So far, it seems that 2020 is being the least suitable year for international travel. Today I am sharing my experience staying in quarantine after arriving in Japan during COVID-19.
For this mandatory quarantine you can either stay at a house or at a hotel. However, it is forbidden to use public transport during this time, even for transferring from the airport, which is far away from the city of Tokyo.
Another of the rules that I need to follow is to report on my body temperature and any health symptoms every morning through a LINE account. Also I also need to keep my location history on my mobile phone by using Google Maps. There is not much I can do about it apart from following the rules.
In my case, I will be quarantining from a hotel located next to Narita Airport, 60 kilometers from Tokyo and practically in the middle of nowhere. 😅
I have a very strange feeling of simultaneously being so close and so far from Japan. Being able to move to Japan has been a very long process and the journey itself has not been easy either. Anyway, I hope that the toughest moments have already passed. So, for now, I just need to stay at this hotel for 2 long weeks!
Almost my only contact with the outside world is seeing the planes to land and take-off through the window. The positive side is that I find the views from the hotel to be very nice.
Far away, on the right side, you can see the Narita Airport.
Every day, I am picking up food boxes at the hotel for eating. Here I can see other people in the same situation as me, most of them being students from China, but also some people from India or other countries in Southeast Asia. No Western people in sight apart from me.
My typical breakfast during these days: sandwich, yogurt, milk and banana. Not much choice for now.
I have never eaten so much rice in my life. Every day, for lunch and dinner, half the food box is rice. I wasn't prepared for this. One day they decided to also provide rice for breakfast and it was a memorable experience... 😅
Trying to escape from the dictatorship of rice and eat something different. During the weekend we do not get a food box, so we are allowed to go to the only store nearby, a 7-Eleven shop, and enjoy new types of food. However, still there are not many food options from 7-Eleven, as they are very small shops, but it feels great to eat little bit differently from time to time.
While I am on the way to 7-Eleven, planes are taking off from Narita Airport.
There is someone around here who likes to collect many stuffed animals and take them in the car 😊
Not many places to get by car from here apart from the airport.
Here is the manga and books section of the 7-Eleven store. Purchasing a single manga book in Japan is about $3 if you buy it new. In second-hand shops you can usually buy them for $1 or $2 (newer or popular series are priced little big higher).
One Piece is one of the most popular series in Japan.
At 7-Eleven you can find plenty of sweets and chocolates.
In Japan you can buy Nestea and Aquarius powder, so you can put it into water when you are at home. It's lighter than a bottle, so it is easier to carry and you are also saving space at home. Would you buy it?
In Japan, this kind of cake is called KASUTERA (カステラ). If you want to know why, you need to look into the past, as during the XVI Century Portuguese merchants introduced the pão de Castela (a commonly baked cake in Spain) into Japan, through the port of Nagasaki.
Kit Kat of multiple exotic flavors. Great for taking back home as souvenir.
Frozen Coca-Cola, a special kind of ice drink sold inside a plastic bag.
Trying to fill the nutritional shortcomings of the hotel's food boxes I find that a common snack in Japan is almonds mixed with dried fish. I haven't tried it yet 😅
Another food in Japan that can be “hard to eat” for a Western person is natto, produced from soy.
Halls candies in Japan are not square but rectangular.
Delicious yoghurts, one of my favorite foods in Japan.
Sunrise views from the hotel room. You could say that in the background is the famous rising sun of Japan. 😁
After 14 long days at the hotel, it has finally come the time to leave it. The few belongings I carry with me can fit inside a suitcase and my old backpack, which by the way, I should be thinking about replacing by a new one... 😅
In addition to reporting my body temperature and symptoms every day through LINE, I also need to keep a the records for the hotel.
Merry Christmas from the isolation in Narita!
Finally leaving the hotel, one can feel the hut syndrome. Curious to be so far from Spain and find a poster at the train station where almost everything is written in Spanish, because of the influence of the soccer player Andrés Iniesta, who is currently living here in Japan as well.
View of Tokyo Skytree from the train! I'm looking forward to going again into the top of this tower!
From here, I am starting the next stage of this little adventure. After 2 weeks trapped in the quarantine, now my mood is getting better!