So I left the US on 07/25/15 (got to Japan on the 26th) and had a reasonably comfortable flight on Delta Airlines. My local JET Alumni Association was kind enough to see us off and give us some going away gifts. The fan and sweat towel are lifesavers if you don’t already have them for your trip. I typically go through two sweat towels a day, now that its the peak of summer.
Helpful tip for the flight, food quality is better if your request a kosher meal and the seat is more comfortable if you can arrange to get a bulkhead seat (44J for me). I’m talking about a First Class amount of legroom almost.
When you get to NRT-Narita Airport, you hit the ground running. Immediately you check in with Immigration (where you are issued an Alien Registration Card), collect your bags, go through customs and make your way to the buses. Those who are wise have their important items pre-packed into their one allotted carry-on and check-in bag they are allowed to take to the Shinjuku Plaza Hotel. From personal experience, it is a pain to have to repack in the airport. Excess baggage is sent ahead (Shinagawa Prince Hotel for TJETs) and you may not see it again for a while.
Arriving on Sunday, we got the rest of the day off, but I was too tired and sweaty (adjusting to TKY heat) to do much other than get some basic provisions at a drug store and a simple meal at Coco Curry. Yay~~~curry!!!!
The following day we began our Post-Arrival Orientation. Seattle Consulate and PNW JETAA prepared us really well and much of the content of the lectures/presentations were old hat by then. There was some interesting information, but as it was the most basic kind of information, other parts of the content completely did not apply to the TJETs who would be placed almost exclusively at a single high school as part of our assignments. Be prepared for a lot of sitting, clapping, trying not to fall asleep while fighting JETlag (<-that’s a pun btw), waiting for lunch, shuffling through paperwork and general amounts of boredom. Also, bring a notebook. The paper provided is not good for much more than writing in the margins.