Thursday, March 17, 2016
I'm the only non-Japanese customer, and, by the look of it, just about everybody else on this 737 is flying for work.
I like traveling with Japanese people because they are generally quiet, calm, and are considerate in crowded places. Besides, I wouldn't understand a disagreeable conversation.
As the plane climbs above Tokyo Bay, I'm treated to my best-ever view of Fujisan. (See my cell phone picture at the top of this post.) I've never hiked it, and probably never will. For me, over-loved places can be unsatisfying and are best avoided.
600 miles later we descend to Kagoshima Airport while passing a group of volcanoes in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park. By 11:00 a.m. I will be down there, hiking boots on gorgeous trails for the rest of the day.
Hikers will greet me cheerfully. "Konichiwa" will be my favorite word of the day.
While I'm waiting for the hikers' shuttle bus back to my hotel, a parking lot attendant will have a simple conversation with me. He will walk over to his booth to fetch me a plastic shopping bag filled with cookies, satsumas and little cakes. We'll shake hands and he'll head back to work.