24 Hours to Tokyo

On Monday July 18th we flew from Phuket –> Bangkok –> Tokyo. We had a short flight that morning from Phuket back to Bangkok on Thai Airways, fortunately we were able to check our bags in at the airport at the “left baggage” counter for 200 baht, and then didn’t have to worry about carrying luggage all over that day.

With almost 12 hours to kill from 11 am to 11 pm, we set out to go back towards the giant malls of Bangkok – Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and MBK Center, had the most amazing indian food (seriously, almost the best ever) and bought some inexpensive beauty products that you can’t find OTC in the US. It was a relaxing, slow, do whatever comes up day.

However, earlier that day we had spent quite awhile trying to figure out if we were actually going to be able to fly to Tokyo that night. The news was reporting that a monsoon was headed towards Tokyo and would hit Tuesday night/Wednesday morning (perfect timing…not).

We weren’t sure if 1) the flight would still be on 2) if the flight was still on and we indeed did get to Tokyo, what would happen Thursday AM when we needed to leave to head home, would we get stuck in Tokyo? and 3) if we indeed got to fly to Tokyo that night and were able to leave on Thursday, still would it be a total wash to sit in a small hotel room for 2 days and/or walk around in a torrential downpour? We wanted to talk to Japan Airlines to find out if the flight was still on and to find out if we could change our tickets without paying a fee. The airline had a small desk at the airport that didn’t open until 3 hours before the flight (8 pm), that didn’t help us, it was only 11 am.

Ultimately when we got back to the airport after a day walking around Bangkok, we found out that yes, the flight was still on, the monsoon was going to miss Tokyo and that even in Japan the weather forecasters over exaggerate! We should have known better. Our flight to Tokyo was at 11:45 pm and would arrive in Tokyo the next day at 7:45 am. Sounds great, we can sleep on the plane and then wake up and have a full day to kill in Tokyo.

Ha… it was the worst, most uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking flight either of us had ever been on, and for various reasons for each of us. We had exit row seats – great right? No. The exit row seats in the plane we were on had a large opening in which there were no individual monitors for tv/movies/flight status, our seats did not recline, we were close to the kitchen and could hear every cart and drawer banging around, and for the first 2 hours there was crazy turbulence (oh yeah, I guess there were some remnants of a monsoon). Not the restful overnight flight we had planned on.

But still, we were headed to Tokyo, how awesome!

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