Flying to Japan
We (Andy Stern & Jeremy Dubs) set out on February 21st, 2013 to visit Japan and explore some of the amazing snowboarding it has to offer. Our goal was to explore the country, learn the culture, and meet some new friends along the way. With one weeks notice, we had a plane ticket purchased from Seattle, Washington to Sapporo, Japan. Luckily Andy Stern had a connection with Hawaiian airlines to get us a buddy pass from Honolulu to Sapporo so we booked tickets to Hawaii and transferred from there to Sapporo.
In preparation for the trip I went to the University Bookstore in Seattle and purchased two Japanese phrasebooks for some help in learning some of the Japanese language. After doing some research on the internet, I settled on books by The Lonely Planet and Berlitz.
These books are great resources to get started with my Japanese, so I got started right away studying them on the plane ride. The first thing I learned is that Japanese is not an easy language to learn. Haha. If you don’t start out on your journey, you’ll never go anywhere, so I guess its all about starting with simple things and building from there. The first word I learned was “Arigato” which means “thank you.” I nervously started practicing on the airplane flight attendants who were bringing us food during our flight, and was met with pleasant smiles and responses that I didn’t understand, but that is the process of learning.
The flight was about 10 hours from Honolulu to Sapporo. The time difference meant that was lost a day during travel as Japan is 15 hours ahead of Seattle during the wintertime. Both Andy and I were able to get window and aisle seats all to ourselves so it was a relatively pleasant flight. We watched an interesting documentary about a Japanese lady who lives in Hawaii and is 105 years old. Then they played Chasing Mavericks, a really great Hollywood surf movie about big wave surfing. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. Definitely got us hyped to shred in Japan.