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First Morning in Tokyo on Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn

I woke up early as I have been but things are going great on Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn 2009! The 11 hour flight was pretty exhausting but Korean Airlines fed us good food and gave us good leg room! Then we had trouble getting money from ATMs but even that seems to be cleared-up!

I honestly was starting to worry when I tried to use my third ATM and it wasn’t working! But then I tried my other ATM card and it worked fine. Half of the others could get money out but the other half couldn’t. But Hannah just got an e-mail saying the problem was they hadn’t informed her bank she was leaving the country: now it should work!

Japan is a very cash based society: they just carry around large amounts of cash and don’t have many ATMs around. People will pay for a cup of coffee with a ¥10,000 note: about the equivalent of $100 U.S. You usually couldn’t do that in the U.S. but if you did you’d apologize as you did it! Here it’s no big deal.

The group is awesome: all different homschooling/unschooling young adults from around the country all interested in different aspects of Japanese society. Half of them can read hiragana and katakana: the syllabic two of Japanese’s three alphabets.

The other Chinese based alphabet, kanji, not even Japanese people can read! No, but really there are more symbols than any Japanese normally use and unlike Chinese there are almost always more than one (and usually more than two) ways to pronounce any one symbol.

I’m somewhat ashamed and somewhat proud to say our first meal in Japan was at Yoshinoya!: a Japanese fast food chain that serves bowls of rice with beef or pork on top. It’s not exactly high quality tradional cuisine  but it’s delicious! And it’s simple, cheap, near our hostel, and familiar to me. So in our exhausted state it was perfect.

Alright, that’s it for now: will post photos and such soon.

Today is actually Culture Day (文化の日 Bunka no hi) in Japan so maybe there will be some cool stuff happening around the Imperial Palace and the park which are both right next to our Sakura Hotel.

Anyway, we won’t be venturing far: today is for taking it easy! Plenty of time for plenty of adventures the coming three weeks!

Yoshinoya donburi: rice with meat on top plus some pickled ginger, cabbage, and miso soup with free warm green tea - all for just ¥600! (about six bucks)

Yoshinoya donburi: rice with meat on top plus some pickled ginger, cabbage, and miso soup with free warm green tea - all for just ¥600! (about six bucks)

4 Responses to “First Morning in Tokyo on Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn”

  1. Idzie says:

    Glad to hear that the trip has gotten off to a good start! 🙂

  2. Phoebe says:

    Can’t wait to read the rest of this wonderful adventure !
    (Got here through Catherine & Claire & Facebook :p)….)

  3. Erica says:

    Awesome! Sounds like you’re in for an adventure. Can’t wait to see the pictures and see how the trip is going!

  4. Eli Gerzon says:

    Thanks so much Idzie, Phoebe, and Erica! Yeah, things are going very well and I’ll be posting more soon!

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