It took 27 hours to get to Japan from Jacksonville, Florida. I journeyed through Chicago and LA and found these airports quite beautiful since my last visits. The layovers were long but the O’Hare Airport refreshing with its teen art work and museum tribute to the airport’s namesake. I also enjoyed LAX. What a classy place.
In LA I had an 8 hour layover so I rented a car and drove to Korea Town. For the cost of baggage storage it was equal to the cost of renting a car. Go figure. I sclepped the bag in the car and took the 75 minute 13 mile journey on a notorious California freeway to my destination. It was fun but must be a drag on a daily basis. I found some great food in Korea Town and an amazing acupressure massage to boot.
I returned to LAX and got on a red eye to Beijing. I slept for 7 hours so that helped to decrease the angst of the 16 hour flight. The movie stuff was challenging and impossible. Why don’t they standardize those things?. Every airline does it differently and quite frankly it doesn’t work. I spent most of the flight trying to figure it out and the flight attendants were clueless, then there was the language barrier.
Once off the plane I explored the immense and lovely Beijing Airport. They have rooms by the hour on site where you can sleep. Someone stole my idea! I’ve been meaning to write to Logan, JFK and Laguardia about this. I spent 2 horrific winter nights in Logan’s baggage claim area this year. I got in after 10pm and having a 6am departure the following day who wants to pay $300 for a hotel and then there’s always the worry of getting back to the airport in time. I digress. What was I talking about.?? Ah yes, Beijing Airport..
This airport is glorious with its designer shops, teahouses and moongates but the overriding concern looms. Here is a picture of what you see out those glorious windows. It is an air quality nightmare.
About 1 in 10 at the airport wear masks and after my visit there I developed a cough. When I spent 12 days in China 2 years ago I returned home sick for 3 weeks. No doc knew what was wrong. I did. It’s the air. 500 a day die from respiratory concerns someone reliable told me.
That said Beijing Airport remains a well planned work of art. Below is a pic of one of the two tea houses at the airport.
From here was another 4 hour flight to Tokyo with failed movie stuff. I sat next to a delightful Muslim man who tried to help, but, enough of that.
Arriving in Tokyo at 4 pm was great as I got time to explore the City on my own. I stopped at grocery and drug stores. And since I had a room with a bath tub I needed Epsom salts. This is always so much fun for me playing stump the pharmacist. Honestly, is the US the only country that
From my grocery and pharmacy adventures I then walked to the Tokyo Tower which is an orange replica of the Eiffel. What an engineering feat! And the shops in the basement were great as well with selection and good prices.
As I left I got lost and my map didn’t help since it had gotten water stained from rain. I asked several millennials but they were tourists as well. I put down my packages and as I went for more light a woman my age came along, reviewed my map, said she was going in that direction and walked me within 5 minutes of my hotel. Do I need to say I said several prayers for this gal?
Back in my hotel room I drew a bath with a new found product from my pharmacy visit that was supposed to take away aches and pains. As I hopped in the tub I thought, “Boy, am I glad to be soaking.”