Speaking of bathrooms, Japan is far ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to toilet technology. Here is a stall and associated signage in Tokyo's Narita airport, which obviously contains both a toilet and a butt-washing device (conveniently built into the same fixture). In addition, there are often seat heaters, variable angle, pressure and temperature water jets, and fake flushing noise buttons in ladies' rooms to offer some audible cover should it be necessary.
Well, that is it. Too long, again. If you made it this far, at least there was a movie. We had a great trip. For Karen and I, Japan was really a breath of fresh air from China, for several reasons: (1) it has fresh air, (2) it is organized, (3) people are polite...very polite, (4) we can find food we actually want to eat, (5) phenomenally foul smells in the streets are rare, and (6) we did not have to suspect that every public surface is covered in urine or spit. That really paints an awful picture of China - it is not that bad, but there are some things that wear on us. We were glad to have run away from China's crazy time and to have had the opportunity to hang out with our friends Peita and Miki, our extended family the Kanekos in Japan, and Justin and Kristi. Thanks and happy (late) Chinese New Year to all; we hope to talk to you soon. Mata ne.