Winter Travels (Beijing to Tokyo)

Before the end of the holidays, I had one more trip left. Over ten years ago, I’d visited Japan and spent two weeks travelling to various places on the main island of Honshu. This time it was going to be a much shorter trip (similar to my weekend hop over to Seoul last year). I’d been wanting to return to Japan for a while, and so I decided that, if possible, I would visit after my main travel. Because I was only there for a few days, I only went to Tokyo. Still, it was worth it.

Departing last Tuesday, I was somewhat worried – or curious, I should say, rather than worried – about whether the airport would be busy or not, due to the Chinese New Year holiday. The holidays officially began, I think, the following day, and most people travel by train, rather than plane. Still, I wondered whether there would be a mass of people at the airport. There wasn’t. I checked-in easily enough – I had an afternoon flight – and the flight itself was uneventful. It was pretty full, though there were a few empty seats on-board.

Landing at about 17:30, I managed to get through security very quickly and, because I only had my rucksack with me, I did not have to get any luggage. The customs people did check my bag, but they were very good about it, and found nothing untoward. I then departed and tried to work out how the extensive – and on the face of it, complicated – rail system works. I’d landed at Haneda airport, in the south of the city. A helpful information desk attendant told me which trains to catch in order to get to my hotel (which was only a short walk away from a subway stop). It was actually quite straight-forward. I only had to change lines once.

Arriving at my final station, I saw on my map that the hotel looked quite close by. So, I set out and wandered around for a few minutes before finding it (it was indeed very close. Only about a street away). After check-in, I wandered the streets and found a restaurant to eat in.

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