I really like to travel. It gives me great new perspectives on things. In less than a week leave for Tokyo where I will spend a week with a great friend. Getting there is not necessarily half the fun. 7:30AM to Chicago, then to Tokyo arriving 1:50PM THE NEXT DAY! I look so forward to watching the little plane icon inch its way across the screen for 16 hours. But in all it sure beats getting there any other way.
This will be my third trip to Asia and if the first two are any example I will see things in Japan that will be new and different and sure to be exported for the United States. It’s hard to not sit here and wonder what some of those things might be.
In 2000 I remember watching Olympic gymnastics on a big high-definition television. It did not take long for HDTV to come to the United States. I also went to Singapore on that trip and never watched so much ping-pong as I have in my entire life combined. A Singaporean woman made it to the medal round in ping-pong. They did not televise much swimming or basketball (ok Singaporeans are not all that tall anyway).
In 2005 while riding the subway (and the Japanese subway system is remarkable and I never saw any ‘pushers’ packing more people into a train – maybe that’s a myth) I noticed the younger Japanese people were typing on their phones non-stop the whole ride (yes above and below ground – I thought having service underground was kind of cool). What I did not know is that they were texting their friends. Shortly after I returned I began to notice the rising possibility of text messaging here in the States. The popularity of Manga (Graphic Novels) was on the fringes here at home but with the release of the movie ‘Watchmen’ Manga is sure to gain much more notoriety and popularity.
Fashion in Tokyo is cutting edge – at least to me. People dress better in general particularly the women. Sometimes I see American women wearing fashions I saw in Tokyo more than 3 years ago!
I am planning on playing a round of golf (sure to be an interesting experience) and maybe stay at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn – quite Spartan I am told). But what new things will I find there that might be big in America in the near future? I remember having Chu-hi the last time I was there a fermented soda in several citrus flavors. It was unusual, memorable, and is about as alcoholic as a beer. Cheap too. I have looked for sources that import it into the United States but have not been able to find one. And you cannot bring anything but an empty can back home on the plane. Maybe this is the next big thing – but I suspect and hope not. More soon from the other side of the planet – at least it is to me.
Can I bring you back anything?