Actually Day -1 because our trip started the night prior as I didn’t start packing. It was roughly around 10 at night that I started to put my things together. The thing is that I had everything ready to be pack but I didn’t had a sense of urgency to do so. I was able to finish packing the essentials (clothes and toiletries) along with some my technology pack. I wanted some full charge on my things. Got sleep at around 12 and woke up again at 3 wanting to finish packing and getting things together. That’s when I get a message from Ryan at 4 regarding what IDs do we need. He was awake but I felt it was too early.
A hour later I finished packing and everything set, so I relaxed prior starting to get myself washed and ready to go to the airport. That’s when I get another message from Ryan that they were already there (5 hours prior to our flight). Traffic wasn’t a issue for me either as I ended up being there 4 hours prior to our flight.
Pro Tip: Domestic flights usually you want to check in 2 hours ahead of your flight while international flight recommends for 3 hours ahead. Meaning that you should be at that airport.
The pro tip didn’t apply to us because JAL opens their check-in counter at 7:55. That’s where we found out that our connecting flight to Tokyo is JetStar (Domestic Airline). JAL don’t have a contract agreement in regards transferring flights. This meant that we would need to go through custom to get out and get our checked in luggage to check in again.
Pro Tip: Check your flight route prior to purchasing tickets. You might be using a different airline requiring you check out and check back in.
The flight it self was nice flight despite me developing a itchy throat. (Great way to start my trip). Our lunch meal consisted of shredded pork with tomato sauce over pasta, It had a salt yet sweet taste. This was similar in flavor structure with blue cheese and seaweed. Along was a potato salad and prosciutto, which gave the meal a twist. The meal also came with miso soup, guava sorbet, and Big Island pineapple cookies with green tea white chocolate; thereby this meal acts a summary of your trip to Hawaii from Japan. The rest of the flight went smooth considering Hawaii and Japan were experiencing storms.
Our custom experience wasn’t as long as I thought it would be. It was pretty quick and simple, except filling out the form part. We would needed fill out a “disembark” form to its fulliest. There by requiring address of where you are staying and a contact number. The problem is that we were staying various areas in Japan due to AirBnB, so we didn’t know what to put there. They only needed one place, so that worked out in the end.
Pro Tip: If places require a contact number and you were with a carrier that allow for international calls to be received and send (I was using T-mobile), then you can use the following (+)(country code) (area code) (number).
Anywho, got to met our AirBnB host Ken. Awesome dude and awesome host. Since we flew domestically into Narita, we had to walk 500+ meters to the third terminal. Once we got there, we needed to exchange our JRail pass. Be mindful, there are two counters for JRail. One that actually exchanges the passes while the other was for something completely different. Normally, Japanese residents do not have access to JRail passes, so your host may not be well verse with the process.
Ken was able to drive down to the BnB at a discounted price compared to the Taxi. His van was awesome in itself. It was a quick 30 minute ride to the place, and he set it up to some grounds rules. It was still surreal at this point but as the local boys in us, we gave him some chocolates as omiyagi or gifts and aloha for allowing us to stay at his place. After we got settle it was after midnight, but we choose to walk around the main street to grab something to grind on.
We found a Curry House. You can find it all over in Oahu, but since it was Japan, we wanted to check it out. The food was so different that it pales to comparison to what we could find in Hawaii. First off, their katsu or breaded meats are more crunchy and the curry doesn’t seem flavorful, that it feels the ones in Hawaii was watered down. I was in for a shock that soda wasn’t refillable and that it came in a “small” size compared to American standards. Another difference is the fact that they had spicy levels that aren’t found in U.S. Spicy level 2 burns and they have 11 levels of spice! Later my friend went to a curry house by himself without telling us and he got level 3, and he said it was spicy.
Afterwards, we walked home and prepared for Day 2.
Quick side note: Most of the pictures that I am posting up is from my friends Instagram page. I was trying to figure out our way to places to go, so I didn’t had much opportunity to take pictures and such.