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Tokyo 2017: Day 12

We woke up at 9am on our last day in Tokyo. Most of our packing had been done the day before we so did one last check of the Airbnb to make sure we had gotten everything and cleaned as best we could. At 10:30am we headed out to a cafe around the corner to get a quick cup of coffee and sandwich to hold us over until we got to the airport.

We had decided to take the Keisei Skyliner to Narita International Airport because it would keep us away from Tokyo Station which we did not want to struggle through with all of our luggage. Having no idea how long it may take us we checked out of our Airbnb early and headed to Nippori Station.

Upon arrival we found some attendants who helped us purchase our tickets for the Skyliner which we would never have figured out how to do on our own. So for anyone who may do this in the future this is what you have to do. Even if you have an IC card (like Suica), which you really should, you still need to have a physical ticket from a kiosk which guarantees you a reserved seat on the train. Then you feed your ticket into the gate and scan your IC card and grab your ticket. You now have a ticket that guarantees you a spot on the Skyliner train and have paid using Suica to use the railway line which doesn't mean you have to get on a Skyliner. There are multiple trains that use this line and you don't need a ticket for all of them. This was a very confusing minor detail that we didn't fully understand by reading about the Skyliner online. Once you get off the train you feed your ticket into the exit gate (it is not given back to you) and then scan your Suica card to exit. I am sure there is a version of this that works without an IC card but for the love of god just get one and save yourself all sorts of trouble.

Having arrived at Narita Airport we headed to the ANA desks to check-in because we could not do so online. It was not clear why we couldn't check-in online but we did have to wait probably 15 minutes as the attendants tried to figure out what our work visas meant. But soon enough we were on our way through after having two bags checked and we proceeded to breeze through security. It was insane. There was probably 10 people waiting to get through all the lanes. We had completely lucked out. From leaving our Airbnb to getting through security took only two hours.

We got our last bowl of ramen at the airport cafeteria and then headed to our gate where I proceeded to spend the next three hours working on these daily summaries and Elsie played PokΓ©mon Ultra Sun. The flight itself was a painless nine hours filled mostly by watching movies and reading Words of Radiance. It was very bizarre to have left Japan at 5pm and arrived in San Francisco at 9am. We get to relive Thursday all over again.

Since Elsie and I were both registered for Global Entry we absolutely breezed through immigration. I highly recommend anyone who is from a country that is eligible make an appointment. It will save you all sorts of headaches down the road.

After we got through immigration we waited about 45 minutes for our checked luggage, took a 30 minute Uber back to our apartment and began the arduous process of unpacking all of our stuff.

Some people may think that after having gone to Japan twice in 19 months one may get sick of it but honestly I could go visit again next week. There is still so much I want to see in do in that country and if anything I have written in these twelve days has made you feel the same then I highly recommend you take a look at my #JapanTravelTips articles and begin booking a trip yourself. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Unless of course you try to use Ubers to get around πŸ˜‹