Feb 12-18, 2013
This year, we planned to go to Japan in addition to our annual visit to Thailand. We were going to Thailand first and then Japan (to cerebrate our niece's graduation in Tokyo, Japan)
We are going to Thailand every year during the Chinese New Year. So, there were not
so many exciting things we would do like a tourist would do in Thailand. So the trip would be something that we do with our families (both my wife's and mine.)
As I said earlier, one thing that was different than the previous year, I took a new member of the family, Palm Arduino Kit
for its first journey! Later, I decided at the last minute to take Palm Arduino V3
on the journey with us too.
We planned to go to Japan earlier (in 2011), but it was canceled because of the Tohoku earthquake (8.9 Magnitude) in Japan. We supposed to attend our niece, "Momo", Keng's graduation, (Bachelor degree from University of Tokyo) at about the same time of the earthquake. So we had to cancel the trip.
Keng "Momo" was graduating with a Master degree from Waseda University in Tokyo, this year. So we intended to go no matter what!
We got several e-mails from Keng's sister regarding Japan Trip (from March 9 - 16). We heard that the original group that supposed to go to Japan tour to cerebrate Keng's undergrad. in 2011 were going to Japan this year too! The estimate head count would be around 12 peoples (almost all of them are related) that would be going from Thailand.
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were added to the group later. So the final count was 18, including Keng "Momo", who's already in Tokyo. The youngest person in our group was 7. The oldest was 82 (my mother-in-law). This trip would be fun!
My wife and I (and Palm Arduino Kit) had the different flight schedule from the rest of the group since we booked our own flights from the US. We would be in Japan one day ahead of the group, then the group and Keng would come to pick us up at the hotel where we were staying near Narita Internation Airport.
Lah, Keng's cousin, who's also helped plan the trip to Japan, send us the final brief of our tour. Lah was going to be our honorary tour guide as well. She used to studied at a university in Kyoto some time ago.
Following was the list of destinations where we planned to go:
Tokyo - Matsumoto in Nagoya Perfecture - Takayama and Shirakawago in Gifu Perfecture - Kanasawa in Ishikawa Perfecture - Kyoto - Osaka
Then the group were flying back to Thailand from Osaka, except Keng, my wife and I. Keng was staying in Tokyo until the end of March for here actual Graduation ceremony then going back to Thailand. My wife and I were staying in Tokyo until March 19, then flew back to the US.
A week before the trip began, I tested Palm Arduino Kit. Some more components, Photo Sensor, RGB LEDs, jumper wires, resistors were added.
I also sew an Instructables Robot Patch on to my backpack, and put an Instructables Robot Sticker on the back of Palm Arduino Kit case. Feb 19 (20), 2013
We (my wife and I, and Palm Arduino Kit & Palm Arduino V3 in my backpack) in the taxi headed to the airport. We followed the airline's advice by went to the airport with enough time, three hours, ahead of flight schedule for international flight. So we would have time to check baggages, and going through the airport security. We went through the Airport with no problem at all.
We have enough to to rest before getting on board.
The plane were on schedule and we were among a few first group to be boarded. So we got some space on the overhead cabin for our carry-on luggages. This flight were fully packed, I hardly see the unoccupied seat.
I got a chance to play with my Palm Arduino Kit in flight after we finished our first meal on board. I did some basic stuffs like blinking a LED. (See Video)
About half way through the flight, we crossed the International Date Line(IDL) toward westbound. So we lost 24 hours, meaning that 24 hours of time was being added, and we were advancing the calendar date by one day.
About have way to Tokyo, I played with Palm Arduino Kit.
Experimented with Palm Arduino on the plane.
On the second Leg from Narita International Airport to Bangkok was nothing fun. The flight was packed, hardly see an empty seat! I got a seat along the aisle. And do not want to play with Arduino since I was so tired and did not want to do something that might be suspicious to other passenger (blinking LED with Arduino might alarm someone who do not know anythng about it!) I just took a rest (sleep) all the way through.
We arrived Bangkok at around midnight of Mar 20. (Local time) That make us lost a day there! My sister-in-law picked us up at the airport. We went to bed around 3PM in the morning.