Part 1: Building An Asian Experience Around A(nother) Mistake Fare
Part 2: First Stop – Japan
Part 3: Off To The Chaos of China and North Korea
Part 4: Air Koryo Flight 252, PEK – FNJ
Part 5: DPRK The Arrival
Part 6: Statues And Souvenirs
Part 7: Homeward Bound
Part 8: Xi’an and Terra Cotta Warriors
Part 9: Myanmar, Land Of A Thousand Pagodas
Carrier: American Air, Business Class, 50,000 AA miles, one way.
Plane: Boeing 777
Routing: LAX – NRT
I had set an Expert Flyer alert for an F seat, but when nothing appeared, settled contently in my Business class seat on the 777. Unfortunately (or fortunately) my seat malfunctioned the entire flight which resulted in a nice 15,000 AA mileage credit to my account for the inconvenience.
Though my flight landed early afternoon, I booked the first night in Narita – the cute little town near the airport with an impressive temple and surrounding gardens. I always find it a pleasant place to overnight after the long flight to get my bearings and get a jump on jet lag before tackling Tokyo. I opted for a reasonably priced budget hotel located city center rather than the airport Hilton which was a shuttle ride away.
The next morning, I purchased a NEX / Suica package at the airport and headed in to Tokyo on the express train, ultimately ending up in the lobby of the Conrad. The hotel itself is at the top of a large skyscraper, which houses shopping and office space from floors 1-25. The Conrad is above, making it a little bit of a schlep to come and go. There are two banks of elevators; one to the lobby, and another located across the length of the lobby which go up to the rooms. I was offered a suite upgrade (thanks to my recently acquired HHonors diamond status) but it faced an office building, so I opted for a regular room with a view of the water / park instead. The rooms are very large and gorgeous and I was very comfortable during my 4 night stay.
Several other ‘do’ attendees were also staying at the Conrad which made for fun evening conversations in the lounge and during transport to various group activities and dinners. Although exhausting, overall a great time with lots of new friends and points and miles conversations.