We arrived in Tokyo yesterday afternoon. Our flight was good in that we were able to eat eel and Haagen Daaz ice cream while drinking sake, watch some movies (many of which I have already seen thanks to lots of time in the air), and play a little solitaire using the airplane's entertainment system. Because of my status on United, we were also able to gain access to the Red Carpet lounge, where Jeremy ran into a good friend from business school with whom he had lost touch, and I got to snag us a few granola bars for our trip.
When we arrived, we explored the airport as we waited to meet Yuriko, Jeremy's "Japanese sister." I was excited to see a Citibank ATM machine, since the only reason I've kept that account open is to access money around the world. The machine kept rejecting my card. Turns out, it expired 11/07. Grrr. So, we're paying money exchange fees when we use our credit cards, and we're paying a premium when exchanging traveler's checks.
I first experienced the washlet, an incredibly fancy toilet, in Narita. I sat there and played with the many features, which included different spraying options and a button you could push to simulate the sound of flushing in order to mask bathroom noises. There was even an extra deodorizing option if needed. I hadn't needed any of it, since I was simply relieving myself after having had a lot of water on the flight, but that didn't stop me from sitting there and trying every combination of options.
The trip to Saitama (where we are staying) took 2 hours by bus and cost around $26 from the airport. We enjoyed a lovely meal and a nice visit with Jeremy's Japanese family. The real treat came at the end of the evening when I used the family's washlet. The whole family got into the toilet closet to explain the different buttons on their machine. I think we got some good photos that I'll post once I'm back in the US. I sat on the throne and was in heaven. The seat is heated! And there are different pulsing actions with the water, and even a little dryer, though I can't figure out how long you're supposed to sit there with a fan blowing on your hoo-hoo, so I usually hav it blow a little and then just wipe again. Being able to spend some quality time on the washlet is the best reason I can think of to eat a lot of fiber.
Yuriko had to explain how to use the washlet.
She's showing me the different squirt and dry options.
But even she was confused with the meno of delights, so we had to bring Otoosan in to impart his wisdom.
Ahhhh - clean and refreshed!