There could be an entire post on just the small differences between America and Japan. For example, Crocs, it turns out, are still really popular over here. So too are those multi-pens, the ones that have a few different ink colors available at the push of a button; and here, there is a vending machine for anything you can imagine.
There is so much that is different, but there is also an overwhelming abundance of things that are just the same as they are back home.
Pigeons still crowd about your ankles in the park, looking for a handful of bread crumbs.
People still say “Excuse me” if they bump into you.
Clouds are just as puffy, and the sky just as blue.
A breeze on a hot and humid day feels just as good here as it does anywhere, and perhaps most reassuringly, the laughter of children is still joyful and carefree.
So often when people travel they look for the differences, and they end up neglecting what is so similar. This is understandable. When a friend returns from somewhere exotic you don’t expect him to tell you stories about how familiar everything was. Perhaps it’s just a comfort to the traveler then, to know that, regardless of where you are, you are only seeing a new side of the single object you have known your entire life.