I’ll be publishing posts from this trip in digestible installments at a rate of one per day, roughly in latent real-time with the actual trip. This post covers 14-September through 15-September.
I only had a week, weekends inclusive, for vacationing between my old job at Roubini Global Economics, and Kaplan. I structured my itinerary so I would leave my old job three hours before my outgoing flight, and would arrive back in NYC 3 hours before starting my new job at Kaplan at 9:30am Monday. I would need to maximize the amount of sleep I got on the 14 hour flight to Tokyo, so the day before my flight, I visited a doctor to see if he could do anything about the symptoms of chronic insomnia I would tell him I was experiencing. After learning a little from the doctor about how to maintain good “sleep hygiene”, I got what I came for: a prescription for Ambien.
The first leg of my trip was between JFK and Narita airport for Tokyo in a Boeing 777. I’d never been on a 14 hour flight before, and fearing that the seats in economy would be too small for my tall Texan legs, I upgraded to premium economy at the airport. The aircraft was so big inside that I could comfortably stand up in the aisle. Service from the attractive japanese stewardesses was top-notch, and the in-flight entertainment system had some version of Tetris. I slept, ate, and played. It was a good flight.
I would have 14 hours on layover to transfer through Tokyō to Haneda airport to catch my flight to Seoul, which would be a sufficient amount of time to get out and see a couple of the districts in Tokyō, at night. I got some funny looks from the immigration officials when I told them that I had no hotel arranged and would be wandering the city all night. They let me in anyway. Since the Tokyo subways stop running at about midnight, I would be getting around the city by foot and taxi, with a preference for being on foot since I was traveling light and the taxis in Tokyo are rather expensive.
Continue to part two…