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Japanese paper lantern

30 June 2008

Our trip to Japan started from Helsinki airport. We flow with Finnair and we are very pleased with their flight and service on flight. Two hours before arrival we had a breakfast. By that time the skies were clear and we saw interesting views of Arctic Ocean, Siberia and Kamchatka. And then we were at the skies of Japan. Japan is very mountainous, we saw from the plan window Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, in all its beauty.

We arrived in Nagoya airport at 8:55 AM, exactly as scheduled. The passport control was very quick, for luggage we waited a bit longer, but already at 9:30 we were ready and willing for departure to Tokyo. Tourist Info booth with English speaking very helpful people was in the arrival hall of Nagoya International Airport.

For train tickets cash was needed. First the seller proposed 1200 Yen (~12USD) ticket. But as we have heard from Tourist Info that the ticket will be 850, we asked for that. We got it. Later we understood that the more expensive one would have been quicker. Our trip to Nagoya station took one hour.

Nagoya station was very busy. We bought shinkansen tickets for 10 780 Yen each. Now we had 20 minutes time until our nozomi train. Shinkansen is the fastest train service in Japan. The train can reach speeds up to 300 km per hour. There are three types of trains: nozomi (the newest), hikari and kodama. As we had bought 7-day JR pass which is not acceptable for nozomi trains and we planned to use it during last seven days of our trip, we tried nozomi out now.

At the platform we found several food kiosks. We also bought some food to eat in the train (as almost everybody else did). Now it was time to take photos and tape some video. At some point we realized that train tickets have the car and seat number and we did not stand at the right place. But train already came … So we ran to right stop and managed to enter from the right door.

Lesson number one: at shinkansen platform, read from the signs where you should stand and wait.