He was just one step further into fulfilling his and his mother’s goal in traveling the world, one continent at a time, and as the U.S Airlines plane landed on the concrete ground at the Tokyo Airport in Japan, 10th grader Estefan Diaz awoke from his nap and realized that the 10 hour nap was over, and the exploration of Japan began.
“Me and my mom love to travel, it’s a sort of bond between us,” said Diaz.
When Diaz and his mom lived in London England, they both decided to travel all of Europe, that’s when the will to discover the world happened. Diaz especially enjoyed traveling to places such as Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Amsterdam, and Ireland.
“We have finally traveled all of Europe, and the Caribbean,” said Diaz. “We are almost done with traveling all of Asia and plan on exploring South America next.”
Honor and respect is a very important part of the Japanese culture. While examining the young teens in Japan as they were so respectful and honorable to their parents was so surprising to Diaz, who believes the United States lacks this strictness.
“There are a lot of differences between the U.S and Japan,” said Diaz. “Japan has a lot of honor among families while the U.S isn’t as passionate about that.”
Picture New York City, that’s how the atmosphere of Tokyo would be according to Diaz. However, while stepping foot outside it was necessary for people walking around the city to wear plastic masks to cover their mouths in order to avoid breathing in the toxic pollution in the atmosphere.
“70% of the population wore the masks as they walked around the city,” said Diaz. “The pollution from the cars and the factories caused the people to wear the masks in the first place to avoid themselves from getting sick.”
Another major difference between the two major cities is the narrowed roads in Tokyo compared to the roads in cities in the U.S.
“Most of Japan cars are really small, but it still takes a lot of skills to be a good driver in the streets of Tokyo,” said Diaz. “Tokyo is also much cleaner than NYC although both cities are very busy and packed with people.
Diaz being a big fan of cars acknowledged that Japan was full of cars all of which were alike in model and color, different from the cars in the U.S which vary in model and colors.
“In America, we have cars like Challengers, Mustangs, F150, Sports Cars, and so on,” said Diaz. “I barely saw any of those cars in Japan.”
Shopping and exploring the different shopping centers of Tokyo was the best experience Diaz had in Japan with his mother. Learning about the culture and discovering a soda machine that America has yet to offer in the hotel they were staying at.
“The soda machine pretty much gives you a hot or cold drink with just the push of a button,” said Diaz. “When it comes out it’s already in a to-go cup, and I’ve never seen something like that in the U.S.”
For Christmas, Diaz and his mother decided to fly from Tokyo to Okinawa and give back to the soldiers of the Kadenia Air Force base by giving out presents to those unable to visit their families in the U.S.
“They lay down their lives for us and can’t go home to visit their family, so we felt obligated to make their Christmas better,” said Diaz. “I also went fishing with some of the cadets and young marines from Florida too in Okinawa.”
Spending two weeks in Tokyo Japan for the holidays as well as give back to those in Okinawa was an experience of a lifetime for both Diaz and his mother. Learning about the culture of Japan and the differences it has compared with the U.S was worth discovering said Diaz.
“I really enjoyed Japan,” said Diaz. “Next stop, Brazil in South America.”