Friday, January 23, 2009

Arrival, Airport, Impressions

Well, it's been another long while, and I've been completely out of touch, but I promise I'll share all the great stuff that I've done since arriving in Japan.

I arrived at the Osaka/Kansai International Airport on Friday afternoon. It is a beautiful airport that looks like an enormous section of silver or chrome pipe. While the description doesn't sound like much, a picture is worth a thousand words. The interior is also quite distinctive and absolutely beautiful.

Kansai Int'l Airport is, like some other airports in Asia and around the world, is built on "reclaimed land" or basically manmade islands out in the middle of the water. This is essentially due to the fact that water and mountains conspire against airports by niot allowing much flat land for runways or tarmac.

While approaching the airport, I noticed that Japan is composed almost entirely of small islands and mountainous "mainland". With so many islands, it is clear that there would be a lot of bridges.

Japan is also well known as the land of the small car. In America, most of the issues that people have with mercedez' SMART car revolve around not having enough space for people or gear. So what do the Japanese do? Slap a trailer on it! This way, the cabin can be used for carrying as many as 2...people. Only 2, but still, quite efficient with space, gas, and size.

I arrived in Kobe - after an hour of driving and staring at how industrial and busy everything seemed to be. Smokestacks, electric transformers and trucks were absolutely everywhere in Osaka.

I spent the afternoon and evening catching up with family and adjusting to Japan. Many people, myself included, often consider Asia to be one place, but after living in Hong Kong for five months, I can tell that there are very distinct differences between Japan and Hong Kong, as well as between Japanese and Chinese.

I put down my bags and noticed something in the corner of my room (my cousin has graciously evacuated so that I can have my own place).

What is that you ask? It's my bed! Well, it's the futon that I sleep on, and it unfolds to cover enough of the floor for me to sleep as well as I have in any hotel. I am not used to sleeping on the floor, but I must admit that it is quite comfortable, and by day, the bed can fold up increasing floor space dramatically - not possible with a framed bed.

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