I have arrived in Tokyo, Japan. This trip is a business trip, but it’s also an opportunity to experience another culture, including their food, music and lifestyle.

Before I get in to the details of my time in Tokyo, I feel obliged to share with you the wonders of business class. First of all, access to the business class lounge is a wonderful way to spend a three hour layover in Chicago. The JAL (Japan Airlines) business lounge comes complete with unlimited access to beer, spirits, sushi, WIFI and just about any snack you can think of. It was a stark difference from the close-quarters coach class of my flight to Chicago (pictures above), and as my boss said: “the pampering begins.” Pictures of the lounge:

But the lounge was utterly unimportant once at sat in my first business-class seat. In business class, the seat has about a dozen controls, including lumbar adjustments, leg extensions, and a ‘massage mode’, all culminating into the glorious thing that happens when you press the ‘recline button’. That’s right folks, in business class, your seat becomes a bed. It extends to about 170 degrees and lengthens, making a marginally comfortable sleeping situation. I may never fly coach again.

Yep, that’s right. If you are an aviation geek, you also get to watch views from a nose camera on the aircraft. Also in business class, you actually get a menu for your meal. (You also have the choice of requesting any drink or additional meal whenever you liked – a service we didn’t really use but thought I’d share.) Amy and I chose the traditional Japanese cuisine. I’d like to tell you all about it, but I haven’t the foggiest idea of what I ate. I can show you pictures though:

Still with all of those conveniences, it’s still a loud, in-motion aircraft, so I got very little sleep on the 13 hour flight, which is why I was so excited to get to the hotel. We used an “Airport Limousine”, which is actually a very typical charter bus from the Narita Airport to our hotel. Our hotel is beyond nice, it’s one of the most luxurious hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Here are some pictures of my room, including the view from my 31st floor window in the heart of Tokyo.

Also, lets pause and discuss this toilet for a second. It only seems fitting of the Japanese to have a toilet with a control panel:

Now, I’m pretty apt at electronics. I’m also pretty comfortable and confident about life. But this toilet does some things that are downright frightening. As soon as you sit on the toilet, you notice a difference, as most nicer bathrooms in Japan have toilets equipped with heated seats. Once you get comfortable with your newly warm tush, you look down at the control panel and see some discomforting graphics. Pressing the blue or pink button produces an experience much like the Kennywood Pitfall: at first you hear robotic whirring sounds for a few seconds, then a short moment of silence full of anticipation and terror over whats to come next, and then finally, a most terrifying, unspeakable experience. Well thank god this toilet has an emergency stop button.

Besides that though, the hotel is very Western (American), so I’m pretty comfortable here. Who wouldn’t be with a night view like this?: