After a 12 hour flight on Singapore Airlines sitting next to 2 sleepy strangers, I'm finally in Tokyo!
Before I start talking about our hectic journey, I would like to come out and recommend Singapore Airlines to anyone who likes to be constantly fed and needs to catch up on movies. The flight attendants showered us with food every two hours, which almost magically coincided with the end of the movies I was watching. They had 99 different channels to watch and rewind at my leisure so I finally got to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, An Education, and Couples Retreat (which sucked). I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that they had HBO so I got to re-watch the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I'm sure that if I was in first class I would have immensely enjoyed myself and not have to stand up just to get the feeling back in my tailbone and lower back. Those economy chairs were damn stiff.
Anyway, enough about the flight. My mom and I arrived at Narita and went straight through customs without any problems. Then we got on JR Narita Express to go to Tokyo Station and realized that we hadn't called anyone from the hotel to come pick us up. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Japanese train stations, exiting through the wrong exit could result in winding up blocks away from your desired destination. Tokyo Station has about 9 exits that feel like they're all about a mile away from each other. So in an effort to avoid this problem, we attempted to make a call to the hotel. We had no idea how to dial. We were unsure if the call was local or international since both our phones work in Japan; we didn't know what area code to put before the number, or if the number of the hotel already included the area code. We ended up getting off at the station, completely out of contact with anyone.
I was so frustrated that we didn't know where were going and was even more flustered trying to will my 2 30 pound suitcases out of the train that I completely forgot my backpack which I had stored in the overhead compartment of the train. Luckily, I was able to run back on and get it before the doors closed. I wouldn't have lost anything important though-- just my laptop!! O_O
After that mini-crisis was dealt with, we were still at Tokyo Station without a clue as to where we had to go, or how to call anyone to tell us how to get there. We found a pay phone and tried dialing again to no avail. Luckily, some man (who for some reason still uses a pay phone instead of a cell phone like the rest of the world) helped us out and we were able to get in touch with the hotel to send someone to pick us up. Meeting her at the correct exit proved to be harder than we thought.
We walked all around Tokyo Station looking for the Yaesu South exit with 4 suitcases between the 2 of us during the Tokyo home commute rush hour, 7:30PM. Needless to say, the place was a clusterfuck. I have never felt more "in the way" in my entire life. I was completely aware that I was disturbing everyone's daily path with my huge suitcases and bleary-eyed, jet-lagged touristy pace. Another thing slowing me down were the textured tiles on the floor that the blind use to get around the station. If I didn't force my suitcases over the tiles at just the right speed, my handle would retract and my suitcase would do a 180. I have never felt such a passive-aggressive hatred for the blind.
But despite all that blind hatred, we finally found our Four Seasons rep and got to the hotel where I've showered and am ready to pass out for a few days.