Once we passed over and through the storm as we left Philadelphia, our flight was quite pleasant. We arrived at Heathrow, terminal 5, around 6:44am. Heathrow is enormous. There are five terminals from which one can fly to the remotest corners of the world. And as if five terminals is not enough, terminal five has two large remote terminals, 5B and 5C, in addition to 5A (the main terminal). Here is a photo looking toward 5B and 5C.
The first thing we were obligated to do upon arrival was pass through security and security in Heathrow is truly intense and a real pain. Nothing escapes the detectives manning the security line. I was even randomly selected, after passing through the metal detector without a problem, for a more thorough scan; which I passed with flying colors. Once through security, however, one finds himself in a high-end shopper’s paradise. You can find anything you desire, as long as it’s expensive (not just expensive but really expensive), from Cartier, Prada, Burberry, Louis V; well you get the idea. Of course, we were just passing through and enjoying a little window shopping.
Actually, we did have one thing in mind; we wanted to get some chocolates to take with us as gifts for our guides and people we meet along the way. We understand that gift-giving in Japan is a respected tradition; little gifts, wrapped in paper and given as a token of appreciation, are well received.
Our next flight, to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, was scheduled to depart at 11:40am. Around 10:45am our gate was posted and we were off to A10A. Not a bad location, with one exception. We had to board a bus, a packed bus, for a ten minute ride to our plane, following which I carried our roller bags up a staircase and into the plane. So much for a good location, give me terminal 5C anytime with its underground tramway and a jetway entrance to the plane.
Well, we are on board now and in route to Tokyo. With tailwinds it should take us about 10 1/2 hours. Here is a photo of the English countryside taken by JoAnn.
The flight was excellent all the way to Tokyo. As we approached the city, we were treated to a view of Mt. Fuji. We were seated on the starboard side of the plane and Mt. Fuji was majestic off in the distance thanks to a clear, sunny day. We were told that enjoying such a sight is rare.
Then, in a matter of minutes, we were on the ground heading for our first day in Tokyo.