The flight from Newark to Tokyo was free of any problems, in spite of the intermittent snow at Newark Airport. Our plane flight was boring, long, uncomfortable, all that stuff, and it was raining pretty hard when we got to Tokyo. The airplane food was kind of okay, flight attendants were good about giving water, I woke up the people in my seat row twice to go to the bathroom, etc. etc.

The trains in Japan arrive exactly on time, the platforms are spotlessly clean, passengers move so you can sit with your friends, nobody talks loudly, nobody inconveinences anyone. We took the JR Narita Line to Chiba and transferred to the JR Sobu line. We took the JR Sobu line to the Tokyo station, then took the Yamanote line to Sugamo and transferred to the Mita line, and took that to Motohasunuma and finally got out of the train. It took, all in all, about three hours — I had no idea how far away Narita was from Tokyo! We saw farmland for about thirty minutes before we saw any big buildings.

For how nice the trains are, though, they are ridiculously expensive – I drop $81 a month and can take the MTA trains as far as I want – Japanese subways/trains charge you for how far you ride. Living out in Itabashi Ward, I was dropping around¬†¬•1000 on trains every day or so. It adds up.. When I came back to the States and did my weekly two-hour epic journey-commute to the Bronx, Japanese trains really put things in perspective for me. Not to say, though, that MTA doesn’t grossly mismanage its money — I’m sure they do that enough.

When we got to Itabashi Ward (Sean’s friend, Oscar, rented a place there for his entire leave) it was a pretty busy-looking place. The Mita Line station drops you right in front of a Pachinko parlor, an arcade, and two Family Marts across the street from one another. Since the roads in Japan make no sense whatsoever, Oscar met us at the station and walked us there. It wasn’t far..

More stuff about our first night/second day tomorrow.

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