ORD ⥤ NRT / by Mary Pavlou

Jet lag aside, I am finally ready to share my incredible two-week journey in Japan! 

March 9, 2017 - O'Hare International Airport to Narita International Airport

Some lovely international flags greeted us at O'Hare. I was rather excited to reconnect once again with Japan!

Some lovely international flags greeted us at O'Hare. I was rather excited to reconnect once again with Japan!

This was our first time flying with JAL (we flew with ANA on our previous trip). I was intrigued by their (slightly) cheaper ticket price and extremely positive reviews.  For those of you curious, it is possible to get flights that are under $800-$700, timing is key! There are also plenty of helpful websites that can compare prices and alert you when good deals strike. We chose to fly with JAL and ANA before because I feel safer taking international flights with Asian airlines. I haven't had the best experiences with American Airlines or Delta in the past. Yes, the tickets are cheaper, but it is not cheap enough to give up my trust.

This was our first time flying with JAL (we flew with ANA on our previous trip). I was intrigued by their (slightly) cheaper ticket price and extremely positive reviews.  For those of you curious, it is possible to get flights that are under $800-$700, timing is key! There are also plenty of helpful websites that can compare prices and alert you when good deals strike.
We chose to fly with JAL and ANA before because I feel safer taking international flights with Asian airlines. I haven't had the best experiences with American Airlines or Delta in the past. Yes, the tickets are cheaper, but it is not cheap enough to give up my trust.

I also prefer non-stop flights due to a nightmare that I will never recover from, thanks to United Airlines. I mean, what kind of pilot decides not to show up and cancels their flight after a 3+ hour delay? We ended up missing our connecting flight (in first class, too (ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣oᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣) ) This time, it was a bit of an overcast day, but we were still blessed with no flight cancellations (even with high-speed winds!)  

I also prefer non-stop flights due to a nightmare that I will never recover from, thanks to United Airlines. I mean, what kind of pilot decides not to show up and cancels their flight after a 3+ hour delay? We ended up missing our connecting flight (in first class, too (ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣oᵕ̣̣̣̣̣̣) )
This time, it was a bit of an overcast day, but we were still blessed with no flight cancellations (even with high-speed winds!)  

Our seats for the next 14 hours! I appreciated the pillow and blanket they provided, as they proved to helpful back support. Although, I did find the blanket to be a bit too much for a stuffy plane. Nonetheless, with 14 hours ahead of us, I was ready to settle down and relax. 

Our seats for the next 14 hours! I appreciated the pillow and blanket they provided, as they proved to helpful back support. Although, I did find the blanket to be a bit too much for a stuffy plane. Nonetheless, with 14 hours ahead of us, I was ready to settle down and relax. 

Each seat had their own screen with plenty of films and tv offerings. I even played a few games, too. But with about 10 episodes of Jane the Virgin to catch up on, I had enough to binge on.

Each seat had their own screen with plenty of films and tv offerings. I even played a few games, too. But with about 10 episodes of Jane the Virgin to catch up on, I had enough to binge on.

JAL has a delicious kiwi juice called Sky Time that I highly recommend. They also gave us rice snacks to start. Side note: all of our flight attendants were so sweet and patient throughout our flight. They even had a basket of snacks in the back that we could pick from at any time.  

JAL has a delicious kiwi juice called Sky Time that I highly recommend. They also gave us rice snacks to start. Side note: all of our flight attendants were so sweet and patient throughout our flight. They even had a basket of snacks in the back that we could pick from at any time.  

Our first in-flight meal arrived. We were given two choices (beef or pork), but both Jane and I chose pork katsu curry with rice. In addition, we were given soba, miso, fruit, salads, seaweed, and salmon!

Our first in-flight meal arrived. We were given two choices (beef or pork), but both Jane and I chose pork katsu curry with rice. In addition, we were given soba, miso, fruit, salads, seaweed, and salmon!

I found this soba sauce packaging adorable.

I found this soba sauce packaging adorable.

Dessert included delicious green tea and vanilla ice cream. Throughout the flight, we were always offered green tea, coffee, and even soup. 

Dessert included delicious green tea and vanilla ice cream. Throughout the flight, we were always offered green tea, coffee, and even soup. 

Between the yummy treats, short (but sweet) naps, and JTV plot twists, we were getting closer and closer to Japan.  Yes, 14 hours may seem like a lot of time, (it is! especially in business class) but knowing that two weeks awaited us in Japan really pulled us through. In conclusion, JAL gave us a great experience with no delays and we even arrived a bit quicker than expected. Upon examination, I will say that given the choice between ANA and JAL, I would choose ANA. Though the ticket is more expensive, the aircraft itself felt more comfortable and newer. The staff from both ANA and JAL were so sweet and courteous, that what it really comes down to is comfort and your price range.

Between the yummy treats, short (but sweet) naps, and JTV plot twists, we were getting closer and closer to Japan. 

Yes, 14 hours may seem like a lot of time, (it is! especially in business class) but knowing that two weeks awaited us in Japan really pulled us through. In conclusion, JAL gave us a great experience with no delays and we even arrived a bit quicker than expected. Upon examination, I will say that given the choice between ANA and JAL, I would choose ANA. Though the ticket is more expensive, the aircraft itself felt more comfortable and newer. The staff from both ANA and JAL were so sweet and courteous, that what it really comes down to is comfort and your price range.

I'd like to mention that getting around the Narita airport is actually not as confusing as you'd think. There are plenty of helpful employees who understand your needs and all signs are in English as well.  From there, we took the airport limousine, which cost about $20 per ticket. Our bus queue was located just outside of our terminal (to the right of the ticket kiosk). The excitement was starting to settle in the moment I saw our stop: Tokyo Disney Resort.

I'd like to mention that getting around the Narita airport is actually not as confusing as you'd think. There are plenty of helpful employees who understand your needs and all signs are in English as well. 
From there, we took the airport limousine, which cost about $20 per ticket. Our bus queue was located just outside of our terminal (to the right of the ticket kiosk). The excitement was starting to settle in the moment I saw our stop: Tokyo Disney Resort.

Please excuse some of these photos as they were taking through a (moving) bus window... The forty minute ride to TDR property was quiet, scenic, and a good chance to get our pocket wifi set up. Now, if you're in a rush to get to your hotel, I wouldn't recommend taking the bus because along the way you stop at all the Disney official hotels. If that doesn't bother you (it definitely didn't bother me!) then get your camera out!

Please excuse some of these photos as they were taking through a (moving) bus window...
The forty minute ride to TDR property was quiet, scenic, and a good chance to get our pocket wifi set up. Now, if you're in a rush to get to your hotel, I wouldn't recommend taking the bus because along the way you stop at all the Disney official hotels. If that doesn't bother you (it definitely didn't bother me!) then get your camera out!

So, this is only the very beginning. I have a lot of posts planned and I cannot wait to share! 

Enjoy,
Mary! (❛▿❛✿)