From Elementary School to Japan

I am flying back to the United States today. Actually, because of the 13 hour time difference, I leave Tokyo at 5 pm and land in Newark at 4:55 pm — on the same day! I wonder if it will be light out the window the whole time!

Our PresentationThe last few days have been a whirlwind — we created collaborative projects with Japanese teachers, and said goodbye to some amazing new friends. Then had some time off to explore Tokyo, including the fashion district where all the young girls get dolled up. Yesterday, I spent the day in a really wonderful town called Kamakura, which used to be the capital of Japan many centuries ago. KamakuraI put my feet into the Pacific Ocean, went inside a giant Buddha statue, and had some very unique foods, like green tea / sweet potato ice cream swirl. More on this later. I am way behind on my blog entries, so when I get home, I will continue to share new posts. However, I couldn’t resist posting one more entry before I start packing.

Last night, I had dinner with an old elementary school friend, Naoki. He lived in my town in the United States from 3rd grade to 8th grade, and then moved back to Japan. Now he is a doctor and lives in Tokyo. It has been more than 20 years since we’ve seen each other, but I found a photo of us next to each other from our 5th grade class photo, and he brought his 8th grade yearbook to dinner — we even found the spot where I signed it.

Naoki and I had an amazing dinner at a very special place, owned by a dear couple who take great pride in their work. We chatted about old school memories and differences between American and Japanese culture. It was truly a wonderful evening.

Maybe I should skip my flight today and just move to Japan! I could see myself living here.

Categories: Japan

10 replies »

    • Hi Astrid! The next post after this one talks more about the projects that we did. And there were lots of types of foods — sashimi (raw fish), cooked fish in a soy sauce type thing, cold bean soup, abalone (a type of clam) and all sorts of other yummy stuff.

  1. Hi, Sara!

    You may see light out the window the whole time, but the reason why is not so obvious.

    Remember, seen from the turning earth, the sun appears to move from east to west. So when you fly from east to west, you stay in almost the same time zone during the whole trip.

    But you’re flying the opposite way, from west to east. In that case the opposite happens – you fly through the time zones twice as fast. After you leave at 5pm Tokyo time, you’ll get to 6pm, then 7pm, then 8pm, and so on, but each of these steps will take you, on the average, only half an hour. You’ll pass into 24 new time zones during your 13-hour flight, arriving at just about the same time you left, 5pm (Eastern Daylight Time).

    So having passed through 24 zones, why won’t it be the next day? Because as you pass from Russia to Alaska, you’ll cross the International Date Line, dropping you back one day.

    As you go from your 5pm takeoff to midnight and beyond, won’t it get dark? Maybe not completely, because you’ll also be going very far north, and it’s summer, so the north pole is tilted towards the sun. You’ll get as far north as Iceland, 65 degrees. I think that during the first half of your flight, the sun will set, but it probably won’t get very far below the horizon, and it may not get completely dark. But your night will be very short. Then, about half-way through the flight, the sun will rise for you on Tuesday, July 1, for the second time

    Have a great flight. What an interesting flight it will be!

  2. No! Don’t leave Ms. Krakauer! You’ll be all the way across the world! 😦
    Although, I did find your childhood photos sweet! It’s cool how you met up with someone you knew when you were young.
    What was it like inside the Buddha statue?
    ~ Anna

    • It was REALLY hot inside the Buddha, because it was made of metal, and the sun was heating it up! So we didn’t stay inside too long (also because it was kind of cramped) but it was neat to experience.

  3. Wow! How was it in Japan. I bet it was amazing and very interesting. When I visit a foreign country I get sad when it is time to leave. How did you feel when it was time to leave? What thoughts were running through your head? Also it must have been nice and amazing to have met your childhood friend.

    • Yes! I was very sad to leave. Japan is a wonderful place to visit. It’s very clean and the people are really thoughtful of others. It’s also nice to be home though!

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