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SOLO JAPAN II 14.-28.3.2004.
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conclusion of my trip | photo gallery II
Sunday, 28th of March 2004
Tokyo -> Narita Airport -> Helsinki

Day Fifteen:
Leaving Japan

Time to say farewell

The airplane back to Finland would leave at 10:50am, so I had to get up early in the morning. After eating breakfast, I thanked my host Shiho for the stay in her apartment and touring me around Tokyo. I was rather sure I could find my way to the Mejiro station now, so there was no need for Shiho to escort me there on a sunday morning.

Indeed I found my way to the station after a short walk through the quiet suburban scenery. Since my JR Pass had expired today, I had to buy a ticket to Nippori station, from where I'll take a train to the Narita airport.

Cheap local train to the airport

At Nippori station I tried to buy a Keisei Skyliner ticket to the airport (which would have cost 1920 yen), but I was recommended that I take a limited express ticket, which cost only 1000 yen.

So I bought the cheaper ticket and after some waiting at the platform, the local train arrived and I got on board it. Although this was about 15 minutes slower than the Skyliner (which would have taken 51 minutes), this clearly was a better deal since it cost almost half less!

Tightened security

At the airport there was an extra security checkpoint, because there was an ongoing protest against the Narita airport. The truth is that the airport - which was completed in 1978 - was built on land that was forcefully taken by the government despite strong protests from angry local farmers. To this day these protests have been a nuisance to the airport that nevertheless have to be taken seriously.

Otherwise there is little to write about the procedures at the airport. Routine check-in, security check, buying some souvenirs from the tax free shop (sweets and an alcoholic drink called shochu, although at the time of purchase I though it was sake) and waiting to board the airplane. Again it was a calming thing to know that it would take just one flight to get back to Finland. How the world has shrinked.

Final moments

The flight itself went fine (apart from failing to get any real sleep). The movies were boring, but at least the food was good and the music channels helped me kill some time. I also wrote down notes of the past two weeks to help me make this travelogue later (very valuable afterwards).

After about an eleven hour flight, the airplane safely landed at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. It was 15:20pm and I had a six hour jet lag waiting to slam the lights out of my head later in the evening.

Although I wasn't as blown away like I was after my first trip to Japan (I doubt anything can beat that first time feeling), I was still extremely satisfied with the outcome of those two weeks. Even so, I was left hungry for more. Much more.

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Photo copyright Ude
Leaving the limited express train at Narita airport.

Photo copyright Ude
Passengers lining up at a security check point.

Photo copyright Ude
Waiting to board the airplane with other Japanese and fellow Finns.

LINKS TO SERVICES, PLACES, ETC. MENTIONED TODAY:
Keisei limited express - A very cheap way to get from Tokyo to the Narita airport.
Copyright 2003-2019 © , second edition. Latest minor update 4th of May 2010 (fixed and deleted broken links)