I dream of Japan. I dream of white-faced geishas. Rains of blooming sakuras. Graceful white donjons and temples framed by poetic tree branches. The bright lights of Blade Runner-esque cityscapes. The snow-capped Mount Fuji on the horizon. Cosplay girls. Sumo wrestlers. Samurai warriors.
I awoke and saw nothing but blue skies and streaks of clouds from my window. I was flying 28,000 feet above the fringes of the North Pacific Ocean, halfway between Manila and Japan; it was almost unbelievable.
Not a month ago, together with some travelers, we were just discussing the impossibility of Japan for budget backpackers. This country is definitely not easy on the wallet.
Our plane flew lower and cruised over the coast of the Japan. Being picked by Sony Philippines to accompany its three brand ambassador in promoting their newest camera line was surreal. But seeing the microchip-like landscape from my window made me realize that this is no dream.
Incomprehensible Japanese words echoed through the cabin as we slowly dove down to Chiba’s Narita International Airport. Winter has just passed but I can see some white-topped trees dotting the landscapes below; my first real view of the sakuras.
Snailing past the immigration officers, we train-transferred to Narita’s main building, quickly exchanged dollars to yens and bought a ¥3,000.00 bus ticket. Tokyo awaits us.
“Please do not use your celphone while inside the bus as it might disturb the neighbor” a recorded voice announced through the PA system. Silence is probably more golden in Japan. But I really don’t mind, phones were the farthest thing on my mind. My eyes were transfixed on the unique Japanese scenery rolling before my window.
An hour later and we alighted at the three-degree temperature of Tokyo. I wasted no time after dumping my bag in my room. And together with S, an old friend from Manila, we quickly went out and tried to unwrap what Japan was all about. I pinched myself; I can probably stop dreaming now.