Tokyo To London…

After hopping off from the bus at the north wing, Narita Terminal 1, I scurried to a hand-over counter of Yamato Logistics in order to pick up my suitcase and complete checking in…

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I love Narita Airport, especially their departure lobby, because it’s airy and orderly…

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A vast expanse of the lobby definitely has a calming influence when one is stressed or anxious before boarding.

Colourful vertical tail fins against a cloudless sky of Chiba…

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Another brownie points Narita earns is a selection of shops which portrays the scene of contemporary Japan.
While Heathrow only offers bog standards fast food chains and high street stores before passport control, Narita provides yet more ample opportunities to indulge last-minute craving for retail therapy Japanese style.

How about treating yourself to a bag by Porter aka Yoshida Kaban (吉田カバン)…

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Or how about ogling at Akihabara shop if you couldn’t get enough of AKB48 or anime figures at the Mecca of Otaku…

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This souvenir shop stocked more conventional gifts…

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This shop was dedicated for Japanese style beauty products…

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A Japanese beauty trend of the past two decades is “whitening”. Japanese women are doe-hard crazy about protecting their skins from ultraviolet rays and they go to extraordinary lengths to avoid sunshine. Some years ago, I encountered a woman with a gigantic sun visor. The visor was shielding her face completely and the appearance reminded me Darth Vader! Unfortunately (or fortunately) I moved to the UK before this whitening craze captivated Japan and never experienced a skin brightening beauty regime and therefore my face is covered with freckles which has started to resemble constellations nowadays. Oh well, what should I do?

Anyone for green tea?…

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Ito-en is a well-known Japanese green tea brand. The shop was stocked up with not only their tea in various forms (loose leaf tea, tea bags and powdered tea) but also boxes of beautifully wrapped up cakes, paper fans and dainty knick-knacks.

This shop wasn’t typically Japanese…

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They collect products from less developed parts of the world and introduce them to a Japanese audience. I found the shop location very fitting because their colourful offerings would be sure to inspire the Japanese to travel more.

How about getting a pre-flight massage while you watch planes taking off at the observation deck?…

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A row of massage chairs were found on Level 2. 100 yen for 10 minutes of massage. Are you tempted?

A gigantic column clad with coloured glass tiles stands in the middle of the lobby…

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The decoration was elaborately executed and beautiful. It could have been even better if the column wasn’t surrounded by all those gadgets such as automated check-in terminals or fire-extinguishers…

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A view from the departure gate…

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Feeling a sense of relief as well as sadness, I slumped in one of the chairs overlooking the gate…

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I felt those three weeks with my mum in Japan flew past too quickly but also knew that I would never find it long enough no matter how lengthy my stay maybe.

A flurry of activities were going on around the boarding gate. Ground staffs were busy trying to allocate passengers who were not yet accounted for.

Eventually, all the passengers seemed to have turned up and so had our captain…

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A view from my window…

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We flew over frozen plains of Russia but the ground was covered with low hovering clouds.

A familiar scene greeted me when the plane touched down at Heathrow…

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A lead-grey sky tinged with pale blue spread above the wet runways.
Hello, my home. I am back.
With a sigh of relief, I grabbed my bag and joined a queue towards the exit…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

10 thoughts on “Tokyo To London…

    • Yeah, Narita is definitely a much more pleasant airport to spend time in. I never have had a chance to eat in there but their restaurants are also good, apparently. Maybe the next time 😉

    • Hi Julia, thank you for the comment! Narita airport is one of the most pleasant airports to land in my experience. Comparing with London Heathrow, it is much quieter and more organized. Hope you will visit Narita & Japan in future! 🙂

  1. That is so true and the eating places as well. I discovered Mary’s chocolate there with our last yens. Bought 2 boxes as souvenirs and ended up keeping them for ourselves.

  2. I am also a huge fan of Narita. The souvenirs are also reasonably priced, so I usually buy my Japan items at Narita before check-in and still pack them so I can fly light (I am the opposite of some. I prefer to check bags and have less carry-on – luckily United and ANA have never lost my bags!).

    Beautiful journey. I also love flying into London. It is like a wonderful tour as you can see the Eye, the Tower of London, the Thames, Buckingham Palace. I have been lucky to always have a clear day when flying into Heathrow. When will you be back?

    • Hi there, I am very sorry for not replying sooner. I had a whiplash from the last hockey practice and couldn’t look at the screen too long (^-^;)
      As you suggest, next time I pack my case prior to my departure from Narita, I shall make sure to have some room left for extra shopping at the airport. Such a brilliant idea!
      I am glad that you like London. The city has a certain short-coming, for example London Tube (subway) is not running from tomorrow for 2 days because of strike action, historic buildings, art galleries and royal parks are great and I feel happy to live in this city most of the time.
      I am planning to visit Nagano again in the autumn this year. Can we meet up sometimes if you are not too busy?

    • I agree! However, I didn’t see anyone using it at the airport ever. Yeah, I would love to use it during the flight. Even if I had to pay £20, I would definitely use it 😉

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