Asian Horizons

Up the Coast of California

I travelled to Japan in a Rolls Royce – makers of the Malaysia Airways plane for flight MH93 from Los Angeles.

The 'Japanese Disembarkation card for Foreigner' asked, if among other such items like opium and explosives, whether I had swords presently in my possession. I wondered if there were those on board who may have packed their ancient weaponry in their luggage, to settle a centuries-old injustice against their family. Because that seems to me the best reason to travel with a sword. It's not your everyday prohibited item like marajuana (travel tip: this is now legal in Seattle).

Other items to note on the flight – for the first time in many years, I was served a bag of salted peanuts. Maybe it's not quite as long as smoking has been out of fashion on airlines, but it was long enough to surprise me.

Speaking of fashion – on my very first day in Japan I was able to try out some beautiful traditional clothing in the very well equipped tourist information centre in Tokyo.

Turning Japanese



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