We got up early (well, I did, I had to wake poor Tom who usually prefers to sleep in as much as possible), to avoid big crowds at the breakfast buffet. The hotel had a sign next to the lift downstairs saying that the buffet would be very busy the following morning between 8 and 9, but I didn’t realise at the time that they just leave it there permanently and that the crowd situation wasn’t nearly as bad as they made it out to be. Still, we were eager to go exploring, so it didn’t really matter.
We arrived at Narita airport at 7.50 in the morning, after 11 hours and 45 minutes of flight, during which I slept for an hour at most. It did seem long of course (it’s no fun sitting down on a plane and thinking: “It’ll be like spending all 8 hours of work in one chair, in one stretch, with very little option to move… oh and another 4 hours on top of that!”) but in the end it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. As we age, we develop this ability to cope with “empty” moments in time (whether or not that’s a good thing, I’ll let you decide for yourself), thus making them pass more quickly… and I have never been as grateful for that as I was on that flight all the way out to Japan!