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Gohan desu yo!
Approaching Narita Airport several hours ago--in the state of mild desperation that comes after thirteen hours shut up in a plane with several groups of boisterous American students on their way to summer study abroad--I looked out at the landscape and thought, well, whaddya know, it's farmland. I could have stayed in Kansas to look at farmland.

Only then I took a better look and saw . . .

Uh, yeah. Rice. Perfect straight-edged rice paddies, bounded by perfect, straight-edged irrigation canals.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more.

Things I wasn't prepared for:

The enormous TV screen in the ground-floor entrance area of Narita that displays--along with your expected Scenes from Colorful Japanese Tradition--twelve-foot-high photographs of kawaii kittens. They're really quite surreal, the twelve-foot-high kittens.

Great froths of hydrangeas spilling down the slopes beside the highway.

The fact that Tokyo is not only a city built beside water, but a city built on water. Coming in on the bus from the airport, I was amazed by the canals (not to mention the Sumida River) running through otherwise wholly urban streets. Past the river, further inland, the canals disappear, but it's quite an effect while it lasts.

The moment of total self-satisfaction when I realized that I could read the sign on the bus telling passengers to fasten their seat belts. (Okay, okay--that's the only sign that I've been able to read. But it's a start!)

The private bathroom delights me. It's like a space capsule, with everything necessary for civilized grooming tucked into a prefab pod.

And yes, that's the infamous Purity Blue nylon granny nightie on the bed. It wanted to have its picture taken.

The guy out on the street with the megaphone seems to have finished making his speech now, whatever it was about . . .

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OH MYGOD totally freaking out - you're THERE!! Omg you are THERE!!!!!!!! aackkk

how cool is this? i'm SO GLAD you brought your laptop, we can all get UPDATES!!

major squee....

Yayayayay, you're there!!!

I'm so damned jealous.

Thanks for the pictures! More more! Hope you have fun!

hehe! Have fun in japan! :D COME TO DOLPA IN CALI. o___o so I can see you!

*waves* I friended you! I have just purchased a saiki head and was surfing for pics (now I wish I purchased two!!) :) You have such wonderful dolls and now JAPAN trip!! *grabs popcorn* Have fun!! ^_^

This is so much more exciting (for us!) to get updates from our correspondent on the scene!! I love your little room, and laughed so hard at "well, whaddya know, it's farmland."

Wooohoo! Enjoy!!!

omgwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! So excited!!!

Updates on-the-spot, you are amazing! I hope you have a blast ^_^

*hugs & smooches*

-- A :D

Cool! I hope you have a great time in Japan! So envious. :-)

Enjoying your trip vicariously.

ROFL at myself when I read the title of your post and thought..."Is she writing about rice? O_o " lol

Take lots and lots of pictures!!

I am very glad you are not in Kansas anymore (at least for the time being), and I think there's a lot to be said for efficient use of space. How much room do you really need for a bed, a desk and a bath? The picture may be hanging a bit high on the wall, but that little pod looks perfectly cosy to me! ;)

I knew you could do it! The only trips I've been up to are to the hospital, doctors' offices and through the babygate at the bathroom door (ouch, I think I broke a toe and bunged up an elbow, just added to the collection of bruises.) Guess somebody is trying to tell me to slow down a bit. Didn't think I was on the fast track to anywhere in the first place.

So happy to see your post. Sure do hope you have an extraodinarily wonderfully time. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Hugs!!

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