Leaving Japan ... temporarilySeptember 28, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C
Big day's drive from Kushiro to Sapporo. My goal was to return the car by 2pm. Never going to happen, realistically 4pm perhaps. It's a 330 km drive and I manage to vacate my tiny room with all my luggage by 8am.
Roundabout alert! Yes, I drive on one to do a right turn over the Nusamai Bridge. So unlike the Yeti and Loch Ness monster, they do exist in Japan. I approach it very gingerly, not knowing how the other drivers will negotiate it.
It's a long and difficult day driving to Sapporo as I have to drive through the mountains pursued by a lunatic truck driver. Suffering "Duel" flashbacks. Spoiler alert: I don't die!
Got the car back to the rental shop at 4 pm, so 2 hours late. Penalties apply - 2700 yen or a touch over 30AUD. Haul the megaluggage to Sapporo Station to buy a ticket to New Chitose Airport. Done and done!
As the checkin for my Seoul flight is 7:10 am, I've booked a room in the Air Terminal Hotel at the airport for the night. No problem catching the train or finding the hotel from the airport train station, it's all well signed.
The airport has quite a few stores selling fish, other seafood and meat. There's some free tasting where I once again meet my old enemy, the Wasabi Octopus. It's all fascinating and I spend so much time in these stores that when I'm looking to eat (around 8 pm) most of the eateries are closed. Manage to buy an Indian curry in the food court just before the store closes.
The hotel supplies a free breakfast so I'm in there around 6:10. Then I check out and make the long walk to the International Terminal, which is almost deserted. I have checked in online so just have to pick up my boarding pass from counter B8. The queue for all counters at this point is me.
Then at 7:30 its time to pass through airport security to go to the departure lounge. Since there's around 3 people going through, I score a pat down from security staff - who probably are bored - then walk into the mostly deserted lounge. The airport is more widely used domestically so not many people board the plane. Surreal.
Anyway the plane departs at 8:55, ending my first chapter in Japan. Thank you, dear reader, for persisting 😁Read more