Narita Express pulling into Narita Station


I’m headed to Shimbashi.

So after a long series of flights Sydney-Singapore-Tokyo (around fifteen hours’ airtime plus layovers), I finally arrived at Tokyo Narita. Immigration took an hour, and Japan is under a bit of a heat wave at the moment so it was a sweaty wait. I finally clear immigration and customs and the railway ticket office is conveniently located right at the exit. I take out my plastic sleeve pouch with all my travel and business documents in it to show the ticket lady a printout of my hotel. She kindly sells me a ticket for ¥1280 and tells me to head for Platform 1. I head underground to the subterranean train station and make a visit to the mens room. I then make my way through a sea of people to the escalators that will take me even further down further into the bowels of the station to Platform 1, getting there just a few minutes before the train is due to arrive. All of a sudden I’m accosted by a ticket lady who presents me with my document pouch that is left at the ticket counter 15 minutes previously.

Where else in the world would they take such pains to reunite an absent-minded tourist with his paperwork than in Japan?

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