Two nights ago, finally, I landed at Narita Airport in Tokyo, kicking off my ten-day-trip in Japan. I stayed at my aunt’s house in Yotsukaido, Chiba, located just outside of Tokyo for the past two days. I was expecting my stay in Japan a completely history-orientated trip, but now it seems more like a cultural immersion for me. Simply to feel the smell of the air, the cleanness of the streets, and the emotions expressed on people’s faces is already an unforgettable experience.
It is now almost 10 p.m. I am getting ready for bed.
Today I took the JR Express (bullet train) from Tokyo to Hiroshima. It took about four hours, a little shorter than that from Philadelphia to Boston. I am staying at World Friendship Center, a family style hotel run by an American couple, Ron and Barb, who are volunteers here in Hiroshima to promote peace. There are five guest rooms total in this Japanese style house. Besides me there is another tourist from Thailand staying in this house. I didn’t get to meet him/her today. Hopefully I can have a conversation with him/her before I leave. WFC arranged for me an atomic bombing survivor story telling and a Hiroshima Peace Park tour on Wednesday, the day after tomorrow. I am looking forward to hear people talking about their experiences in WWII.
Tomorrow I will be visiting Miyajima, one of Japan’s 3 most beautiful spots. It is basically a divine shrine located in water. I am looking forward to many beautiful pictures.
So far the biggest challenge I have faced is language issue. At train station, in the shops, I was unable to communicate at all. My Asian face makes it even more difficult because everybody was assuming that I am Japanese and I can speak Japanese. I found that the majority population in Japan is not fluent in English. Today when I arrived at WFC and was greeted by the language of English, I was almost in tears. English! I love u! At the same time, I swear I will learn Japanese in college and hopefully could take a year aboard in Tokyo.
Here are some pictures that I took: