May 19, 2012
By Eric Ochoa
Today we boarded the plane and headed for Japan which was particularly a great experience for me considering that I’d never been on an airplane before at all. Although my first flight was for 11 hours the plane ride turned out to be very smooth and a great experience overall. The plane had individual monitors for us to individually watch movies or play games which was a great commodity on such a long flight. Having had my first flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo was rewarding in that now when I travel again the trip should be much shorter.
After the flight we arrived at Narita airport where we began our journey in Japan. At this point it still had not hit me that we were really in Japan because everything seemed pretty similar to LAX. However, as soon as we boarded the Narita express we realized how different public transportation was in Tokyo than in Los Angeles. There was absolutely no form of graffiti in the trains and this trend continued even onto the common subway trains, every thing seemed to be so well maintained. These subtle differences are really what made the culture shock of being in Japan that much more noticeable. We had braced ourselves for an entirely different culture but it was the little things that really made a difference. We had to walk from the subway station to our hotel with all of our luggage which was very tiring and an unfortunate foreshadowing of what’s to come next week when we travel to Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagoya. When we got to the hotel we immediately noticed how different the Japanese are in terms of space, we had a very small bathroom and all the essentials of an apartment seemed to be crammed into one small area, however it’s done so well that it comes off as more efficient than anything else. I’m sure there will be much more differences in the 2 weeks to come and I’m looking forward to experiencing all of them.