We touched down at Haneda Airport and the first hiccup manifested itself. I couldn't join those onboard the plane messaging and tweeting their safe arrival. For some reason I don't yet understand the GigSky E-Sim I had in the iPhone didn't work. Perhaps they need to be used every so often? This was painful, I did manage WiFi from the coach and hotel but in the end loaded up an E-Sim from Ubigi for Tokyo which was a must for getting around. (I failed to use the Ubigi E-Sim in New Zealand, my Ubigi account got stuck in a payment authorisation loop). Having a working E-Sim meant I could use Google Maps. Google Maps was tricky to follow, where it thought you were could be off, but it enabled me to find my way around an alien city.
It took me a while to navigate immigration and customs. On the plane I didn't get declaration forms and twice I had to exit long long queues to fill out forms. Customs guy also decided to check my case for drugs. At immigration they scanned fingerprints from both my index fingers. So I'm afraid I kept the Meet and Greet girl waiting for me. She was efficient, and gave me a bag of stuff including a PASMO card for travelling around. She also sensibly put me on a limousine airport bus to Shinjuku West rather than my trying the monorail as originally planned which would have meant trying to maneouvre cases on a rush-hour trains. They gave you a token for bags stowed on the bus which was reasonable, a bit of a scrum collecting the bags afterwards. At Shinjuku West couldn't see the bus she told me about so instead tried walking to Hotel Gracery, happily the sign was visible in the dampness and dinginess.
Relieved I was there I checked into Hotel Gracery, room on the 18th floor. Reception is on the 8th floor, your room key lets you use the higher lifts. The Godzilla head is on the 8th floor, as is the Café Terrace Bonjour where I had some spaghetti on arrival to keep me going. During the consumption of the spaghetti I first experienced the hourly roaring and smoke and fire belching of the head which happily doesn't go on all night. The room was more than adequate, there was no door handle so sticky signs instead to make up room. There was a smart phone in the room, perhaps I should have used that rather than battle with E-Sims. The shower head wasn't over the bath, an odd placing. Bath has button and set time for filling, so you can set it going and come back later. It is a welcome touch of luxury to have a heated toilet seat.
I had breakfast at the Bonsalute KABUKI on the 1st floor, each time before 7am when there was plenty of space to sit and choose from the wide buffet selection. I went for rice congee and cereals and scrambled eggs which set me up for the days.