Only 2 hurdles and we will be in Japan!

27 03 2009

Hurdle 1: Getting out of the country.

We weren’t sure initially if we’d even be allowed on the plane as we only had one way flights. The check-in staff asked where was our return flight and we showed them the letter in Japanese saying I was going for a job interview. Then she asked us for visas, and we had none. So her manager was called over, he stared at the computer screen for a while, then decided that we were ok to go.

The plane didn’t want to take off the first time. The plane had a false start take off and had to turn around and go back to the start of the runway to attempt a second take off… and then we were off!

At least we had decent airplane food, a row of seats all to ourselves (the plane had about 10 free rows and wasn’t very busy at all) and on demand entertainment (Lara watched Twilight, Happy-Go-Lucky and Madagasca 2 while Benno played Zelda).

We arrived in Singapore and realised that we had about 7 hours in transit. While all of the official 2 hour tours had finished for the day we were able to clear immigration, get a stamp in our passport, register for a transit pass, catch a free shuttle bus into the city and wander around – we saw the F1 night racing track, the tallest “London Eye” in the world called the Singapore Flyer, the Fountain of Wealth (a fountain with a water/lights display at meal times), Suntec City shopping centre and Raffles Hotel.

Hurdle 2: Getting into Japan.

In one day we went from 25 degrees and sunny in Adelaide, 30 degrees and humid in Singapore to 1 degree and windy in Tokyo.

The plane landed at 7am and we knew we only had one more hurdle before we could relax – Japanese immigration. We went up to immigration, he took our immigration cards and passports, we had a photo and fingerprints taken and we went through with no questions! After collecting our luggage we went through customs, again with no questions. We couldn’t believe that it was harder leaving Australia than entering Japan…


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