My Worst Nightmare: Separated in Tokyo

Zach and I had to separate on our last day in Japan following the Hachoiji World Cup.

Seoul, South Korea panoramic view
Window view from our Airbnb in Seoul, South Korea

On Tuesday, our last full day in Japan before going to Korea, we decided to train at a gym in Yokohama, one of the B-PUMP climbing gym locations. They open at 1:00 PM which is a little later than we're used to in Germany, so it's important that we show up around open to climb closer to when we're used to.

I was the only one climbing this day, so Zach was just along for the ride. The gym was about an hour's train ride away from our Airbnb.

We checked in, paid, and I went to the changeroom to get ready. When I got out, Zach was standing by my bag with a stressed look on his face.

We were supposed to check out of our Airbnb at 10:00 AM today.

A few weeks ago, my mom and I were figuring out all the travel logistics for the upcoming season and the flight we booked from Tokyo to Seoul was off by one day. We needed a flight on Wednesday, April 26th, the rest day, but it was on Tuesday, the 25th. I asked her to change it and we moved on.

My guess is that Zach booked the Airbnb before the change was made, so as a result, we didn't have anywhere to sleep for one night, this night, because we were supposed to be in Korea already.

I had to climb, so Zach took the train back to our Airbnb alone to frantically pack everything up and clean the place. I'm a messy person, so the place was in something of a state of chaos. It would take a while for Zach to tidy up, especially by himself. After my climbing session, I looked for a hotel.

Our original plan was to take a train to the airport at 6:00 AM from our Airbnb on the 26thto catch our 11:30 AM flight. The airport is unfortunately an hour and a half from Tokyo. Because of this accomodation mistake, I figured we could take the train tonight to the airport and get a hotel nearby. I even found a hotel with a fitness facility so I could do my workout tonight.

I can't stress enough how stressful it is to find pull up bars in Asia. None of the climbing gyms have a workout area, most don't even have a hangboard. At our first Airbnb, I had to attach suitcases and backpacks full of plates, bowls, and detergent to my harness to do pull ups on an extra-secure beam near the clothes lines on the porch outside our bedroom. I will again take pull up bars in climbing gyms for granted.

The only problem in all of this was that we had to make the journey to the airport separately. It wouldn't make sense for me to take an hour-train ride back to the Airbnb in the opposite direction of the airport. So, Zach, with all of our luggage and no data plan and I, having let Zach worry about travel logistics the entire time we've been in Japan, ventured separately to the airport.

This shouldn't be too difficult.

The trip to the airport was divided into two parts - getting to the Tokyo Station and getting onto the Narita Express train at the Tokyo Station. From the gym, I took a bus to Yokohama Station where I found the train to Tokyo Station. In Japan, you use "Suica" Transport Cards on busses and trains, which you load with cash at train stations. You can use this card at stores too. You just tap it through the gate, get on your train, and tap off and it charges you for the distance you travelled. Zach loaded mine a few days ago so I had about $30 left to make the journey. No problem.