Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pit stop Japan

Our most recent trip was a 'white' one. After much cajoling I talked my husband 'His Lordship' (a fond tongue-in-cheek nickname only) into agreeing on a winter holiday. Although I love travelling I am not a great flyer (I feel and hear every clunk, wheeze and grating noise the aircraft dishes out) we decided to break our trip into three parts. We were meeting dear friends in Venice for New Year's Eve and wanted to be pumped when we got there. So, for better or worse, we chose to stay overnight at Narita (Japan) and the following night in Rome, before embarking on an arduous train trip to Venice (that's another story...)

For first-timers to Japan (this was our second fleeting trip) it can be a bit mind-numbing. At times you feel as though you are a character in an Astro Boy comic strip. Unlike Australia's Gold Coast you won't find signage in English directing you to your desired destination. No way. It's up to you to sort through the rail map maze and try to decipher exactly where you want to go. Our first time in Japan was an eye-opener. We had the kids with us and instead of ending up at Ginza (the posh district overflowing with gorgeous high-end designer boutiques) we landed at Shinzuku couresty of the Narita Express. Desperate to find kimonos and sushi we found neither - we dined at a Beer Hall (yep that's right)located in narrow alley and eventually found our kimonos in plentiful supply and well priced at the airport!

This time we stayed at Hotel Tobu at Narita. It's where the flight crews stay. The rooms were expansive but the loo was the best - it came fully equipped with a control panel which would spray jets of water targetting perfectly those parts of your anatomy requiring an extra cleanse. An added bonus was the heated seat. What was a little disconcerting was when you sit your rump down ono the warmed seat water starts to fill the loo bowl even though there's plenty of water in it already. I thought the spray jets were a hoot but His Lordship found my squeals all too traumistising and elected not to test the equipment! Sadly a good night's sleep evaded us as the pillows were too flat and the bed likewise.

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