After about 21 hours of traveling, YPC arrived safely in Tokyo. The flight was uneventful, and most choristers managed to sleep at least a few hours over the course of the 13 hour flight. Excited with anticipation, many found it difficult to sleep right away, especially still being on NYC time. When we touched down in Tokyo there was applause as we were not only happy to arrive safely, but more than ready to get off the plane!
At the airport we reunited with many of our friends from last year's tour, and there was much hugging and catching up while we waited for everyone to get their luggage and load the bus. We are thrilled to be back with Min-On this year, and were greeted by a few members of their staff - both familiar faces and those that we will get to know over the next month. We were also joined once again by YPC board member Onoyama-san, who is always so helpful to the children and staff, and is especially working with us on our Japanese for our concerts! We're so excited to have both our guide and translator back from last year - Toyama-san and Naoko-san.
We arrived at the Tokyo Dome Hotel where we will be staying for a good portion of our trip, though only for one night this time around. We had a wonderful reception with more members of the Min-On staff with a fantastic welcome by their President. The choristers put their uniforms into the road boxes that will travel with us over the course of the next month as they had to start driving tonight to get everything to our first concert l
ocation in time.
After that it was dinner in chaperone groups - the first official Japanese meal! The choristers said they were excited, though by the time dinner ended jet lag was really kicking in and they were a little lethargic. We then had a short rehearsal in a very unique location: the wedding chapel at our hotel. It was the only open space that was available for tonight, and definitely goes on the list of unique rehearsal spaces that YPC has used. Last week was a parking lot, tonight a wedding chapel... I can't wait to see what's next!
Tomorrow we depart for our first concert destination in Kurashiki - we board a bus in the afternoon, take a flight to Okayama, then another bus to our hotel. We'll have more rehearsal, and then have our first tech rehearsal the following day.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon, and for now we say Konbanwa!