon arrival at the airport, I had a
package waiting for me, delivered by Yamato Transport. It's a
On my first day we went for lunch, and I've been dying for some Dan Dan Noodles
is a chili-sesame soup with noodles. Mmmm. On Friday I went back
place that had the dan dan in 2008
and found it was just as
For dinner a coworker took me to a local place for snapper sushi, rice
with fish, misu soup, and a bowl of stewed fish. With pickles and
tofu. Also mmm.
On another day I had the opportunity to walk over to the Miwa Lock
headquarters, which is only a few blocks from the hotel. They
have a showroom and were very kind to me, even gave me a catalog.
The Tokyo Tower was lit up unusually this day, not sure if it was
something for Spring or if they were only partway done with the
Sunday morning, woke up early, and locals were doing Tai Chi in the
Billy Mays is still earning residuals in Japan, selling Mighty Mendit,
among other things.
I decided to RTFM and figure out if the Öko-Lavamat Turbo can
actually dry properly because everything still came out wet. It
turns out the problem was mine. See the lights lit when setting
the wash cycle? Is "Drying" lit? Nope.
You have to manually set it, then
Another snack before spending the day walking around - a ham sandwich
and tasty iced mocha. Very creamy.
Went to the Super Potato
friend Jim, and found they had some old computer gaming consoles he was
looking for. It also turned out to be above the radio store where
I bought my AOR 8200
four years ago.
Since it's officially Spring, and it was in the mid-60's, I went up to Ueno Park
to see if
the cherry blossoms were out. Not quite yet, but there were a few
trees with blossoms.
Near there is the National
, with a life-size whale in front, and a group of
saxophone players putting on a nice performance.
Took the JR
back home and was able to watch the engineer from the
front. It has a system called TIMS, and seems quite
automated. I didn't see him having to do very much.
For dinner I met up with an old coworker who took me out to Yashio
some Pakistani food. The food was excellent, had Chicken
Tandoori, and several different kinds of curries. They were
holding a political meeting in the restaurant at the same time so it
was pretty crowded. There were no women there.
If it's a Sunday morning, there must be some protestors. And
Went over to Roppongi Hills and ate at a Hong Kong-style Tea House,
where among other parts of the lunch set there was more Dan Dan
Men. Mmmm. The food was really good, but they were playing
this odd set of cheesy
which was a big incongruous. Their dan
dan had more chili sauce than the other variants.
Roppongi Hills has a huge Mori Trust building, 52+ stories high, with
an observation deck and an art museum. One ticket gets you access to it
all. There's an outside observatory as well, around the helipad, but it
was too windy so that section was closed. The view is
tremendous. However, at the bar in the middle of the floor they
had a pianist playing "No Woman No Cry"
Got a good view of Haneda Airport, with active departures.
The Rainbow Bridge, looking out toward Odaiba.
Mount Fuji in the distance.
And since I had already paid for the ticket, I went to the Mori Art
Museum, which was holding a really good exhibition titled "Roppongi
Crossing 2010: Can there be art?" It had wide variety of
exhibits, from regular painting and photographic pieces, to
experimental pieces involving pizza boxes and paper trees made from the
paper bags in which they are displayed. Also some performance art
- this was interesting, in that there was a projection of the room in
which we were standing, and the performer would come and act within the
space. The impression it gave was which is real, the projection or the
This was a geek's dream, a wired up set of audio equipment, an old car,
and a robotic set made of discarded items, all cabled up according to
the design on the wall behind it. Cool.
Next day I went to Shinjuku and did a little shopping. Still busy.
Ate at "Dubliner's Irish Pub", and had fish and chips and a Murphy's
stout. Only oddity here was that you had to pay for each item as
it was delivered, rather than having a bill to pay at the end. The norm
in these kinds of places is to receive a bill and pay for it at the
door, not the server. Here you paid the server item by item.
Later stopped at the market. Ah, the Pororoca.
That's it for now, off to China tomorrow. See you soon!