Gearing up before flying to Japan

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be flying out to Osaka, Japan for a summer research internship that will go from June 1st until August 21.  I just want to share a few things I’ve learned/noticed so far.

–  My trip from Boston to Osaka, Japan has two layovers.  The total flight time is over 20 hours long, including a stop in Washington, D.C. and another one in Tokyo.  It was interesting to see that I had to fly out from D.C. rather than straight from Boston… maybe that made my plane tickets cheaper?

–  On the way to Japan I lose 13 hours because of time zone differences, for that reason I leave at 9:30 am, but don’t get to Japan until 6 pm the next day.

–  In Osaka there are not as many short-term housing opportunities as there are in Tokyo, for that reason I will be staying at an apartment complex which requires a daily commute to work of ~40 minutes.

–  The apartment I’ll have doesn’t include internet access as part of the rent, and if I’d like to have it I have to pay ~$125 for installation fees, and ~$60 a month.  Quite expensive for my budget.

–  I don’t think I will have a working cellphone while I’m in Japan — I would have to buy a cellphone while I’m there, which would be expensive, or find a way to crack my iPhone so that I can activate it with a Japanese provider.  😦

Now, no internet access & no working iPhone?!  I decided to find ways to keep myself distracted during the commute to work and my long cross-pacific flight to Japan.  I got two new gadgets in preparation for my stay in Japan:

–  I got a beautiful Canon PowerShot SD780 IS digital camera with an 8GB SD card.  The camera features not only a great 12MP power, but also the capacity to record HD video, and the clip length is limited only by the storage capacity.  I’m quite happy with the camera, and I’m looking forward to using it to document my stay in Japan.

–  I got Amazon’s Kindle reading device.

I reasoned that, even though it’s a steep initial investment, there are many advantages to owning the Kindle. First, no need to pack books and make my luggage heavy, rather just carry one device that weights 10 ounces.  Second, the prices for kindle books are usually a few dollars cheaper than the cheapest paperbacks, sometimes even more than 50% cheaper.  Also, the books are delivered immediately (less than two minutes!) so no need to wait for deliveries or to wait at home for the UPS delivery guy.  Lastly, it’s GREEN!  No need to feel bad about paper and ink being used to make my book, or gas being used during delivery.  Oh and also, Oprah loves it!  Her endorsement of the product obviously closes the deal.

I’m flying out to Japan in a few days, so I need to work on packing everything and getting things in order.  I’ll be blogging about my experiences in Japan! (When/If I find a good, reasonably-priced internet connection in Japan.


Published by Omar Eduardo

Passionate about building great products; Product Manager @ Google; ex-consultant @ Accenture; MIT chemical engineering graduate

3 thoughts on “Gearing up before flying to Japan

  1. Boston is the biggest city in the US which has no direct flight to Japan… unfortunately.
    It must be an interesting experience that the day changes without sunset!

    There are some cell phone or SIM card rental services in Japan. You might be able to use your iPhone if you crack it, but I don't recommend that because the fee should get huge!

    The best way is to use skype as you know. 🙂 Go to an internet cafe if you have no internet access in your room!


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