Japan- Team travels to Sendai

Team waiting for Shinkansen to arrive at Ueno Station

Team waiting for Shinkansen to arrive at Ueno Station

A part of our mission that every team enjoys is the 2 hour ride on the Shinkansen (often called the Bullet Train) traveling from Tokyo or Ueno to Sendai to the north.  

This part of the trip comes by way of a 5-day pass that we use to travel on any JR train line, including the Shinkansen.  

It is an amazingly smooth ride in comfortable reclining seats.  Its cheaper than flying and more enjoyable as the train speeds by open farm land between the few cities it stops at.

Watch the video below for a taste of the ride.  The video is not sped up.  

Natalie Tanaka's photo of team on Shinkansen

Natalie Tanaka's photo of team on Shinkansen

Ride on the Shinkansen for 60 seconds of the typical 2-hr trip it takes to ride from Ueno to Sendai. 

Lunch with Yuki and Hikari

2 little girls.jpg

I was presented with a wonderful oppurtunity to meet these two young girls at the school in Kawaguchi. Their names were Yuki Ishita and Hikari Ootsuka. Though initially presented with a tough language barrier, I was able to break down walls through hand signals. The staff at the school did some translating for me so I was able to learn their names and ages. We ate lunch together, and proceeded to build a tower out of a water bottle and a few little juice bottles. The kids are not usually allowed to do this, and I got a few looks from the staff. The girls were excited as the tower got taller and taller and giggled at the finished product. Once our meal was concluded, I tried to get them to play rock, paper, scissors, though they initially shied away from the idea. I persisted and finally broke them down and we played many rounds. These girls were masters of the game and I never was able to actually win. As our time wound down with the kids, I packed up and was waiting in line to use the restroom. While I was waiting, the girls came up to me and presented me with an origami dove representing good luck in future travels. They proceeded to give me hugs, which is normally frowned upon in Japanese customs. When the time came for us to say goodbye, it was tough one. I am currently in prayer about doing a month long trip to work with the school in the future.

Hunter Morris

Travel Japan - Trains

As Californians trains are a seldom used mode of travel, but in Japan and especially in Tokyo it is the way of travel.  Yes, cars are well driven here but it is the commuter train that keeps the city moving.  

While in Tokyo for three days our team will be traveling to our Air BnB house on the east of Tokyo in Iriya to Kokubiunji station to the west.  

The Team waiting for a train take time for a photo.

The Team waiting for a train take time for a photo.

Train travel can be relaxed and comfortable at times but during rush hour can be as uncomfortable as a sardine can. 

Train travel can be relaxed and comfortable at times but during rush hour can be as uncomfortable as a sardine can. 

Escalator in train station take you through the multiple levels with the station.

Escalator in train station take you through the multiple levels with the station.

Trains in Japan are amazingly efficient and always on time.  At first it seems confusing and maybe even  scary but with a little time the confusion reveals a well thought out and negotiable way to travel Japan.   Hunter has an iPad with a JR Train Line map as we traveled our route from Iriya on the west side of Tokyo to Kokubunji on the west side of Tokyo.  This entailed a one-stop computer train, a 10 minute 4 stop ride from Ueno to Tokyo station and then a 60 minute ride on the "Rapid" train to Kokubunji.  

The team did very well keeping together and attentive to the changes.  They each have a 5-day train pass that allows them on all JR trains and even the Shinkansen (bullet Train) for when we travel north to Ishinomaki.

The Mission has begun-ventures in missions

Ventures in Missions

The Team

The Japan Mission Team caught their morning flight out of LAX today.  It was not without a little tension as there was some error in the ticketing that did not allow the team to check in online and was an issue when we arrived at the ticket counter at LAX. This error became an issue at the counter as they had to override the ticketing for each one of us though all were on the same conformation number.  

In Line at LAX

So delayed we were at the ticket counter and getting to customs which was smooth but for one of our team members  that had to have his bag looked at.  This is not an issue typically but when you have a number of people ahead of you to have their bags checked and you are already delayed due to ticketing, this becomes an inconvenience that can test your patience.  Then there is the added surprise that though we were at the new Delta terminal 2 we had to take a tram to catch our flight at the Bradley Terminal at the end of the airport.  This adding more time to our present delay.  No fears, the team was composed and we all got to the plane just at the tail of the boarding.  

Traveling can have its moments and this was a minor one. Yet it will be a learning opportunity reminding us that we must always be ready, flexible and trusting the Lord.  Continue to pray for us and keep watch as the team members share their experiences and thoughts on this blog.  

Japan Mission - 10 seats filled but you can still go!

We initially reserved ten seats to hold the airfare price under $800.  We have received deposits from ten people. For others we now need to contact our travel agent to confirm if this airfare price is still available or at what price we can hold additional seats.  

If you still desire to join this mission team contact our Missions Coordinator by email or call 951/943-5979 ext. 10.  Please provide your name, phone and email. 

Japan Mission - Low Airfare Price announcement

Note: Contact Pastor Bob by email if you have any questions or want to pay with credit card call him at 951.943.5979, ext 4.

Japan Mission CostsAirfare LAX to Tokyo $800 (min. group of 10 pricing) • 3 nights in Tokyo $105 • Rail Pass $200 • Ishinomaki Housing 5 nights $50 • Food for 10 days $150 Min. = Total $1305.00

Airfare Price -  To guarantee the low airfare of $800 to Japan we have held 10 seats.  Additional seats will be added if price is available.  So get your deposit in right away to hold your seat for this mission trip opportunity.