Sayounara Texas, and helllllllllo Tokyo! After a 13-hour flight from DFW to Narita Int’l Airport, we’re here at last. And, as if our excitement level couldn’t get any higher, the Mavs won the NBA Championship!! We were lucky enough to receive quarterly updates by radio from our stewardess, also a native Dallasite. Talk about starting off the trip with a bang! After navigating our way through customs, which included scanning our fingerprints, having our picture taken, and being chased by a large Japanese cockroach, we were greeted at the airport by our guide, Sumiyo Terai (who kindly asked us to call her “Sue” lest we butcher the pronunciation), and we began the 50-minute drive from the Chiba prefecture to Tokyo, the official capital of Japan since 1868 and the world’s most populated metropolis. Japan consists of 47 prefectures, which Sue-san compared to our 50 states — plus Washington, D.C., of course. Along the way to Tokyo, Sue-san was a wealth of information. We learned that Tokyo, which covers more than 800 square miles, is home to 15 million people. What’s more, the population of Greater Tokyo, which includes the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo (at the center), is estimated at 35 million people. And I thought New York City was crowded… Upon arriving at our hotel, the Capitol Hotel Tokyu, we bade Sue-san “Komban-wa” (Good evening) and settled into our rooms, complete with sliding Japanese doors (“shoji screens”) and mini colorful origami swans — which I fully intend to take home as a souvenir. In lieu of exploring, my dad and I are taking it easy tonight and meeting for dinner in the hotel, as we have a big day of sightseeing ahead of us tomorrow and the 14-hour time difference is beginning to kick in (it’s currently 4:41am CT and I feel slightly dazed). We will meet up with Sue bright ‘n early in the lobby tomorrow at 8:30am sharp to start our first full day in Asia — as my dad always says, Let’s carpe diem. Pictures to follow!
Wall on Luang Prabang Rachit Tiwary on “People Don’t Rush… sydney66 on Tonle Sap Julia Martin on Japarazzi sydney66 on Geiko Entertainment / So-long…