I'm writing from the spaceship-like confines of my capsule in the hotel 9 hours at narita. I was right that I wouldn't have the gumption to negotiate mass transit after my int'l flight--wrong that the airport hotel would be a completely simple alternative. (It's in a different terminal; I wandered for a while, lost in mazy underground concourses, before mustering the courage to ask an omawarisan to straighten me out)
In some ways it's been all pretty quotidian so far--customs line, terminal shuttle, and then this hotel--which you could almost imagine in a US airport, if Americans were habitually so tidy and quiet.
But then the PA announcements in Japanese, the 日本人 everywhere, conversations almost understandable, but still ultimately mysterious. I found myself staring at the stop button in the shuttle; in glowing letters it said
, like that--and felt a quiet thrill. I'm really here! Japan!