Between flights, layovers, and driving I think we've been traveling for about 21 hours. I don't know how I haven't collapsed.
We were driven from the airport to Saitama City Hall, where our host family picked us up. I knew I was staying with the assistant principal for one of the elementary schools I'm visiting, Iijima-sensei (in Japan they use suffixes the way we might use "Mr." or "Ms.", and "-sensei" is used for teachers, doctors, and some other professionals). I noticed on the schedule they sent me that it said his wife will be taking care of me and now I know why - he barely speaks any English! He picked my up by himself and I felt bad when I asked him in the car, in English, when his school gets out for the summer. I could tell he didn't understand the question so I used Google Translate to ask again in Japanese, but then he spent literally 5 minutes trying to remember the word for "July". Thank goodness I know a little Japanese and have a smartphone! His wife, Jun-san (-san is used for most adults, but her nickname is Jun-Jun) speaks much more English thankfully.
Once we got to the house I of course wanted to go to bed, but instead we went out for sushi. Sushi > sleep so I couldn't complain too much. It was a conveyor belt sushi place, which are always fun. It was exactly what it sounds like - there is a conveyor belt wish sushi on it that goes around the restaurant past all of the tables and you just grab what you want. Some, like the one we went to, also have touch screens at every table so you can order a specific thing. When you are finished you are charged by the plate. The best part (and lets be real, it was all amazing) was dessert, which was Japanese shaved ice (kakigōri). Again, I didn't take a picture of mine but it was similar to the one posted here. American shaved ice can't compete; kakigōri is shaved much finer and often has sweet condensed milk on top along with syrup, giving it a much smoother texture. I promise this whole blog won't be about food (if only because I won't remember the name of everything I've eaten), but I had kakigōri once when I went to Australia and I've been craving it ever since!
Anyway, once we got home I was finally able to take a shower/bath and go to bed (I'm not going to talk about Japanese shower rooms now but spoiler: I really like them). I don't remember the last time I feel asleep that fast! Hopefully this means I won't have trouble adjusting my body clock to Japan time.Read more