News‎ > ‎Okinawa 2014‎ > ‎

21st August Thursday

posted Aug 25, 2014, 6:13 AM by Andrew Glover   [ updated Aug 25, 2014, 7:38 AM ]
We all made our separate ways to the airport. Adam and Rene where the fist to arrival and scored a huge win. It is Renee's birthday and they go upgraded to Premium Economy. Very lucky indeed. Checkin was a slightly eventful affair, I had done an e-checkin and was expecting o breeze through. Unfortunately it was not to be! First the fellow at the quick checkin counter had run out of tags and couldn't print more. So I was directed to join the queue, which was huge. I think the look on my face said it all and I was moved to the front of the line. Much to others annoyance I'm sure! 

As I had not checked in for the Narita to Naha leg, the website would not let me, I had to be unchecked and then rechecked in! The fellow behind the counter was friendly though, so not too much drama. At the customs check through the scanner of the line I was in broke down, so we all had to be redirected to a new queue. Oh the fun of airports! I was hanging for a coffee, so bit the bullet and paid up! Boy the airports are a rip off, captive audience though so what do you expect. Anyway before long I joined up with Adam, Rene and not long after Greg and Marina in a café right by our gate. 

We had not seen Sensei Bob and the others and couldn't get Sensei on the phone. Then I heard his name called over the tannoy. As he has been very, very sick over the last week, he almost didn't make it on the trip, we were all a little worried that maybe they had stopped him flying or something. I enquired with the checkin staff if everything was alright, it was for Sensei, he had just been upgraded to Premium Economy too! 

The nearly 10 hour flight to Narita was uneventful, apart from being delayed on our takeoff due to congestion. Apparently Sydney's appalling traffic extends to runways too! Luckily I had an isle seat, with a Japanese lady and her daughter beside me, so plenty of room and the chance to get up whenever I wanted too. Just the way I like to fly. I have to say JAL was excellent, the cabin crew were get, the plane was clean and everything seems to be in working order. I will definitely fly with them again. 

We all finally meet up at Narita, due to our late departure from Sydney we were late getting to Narita. There was a long queue to check through immigration and Sensei Bob was held up twice! Which was rather worrying, we only had 50 minutes between our flights and there were a few anxious moments. However it all worked out fine in the end and we even had a few minutes to spare.

The second leg was 2.30 hrs, the plane was empty and the vacant row of 3 seats in front of me was too irresistible. I sprawled out and managed to get a good hour sleep. 

Naha Domestic airport is a very flash compared to the International Airport, we didn't have to wait too long to get our bags and as we walked out the airport a mini buss was waiting. We all piled in and after a short trip we got to the Best Western.

It being Renee's birthday, we all decided to head to the Dojo Bar, a MUST for any Martial Artist visiting Okinawa. I was really looking forward to their pizza, which did not disappoint!  We all had a few drinks and a meal and then decided to head back to the hotel at about 12am.