Transit from Tokyo to Incheon, Korea

This is post #11 of our Tokyo-Seoul trip for Sunday, November 12, 2017.

We head down one more time from the elevator near our hotel to the train, and because of our sleuthing on our apps: Google Maps and Hyperdia, we managed to get a direct train to the airport.

We find the post office drop for the Wifi hotspot, check in our big bags and make our way to the gate.

This airport terminal is large and spacious, with many “helpers” getting us from point A to point Whatever.  I laugh to see the shops along the way selling different types of face masks—they are ubiquitous here.

We walk to our gate—far away—passing through customs, more gates, passport controls.

One last smile at the signs in the bathrooms: “Do not stand on toilet seat,”  complete with illustration.  Walking down another long long hallway, we see a gift shop, and stop to use up our yen, buying dancing Sumo wrestler, a Hello Kitty bag (I placed the Blythe doll into it) and a bar of Royce Black Chocolate, among other trinkets.  Where had this chocolate been while I was in Tokyo?  It was delicious, but we did have the department store truffles to keep us going.

A couple of last reflections on Japan.  The women don’t wear much jewelry—just simple chains or pearls.  They don’t have the earlobes like Americans, so almost no earrings anywhere.  This explains why I couldn’t find costume jewelry to purchase—it’s not worn, so it’s not sold.

Theft doesn’t appear to be an issue where we’ve gone, and when I check with others, they say that this is typical of Japan. 

The children and so cute, but oh, so shy!

 We boarded the Asiana Airlines flight—I’d been able to check us in with their app, but it was always so touch and go (never could tell if it “went through” but apparently it had) and again, I was impressed that in regular economy class, the seats were roomy and comfortable with lots of leg room.  Why is it that American flights are so uncomfortable? But the food was pretty good, I have to say.

I watch the screens in front of me while we fly, interested in our flight path that swoops lower and comes in from the south to Incheon. Avoiding North Korea, is my guess.  We land.

One interesting thing is that there were lots of signs along the hallways as we walked to immigration for those who were applying for refugee status.  We had never thought about that, but assumed it was those fleeing from North Korea (but do they ever get to leave that country?).

More big long hallways, more interesting shops (Skinfood was a face cream shop), and finally we head down on the escalator to leave the secured area of the airport.

Down on the main level, I see the portable wifi booth and we sign up for one.  We notice the Olympics mascots.  Everything, again, is so new and different, except for … Krispy Kreme doughnuts, near the bus stop waiting area.  We figure out our tickets for the bus, then find seats to wait, and share a Krispy Kreme doughnut, under the watchful eye of the Olympics mascots, writ large.

Massive bus waiting area just outside the terminal, with over 24 bays for the busses.  We join a line, waiting, and start talking to whoever Dave knows and who are headed to the conference in Incheon. We load our luggage when the bus arrives, and after about a 35 minutes drive, we are dropped at our hotel.  It is very cold. 

We check in, and we are given a nice room on the 17th floor, with a view over the convention center roofs towards Songdo—with multiple highrises and a big park.  We try to figure out our room while taking photographs—we have like lots of options on our clock radio and other light switches. Usually most hotel rooms are so dim you can’t read; this is not one of them.  It’s a huge, spacious room—again, another difference from Tokyo’s tiny, yet efficient space.  Then it’s time to scout out dinner options. 

first glance at the Korean bills
Banana smoothie to share

This place is set up for car traffic, not human traffic.  It’s an adjustment after being in Tokyo for a week, which is very human scale, even with all their high rises.  We head kitty-corner to An’s Bakery (spelled correctly) and end up with a orange-banana juice mixture, and a pizza bun, which we split.  Dave also bought a baguette sandwich, which I ate some of.   

We had tried, earlier, before dinner, to check in to the convention, but everyone had gone home.  So Dave will have to do that tomorrow.

We also shared the last of the really good soft cookies, purchased in the food hall in Tokyo, and called it a night.

From my notes on my iPhone: Sheraton Incheon 1705: Huge room, with chair, footstool, desk, rolling chair, lights for each. Many other lights overhead and one “sleep” set that illuminates under spaces. Good bed, okay pillows, dreaded duvet AND lightweight quilt. Good temp controls, but at times ineffective, like when morning sun hit and heated up room. Great view with floor-ceiling windows. Great elevator. (I’ll explain this later).

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