A friend drops me at the airport shuttle stop, it is just $20 and one hour ride to SFO. From there, an 11 hour flight that departs at 11 a.m., and arrives at 4 p.m. Tokyo and all of Japan is 17 hours ahead of me.
I glance at my ticket. United Flight 35, total paid: $48, plus 70,000 miles. My plane is almost free. Bonus: I have Silver status, which allows a gratis upgrade to the 34″ seat from the 31″ seat.
The Japan Plan
I’ve booked my first two nights hotel stay in Osaka, for about $100 a night on Agoda.com. I chose a hotel close to the city center, which will aid in my first day visit to Kobe, half hour away by train. I’ll arrive around 4 p.m., make my way to the hotel and then find some dinner.
Going West is fairly easy to adjust to the time change. Simply stay up a little longer. When I land, it will be close to 11 p.m. in San Francisco. I’ll stay up another five or six hours to stretch my day.
As the plan closes on the airport, I can see Shikoku out the right side, and Kansai out the left side.
The rolling hills of Japan are beautiful. Japan is mountainous, and 63% covered by forest. A day hiker’s paradise? We will find out. The plane rolls up to the gate, and we shuffle off the plane towards immigration and Japan!