This is the scene that greeted me when I landed in Narita after a redeye flight from Singapore. Rain, gray skies and cold weather. The only thing that cheered me up was the sign that said "Free wifi in Narita".
The SQ flight itself to Tokyo was great. New entertainment system and the usual great service. I had a whole row of seats to myself too. I watched A Million Ways to Die in the West by Seth MacFarlane, and found a million ways to die of boredom from that movie.
After picking up my rental portable internet router from the airport post office, I donned my down jacket and rain jacket and waited for my 90-minute ride to town. "17°C" said the clock outside. Thank goodness I packed the merino wool stuff.
My hotel in Shinjuku (which shall remain unnamed) didn't have any rooms ready for my early check-in. "After 2pm," they said firmly, even though my booking indicated an early check-in. Ah well, I didn't have much luggage anyway (one small backpack for my clothes and one small satchel for my gear) so I was free to wonder around town.
My personal radar led me to Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku where I did some browsing. I swear I didn't buy a thing. Then a quick lunch (where I saw the above menu item), some more walking, and a coffee with a slice of cheesecake later, I was back at the hotel at 1.59pm to check in.
"After 2pm, please," was the reply.
And so at 2.01pm, myself and the lobby of eating guests surged forward to check-in. The room, I have to say, was small. I felt like Gandalf visiting the Hobbits in their home. Heck, the Hobbits would have found the place claustrophobic.
But a room is a room. I took my shower in a Hobbit-sized half-bathtub in the Hobbit-sized bathroom (I didn't even know they made bath tubs this size) and tried not to knock into anything.
One of my readers who lives here told me the rain was going to last all day. At first I wore my rain jacket but eventually I caved in and bought a ¥513 transparent umbrella for Ryan and me, from the Pharmacy-That-Sells-Everything.
Supper was the nicest meal of the day. Good old ramen from 博多風龍 at Shinjuku area. You can add extra ramen for free.
The guy next to us refilled his bowl three times. Really ate until he got his money's worth.
Oh, and the rain that was going on all day? It stopped soon after we bought our umbrellas. It's all a conspiracy, I tell you.