Tokyo Orientation

We made it!

Julie took this photo from her seat on the plane as we traveled thousands of feet above the Pacific Ocean.  The flight took a little less than 10 hours.  I spent most of that time reading while Julie slept and watched a few movies on the screen affixed to the back of the seat in front of her.  This will no doubt sound cliche (honestly it probably won’t be the first nor the last cliche on this site), but it wasn’t until our plane left the ground at the Portland Airport that I became cognizant of the significance of the flight.  For a brief moment, as we gained altitude above the Columbia River, I was able to grasp the gravity of the situation; simulaneously looking forward while remembering what we were leaving behind.

Thanks to Julie, Michael Chabon, James David Duncan, and a nice couple sitting behind us, it was the shortest 10 hour plane ride ever.

Better than No Doz...

Better than No-Doz...

We arrived at Narita Airport at around 5:00 PM, breezed through customs, and rode a bus for an hour before ending up in Shinjuku, a district in Tokyo.  After settling in, Julie and I ate at a lovely udon noodle shop near the hotel that was tasty and inexpensive.  By the time we got back to our room we had been up for nearly 24 hours and decided to sleep.  I woke up at 6:00 AM without an alarm.  It was the first time I’ve ever felt fully awake so early in the morning.

From there it has been non-stop orientation.  Our day has been packed with meetings, info sessions, speeches, advice, and food while meeting scores of new, interesting people.  Our overall mood is euphoric.

Also, arriving was not the outer planetary experience I thought it would be.  It turns out from the sky, Japan really does look like all those Google Earth images.  Also, the landscapes and cityscapes, although different than you imagined, contain hints of familiarity.  However I’m sure we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

Here are a few more photos.  We’ll have more of Shinjuku in the days to come.

Portland Airport

View from our window

Ready for work

Ready for work

Not every JET is from the U.S.

Not every JET is from the U.S.


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4 Responses to “Tokyo Orientation”

  1. Erin Says:

    Julie looks like an FBI agent in that photo.

    I wholeheartedly approve.

  2. sarah austad Says:

    Wish I had written down questions to ask you when you called last night. I was so afraid the call was expensive and didn’t want you to spend so much money. As soon as we hung up, I checked out your site. Loved the pictures. You both look very professional as you head to work. Taylor, your suit looks so familiar….perhaps from the wedding????? Let us know what your digs are like when you get to Aormori today. Love you both.

  3. kay Says:

    heyy looking nice both of you! im glad you safely arrived in japan! good luck on the orientations! eat lots of yummy food in tokyo!

  4. vdzlibrarian Says:

    I’ve been thinking of you two lots. What a whirl wind time for you!! Good luck as you jump through all the hoops and are getting to know the “lay of the land”. Keep up the blog. It will be a wonderful journal to look back on in years to come.

    You both look pretty “spiffy” in your work clothes. Am looking forward to reading about your adventures!

    Big hugs to both of you.

    Take care.

    Barb Bryson

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