Not in Kansas Anymore

Marty and I have arrived in Japan! Narita airport is clean and quite easy to navigate – the ladies who work at the airport waving their arms and pointing in the correct direction helped. It was even easy to find the correct train to take us to our ryokan. The train journey took about an hour. When we bought tickets for the train we were given allocated seats! Now maybe this is common in other countries but I’ve never come across this at home. There is even a correct place to queue for each train car. The train was air conditioned, clean and each seat had a table (airplane style where this is attached to the chair in front) and a foot rest. There was also an area in each train car where soft drinks could be purchased from vending machines.

I’ve been in Japan before but I had forgotten that it was a place of contrasts. When we left the airport the landscape was dotted with wooden houses and elderly people working in the fields. It looked like we where in the countryside apart from the low hanging cables that dominated the view from the train. Soon we were travelling through areas were evey available space seemed to contain either a house or a vending machine and as we got closer to our destination the buildings got taller and more solid looking. When we arrived in the city, a place of high rise buildings and hanging lights, I noticed a group of woman walking slowly down the street wearing pastel coloured dresses and carrying a lace parasol in one hand and paper fan in the other – looking as if they should have been about to attend a Victorian summer picnic when in reality they were probably walking to the train station.