My host sister’s grandparents took me all over the city today. We traveled by subway, on foot, in a cab, then a car, then a boat all around Tokyo. What a huge and incredible city! In many ways it feels like other big cities, but there is an order and organization that seems unique to this culture. The kindness and generosity of the people I’ve met so far is beyond category; they have all been such receptive and eager hosts. We drove back from the Emperor’s Palace through the Ginza district of Tokyo with Dean Martin crooning over the sound system in the car–my host sister’s grandparents are big Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra fans. There’s something quite magical about blending cultures and generations. I’m not sure what other word I might use: “magic” seems–and feels–just right for all I’ve experienced today. The students are reporting the same. They have been wonderful, compassionate, and supportive friends to each other in the early stages of our trip. I guess that’s more of the magic embedded in this incredible experience.