Going To Japan, Gangnam Style

Hi Everyone,

As a small announcement, my family and I are going back to Japan this year in July/August. We try to go to Japan yearly, so my wife and children can stay connected with their family, and have done this every year since 2005. However, last year, my wife was pregnant with Little Guy, and it wasn’t safe enough to travel. Also, Princess is in school now (September through June), so it’s difficult to go to Japan except during the summer. The summers in Japan are very hot and humid (Seattle summers are cool and mild), so we felt it wasn’t safe to bring my wife to Japan last year. If we had come to Japan last year during the summer, she would be 7 months pregnant, which is pretty dangerous.

So, we haven’t been to Japan in 2 years. All of us miss Japan. Princess talks about how she misses her grandparents and her auntie, and Little Guy hasn’t seen his grandparents at all. We talk to my wife’s family on Line often, plus I send DVDs to my in-laws with videos of Little Guy, but it’s just not the same.

But now, I’m happy to report that we booked our flights! My wife and kids will be there through most of July, but I can’t take that much time away from work, so I have to fly at the end of July, and then we come back in early August.

Still, there’s a catch: flights to Japan are now much more expensive than they were a few years ago. I am not sure why this happened, but now it costs a lot more to fly. When my wife and I were first married, we could fly to Japan in February for about $800 each, but now it costs more than double. I wanted my wife and kids to have a direct flight from Seattle to Narita Airport, so I booked them a nice flight on ANA. ANA is a great airline, and we like to use it whenever possible. A direct flight is expensive, but my wife has two kids and will be flying for 10 hours, so I don’t want her to transfer somewhere just to save money. She would go crazy!

However, since I’m flying alone, I am flying a much cheaper flight. I decided to book a flight from Seattle to Seoul, Korea to Japan via Korean Air. I have never flowing Korean Air before (our Korean friend says Korean airlines are good overall), but my flight will be 14 hours, not 10. However, I save $500. Plus, I get to see Incheon Airport in Seoul, which I hear is very nice. I hear that Korean flights also serve Korean food. My wife is jealous. 😉 I’ve never been to Korea before, and although I won’t be able to leave the airport, it’s a good start. Maybe next time, I’ll say in Seoul longer.

On the way back, I will also be flying Korean Air one day earlier than my wife (again, to save money) through Seoul. I will pick her up in Seattle the next day.

But there is another catch: the Korean Air flight to Japan will arrive very late at Narita Airport (9pm). I looked online with my wife how to get from Narita to Kawasaki city after 9pm and there aren’t many options. There are trains that run fairly late, but the Narita Express doesn’t run that late, and my wife doesn’t want me wandering downtown Tokyo late at night like that if I take a different bus or train.1 So, I decided to book a cheap room at the Narita Airport Rest House. The hotel is within the airport grounds, and the room cost me only ¥7800 (about $75-$80).

So, my wife and kids will have a pretty straightforward trip,2 but mine will be an interesting (and very exhausting) adventure.

I’ll be in Japan for two weeks in early August, and I don’t really know what my plans will be, but I’ll keep everyone informed. As always, I’ll try to visit interesting places and take lots photos. 🙂

1 I probably would arrive in Kawasaki after midnight, which isn’t a good idea, even in a safe place like Japan. Being a foreigner, things could happen. :-/

2 It won’t be an easy trip, since she has to take care of two kids herself for 10 hours. Just straightforward.


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

12 thoughts on “Going To Japan, Gangnam Style”

  1. Hi, Doug! Sounds like you will have a great trip even if the travel connections are a bit tiring. Unfortunately, I will not be in Japan at that time; I am moving back to the US at the end of June!! The end of an era! However, I am trying to see lots of stuff and put up posts about my discoveries before I go.


  2. Hope it isn’t to humid here either.

    Getting good seats is very important. It made a big difference when we traveled to and from with our daughter who was 2.


    1. Yeah, definitely. With ANA, you can pick your seats, so I got a nice little area for wife and daughter. Korean Air doesn’t seem to let you pick your seat though.


  3. Have a wonderful trip Doug! WIll you be going to Nara again? I was wondering if you or perhaps John had a photo of Fukusenkaku Kannon from the Nanen-do Kofukuji


  4. Hi John, probably not….do you have any pics of Kannon from Kofukuji? Thanks anyway Doug have some fabulous food in the airport:) I spent 12 hrs last summer in Heathrow…lol the tea and smoked salmon were very nice and I did a lot of chanting:)


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