The arrival in Tokyo was simple and Japanese customs are efficient and secure. This included a picture and finger prints for everyone who entered the country! The forms to fill out were quick, but required even for a one night stay. I was impressed will how thorough and yet quick it was. It helped having our luggage checked through to China, which saved us one step in the process. We, all the Maple Leaf teachers, took a shuttle bus to our hotel, which was free courtesy of Japan Airlines. This hotel was awesome. The room was small, but had pyjamas and slippers! Not to mention the coolest toilet I have ever seen. For dinner that night, having been up for almost 20 hours, several of my colleagues and new friends simply went to a Japanese convenience store in the hotel. My dinner included a sandwich that I think was egg salad, a Rice and seaweed triangle with some tasty, but unknown meat in the middle, and a salad. I also found the Japanese knockoff to Perrier. This all cost about 800 Yen. Which is about 10 Canadian dollars. Getting the money converted was simple after being guided by a helpful and pitying me, hotel clerk. That Night I crashed at 8 pm and slept like a rock for 2 hours! It felt like morning, but I managed to sleep in block intervals until 5 am. I then just hung out and watch some extremely colourful Japanese television. We had a free breakfast buffet and managed to see some Japanese breakfast foods. The fish was tasty, but their definition of a soft boiled egg is basically raw. The next stop was a 7:25 airport shuttle and a relatively smooth trip through to the gate.
The flight to Dalian was…intriguing. It started with our confusion lining up. There was no English and after a little bit of shuffling we made it back to the back of the line. The next aspect was the sign warning us that due to high crosswinds we may be forced to return to Tokyo. Once abroad this nice 737 we were told that due to a Typhoon we would be expecting some turbulence and potentially a rough landing! It was a three hour flight and in the end highly overblown (no pun intended). It was indeed windy and not the smoothest landing, but it was by no means rough! It was however Typhoon conditions in Dalian.
We made it through customs easily. If you have the proper Chinese visa and documentation it is easier than Canada to enter. No one speaks English, everyone smokes, and after some severe difficulty with my hockey bag and an elevator we made it on the Maple Leaf School shuttle.
I will update my first few days in some time! Too much to write currently!