Last night I arrived in Narita. Tonight I am sitting in Chitose (Sapporo) airport waiting to fly to Akita. I may have to return here says JAL, because of snow in Akita. (The ever careful and under-promising Japanese). It sure makes it easier to deliver when you don’t promise more than you can do. I wish others would learn that. Under-promise and apologize versus over-promise and never apologize. I wonder which system works better?Here is a quick day one impression. I was a little apprehensive looking at the shachoo special “kamikaze schedule” but the first day went like clock work. My flight out of Vancouver was 2 hours late departing, so sending me to Haneda, rather than hoping to connect through to Sapporo, was definitely a wise move. Flight left on time out of Haneda this morning, just a small local flight (a full 747) to Chitose. After arrival in Chitose airport I was watching the clock with one eye and the baggage caroussel with the other eye. My bag came out just in time to run to a coin locker, panic at not having the right change, find a kind restaurant lady just setting up who changed my 5,000 yen note for 5 crispy clean 1,000 notes, change the bill for coins, put my bag away and scramble to the train with 2 minutes to spare. A good thing too because Zenibako station still looks like something from a prewar Japanese movie, no escalators there, and the snow was blowing pretty good (as they say in Manning). I think that I only have two or three early morning blitz schedules like this, where everything has to work like synchronized swimming, but I have confidence, because Japan is an efficient country, and that is the biggest first day impression. And I am pumped to be back here. Love sitting in a train or plane and reading Japanese business magazines and getting into the mood. This place rocks!