There are a few good things about constantly being on the road for work. One is that I get a ton of points on both Southwest and Hilton. Neither of those does me much good in Japan itself; Southwest will not do that in my lifetime, and Hilton has only a handful of hotels in the country, with no "partner" hotels that I can use my points for.
But it did allow us to fly to the west coast for free, and we stayed a night in LA for free as well.
So that makes the stress and anxiety worth it. I guess.
I won't go into the LA part of the trip too much, except to say that if I never go back to that city, it will be too soon. So much traffic, and rude people bumping into me all the time without so much as an "excuse me." And the airport is a test case in inefficiency.
Likewise, I wont' speak too much about the flight to Japan. It's a long flight, and while Japan Airlines (JAL) has much better seats than your average US airline, there's only so much you can do to make a twelve hours in an airplane anything more than bearable.
And then we landed.
Osaka International Airport - KIX - is a wonderful airport. It's not crowded, which isn't good for an airport but is good for the passengers. Not many flights go there; from the US it's a very low number, and JAL only has one flight from Los Angeles, a sad state since JAL is the most well known airline in Japan.
In less than one hour from wheels-down we had our bags and were talking with my father in law. There are a lot of good restaurants in the domestic side of the airport, and we headed there to get something. No matter how much food they shove at you on the plane, I'm always hungry when we land.
Fed, satisfied on that deep level that only comes after a good meal at the end of a long road, we headed for home.
Strange that the place I visit feels more like home than the place I live.