Japan: My Perspective

I have never been to Japan.

I know, I bet you have not been there either. However, there is a reason why that sentence is so important: I am half Japanese and have never been to the country that half of my body, my soul, my literal blood belongs to. Going to Japan is almost like a milestone in my family – if you go, you are a true member of the family. And as of April 10th, I am officially going to Japan this summer from August 17th to September 3rd.

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A Blended Family’s Weekend Trip

Interestingly enough, my parents met in a Japanese hospital. One of their mutual friends got in a car accident and even though my dad had a girlfriend at the time, their connection was instant. Shortly after that moment, they became a couple and after moving around southern Japan and around the east coast of the U.S., the pair settled in my dad’s hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. And that is where I come in – as their last child and probably the one that eats the most food.

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Airports: The Gates to Our Countries

Whenever you enter a new country, the exciting process always starts with being in an international airport. As an international student in a foreign country, I’ve traveled between China and America countless times and I was lucky enough to transit in different airports every time I am traveling. Some people may find it annoying, but I am excited every time I can transit in a new country that I’ve never been too. Though I can not really see the real country without leaving the airports, I can always get a taste of them strolling through the airports. Let’s start with the very first new country’s airport I’ve been to: the United States.

USA – Detroit International Airport

airport 1

I have no words in expressing the feelings I had the first time I arrived in the Detroit International Airport. It was new, exciting, strange and most importantly, all English. Everywhere I went, there were those English letters flowing around. You can tell obviously that this country’s language is English. At that time my English wasn’t at a level where I could understand everything yet, so the thrill of recognizing a word I’d learned was very satisfying. Besides the words, the Detroit International Airport was so new and clean and it later reminded me of the lights in Times Square. However, the element that shows this was a foreign country the most were the shops, especially those coffee shops. I could smell coffee far away from the security check zone. The first time I spent US dollars was on a cup of coffee, because I envied the people I saw with a cup of coffee in one hand and a suitcase in the other. I thought it was the American style. As it later turns out when I started living in this country, it surely is one of the American styles.

Japan – Tokyo International Airport

airport 2

The first time I was returning home from America, I got to transit through Tokyo International Airport which was awesome because Japan is on the list of the countries I want to live in. The coolest thing about it is that it is built on the sea! The entire airport! I don’t know how they managed to do that, but it definitely made me prouder to tell people that I’ve been there. Perhaps one of the reasons they built it on the sea is to model it after the Japan which itself is an island country.

Canada – Toronto Pearson International Airport

airport 3

On my way home this year, I tried an airline that I’ve never taken before – Canada Air. Even though the transit in Toronto was comparably short, I still learned a thing or two about Canada while I was there. When I walked out of the gate, I saw two languages on the instruction boards: English and French. Although shallow of me, I had assumed that Canadians only speak English, but I later learned that some of them also speak French.  For a person who doesn’t speak French or has ever even been to France, I went to the typical international shop to find some French-ness. Guess what I found? Vogue Paris! I bought it immediately and went to find some coffee shop so I could look through the magazine. Their coffee shops also amazed me with their use of technology. They had iPads on the tables where you could check your flight status and order food! This was something new in my long traveling experience, making me believed that Canada is as high tech as their airports.

Overall, airports sometimes can be very tiring and boring, but I always try to find some fun in them. Especially when you go to a foreign country, airports are definitely gonna be your first impression of that country. Let’s remember them and add a little fun to your traveling memory!