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The Asian ApertureBack in Japan 2012
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, March 20, 2012    Share

First trip back to Japan after a 12-year wait was amazing. Just to get the bad out of the way, the flight from Dallas International to Narita International took 13 and a half hours and the food on American Airlines was terrible. I stupidly tried the airplane sushi and got really sick. Maybe it was a combination of all the air turbulence and getting motion sickness that made it so bad. Anyway, next time Iíll go with Delta or Northwest. The food was so bad on AA. Anyway, customs at Narita International was a breeze to get through. I tried to use as much Japanese as possible because I donít want to be seen as an English only tourist.

The first part of my trip was to get to my friendís location. I bought a bus ticket and waited for my bus. I have to admit I was very tired. I made myself stay awake until the bus arrived. Then I took a highway bus from Narita International to Utsunomiya City in Tochigi prefecture, which is about an hour north of Tokyo. I got to see some of Chiba and Tokyo from the highway. Tokyo is an amazing city with tons of houses and buildings and skyscrapers are crammed together. Yet it is not unattractive. It looks like a nice place to live from my bus window. People in Tokyo are so polite.

I tried staying awake to take in all the scenery but fell asleep quickly. I woke up at night in Tochigi near Utsunomiya, the main city. As the bus pulled in near the station, it looked like a nice place to live. Utsunomiya is a clean, well-maintained city that is a nice place to live. I got off the bus and was greeted by Kaori, my friendís wife who I met back at our USF apartment years ago, and Jessica, their youngest daughter. Soon I would meet the other children, Joshua and July. I asked Kaori about the name July and she smiled and told me it is because he was born in July. So, all the children have American names.

Kaori took me to the hotel and I went into my room to drop off my stuff.

Next I met up with my long time USF roommate and good friend. Junichi. He is now a successful businessman who owns several companies throughout Asia including Vietnam and Singapore. I gave him a gift consisting of a Tampa Bay Rays and a Bucs shirt. Next we drove around talking and getting reacquainted.

I am an easy traveler in Japan because I know what Japanese foods I like and I am not afraid to try anything once. The first thing I wanted was Unagi. So Junichi took me to his favorite Unagi restaurant. Unagi is grilled eel over rice with a special sweet eel sauce. Inside the restaurant the children was very energetic and I tried to match their levels but couldnít. I was still feeling sick thanks to American Airline sushi. One of the appetizers was eel bones, which I would have tried if I had felt better. My friends wanted to know how Tampa was because they both really missed Tampa. They wanted to know if Ybor City is still a fun place to go drinking. I promised to take them around Tampa for an upcoming trip. I really want their children to see Disney and Universal Studios in Orlando. Finally the Ungaidon came and I have only a few bites. I took the rest home in a doggy bag and had it for breakfast.

I rode back to my hotel and so ended my first night back in Japan.

More stories will follow, this is only part 1.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2012 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2012 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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