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Diary of a Flight Attendant : 24 Hours in Yokohama, Tokyo, Japan
My cell phone rings and wakes me up. It’s work calling me to do extra time. I’m asked to fly to Tokyo the same day for a 24 hour stopover – an offer I can’t refuse, since I’ve been wanting to go there at this time of year to see the cherry blossoms! I’m told that I need to be at the airport for 12:20 p.m. and that my flight is scheduled to leave at 1:40 p.m. With no time to waste, I jump in the shower, pack my suitcase, go to the grocery store, and make my lunch.
With my uniform on and my suitcase ready, I head to the train station to get to the airport. As I have time to kill on the train, I take the opportunity to plan my stopover. I look up my hotel’s location, search for the best sushi and ramen restaurants around, but most importantly, I try to find the park with the most cherry blossoms!
I’m on the plane with the rest of my crew, ready for our pre-flight briefing so we know who’s responsible for what in terms of service on the flight. Honestly, it’s a bit intimidating to be with people who have been flying for more than 35 years and working this route every week. But hey, there’s a first time for everything and I know that I’ll learn a lot on this flight.
It’s a go for 12 hours and 55 minutes of flight time! The “show must go on,” as my friend Céline would say. See you in Asia!
5:00 PM (4:00 AM my time)
We arrive at the hotel and check in. Two members of my crew invite me to join them in the lobby in 30 minutes to have dinner with them. Perfect – regulars who will take me to their favourite local joints! I say yes and go up to my room to get ready.
We head to Ootoya, a small restaurant on the second floor of a huge building, where I eat a hot pot of fried chicken, with miso soup, tuna sashimi, and vegetables. Such a comforting dish after a long day of work and jet lag.
After eating, we decide to do a bit of shopping. My mission: find sake. So we head to Don Quijote, where the alcohol is apparently cheaper. After doing eeny meeny miney moe, I choose a bottle of sake and a bottle of plum wine that’s very popular in Japan, so I have to to try it!Our mission accomplished, we return to the hotel and stop to get gelato on the way (for those of you that are curious, I chose the black sesame and tea flavours).
The jet lag hits. No longer able to fall asleep, I make myself a midnight snack and watch videos of my favourite Québécois YouTubeurs (which makes me feel like I’m at home)until it’s a reasonable time to start my day.
8:00 AM (Finally!!!)
I join my two colleagues at an udon noodle restaurant for breakfast (living the dream, right?). We eat at Hanamaru Udon, and I point to what I think are pork noodles on the menu (God knows what type of meat it really was, but it was delicious!).
Then, we head to the train station to see the famous sakura flowers on the edge of the Ooka river in the Gumyoji district. My expectations were pretty high – I was literally expecting a scene from the movie Mulan… so I was so disappointed to arrive at the edge of the river and see nothing!
We still decided to stroll through the shopping street and visit the temple at the end it (for those interested, it’s the oldest temple in Yokohama). During our walk, we spot a tree that seems to be in bloom at the end of an alley … So we head in that direction to see if there really are cherry blossoms … YES! The only tree in bloom around, so at least I get to take my picture!
We make our way to the hotel to take a little nap before our flight home, as another 12 hours of flying await us.
Back to Toronto. Jet lag will always fascinate me – here I am, on the same day, landing an hour before the time I left Tokyo!
It’s time for some well deserved rest, including a bath and a glass of wine! A few days off in sight before my next flight, only time will tell where it will take me …