Twelve hours in the air seemed like an eternity. My flight to Japan was otherwise enjoyable with a mix of turbulence. This is my first time in Japan. I had no idea what to expect other than the fact that I love Japanese food, at least from what I’ve had here in the U.S. I arrived in Narita International Airport early afternoon on a weekday. A Japanese woman greeted me at the gate with my name written neatly in black marker. She had a warm smile and exceptionally polite. Going through customs and immigrations seemed like checking into a hotel. The airport officers were extremely polite and helpful, much different from where I was a month ago.
Taking in the cold clean air of winter, I stepped out onto the streets of Narita for the first time. It was like we’ve known each other from another life. I have 8 days, and I couldn’t wait to explore Japan. It’s only the first of March. Tourist season hadn’t started yet, and I was thankful for that. I headed towards Tokyo with welcomed anxiety and excitement. From what I can see out of the taxi window, this was going to be amazing.