ellen_kushner (ellen_kushner) wrote,

Sleepless in Yokohama (written last night is why)

Delighted to say that deliasherman & I arrived in Japan after a truly celestial (pardon the pun - it's 3 a.m. in Yokohama) trip west in ANA Business Class, a 14-hour flight which included one of the best Japanese meals I've ever eaten, plus too many excellent movies (including a Japanese one called "The Haunted Samurai" which I heartily recommend - combines the best of folktale/fantasy with a sharp, keen look at the end of an era) and a fine view of Alaskan glaciers (which I always look forward to, and refuse to go to sleep until I've seen, which is a shame as it's nearly 7 hours into the flight, but who can sleep with all that entertainment?).

Picked up our cell phones at Narita Airport, bought some provisions & took 90-minute train ride to Yokohama, got cab to hotel... 24 hours door-to-door exactly. Then I went out to forage for food to store in our mini-bar, while Delia unpacked us. 7-Eleven here is a Way of Life.

The Pan Pacific is a stellar hotel - the kind we've never stayed in before in Japan, right out of "Lost in Translation," complete with a huge bar/restaurant with a "Treasure Island" theme, a whole lamb roasting on a spit, and fish soup bubbling in a cauldron at the serving station . . . we are getting convention rates, so it's quite a bargain. Extras include bathroom loofah mits, and fine cotton nightshirts. Service here is also a way of life: when I called the front desk to ask if there were an ice machine on our floor, they said, "Yes, it is opposite Room #---" - saving me the need to stomp up and down the corridor wtih my ice bucket, which is good, since it was to ice my poor heel, which is acting up again, dammit.

Sleeping is erratic, but who cares? We have an entire model city on Yokohama Bay out our window, complete with the world's largest ferris wheel, all lit up, with an enormous digital clock read-out in the middle. So we should always know what time it is. (It's called "Minato Mirai" and you can find pictures on the web, in case you think I'm making it up. Because I'm really not. )

It is pretty hot here, and so humid, even at night, that if you could wring out the air like a dishtowel you could make tea with what you get.

Hope everyone's well and enjoying life! It is just great - and weirdly relaxing - to be back on the road again (and back here) - makes all the rather stressful days of preparation seem very worth it, something I tend to lose track of when I'm in the middle of them.

As in - right before we left NYC, while I was on the subway to the dr's I thought of and had every intention of coming home and posting the following:

I cried because I had painful plantar fasciitis in my heel and an oozing running sore from the surgery on my toe, until I met a man who had had a giant tree total his car --

Oh, wait a minute.

I think I'll go to Japan now.

I'm so glad I did.

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