As the airplane began to descend an extremely verdant spot of land was suddenly revealed beneath the thick fog. "Look!!!" I said excitedly, as I shook my sister to wake her up. Her eyes cracked open, and as she realized that we were just minutes away from landing, they grew wide with anticipation and awe at the striking landscape below us- a checkerboard of bright green squares, with crooked roads running between and over them. Further in the distance, you could see the coastline and massive windmills scattered alongside the water, and a small town that I imagined to be inhabited by fishermen and traditional people who enjoyed the simplistic beauty of this place that was just an hour away from Tokyo by car. I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to visit this town and see whether or not what I had imagined was anywhere close to how it really is there. I found myself thinking like this throughout the entire trip, and cherishing every moment of it, as you can never really predict whether life's path will lead you to these places again, or if the time you are there will turn out to be the one and only opportunity you will ever have to experience it.
As we walked out of the airport we were immediately surprised at the weather, as well as the humidity. It actually reminded us a lot of Hawaii, and we immediately understood how Japanese immigrants adapted so well to life on the Hawaiian Islands. Not only is their climate very similar (well, at least in the summer) but so is the vegetation, which is equally as lush and vibrant. I immediately felt at ease in Japan and had a strong feeling that our brief stay in this country would have a strong impact on my perception of the world. I was right.