One of the inevitable questions people asked after learning about my trip to Japan is, “How long does it take to get to Tokyo?” They’re always satisfied with my usual response of, “It will take eleven hours to get to Tokyo from LA.”
From where I sit though, on an Airbus A380 flying over the Pacific Ocean, it’s taken me years to get to Tokyo. Each moment of my life had to knock down the subsequent moment. A culmination of decisions and experiences preparing me to take this trip.
Part of what I hope to get out of this month of travel is unplugging from all that’s familiar, which includes not counting the minutes to get from point A to point B. When I get up to stretch my legs during this 11 hour precursor to arriving in Tokyo, I think that this flight must have its fair share of people counting the minutes in some way – the minutes until their drink arrives, the minutes until their child falls asleep, the minutes until their legs wake up from falling asleep, the minutes until we land. My trip to Japan will not be remembered by the minutes though ... eating sushi and drinking sake, walking around historic castles, or doing yoga under cherry blossom trees ... I'll weigh these things differently.
Instead this trip will be remembered by the ways I am reintroduced to everyone and everything I have back home. I’ll look for you (the tangible and intangible) in the steps I take across Japan. You: the humorous, the hard working, the star struck, the love sick, the curious, and the creative. Each of you have helped me build a path of possibility that put me in seat 49C on flight SQ11.
You’ll be with me in the moments that expand my understanding of how the world works and how I work. Some of you are expecting souvenirs, so please accept my sincere apology in advance that the souvenirs from this trip will be impossible to hold. That isn't a tenuously mounted offense against being accused of being cheap either! I could show you pictures, send you post cards, and buy you Lucky Cats. Instead, I’ll give you a question I asked myself before taking my trip to Japan --- what’s the one thing you have been dancing around and how long have you been dancing around it? Whether its words unspoken or trips unplanned, how much longer do you need before crossing it off your list and receiving the experiences that will ultimately change you?
Your jet lag pro reporting in ... After 6 hours of sleep on the first day in Japan I felt wide awake and good enough to run around a park near my hotel in the morning. These images are from around Hibiya Park in the Ginza district.