Sunday, September 28, 2008

Destination Japan

I flew out of Chicago O'Hare Saturday morning. My scheduled flight was delayed by a few hours, and would have resulted in a misconnect at Narita airport in Tokyo. United Airlines was extremely helpful with finding me a matching flight on a different airline (I flew on American Airline). It was a 13 hour flight from Chicago to Tokyo. This was also my first flight. Ever. I was surprisingly served three meals, all of which were actually quite good (Beef wasabi and rice, ham sandwich, and pizza). Most of the other people in the same program as I only got served one meal, and they were quite famished upon arrival to Nagasaki. The plane arrived late to Tokyo, and I had about 30-40 mins. to get through customs, wait for the bus to take me to a different terminal, and then check in before boarding. The best way to describe the weather in Tokyo when I was there: sauna in a rainforest. Very hot. Very muggy. Very rainy. The plane for Fukuoka left at 6pm Japan time (so, about 3am in Fort Wayne). Needless to say, after having no sleep, I was out as soon as I got on the plane. The flight from Narita to Fukuoka was about 2 hours. I read somewhere that the Narita to Fukuoka transit is the third busiest line in the world. Based on the size of the plane, and the fact that it wasn't nearly full, I find that questionable. The Fukuoka metro area is the fourth largest in Japan, with 2 million people living within city limits, or 4 million total including surrounding areas. The weather in Fukuoka was pleasant. Monday morning, we took a 2 hour bus trip from Fukuoka to Nagasaki. My camera was stowed with my luggage under the bus, so no pictures of beautiful mountain sides with the occasional Shinto shrine, rice patties ready for harvest, or giant pagoda houses. Sorry.

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