After 14 hours, we arrived in Tokyo mid-afternoon of the 30th. The airport is about 1 1/2 hours from the area of the city where we are staying, Shinjuku. Our travels went very well, an easy time of it given the length of the trip, and here we are as we arrived at Newark Airport:
Andy and I checked into the hotel and promptly met with a group of men who will be overseeing our reception on Saturday night. We had three to start with, one of whom is an American married to a Japanese woman. Two more joined us and were introduced as the guys who will be helping us on Saturday as all the others will be off duty. We were handed everyone's cards except the guys who will be there when the reception happens! At any rate, we got the configuration of the room all squared away, and we are on the 47th floor with an incredible skyline view of Tokyo! It will be a wonderful reception, I think (except that we will not be using the power point projection because it would cost us an additional $300). We are very excited to see everyone - a good combination of current students and alumnae.
We took a walk around the block from our hotel, Keio Plaza Intercontinental Hotel, which was fascinating. Lots of people, lots of small shops and restaurants, and lots of noise (we think from some kind of locust insects?!!?!? we'll find out tomorrow!). All buzzing with excitement and LOADS of people, cars and bicycles.
When we returned from our walk, we found a restaurant in the hotel where we had a buffet - nice combination of Japanese and western cuisine. We did okay! We have noted the incredible etiquette of the Japanese, at least in the service arenas. Every time we have pressed the button to use the elevators, a hotel employee suddenly emerges, holds the door for us and bows until the door closes. We're trying to figure out where they come from!
More tomorrow; we are both ready to keel over and SLEEP for awhile! Tomorrow we have 3 meetings with consultants whom Andy has known only over the phone for many years. Very exciting!
Will post more pics of the city tomorrow...