The Best Layover Ever: Part 1
Traveling back to California from Thailand, I found myself with an 8-hour layover at the Narita airport just outside Tokyo, Japan. From what I read online before my trip, this was enough time to get myself into the city to spend a couple of hours losing myself in the chaos that is Tokyo. I unfortunately was hit with some pretty bad food poisoning in Thailand right before leaving, however, so the last thing I wanted to do was expend loads of energy to travel into a crowded city in an unfamiliar country.
As I walked down the concourse toward wherever the Japanese signs were directing me to go, I came across an ultra-neo-technical electronic talking sign of a flight attendant that creepily told me that the airport was beta testing a new program for transit (layover) passengers with layovers over 3 hours. That was me! I talked to the first person I saw holding another transit sign, and they led the way. I had to go through immigration (getting another Japanese stamp in my passport, yay!) and met a transit person on the other side. She was very sweet, but hard to understand because of her accent, bless her. She led me to the lounge, with padded chairs and lots of drinks and weird little Japanese snacks to munch on.
I was already feeling more relaxed than I had planned when I was handed a menu of free things I could do during my layover: a massage, free food, an airport shower, a visit to a hotel sauna, a taxi tour of Narita and a couple other things which weren’t interesting enough to remember. I decided to start with the massage, after food poisoning and a 6-hour flight. It was fabulous and much more relaxing than a horrendous Thai massage! Plus, they gave me hibiscus tea afterward. To be continued…