People have been asking me, on CDX and in real life, how was the trip to Tokyo. For posterity's sake, I'm going to write about it here.
I got the opportunity to go to Tokyo from a meeting with Bandai at the 2009 NYTF. They invited me to attend the Tamashii Expo, but of course I had to pay my own way. But money was not the only obstacle. My wife had said after my last Tokyo trip "You are not going to Tokyo again without me".
At the end of Toy Fair, I was waiting in the hotel lobby for our ride out to the airport, when my phone rang. My wife was out keeping busy with the kids, and they ended up at a pet store, looking at a puppy.
An idea sprung into my head. I said to her, you can get the puppy if I can go to Tokyo. Surprisingly she agreed, and I began to make my plans for a trip to the motherland.
The first thing in order was the flight. From the east coast, Tokyo is a LONG way away. Total air flight time is around 16 hours, so you want to make damn sure you pick a good seat. I always go with this travel agency out of California called Gateway LAX. They buy tickets to Japan wholesale, and they have blocks of them, so not only do you get the best price, but you also get to pick your seat. Now normally I fly on American Airlines, because being a fat American, I need the extra inch of seat room in economy. I highly recommend finding out what kind of plane you are flying in and visiting seatguru.com to figure out what kind of space you have. While flying AA to Tokyo is cheap, it is not fun. The planes are old, the flight attendants tired and jaded, the entertainment stupid. I heard that flying a Japanese airway was the way to go, so I took a chance and booked a flight on Japan Airlines. You have to be careful when booking a JAL flight, because often even though they say JAL, they are actually AA flights. The good thing though is that the two airlines share miles. After confirming the flight with the agency, the next stop was hotel.