24 hours of travel
Yep, that's about how long it took, starting from Iowa City, IA driving to Cedar Rapids, flying to Minneapolis, then to Seattle, then to Osaka, then catching a bus and metro into Kyoto. The good: I snagged a pair of seats by the window of the Seattle to Osaka flight and had two seats to myself. The bad: I flew on Delta instead of United. Delta did not have individual monitors. And what movie and TV shows they did play on all of the monitors were not terribly exciting.
The jet lag
I am 14 hours in the future! Do you know what that means? My body is zonked! I thought I did a good job at tricking my body, but I was wrong. When I travel long-distance, I try to trick my mind and body by telling it the time of my destination and eating sleeping to fit that schedule. Seeing as I was wide awake from 04:00-07:00 today, I don't think it worked.
Japan, well, what I've seen so far
They have been quite nice and friendly to this tired foreigner. The hard part has been trying to communicate. I didn't have time to study any phrases before my arrival. A local was kind enough to spend 10 minutes with me to work on my pronunciation; eh, not sure if I sound terribly good.
One word: delicious! If this high heat and humidity didn't annihilate my appetite, I would be eating every dish in sight. I love that in the Nishi Market and tourist area next to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, vendors give out samples. Mmm!