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Matt's Japan Trip 2002
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The Index

Appetizers * Introduction
* Chris-Zilla Strikes!
* Top Ten Things We Ate That Mom Would Hate

Main Course The Photo Journal:
* Week 1 (Tokyo)
* Week 2, Part 1 (Kyoto)
* Week 2, Part 2 (Nara, Himeji, Hiroshima)
* Week 3+ (Tokyo)

Dessert * Silly Restaurant Pictures
* Carp!
* Assortment of Other Funny Pictures

Lost & Found * My Reading List
* Princess Leia Goes to Tokyo!

Journey to Japan

In January, 2002 my brother transferred to his company's Tokyo office. From January 24th to February 18th I took advantage of this opportunity to visit Japan. This is the story of my trip.

I learned a lot about Japan. I really enjoyed the food. I quickly came to admire the dedication and honor displayed by people in even the most ordinary jobs and everyday situations. I had a lot of fun meeting Japanese people and testing out my "survival Japanese" skills. And I was deeply moved by some of the very beautiful sights such as the temples of Kyoto.

My trip also taught me some things I didn't like about Japan. Much of the landscape is unbelievably dreary. It was sad to see the endless urban blight of the Tokyo-Hiroshima megalopolis imposed on such strikingly beautiful mountains and coastline. It also became clear to me that however much one might admire Japan, it makes no room for the foreigner to be at home there. And most distressingly, everywhere there were the signs of the quietly desperate economic crisis now gripping the country.

Beyond any of the details, it was a great adventure I'll remember for the rest of my life. For all of this I owe a big thank you to my brother, who put up with me sleeping on his couch for weeks while he went out and actually worked to make this whole journey possible. Thanks, Chris!

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Copyright 2002