Daily Archives: January 8, 2017

Meeting our Host Families

We arrived at Tokyo Station, one of the famous landmarks in the city, after a long train ride. As we all went up the escalators with our suitcases and our nerves, there was no telling what it would be like to meet with the host families for the first time. Who would be there? What would they think of us? What would they say? How would we feel?

The "meet cute." #mpsintermission #missporters #porters #portersinjapan #itshappening

A photo posted by MPSIIMJapan (@mpsiimjapan) on

It turns out, it would be AWESOME!!

Emily Howell meeting her host family in person for the first time!

Emily Howell meeting her host family in person for the first time!

They were all so excited and broke into cheers as soon as we came up to the platform. We scrambled trying to figure out who belonged to who, based on the emails, pictures, and LINE chats we’ve shared. Jun helped by matching everyone and directing traffic.

Lily Sweeting meeting her host family for the first time!

Lily Sweeting meeting her host family for the first time!

And we did it! We met them! In real life!

Kenzie Kievman with her host family -- all smiles!

Kenzie Kievman with her host family — all smiles!

Lots of smiles and cheers and joy. And BOWING. Lots of bowing.

Charlotte Meyer chatting with her host family!

Charlotte Meyer chatting with her host family!

Our adventures reading signs, learning how to use fancy toilets with sensors and heated seats, sleeping in new beds, and eating new foods were ahead of us…

Charlotte Bombara has already got the hang of this!

Charlotte Bombara has already got the hang of this!

And so, we were off — ready to tackle everything Tokyo threw our way. Hopefully including dinner and a hot bath. Stay tuned for more and check out our Instagram page for photos between blog posts (they’ll show up here too)!

Together in Tokyo!

We’ve arrived!

Most of us (except Tina!) left Farmington early this morning. We boarded a bus with our awesome driver, Peter, and headed to JFK. Even though each of us thought we were the only cold ones and we all ended up with frozen feet by the time we arrived, Peter whisked us off to the terminal without any delays.

AND WE ARE OFF!!! We are feeling good and are so excited for what the journey will bring!!! #tokyo

A photo posted by MPSIIMJapan (@mpsiimjapan) on

We checked in our luggage, printed our boarding passes, and then found breakfast. We walked through the terminal to keep our blood pumping before the 14 hour flight. We watched as the snowflakes fell over the tarmac and the planes, covering the entire sky in white. We bought magazines, headphones, coffee, and some last minute snacks.

And then, we waited. Our boarding time was slightly delayed, but we were together. Luckily, Japan Airlines booked us all in a block at the back of the plane, so once we boarded, everything was familiar and we started to get comfortable. But it kept snowing. And snowing.

Eventually, the plane was de-iced and we took off! Fourteen hours is a long way to fly – it takes you over the Canadian Plains and Rockies, over Alaska, and down across the eastern border of Asia. We watched movies, read books, dozed, and experienced turbulence. There were even face masks!

We went pretty quickly through customs, picked up our bags, and reunited with Tina!! We missed her this week in Farmington and we were pretty jealous of her short flying time.

And we met Jun Saito, our wonderful guide and friend, the Head of International Relations at The Kichijo School. He took that awesome picture at the top of this post! We’ll share pictures of our host sisters and the first meeting in the next post, so stay tuned!