Sleeping at the Airport

It was winter of December 2012. I was on a study trip to Hiroshima on the day my little brother landed in Kansai International Airport to visit me a little later in the morning. I was scheduled to reach Osaka later at night around 7 PM while my brother was supposed to arrived around 9 AM in the morning. He didn’t contact me until midday to which I kept contacting the center to make sure whether he has arrived or not. Finally a little later after midday the front desk people at the center told me that he has arrived safe and sound at the center.

Later in the evening I arrived in Osaka by Shinkansen along with my trainee group from Hiroshima to Osaka station. There was a bus already waiting for us to take us back to the center.  Feared of traffic and restless of the fact that I might not arrive at the center quick enough to catch our flight (yes, me and my brother has a flight at 8.30 PM that night) to Tokyo, I rode the train instead of the bus prepared. However, in the end the bus arrived at the center faster than me who rode the train. Damn.

Arriving at the center I frantically asked the front desks people of the being of my brother since he was no where to be seen. They said that he was just there sitting, waiting for me. One of the guy said that he saw my brother talking to one of my friend who arrived earlier by the bus and he took him to the cafeteria. I rushed there and found my brother was about to have dinner with my friends. Geez. I excuse the both of us to my friends and proceed to the airport to catch our flight. We arrived later that night in Narita Airport without too much hassles.

That was the second time I spent a night sleeping at the airport. It’s never comfortable to sleep in a public places like that. But this is Tokyo we’re talking about and it was in the middle of the night and spending the money to stay at a hotel nearby for a couple of hours is really a waste of money for backpackers like us. So we decided to sleep at the airport. However, on contrary with my first experience sleeping at the airport in Basel, Switzerland, sleeping in Narita is a lot harder.

My little brother. The only picture he took in Narita Airport.DSCF9515First we occupied some seat along with other passengers who seemed to have the same intention like us but a few minutes later some officials of the airport shoo us away from our spot. Finding another spot to sleep, our luck was no different, another official shoo us away again and told us not to sleep on the bench there. I asked one officer in Japanese, why are  we not allowed to sleep in any of the bench but he just said “because”. But since I was asking in Japanese politely he agreed to find us a spot to sleep since it was too late to find accomodation and I said we’ll leave with the first train in the morning.

Finally we were granted a not too crowded spot at the departure hall. We sat on the bench and tried to sleep but a little far from our bench was the automatic door that separated us from the entrance so everytime someone enter the airport we were greeted by the cold wind of winter! It was a long long day. In the morning I was in Hiroshima and then back in Osaka and now in Tokyo. My brother was no different. He just had a long flight from Jakarta and after waiting for me for hours in Osaka, he had to fly again to Tokyo (all just to catch the Jump Fiesta). And apparantly, the day hasn’t over yet. A couple of hours later, the officials came and checked on everyone’s passport and plane tickets to make sure that the people sleeping there has an early flight tomorrow morning so their being at the airport that night was justifiable.

When it came to our turn (I was affraid they would kick us out in the middle of the night to the evil winter outside) I presented our passports and told them that we had to catch the first train in the morning. Not too convincing, eh? But maybe the japanese that I used saved me from my situation that time.  And so that described our experience of sleeping in Narita. A piece of advise, avoid a late night flight to Narita unless you are prepared to have the same experience as us. (npa)


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