Well! After doing 19 hours in airports and planes, let me tell you I couldn’t wait to finally arrive in Japan. My flight went great! The airline, United, was wonderful. I was able to sleep a lot during the flights (I had one from Québec to Chicago, and then another from Chicago to Narita, Tokyo).
And oh boy, U.S customs were seriously horrible. I had to show my passport at least four times, even if it was only a stopover and I was coming from Canada (and passed the customs there, too). Good thing I had two hours to spare because otherwise I would have missed my second flight for Tokyo. I guess it’s because of the September 11th, or else I don’t know how to explain such strict procedures and waste of time (everybody had to take their shoes off…!).
For those who are interested, I bought my flight tickets on this website. It’s awesome. It looks for the best on internet for you (a bit like a travel agency, but for free). You can also put alerts according to the dates and the airport you want to leave from and the maximum amount of money you want to pay for it. Everyday, Kayak was sending me emails about the cheapest flights available on the market. That’s how I found my flight, 19 hours round-trip, 1 300 $ (Canadian).
My first host family, named Yamauchi, are very generous. My host mother picked me up at the aiport wit her two kids, a six years old little boy and a three years old little girl.
We went eating sushi at スシロ (SU-SHI-RO). I’m a complete fan of sushi, so I was obviously very happy. We sat down at the table and ordered what we wanted from a touch screen. There was like a tiny treadmill the same height as the table that was continuously passing food beside our table. Each table has its own color code (ours was purple), and when your order will arrive soon to your table on the treadmill, there’s music coming off the touch screen to warn you. When your order arrives, you pick it up from the treadmill. It’s really great! It was 105 yen for each sushi (a little bit more than 1$).
Between Japan and Québec, the time difference is 13 hours. Add 19 hours of flight to this, and well… let’s say I was exhausted. So I gladly accepted the ofuro (typical Japanese bath) that my host mother offered to me. In Japan, you have to first shower your body and hair with shampoo and soap while sitting on a small stool, and then enter the bath to relax. They never clean their body in the bath, because everybody in the family is using the same water in the bath.
In my bedroom, I have air conditioning.
In the living room, we’re eating the traditional way at a low table on a heating tatami (Japanese mat). Believe it or not, I think it’s very comfortable!
The Japanese, always thinking of the space used and the environment, have invented a toilet that saves water and reduces space. When you flush the toilet, the water for washing your hands is provided by a sink just above the toilet. So then, the water you used to wash your hands gets down in the toilet bowl. This is just wonderful, and I don’t know why we don’t have that in Canada. A picture may explain better what I’m trying to say:
My host family is so kind that they put a bike at my disposal. I can borrow it when I want to go out. Today, the whole family and I went for a bicycle ride. We went to a few neighborhood streets and to the supermarket. I was only in t-shirt and jeans outside (because it was hot compared to what I’m used to). An old man was quite surprised and asked me in Japanese if I was cold. I told him no, and my little host brother explained to him that it’s because I’m Canadian. Ha! I thought he was so cute!
My host brother :
My host sister :
My host sister and her mom :
And finally their dog, a teckel (it’s 13 years old!)
That’s it for today!
Hope you enjoyed,