Ok… I admit I booked another trip. But the offer was good and the destination long time on my list.
I am going to Tokyo, Japan at the end of March 2020. It might even be in time for the cherry blossom – but that I will first know a short time before I travel. It is to far in the future to know for sure.
Why Japan? Asia is not my primary area for travel. Nut there are some places that I just want to see to get an impression. Hong Kong was one – and I have to go back because I did not see everything I wanted to see – and Japan is the other. But I didn’t want to use a lot of money to get there, because hotels are not cheap if you want a nice place to stay central in the city. The solution was the use of some more Eurobonus points of SAS. I found a good connection with SAS for an award ticket thanks to the tip of a guy on my frequent flyer forum. And I booked. Not thinking much about it. It is 60.000 points return open jaw from Molde via Oslo and Copenhagen to Shanghai and back from Tokyo via Copenhagen and Oslo to Molde.
It is “only” Economy plus – but that is good enough. Especially, when you only pay the economy points, thanks to my SAS Mastercard Premium. This and a small amount for fees and taxes. But there was a small problem… on my way to Tokyo I end up in Shanghai, China. I have to get to Tokyo. But the ticket in Economy is about 300 Euro (more than the flight otherwise)…
The solution was simple, but “expensive” in a non monetary way. I use 30.000 more points and bought a business class connection. There was the possibility of a direct flight but that would not have been much fun. So I found a nice variant for me.
I will arrive early in Shanghai, get my 72 hour transit visa for China and will check in to a hotel at the airport. Then I will use the Maglev train to go to Shanghai . And then I will take a short look at the city, find a geocache or two, have a Chinese meal and back to the airport hotel. I booked the Ramada Plaza Shanghai Pudong Airport. (if I find another bonus flight from Molde the day before, I will consider rebooking that part to have an extra day).
The next morning I will take an Asiana flight in Business class to Seoul and a All Nippon flight from Seoul to Tokyo. Sounds easy? Not with a change of airports in Seoul. I have 4 hours to immigrate, go to the bus station at the airport, log the geocache there and take the 45 minute ride to the other airport. A new stamp in my passport, a new geocaching country and new airports and airlines (new material for my YouTube videos^^). I am crazy and I know it!
My hotel in Tokyo is the Hamacho Hotel Tokyo Nihonbashi. Not in the very heart of what people say is the touristic main part of the city, but I need to save some money for other trips. Very good reviews and not a capsule hotel (I am not sleeping in a coffin!) It should not be a problem to get around the city anyway.
As always – plans might be adapted until the date of travel, but it looks solid for now. I also plan a small trip of 1 or 2 days to Kyoto. Bullet train down and flight back. Details have to be worked out. More to come on this blog.