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We only learned that Ueno Station was not connected to Keisei Ueno Station when we were trying to locate the platform for Keisei Main Line. Took us some time to figure out where it was but thankfully we didn’t miss the train that we should be catching.
The train was relatively empty when we boarded. More passengers would board and disembark along the way.
Both of us spent a big part of the 78-minutes ride dozing off and we were glad to reach the terminus at Narita Terminal 1.
We had used our PASMO to enter the station at Ueno and they needed to have the requisite amount (1,030 JPY in our case) before we could tap out of the airport station. There was a fare adjustment machine before the gantry and we topped up our cards there.
There was a cursory bag check before we entered the airport terminal itself. After going through the security, we noticed that there seemed to be an emergency at the station where large group of policemen and firemen were gathered. Not sure exactly why though.
We followed the signs through a series of escalators and walkways to NRT Terminal 1 South, where Star Alliance members operate out from.
A cheerful staff greeted us and inquired where we would be flying to. After realizing that our redemption was one-way only, she asked us for our onward tickets and seemed genuinely excited for us when she learned that we would be traveling around South America. She also proactively tagged our luggage as fragile after knowing that our tripod was in the checked bag.
NRT Terminal 1 was not a bad place to spot planes from the various Star Alliance members. Not surprisingly ANA is the dominant carrier here.
After going through the immigration and security, we hit the gift shop to spend our remaining yens. One thing that the Japanese do very well is the packaging and all the gift packs sold at the airport are very presentable. We bought quite a bit of foodstuff for our friends in US as well as ourselves. Those Japanese biscuits and chocolates would turned out to be very important part of our diet on the other side of the Pacific.
And then it was time for lounge. We only had time to visit one and I knew which one that we needed: ANA Lounge.
Both of us were dying to have a shower and it was great that there was no wait for us.
After a refreshing shower, it was time to get fed. After the less-than-satisfying lunch at Tsukiji, I knew that the noodle station at ANA Lounge wouldn’t disappoint.
There were other options such as onigiri and fried udon at the buffet counter as well.
Another cool feature of the ANA Lounge was the beer-filling machine.
After a short but rather enjoyable time at the lounge, we headed up to our gate to find our plane ready to bring us across the Pacific.