So far Tokyo has been a very unique place. All the restaurants are really tiny, and every street is crowded, especially the area around the Tokyo Dome. From our hotel window, we could see all the people exit the Tokyo Dome from last night’s rock concert, and it was like a sea of people. Surprisingly, it’s been pretty easy to get around without knowing Japanese, but products without pictures are sort of a hit or miss buy. Luckily, we have Haru.
– Chris H.
Every once in a while, I’ll experience a brief wave of déjà vu back in the States; an odd feeling of “I’ve definitely done this before.” However, returning to Japan on another Min-On tour in 2010 after going last year has been extraordinarily familiar. When we passed through customs, we were greeted by our guides from last year: our interpreter Naoko-san and our coordinator Toyama-san. After that, we were bused to our hotel, and we were reunited with the President of Min-On, Kobayashi-san and the Vice President, Anakoji-san. We were then read the ceremonial welcome letter from Min-On Founder Daisaku Ikeda. The spirit of Min-On is behind YPC, and the pressure to succeed is upon us. I don’t think that the trip this year is going to be exactly like last year’s, feeling that first rush of nostalgia was what really started this trip for me, and I’m sure it brought back memories of last year’s tour for many others on this trip as well.
Tomorrow brings us back to Okayama for our first tech rehearsal. We flew into Okayama from Tokyo today, and were able to drive through the city, visit one of the parks next to a beautiful Japanese Castle, and then enjoyed a delicious Japanese buffet! It was actually quite amazing how adventurous everyone was being with the food, and many choristers tried new things – in some cases they weren’t even sure what they were eating! We are staying in Kurashiki which is an hour away, and will drive to the tech rehearsal tomorrow, have dinner in Okayama in the evening, then back to Kurashiki for sleep before our first performance on the 20th!