NOTE: This blog post is the final, and long overdue chapter of my 2011 trip. (I feel I should add at this point, that I wasn’t taking too many photos inside the airport. I was focused on getting cleaned up, eating and getting to my plane on time.)
I had contemplated the idea of taking the train to Haneda (so as to have a chance to enjoy the Yamanote Line one more time) but in the end, decided that I really just didn’t have the energy to drag my bags through Shinjuku Station, onto the Yamanote Line, and then transfer at Hamamatsucho to the monorail. So instead, I made a reservation on the “Friendly Limousine” bus that departed right from the Keio Plaza and it was the right choice for sure. The ride was nice and short, delivering me to Haneda in no time. Once there, I got off, collected my luggage and headed inside to check in for my flight.
After checking in, I decided that I needed to take a shower and get myself cleaned up for the flight home. So, I made my way down to the arrival level to do just that. However, it turned out that they were all booked for the next half hour, so I made a reservation and headed back up to the departure level and then up to the restaurant level to have a look around. Haneda has a fantastic area that open just a couple years ago that’s packed with restaurants and shops.
I wandered past the shops and restaurants (including a Hello Kitty store and an electric car racetrack) and found the outside observation deck. I thought I’d have a look at the planes. Immediately in front of me, I could see my plane waiting at it’s gate. ANA flight 1006.
It was now time to head back inside for my shower reservation, from which I subsequently emerged refreshed and ready for my flight. Of course I should add that as soon as I walked out of the shower facility, I instantly began sweating. My flight was leaving at 12:05am and it was about 10:00pm at this point. So, next up, dinner.
I went back up to where I had just been before the shower and found a restaurant that was still open, and wandered in. The restaurants all seemed to close at 10:00pm, so the one I found was the best one still open- which turned out to be a great choice. The menu was simple and I had a wonderful steak, with mashed potatoes, salad and a drink.
After eating, I passed this smoking room and found it rather interesting. I guess the vent at the bottom of the glass wall lets the clean air in, that then gets sucked out through vents in the ceiling? And the frosted glass was(is) amusing as it made it look far smokier than I think it actually was- I hope.
Next, it was down to security. After passing through immigration, I made a quick stop at the gift shop to pick up a few food gifts (including this awesome chocolate that my wife loves) and headed to my gate. Then, after a short wait at the gate, it was down the jetway and onto 777-200ER that was my ride home…
This was an amazing trip that still lives vividly in my mind. I’m going to be writing more about it as well as my most recent trip to Japan in 2013 on my new blog- more info on that soon!
And finally, for all of you who have been following this trip from the beginning, I thank you so much for your patience!