Thanks! Yeah, it's a huge pain. When you have to go to smaller airports outside of Tokyo it's hard to get a bike bag or box through security. A couple of times I've had to open the bag up and show them that it's just a bike in there. The large x-ray machines aren't large enough for decent bike luggage in most airports.
Then last year, my flight got cancelled til the next day and half my stuff (including bike) was left at heathrow and sent over when they located it four days later. Got about three rides in during the two week trip and two of them were in heavy rain.
Much better if I can land, have a few beers and a full nights sleep then simply grab the bike and go when I feel like it.
Does seem a shame that the bike will only get used for a very small chunk of time each year though!