August 18th we embark on a two week long trip to Japan.
How this trip came to fruition is a little more interesting than normal. I got a panicked text from Brad on October 31 from the subway (at an above ground station) letting me know there is a glitch in the Aeroplan system. He needed me to find out from Zak and Alen (who we had already been in talks with about a Japan trip) if they wanted to go... Alen received YELLING texts from me. PICK UP. PICK UP. I NEED TO KNOW IF YOU WANT TO GO TO JAPAN.
After confirmation we were all prepared to go, Brad was able to book 4 Aeroplan tickets in Business Class on United (our carrier of choice) for the price of one short haul flight to Chicago. The drawback, if you can call it one, is that we need to layover in Chicago. What did this cost us? 50K Aeroplan miles and $136 each. Usually this flight would cost 150K miles! This glitch was active for about 2 hours until Aeroplan at first hid the book button and later got it fixed. We were worried at first they may not honour it, but alas, we are leaving tomorrow.
Tuesday night we are heading to Chicago. We are at the Aloft Hotel at the airport for the night and the following day heading into the city to explore. Alen has never been before so we are of course going to visit Millennium park, the Bean, the Architecture boat cruise, and maybe search for Alicia Florrick.
We return to the hotel that night and we then leave the next morning for Asia. Our travels take us through Washington DC and then on a United 777 for 13.5 hours to Narita - Tokyo, Japan. We will be hopping into a train to a station near Osaka where we will get some sleep. The next morning we are heading to Hiroshima for our first full day of touristy stuff.
We have one night in Hiroshima at the Sheraton Hiroshima and then we will be taking the train to Osaka. Osaka is our base for the next four nights. Finding a room for four isn't an easy feat in Japan. Most rooms are two and if lucky maybe a third. But guess what.. we found a room that could sleep all of us. And it happened to be a 1,100 sq ft. Japanese style suite at the Ritz Carlton that was relatively affordable.
From Osaka we will be taking trips to Kyoto and Nara.
After Osaka we will be heading to Tokyo to stay three nights at the Hyatt Regency. After those three nights we will be moving to the famous (Lost In Translation) hotel, Park Hyatt. We scored two rooms by signing up for the Hyatt credit card which entitled us to two nights at any Hyatt.
In Tokyo we will be doing touristy things including the Robot Cafe.
On September 1 we will be heading home to Toronto via San Francisco and back to reality.
This article is in the category: Travel.