I’ve been in Japan for 24 hours, and I never want to go home again. Not because Tokyo is so wonderful, just because I don’t think I can live through that 22-hour trip (door-to-door) again.

But seriously, things here are off to a wonderful start. Japanese officials, from customs to school guards, have been without exception gracious and helpful every step of the way. I’m in a pleasant hotel, right around the corner from an excellent fresh food market, among other things. Speaking of food, I’ve had several delicious meals already, which is not the way things usually are when I travel in unfamiliar places — usually the first few meals are pretty awful, until I figure out a bit of how to get what I’m looking for.

As for the trip, less said the better. I know a number of people who make the trans-Pacific journey a couple times a month, and I have newfound respect for what they go through. They must have some pretty thick scar tissue over the wounds to their sleep-patterns.

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