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Yohei-san (pirang) dan Masanobu-san (hitam)

The Tiring Journey To Japan

Story about travelling to Japan for the first time before I study and live in Japan to achieve my dream.

Transit: In Korea

Below is the interior of my Korean Air’s airbus flight. This is my first time to get on the plane this big. She have 3-4-3 seats formation. The seats in my left are empty. This one is originally not my seat but one Korean asked me to switch. I want to lay my body to the empty seats but I do not have the courage to use three seats as my private bed.

The announcement use three languages: Korean, English, and then Indonesian. Because this is an airlines from Korea, most of the passengers are Korean. The flight attendants also speak Korean by default, except when they finds non-korean face like me.

The air bus takes off so smooth. I do not feel anything. I want to sleep right after take off because I am so tired but the ladies woke me up to feed me. Giving me the flight dinner. Fish or chicken? I choose fish because I like it. No, just kidding. Because I want to reduce non-halal possibility.

I have dinner while watching movies from the entertainment box on the seats in front of me. But, because I am so tired, I cannot finish the movie. It should be noted that the economy seat are not so comfortable. It can only be slanted a little bit. After sleep, my body get ache all over.

The flight arrive at Incheon International airport at 7 am. Here is the photos.

It is unfortunate that I am so tired plus I bring backpack + small suitcases. I want to explore the airport more but I can’t. At least, I can found an internet connection near my Gate 19. Internet is important to shoo away my sleepiness. I have to keep awake for at least 3 hours. Sleep are too risky.

The waiting room or boarding room from the above gallery are the most beautiful part of the airport. This part is accessible right after immigration for the transit passengers. This room are so large, wide, and integrated from one to another. They also have cafes, lot of it, directly beside the boarding room. So, unlike Cengkareng Terminal 1 or 2 which shopping area and boarding room is so far that you have to scan your baggage many times.

By the way, the electric plug in Korea is the same as Indonesia.

Arrival: Train In Japan

I board the next flight at 10 am, 30 minutes before departure. I struggle to not sleep. This plane is also airbus but smaller. Maybe because it is short distance, not overnight flight. The seats formation is 2-4-2. One again, I am lucky that the seat next to me empty. I want to lay my body very much. But I have shame.

The flight is only 2 hours, so sleep is not much an option. I get an onigiri for lunch from the ladies. At 12.20, the flight arrive at Chubu Centrair International Airport. Right after the sky bridge, we meet the custom. Photos are forbidden, so I do not have any photo inside the Centrair airport.

I get my resident card at the immigration. Right after that is the baggage claim area. I take my big suitcase not long after that. Then, a dog comes over my bag. There are many security with dog in the area. Maybe to detect bomb or something, I don’t know. I am just hoping that they will not lick my pants.

I get out about 30 minutes after landing. Outside are heavy rain. The landing also not so smooth because of it. Later I know that there is typhoon at that day.

Corridor outside Centrair airport
Corridor outside Centrair (My only photo of Centrair)

After I get in the corridor in the outer part of the airport, I don’t know what to do. What’s next? Which way? My brain hangs for about 10 minutes. Well, I just have to explore right? I then push my big suitcase, also pull my small suitcase. Not to mention, heavy back pack on my shoulder. I search for the train station. Fortunately, I find a horizontal elevator. Alleviating my baggage burden.

Because I am so tired, I forgot to document anything here. Sorry…

I find the train not far from there. Maybe 20 meter from the airport exit. I have to ask some people how to go to Toyohashi, but few people can speak English. I have high hopes because they uses airport uniform. This is international airport after all, it is not so strange to expect some officials to speak English, right?

I buy Meitetsu train ticket. First class ticket called Myu ticket. It is 1940 JPY, 1590 JPY for the transport and 350 JPY for the first class seat. Because it is first class, I can board the car which are the nearest from the entrance.

Myu Ticket Centrair-Toyohashi: First-class = reseved seat
Myu Ticket Centrair-Toyohashi: First-class = reseved seat

Finally, I board the train bound for Nagoya and can have a little bit of rest. I cannot sleep though, because I have to switch train at Jingumae station. After that, I want to have my sleep, because the Toyohashi station are the last station. So it’s safe to sleep!

But I am not so sure about the train switching, where is this Jingumae station. I have to keep aware every time this train stops! That’s my thought but it was easy! Jingumae is the first stop from the Centrair airport.

Meitetsu First Class: Comfortable
Meitetsu First Class: Comfortable

Looking outside the train’s window reminds you that this is not the country you know. No, not because there are so many strange letter (kanji) or people speaking foreign language. I don’t know, the scenery. It is so much different. The shape of house. The electric pole. The mark on the streets. I want to capture it with my phone but my phone is so slow and the express train are so express. This below is one of the clearest shot that I got.

Scenery outside the Japanese train
Scenery outside the Japanese train

20 minutes later, I arrive at Jinggumae. I get off the train and pull both of my luggage. What I found after that is stairs. STAIRS!! First I have to ascends a stairs up, thankfully it is a moving stairs. Escalator. But after that, I have to descend a stairs down. A static one. And it is very far deep down.

I have to bring both of my large suitcase and my small suitcase, also backpack down somehow. I am struggling. Remember, I almost have no strength left after 2 days of travel. I literally face death climbing this one down.

I struggle descending this stairs with my luggage
I struggle descending this stairs with my luggage

Oh, by the way. So many Japanese people here! Not sure why…

In front of the train, I wait for the next train. There is an indicator of the schedule: Toyohashi at this hour and minute. Right before at that time, the train come. On time. But I am not getting on this train. I have a feeling that the right on time train is not the train to Toyohashi. And sure enough, the real time come two minutes later.

Non first class car of meitetsu
Non first class car

I get on the train but the car is so different from before! But why? I have the first class ticket right? For some reason, this car is not a first class car. This is car number six. The first class cars are the number one and two. Oh my god… I want to sit down and do not want to waste my money buying a first class ticket that I am not using. So I move from car to car bringing my luggage with me.

But my friends, switching car is not easy. The door in between the car will automatically close when you are not holding it. But I have only two hands. And I bring two suitcases. One of the very big. So I have to bring one suitcase over, come back to previous car to pick up the remaining. Oh also, the in between doors are a pair. So I have to do it twice for every car switching. Oh…

I can overcome the first car. The next one, I do not have any energy left. And viewing from a far, car number 3 are very crowded in the corridor. I give up. I stand near the door because there is no empty seat left. Fortunately it is just for 20 minutes, after which I can govern one of the seats after the former ruler gone. Ah,,, sitting down are a feast…

I gave up after car number 4
I gave up after car number 4
Three of my luggage: back pack, big suitcase (red), dan small suitcase (black)
Big red suitcase (23kg), small one (7kg), bag (4kg)

Arrival: Toyohashi

For approximately 30 minutes after I get my seat, I arrive at Toyohashi station. I thank god that the stairs in this station are all moving. I meet my tutor Inoue Yohei on the gate of the station. Why he knows it is me? Not sure, maybe not so many foreigners are bringing multiple heavy bag getting of that station.

Finally. Finally!! Someone helps me to bring the luggage. I then left the station using Yohei-san car and visits udon shop for dinner. Very good, having hot noodle on rainy day. It was a sever typhoon that day.

At last, my long tiring journey to japan is finished. This marks the first step of my dream to travel-living in Japan. I hope this will be exciting journey through the end.

Actually, my tasks on that day are still not finished. That day, October 9th, 2013, I finally can get a rest at 22 pm JST. And the tiredness still remains until the next day. Before I can finally have a rest, I have to report to the International Division Affairs, to pay for my dormitory and my admission fee. Also receive my guidance for the university. Meet my sensei. And then of course dinner, thanks to the leader of PPI Toyohashi that save me from hunger at that night and gives me several starter kits for my room. Thanks Mr. Febry. Also thanks my tutor, Inoue.

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