Taipei Mileage Runs – Hong Kong to Taipei to Tokyo

We slept for about 5 hours before we woke to our alarm at 6:30am. We quickly packed, checked out of the Regal Airport Hotel, and headed to check in for our 9:10am Cathay Pacific flight to Taipei. JT had a reservation, but it hasn’t ticketed yet since Cathay Pacific had not confirmed with the local United agents yet. JT was worried this might result in him needing to pay full fare for the ticket, but everything worked out in the end.

Katie with her invite to The Pier First Class lounge

The Pier First Class Lounge entrance

We went to The Pier first class lounge for a short time before our flight. We decided to eat breakfast in the dining room with our limited time before the flight.  A waiter come over quickly to take our orders – we ordered two breakfast dishes from the menu. Katie ordered a ham and cheese omelet, while JT ordered quinoa bowl with salmon and a poached egg. Both were freshly prepared and excellent!  We enjoyed seeing the authentic-looking dishes the business men around us were eating. We felt a bit self-conscious to be dragging out backpacks and rolling bags through this posh lounge.

JT’s quinoa bowl at The Pier
Katie’s omelet at The Pier

We didn’t have much time until our flight, so we quickly saw the rest of the lounge before heading to our gate. The lounge felt stylish but comfortable.

Our Cathay Pacific plane for the flight from Hong Kong to Taipei

Our flight from Hong Kong to Taipei was not very crowded. Despite the flight only lasting just over an hour, we were served breakfast bags and hot drinks. The breakfast bags each contained a hot pastry pocket containing eggs, potatoes, and cheese as well as a boxed ice tea drink and a coconut cookie.

Meal bags on board Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Taipei

Once in Taipei, we followed the D gate transfer signs until we found the transfer desk that served many airlines. The agents seemed to struggle with trying to figure out the Japan Airlines reservation system. Seems that they weren’t used to checking in Japan Airlines tickets at this transfer counter. After consulting a manual, they figured it out. We got boarding passes for our next three legs: Taipei to Tokyo, Tokyo to Dallas, and Dallas to Charleston.

The entrance hall in the JAL contract lounge in Taipei
The Taipei airport had many exhibits to keep passengers occupied

We quickly passed through transfer security – as we were the only passengers in the security area -before heading to the JAL contract lounge. We had some snacks and used the slow wifi in the lounge for about an hour. When we reached our gate at the scheduled boarding time (20 minutes prior to departures), boarding was close to complete.

Our 737-800 JAL plane from Taipei to Narita
The meal on board the flight from Taipei to Narita

We ended up having our own row on the 737-800 from Taipei to Tokyo. There was a meal served shortly after take off. The meal felt very foreign to us – it had sides of noodles with a slimy sauce and a dish about 10 guppies littered throughout chicken and a starch dish. The main dish contained rice and chicken, while dessert was a fishy-tasting pastry in a cup with cream filling.  We found the meal foreign to our western taste buds, but it was fun to try different foods. We were impressed by the friendly service and the availability of in-flight seatback entertainment on this regional flight.

The capsule hotel at Narita airport
Price listings for the capsule hotel

After arriving, we walked around terminal 2 arrivals and wandered over to see the 5000-6000 yuan per night per person capsule hotel while waiting for the bus to the hotel.

The bus to Narita U-city hotel

The bus departed Narita Terminal 2 at 6:20pm and reached the Narita U-city hotel at 6:53pm. Check in at the hotel was quick and easy. In hindsight, we should have just taken the train from the airport to the hotel, since that would have been much quicker (both in terms of trip length and in terms of not having to wait for the bus).

Small double room at Narita U-City hotel
Katie in the small double room at Narita U-City hotel
Small private bathroom at Narita U-City hotel

Our small double room at Narita U-city hotel was indeed small. But it had a desk with a work chair, a lounge chair with a table, a small ship-like bathroom, and a 4-foot wide bed. The internet was fast, but there was just one power outlet in the entire room. Luckily we had brought our brand new power converter box with four USB outlets and three power outlets. The room was simple, but it was certainly fine for our needs.

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