My first morning in Tokyo. Got to Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku at around 7pm exhausted from long journey. Hotel is FANTASTIC. While not luxurious, it's an amazing value for the money. Smartly designed and comfortable space with all the things a traveler would need (shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, razor, toothpaste, shower cap, etc...). Plus SUPER close to train station and easy to find.
Arriving at Narita was swift and easy. Extremely well organized immigration/customs process. Amazed by how quick it was. Staff super friendly and smiling. I could not get over how quiet it was. The airport was crowded, but it was so orderly and peaceful. I've never experienced anything like that before.
I had gone ahead and pre-ordered pocket wi-fi from Global Advanced Comm, to be delivered to my hotel. When I got here last night, it had not been delivered. I realized that I must've entered the wrong dates into my order form (how did I manage that?), so I emailed them to see if I could adjust the dates and get a wife delivered in a day or two. I was surprises to quickly get an email AND a personal phone call at my hotel!!! They delivered one within a couple of hours. Wow! If their products are anything like their great customer service... again... WOW!
In fact, customer service here in all respects is superb. Exceedingly polite and gracious. I learned quickly that you don't hand people money for payment... you place it on a tray (why is that? I'm curious!), and I'm trying to express my gratitude to people who are kind and patient with a big smile and repeated bowing. I also learned very quickly how useful the word "sumimasen" is! I cannot say enough about the gracious people here. Hopefully I'm conveying my respect without looking too much like a "stupid American"!
Also... Starbucks does not open until 7am! What!?!?! Plus I notice that everyone drinks their Starbucks AT Starbucks.. while I, typical American, grab mine and bolt out the door, drinking as I walk. That's one habit I'm not likely to break any time soon. :-)
Anyway, I need to start my day, but wanted to express my thanks to the TA community. I love landing in a foreign country knowing so many of the basics (where to stay, where to access ATM, how the trains work, other general info). That means I have much more time to explore without wasting time figuring everything out once I'm here.
Domo Arigato! Did I say that right??? ;-)