I thought I would post about Japan, before I spend too long in China and forget about my brief overnight in Narita. Our group flight out of Raleigh Durham took us on through Tokya/Narita for one night before we flew to Xiamen. We flew via All Nippon, which was the best airline I've taken yet. They served quite decent meals, and Haagen-Daas ice cream for dessert! It was lovely - as were the stewardesses, actually. Apparently they have very strict appearance standards for the flight attendants - basically, they have to be tall, thin and pretty. Kind of appalling actually, but they were all very friendly.
Once we got to Tokyo/Narita airport, we discovered that it would take far too long to get into downtown Tokya for us to go there, so instead we explored the suburb that the airport is in - Narita. It was very nice and quiet. We found a huge temple complex with beautiful gardens, and a shopping mall that was eerily similar to SouthPoint or Carolina Place.
I've managed to post a few pictures, so enjoy!
This is me at the temple complex. We came straight from our flight from Raleigh Durham, via Chicago, so we were all pretty tired and rumpled.
That's a bamboo forest - there were even bigger ones that we walked through on our way to the temple. The hazy look in the pictures is not some mysterious Asian mist, but the sweltering humidity that occasionally fogged up my lens.
More at the temple complex. We were the only ones there!
A funny store name at the mall. I think it was just a regular clothing store, that happened to be called Drug Store's. That of course is only the first of many funny English translations I've seen since coming to Asia.
I apologize if this grosses out or offends anyone, but I have posted a picture of a "squatty potty" (a squatting toilet.) They're the main form of toilet facility in Asia, and I can't say I am too keen on the concept. As you might imagine, they're often unclean and smelly. Not to mention awkward to use. If you plan on traveling to Asia, consider yourself warned!
And finally, the temple that we saw. I unfortunately have no idea what it's called, since I can't read Japanese. It was quite impressive though.