Friday, May 14, 2010

Trip to New York - part 1

During this year’s golden week holidays, my hubby, his cousin (Tatsu-chan’s daughter), and I went sightseeing to New York. In fact, hubby and I had been to New York City for a few days in May 2006, and had instantly fallen in love with the wonderful city and its vibrant neighborhood. So this year when hubby’s cousin wished to do sightseeing outside Japan, we decided to revisit New York.

On 29th April, hubby and I left our home at about 11.15 am and it took us about an hour to reach Akita railway station by hubby’s car. We took Akita Shinkansen bullet train to go up to Tokyo. The train left Akita at 1.05 pm. We had ekiben boxed meal lunch inside the train. The previous night, hubby and I were very busy packing for the trip, so we were not able to sleep much. Therefore, we both dozed off after lunch and got up as the train neared Tokyo. We reached Tokyo at about 5.15 pm. We met hubby’s cousin at Tokyo railway station at about 5.50 pm. Since it was already time for dinner, we went to an Italian restaurant located inside the railway station premises and had a heavy meal. At about 7.30 pm, we took Narita Express train and after about an hour of travel, we reached Terminal 2 of Narita Airport located in Chiba prefecture.
Me and hubby’s cousin inside Narita Express train

We left the terminal and took a taxi to a nearby hotel chain named Toyoko Inn. It was ten minutes ride to the hotel. By the time, we checked in at the hotel it was already 9 pm. After seeing to it that hubby’s cousin was safely in her room, hubby and I went to our room. Although we were very tired due travelling the whole day, we could not sleep that early. So we went to the first floor of the hotel, and hubby had dry-curry-rice which was complimentary dinner served at the hotel. He also had a can of beer and we chatted and relaxed for almost 1.5 hours. We noticed that the hotel actually looked rather expensive and luxurious, although Toyoko Inn chain is supposed to be nice, clean, functional business hotel. The expensive look of the hotel is probably because it is located very near to the international airport. We took a few photos of the hotel lobby.
Lobby of Toyoko Inn hotel

Open restaurant area of the hotel

Hubby having dry-curry-rice and a can of beer

The next day we woke up at about 6 am. Hubby went to the balcony of our room and took a few photos of the hotel and its surroundings. We could see several aeroplanes at the airport from our eight floor room. We all had complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and left for Narita Airport at 7.45 am.
Toyoko Inn restaurant as viewed from our room

Surrounding area of the hotel as viewed from our room

Due to the golden week holidays, we expected a lot of people at the airport. But the peak day to travel overseas was on 29th April. Since it was the day after the peak travel day, we could finish check-in with just 30 minutes and had a lot of time before the flight. Hubby’s cousin did some shopping at duty-free shops. Hubby and I just relaxed at the seats provided at departure area of the airport.
Hubby relaxing at Narita Airport

Hubby standing at the departure area just before the security check

Me and hubby’s cousin at the departure area

At about 9 am, we all went through the departure procedures like security check, customs, and passport control. All this took just 15 minutes, and we still had a lot of time for boarding the flight which was at 10.40 am. So we went to a restaurant and had snacks and coffee. Hubby had a glass of beer. From the window of the restaurant, we got a nice view of several aeroplanes of various countries.
Hubby having beer and sausages at a restaurant

Me and hubby’s cousin at the restaurant

Aeroplanes of various countries

There was a slight delay and our flight took off at about 12 noon. Lunch was served after about an hour of flight. Again after a few hours dinner was served. Hubby was not so comfortable and was not able to sleep during the entire flight probably due to too little space in front of us. We were travelling by economy class, which is what we can afford. Hubby’s flat foot was giving him some problem and I massaged his foot, which gave him a bit of comfort.
Me and hubby’s cousin having lunch during the flight

We having dinner during the flight

Hubby wide awake during the flight

Hubby’s painful flat foot

After 13 hours of flight, we reached JFK International Airport in New York at 11 am (local time). We finished the immigration procedures within 30 minutes. Overall, it was a nice flight from Narita to New York. My relative was going to pick us up from the airport. We were going to stay for two nights at my relative’s home in New Jersey. My relative was caught in a traffic-jam and was delayed by almost an hour. So we all had coffee and relaxed at Terminal 1 arrival area of JFK Airport.
A cafe at terminal 1 arrival area of JFK Airport

Hubby relaxing at the airport

Me and hubby’s cousin outside the arrival terminal of JFK Airport

Outside JFK Airport

My relative’s home in New Jersey was about 1.5 hours drive by car. During the ride, we enjoyed the scenic views around us. Every time we travel to USA, we are struck by the wideness of highways and roads. Everything looked so big and huge. Wow!
On our way to New Jersey

Wide highways

Scenic view

We stopped at a rest and service area after about an hour’s drive. We all had hamburger and French fries for lunch at a fast-food restaurant chain. Hubby’s cousin was shocked to see the portion size of hamburger and cold drinks and was wondering as to how to eat and drink the entire thing! She is used to smaller food portion sizes of Japan, and so she took several photos of hamburger and cold drinks.
A rest and service area

Fast food restaurant at the service area

Another fast food restaurant

Hubby’s cousin comparing the size of hamburger with that of her hand

Hubby’s cousin wondering as to how to eat the entire hamburger

Hubby happily eating hamburger

We reached my relative’s home at about 3 pm. We were tired due to Jet lag and took rest for a few hours. In the evening, we all went for dinner to a Japanese restaurant named Ichiumi located in Edison, NJ. It was buffet style dinner. We had many plates of sushi, sashimi, and petit desserts. We liked the food a lot.
Japanese restaurant Ichiumi

Japanese characters written on a board inside the restaurant

A plate of sushi and sashimi

A plate of petit cakes

Hubby eating dinner

We retired for the day at about 11 pm. We had a lot of sightseeing to do in New York during the next three days. I will write about our sightseeing experiences in the next few posts.


Chinoos said...

Manisha i enjoyed readin this blog as i did with the others in past..waiting for the part2 to be released soon... Chithra

Major.srikanth said...

Hello Mam,
A very well written blog but one thing beats me though. How have you adjusted to the life there in Japan.Must be a different exp all together

Ana_treek said...

I have the same question as Srikanth, I think you should write a post about it

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Chithra for your comment. I guess there will be 4 to 5 parts of 'Trip to New York'. Do visit the blog often and keep your comments. Thanks.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Major Srikanth for your comment.

Initially it took a lot of efforts to understand the traditions and culture of this country. I am now living in Japan for almost 13 years and have got adjusted to almost everything here.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Ana-treek for your comment. There are a lot of differences between the two countriee. The major one being food. After more than a decade of living here, I now relish Japanese food!
Yeah, I will make a post about my experiences sometime...