Greetings! I made it back safely back to the US of A on Saturday from Tokyo, and narrowly missed the earthquake that rocked the city! I've had a blast in Japan, got to meet some really neat people, all were fellow analysts/translators and are at the top of their game, much more that I am at mine.
I travelled with a group of all men, three supervisors and two fellow analysts, so there were much testosterone but not too too much. There were two who liked to drink beer A LOT, while the other men suffered from jet lag and a case of xenophobia. (One of my supervisors just stayed in his hotel room and read.) I think I've finally gotten over my fear of eating raw fish, and have eaten sushi 3 times without any tummy incident! The secret is in the freshness of the seafood, and the mixture of the seasoning. I couldn't speak any Japanese, but nevertheless managed to pick up a few simple greetings so that some people there actually thought of me as Japanese!
The weather over in Japan was hot and muggy, their "rainy season". I was just glad that I didn't have too much of jet-lag!
Japan overall is a very clean country, and Tokyo is one of the most packed cities that I've been to. Most people are shorter in height and they work very hard. I will post more photos from my disposable camera when I get them developed. My tummy, needless to say, was very happy to have been in Japan! Nomatter where I am at, I'll always have an Oriental stomach!
We've stayed at gov't lodging during the first 4 days of our trip, and it was alright, typical gov't lodging, if you know what I mean. However, I was thrown into the lap of luxury when we got to Tokyo for the last 3 days of our trip. We stayed at ANA Hotel Tokyo (ANA stands for "All Nippon Airways".) and that's the hotel that our diplomatic corp uses whenever they've got guests. The rooms (at least mine) are small, but it's got everything, not to mention one of the best beds that I've ever slept on! I've got a good view of downtown Tokyo from the 25th. floor, and you can see it in my previous entry.
Never in my imagination would I envision that the gov't would send me to a place this exotic, so thank you, the powers that be!
I just wish that the GF could have come along on this trip, even though we did not have a lot of free time, what free time we did have was quite valuable! My biggest disappointment was probably the fact that I couldn't find the hello kitty world headquarters, or doraemon stores, but I did get to see the Harajuku district, where Gwen Stefani found her a bunch of Harajuku girls. There's really nothing that special about that district, all it was was a shopping area filled with stores like the GAP, Guess, Banana Republic, etc.
I'll write more about the trip later, still got a bit of jet lag to suffer through!