There were trains for getting around before there were planes. You have to walk before you can fly.
The first trains were big, lumbering, uncomfortable, dark, and were powered by men shoveling coal into fireboxes to heat water and using the created steam to turn gears and wheels. Train tracks were wide and it took the help of thousands of Chinese immigrants to lay down track from one side of our American continent to the other.
Modern trains are sleeker, well lit, aerodynamic, fast.
Waiting for the Number 8 bullet train in the Narita Airport,we commuters stand religiously at our proper pick up spot.
When my train stops and its door opens, I step inside and take my seat and hope I haven’t gotten on the wrong slow boat to China. As we make more stops,new passengers, that have no seat, grab rings hanging from the ceiling with one hand, hold on to their purse or suitcase firmly with the other.
The ride from the Narita airport to the Haneda Airport is two hours through pastoral Japan countryside, and through medium size cities.
The streets and countryside are all well swept, the architecture a mix of old Japan and new. Occasionally, through the train windows, I see ancient looking Japanese temples that have survived destructive wars with their unimaginable consequences.
My commute gets me to the Haneda Airport and I grab my carry on bag. I have four hours to get from one airport to the other, get my boarding passes, get to my right gate, and board the right plane. Two and a half of those four hours are already burned up in transit.
Japan has captured my attention.
Coming back to Japan, one of the things I want to do, is to take Godzilla to a Sumo wrestling tournament.
I think he would enjoy seeing two big men wearing diapers and trying to throw one another out of a ring not much bigger than they are.