Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyōto and Mount Fuji

Lake Ashi, Hakone, Japan

In Feb­ru­ary 2023, we once again had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it Japan. The trig­ger this time, as in 2014, was the vis­it of one of our daugh­ters. Obvi­ous­ly, our first trip to Japan in 2014, when we met our eldest daugh­ter in Osa­ka and trav­eled through Japan for two weeks, had left its mark on our youngest daugh­ter Luise, who joined us at that time. She had since decid­ed to study Japanol­o­gy and his­to­ry. In order to improve her Japan­ese lan­guage skills, she was spend­ing a semes­ter abroad in Tsuku­ba near Tokyo start­ing in Sep­tem­ber 2022. So we took the chance to vis­it her there dur­ing her semes­ter break and to explore Japan togeth­er once again. We planned to meet Luise in Tokyo and, after a few addi­tion­al days in Tokyo, vis­it Hiroshi­ma, Kyō­to and the Fuji region.

February 11th, 2023

We have been count­ing the days for weeks, and now the time had final­ly come. The bags and the pho­to back­pack had already been packed the day before. At 4:30 a.m. on the dot, the cab we had ordered picked us up and took us to Düs­sel­dorf Air­port. We had enough time. Check-in went smooth­ly and we were able to enjoy a nice break­fast at the air­port. Then it was time to leave. At 7:00 a.m. we were already sit­ting in the con­nect­ing plane to Frank­furt, when sud­den­ly the cap­tain from the cock­pit reached for the cab­in micro­phone and told us that “there is a light on in the cock­pit that should be off”. He said he was going to restart the sys­tem and then get back to us. Like we do at home: “if it does­n’t do it, then reboot”.

Short­ly after­wards, a tech­ni­cian got on board, but in the end he obvi­ous­ly could­n’t solve the prob­lem either. Since the air­craft was rat­ed as “not flight­wor­thy,” we all had to get out again😯.

Since we had planned a gen­er­ous time buffer of 3 hours for the con­nect­ing flight in Frank­furt, we were ini­tial­ly still opti­mistic that we would still be able to reach it - unfor­tu­nate­ly, this was not the case. Instead, our air­line rebooked us on a replace­ment flight to Frank­furt at 2:40 p.m. and an overnight con­nect­ing flight to Tokyo at 8:45 p.m. This required us to check out com­plete­ly, retrieve our lug­gage from the bag­gage carousel, check it in again, go through the secu­ri­ty check again, and check in again.

We then had to spend the rest of the day at Düs­sel­dorf air­port. Thanks to a vouch­er from our air­line, we end­ed up hav­ing lunch at our break­fast restau­rant - I joked that I hoped I would­n’t have to go there again for dinner 😉.

To make a long sto­ry short: Our con­nect­ing flight to Frank­furt was also delayed, it final­ly took off around 4:10 p.m.

Flight to Frank­furt - finally!

Nev­er­the­less, we reached our rebooked flight in Frank­furt, which then also depart­ed on time. Due to the Ukraine war, Rus­sia had to be com­plete­ly bypassed, so the flight to Tokyo took almost 14 hours.

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