Hello everyone! We made it safely to Chicago last night and stayed at a hotel several minutes from the airport. Once we got there, some of us took advantage of the adjoining Outback Steakhouse for one last chance at an American dinner. After a casual night of chilling in the hotel rooms, we went to bed in anticipation for the big flight!
This morning we got breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and shuttled to O’Hare for our 10:55 a.m. flight. We successfully made it through the security checkpoint and are now comfortably waiting at the gate. While sitting here, I’ve talked with a few people and asked them what they are most looking forward to in Japan. You’ll hear from everyone individually later on in the trip, but here’s a quick preview in anticipation of excitement to follow:
Alex is looking forward to the zoo that we will visit in Tokyo. Hopefully the pandas are active while we are there! He’s also looking forward to the cuisine, most notably the fresh seafood.
Keanna is excited for our three-day temple stay at the Eiheiji monastery. The monastery is known as the Temple of Eternal Peace, so being cut off from the rest of the world for that time will be a Zen experience in and of itself!
The Shinto shrines and structures are elements of the trip that excite Nathan. He’s been interested in the Shinto practice for a while, and seeing the places in person will be quite a treat. Nathan’s also almost equally excited for the authentic sushi. Surely Luther College’s Oneota Market sushi will be blown out of the water!
I myself am excited for the architecture of the area. The landscapes and structures, both urban and rural, will definitely have me pulling my camera to my face more times than I can count.
The next time you hear from us, we will have landed in Japan! The flight is around 13 hours; due to time zone differences we will touch down in Tokyo at around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10. We’ll connect with other students who will be joining us there before finally beginning our exhilarating stay in Japan.