I am briefly in Japan!

Soon to be on a plane to Seoul. So far, this has been the most painless long distance trip ever, mainly because we just sailed through TSA in Minneapolis, and because our flights were all on time.

Although…I didn’t sleep on the plane at all, and now I’m in Tokyo with the sun shining, and I’m probably going to just skip the whole sleep thing until late tonight, when we get to Daegu.


  1. redwood says

    *Waving from my house in Japan* I don’t live near Narita, so you won’t see my wave. I wish you had time to stop over so you could meet some of your deshi (followers, disciples) here.

    Have a good time in Korea but be warned that Koreans (and Japanese) sleep the least amount of any nationalities in the world. When jet lag hits, however, you’ll be zonked no matter what’s happening around you.

  2. MHiggo says

    *Waves at redwood* Nice to know there are fellow Pharyngulites in the neighborhood.

  3. ponta says

    Welcome to Japan, from West Tokyo! What are you here for?

    By the way: Japan, for the most part, has very few public religious pressures. Mostly just neighborhood ladies ringing the doorbell trying to tell you the good news. There’s a political party related to a religious movement. That’s about it. You have shrines and temples and ceremonies and the like, but those are pretty inoffensive, more background than anything else.

    In Japan, religion has a really bad name. After the Aum Shinrikyo cult gassing of the subways especially, but also from past experience (maybe State Shinto?), Japanese people are leery of organized religion. No prevalence of “Intelligent Design” here. No breast-beating about abortion. People don’t like talk about religion in public here.

    The official sources say that Japan is like 98% Shinto and Buddhist, but don’t believe it. Japan is a very agnostic/atheist country. Shinto and Buddhism are just for ceremonies and stuff, but people usually don’t take it seriously. Most young people here, if asked about religion, would shrug. Japan is *very* tolerant of irreligion.

    Japan is kinda nice that way.

  4. blf says

    we just sailed through TSA

    It worked! It worked! You cannot “sail through” the real TSA, which means you didn’t notice the scruffy blue police box and entered the portal to an alternative world. You are not really in Japan, albeit it is a rather good imitation. Two clews: That same scruffy blue police box is not normally in Japan, and the people who carry Samurai-type swords are usually not green scaly lizard-women. The “Korea” you will soon find yourself in is also said to be a good set, albeit there is that same scruffy blue police box…

    (Oh for feck’s sake, for some reason I’m getting the dreaded Preview error all of a sudden — possibly a result of poopyhead being in an alternative world?)

  5. says

    blf@5: I just got a time-out error, despite having just opened the page only a minute before. Possibly a collision with your post? Or maybe the trolls have taken PZ’s advice and started hammering the site while he’s away?

    ETA: Ooh, and another time-out.

  6. redwood says

    MHiggo@3 Hi back atcha. I think there are a few of us Pharyngulites in Nippon. I sometimes see references to Japanese places and things in comments. As for me, I live in Tochigi and work in Tokyo (yes, commuting by bullet train).

  7. blf says

    NelC@6, I also got a time-out, both when trying to post @5 at first (it obviously worked the second time). I then eventually logged-out in frustration. I then got another time-out just now, when logging back in again to reply.

    And preview is still not working…
    And a time-out when trying to post…

  8. says

    The delays are probably caused by the hyperspace shunt required to shuttle messages off to my alternate universe.

    I’m in Korea now!

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, you have arrived. Back to ground transportation for a while. Enjoy your stay.

  10. MHiggo says

    redwood @7 Excellent! I’ve only been in Tokyo since January, so I’m still finding my way around the place. You’re far braver than me, commuting from Tochigi. I have a 90-minute commute from Higashi-Murayama and that’s quite enough for me.

  11. sunsangnim says

    Wow, I lived in Daegu for a few years, and had a pretty good time there. The city has a cool expat community, including a number of atheists/freethinkers that I would often see in some of the local bars. If you want any more specifics, just let me know.

    Don’t drink too much soju*!

    *Any soju is too much soju. Also, Korean beers aren’t that great, and foreign beers aren’t cheap.

  12. wzrd1 says

    As alien a concept to me of passing through a TSA checkpoint without a molecular scan is flying and remaining conscious.
    That police box is sounding less and less improbable by the second!
    Maybe it was longstanding anemia, secondary to hyperthyroidism. I’d test that theory, save that I’d have to have a strong streak of masochism to potentially invoke the wrath of the Cybermen, erm, TSA.
    Then again, Cybermen aren’t really a big deal, shoot them a non-maskable interrupt and sail right through, control-alt-delete does the trick every time.

    Timeouts are back.

  13. blondeintokyo says

    I’m in Tokyo, too, which isn’t hard to figure out by my handle, LOL. Would have been cool if PZ could have had a few beers with us. Anyone belong to the Tokyo Skeptics? I haven’t been to any meetings yet, but been thinking about it.

  14. ck, the Irate Lump says

    The timeout thing seems to be some kind of timeout on the comment form itself. I’m guessing someone accidently removed a zero or changed the units on a timeout value somewhere and turned a 20 minute timeout into a 12 second timeout or something. Reloading and then immediately previewing/posting always seems to work.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The timeout thing seems to be some kind of timeout on the comment form itself.

    Actually, it is Freethought Blogs wide, not just here. But I wait for the page to reload, do a quick check, and click on post comment again. Usually works. Preview is still borked.
    *Just happened here*

  16. chigau (違う) says

    There is still a “Tech Issues” botton waay up top.
    The Techs need to be told directly, not just in the comments.

  17. Fischer Gray says

    A belated, “Welcome to Tokyo!” Enjoy your trip to Korea.

    And now I am looking up the Tokyo-Freethinkers group…

  18. ponta says

    This need not make it into listed comments, but am just curious—fewer than half of the comments I post ever get approved. I can understand delays (the few that get up take several days to do so), but only one comment I posted had a link and it was not connected to any ads, and the rest were respectful, cogent comments. Should I stop trying?