About Me

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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Day the Earth Stood (mostly) Still

This is where we were 6 hours in... approaching the halfway point.
   After the longest flight in the world -- one in which time slowed to a creeping crawl in a seemingly perpetual repeat of the 1:00 hour, we have finally arrived in Japan.  The day started at 6AM on a warm Dallas morning, as Erica and I awoke from our slumber and prepared for the long journey.  We arrived at the airport with about 2 hours to spare, but it ended up being a 4 hour wait as our flight was delayed by an hour and a half... but that is what the USO is for.  After watching The Secret of Kells and   partaking of the free (full) boxes of thin mints Girl Scouts cookies and other assorted snack items, we finally departed Dallas.


   Unfortunately, no first class treatment for us on this flight, but the coach class on the plane wasn't horrible.  It was still crowded, but the flight was so long that we got the equivalent of what first class is on sub-par airlines such as US Airways.  We received three square meals, which were all actually pretty decent, and that screen up there was loaded with movies, television, games, and other such entertainment.  Surprisingly, it had The Hunger Games, and that isn't even out on DVD yet.  Also, there was a strange Japanese television show where they put police officers in baths and measured their body temperature.  I guess it was some kind of contest, でもあまりわからないけど・・・  Some day, though... Someday...

Beautiful Alaskan scenery near Anchorage

   We had a lot of great scenery, as well.  Flying over British Columbia and along the Alaskan coast was absolutely gorgeous, and I think I would love to visit Alaska at some point.  I think it would be pretty awesome to fly over Alaska in a small Cessna.  Of course, it was still a long, drawn out flight where we had nothing to do but watch movies, play games, eat, and study Japanese n preparation for that placement test.

   We left Dallas at noon, pretty much on the dot, and we arrived in Tokyo at 2:25 PM.  Only 2 hours past by us as we were spirited away a day into the future, in exchange for 13 hours of our lives.  Our flight to Nagoya left at 3:50, though, and we had to go through Immigrations, retrieve our baggage, go through Customs, recheck our baggage with Japan Airlines, and catch our next flight.  It was quite rushed, but it seems like the airports in Japan do not have much in the way of airport shopping or food, anyways, as it seemed like there were nothing but endless waiting rooms throughout the facility.

富士山 (Mt. Fuji from the Air)
  We made it to our next flight, though, with about 10 minutes to spare, and departed on the 45 minute flight (well, an hour and some change after the long flight delay on the runway).  The Japan Airlines flight to Nagoya also depicted no shortage of kodiak moments as we passed by Mount Fuji and saw some of the most amazing cloud formations I have ever seen.  Also, the in-flight radio (that you plug your headphones into) had a Studio Ghibli channel, which we jammed to the entire way through.

   Once again, though, it was a rush after arriving in Nagoya.  We arrived at 5:15 PM and had to catch a bus to Okazaki at 5:40, but first we had to claim our baggage.  We made the bus just in the nick of time (although if we missed it, the worst that would happen would have been an hour of waiting).  After an hour long bus ride, we arrived at Okazaki Station, where we called for Yamasa staff to pick us up and take us to our room.

   We haven't done much exploring around Okazaki, yet, and I am extremely tired after traveling for the most pronounced day of my life, so I will have to put off talking about Okazaki and our room for later.  Besides, I need to get plenty of rest before the morning, since we have to be at Aoi Hall at 9:00 AM...

   Tomorrow, the first day of the Yamasa experience officially begins.....