All of this is based on what I experience and doesn't necessarily describe the true nature of Japan/japanese people.
Well, to get to Japan, most people need to enter a airplane.
My journey started in Düsseldorf, went to Frankfurt, then to Osaka and I finally arrived in Niigata.
Well, except from some (selfproduced) chaos at the first airport (and a seemingly endless search for a parking spot) everything went fine. The start was great, the landing soft, the flight relaxing.
Except for the fact, that the plane had a 30 minute delay...
So instead of just walking out, getting back to the airport and waiting for my next flight, I was called out of the plane by name, entered a special bus (with four other people) and we just ignored all the things like pass control, VISA control, handpackage control and whatever and went to the new airplane.
At a side note, when I saw the first plane, I was really surprised, because we entered via stairs and I wondered, if all planes are so small that I could actually jump to reach the door. But when I arrived at the plane to Osaka, I just saw a gigantic airbus and felt awfully small all of a sudden...
The flight COULD have been fine, if...I hadn't had gotten the seat right next to the wings.
Well, hey, in case of an emergency I would be one of the first ones to get out, but...
It was loud. We flew for around 10 or 11 hours and I had a constant "BWMMMMMMM" in my ears. I tried to listen to the music that the plane provided, but I heard almost nothing. Tried watching a movie, same result. Tried to read, but my head started to hurt. And when the lights went off to enable people to sleep for the main time, I begged for ear plugs to at least make it slightly softer (but it didn't help a lot).
The landing was great, because it was really rumbly and shaky. But hey, once we were on the ground and the stewardess gave us the last instructions in german, english and japanese, the (german) captain just said "Well, it could have been worse, like - for example - I could have gotten killed by the Langoliers." Well, only the german and some of the american/english people got the joke and laughed, but it was still pretty fun.
Well, if I would need to describe Japan in one word by what I saw first, it would be: Pokemon.
No joke, the first thing I saw was the legendary Pokemon Airplane. When I was out of the plane, a pokemon sign said something for childrens regarding some kind of passport. Once I was in the central hall, there was a gigantic pikachu sign showing you where the line to the check-in starts. When I walked to the airport mall, every shop had Pokemon merchandise. I went with a bus that connects the Kansai (International) Airport with the Itami (National) Airport which had Pokemon on the outside (but that seemed to be advertising, since I also saw busses with smiling vegetables and one with a gigantic diamond ring). Of course, at the Itami airport, there were also Pokemon snacks.
And I would soon realize that in Niigata, every second supermarket has at least one kind of Pokemon merchandise, too...
Well, I ate a Tamago Onigiri (Egg Riceball), drank a vegetable-fruit juice and ate a Daifuku (a sweet riceball with Anko-filling) and I really have to say, it tastes different then what I had eaten in Germany (or better: in the Japantown of Germany, Düsseldorf).
The next plane was one with airscrews instead of turbine, so the sound was SLIGHTLY different (but I was still next to the wings, so more noise for me, yay!).
Funny was that until the actual start and after the landing there was Beethovens NO.5 played, making me amazed about this idea and still slightly uncomfortable about the choice of music (DAM DAM DAM DAAAAM xD). Well, the flight was fine, even though the presumed one hour flight became almost two hours, I fell asleep halfway and the landing was so rough that most passangers hit their head against the row in front of them. But since no one even made a sound or change of expression, that seemed to be a normal thing...
So I just hurried to get out, got my luggage, was TOTALLY CONFUSED about a weird box where some people threw paper in (some threw the signs from their luggage in, others their tickets, others just random paper) and met with the three wonderful students that took me to my apartement.
And - even though this doesn't actually have a lot to do with Japan itself yet - it was a lot of fun and especially the end was something that would soon prove to be more then fitting for what the japanese society seems to be about.
Btw, I saw this plane (but since my camera was in my handpackage and out of my reach since I had a window seat, I couldn't photograph it myself):