I have arrived in Japan!

What can i say about the flight? Let’s just say it was average. Given it is a 9 hour overnighter, and they serve both dinner and breakfast, it only leaves a little time for sleeping in between. That also doesn’t include the fact I am not the best sleeper in moving vehicles at the best of times. I was a little tired when we first arrived (given it was still dark), however soon woke up as we started to get moving. Being able to finally stretch the legs was also great; being cramped in economy with the seat in front fully reclined doesn’t make for comfort when you are tall. Getting through immigration and customs was a breeze; no issues with our documents so the language barriers caused no issues. Buying tickets for the train however was a different story, but in the end we were sure we had it sorted out. We found this however not to be the case, as after being given a couple of separate tickets and not being sure what they were all for, we were tripped up at the train gates where some of the tickets needed to be inserted all on top of one another for the gates to open. With plenty of staff on hand though it was quickly sorted and we were on our way. After catching the Narita express into Tokyo, we then boarded the bullet train to Yamagata. I had read on the net these trains were not very suitable for lots of luggage, however on each carriage bags could be put behind last row of seats. We squeezed our bags into this space, however just after departure the conductor tracked me down (being the only outsiders in the carriage) and wanted to do some reorganising. With our poor ability to communicate, it resulted in some pointing along with the universal thumbs up or thumbs down to achieve his requests. I’m still not sure of what the problem was, but i’m thinking maybe because it restricted that last row reclining their seats. With that now under control I relaxed back into my seat checking out some of the mountain ranges and closely packed houses as we traveled across Japan at a high rate of speed. We even travelled through Fukushima which had the nuclear meltdown in the recent earthquake, luckily did not stay for too long. Before I knew it we were climbing in altitude and we were surrounded by snow on the ground and in the trees; very different to what I have seen in Australia. I will also say how great their trains are, you would almost think they only came out of the factory that morning. They are so modern and clean with heaps of leg room, unlike our trains back in Australia. I guess you get nice things when you look after them. After arriving in Yamagata we headed off in search for the bus to take us on the final leg. We found a very helpful Japanese employee in the ticket office who was determined to make sure we got where we needed, so he basically put us on our bus when it arrived and we headed on the last leg to Zao Onsen.

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