2008 March 26 Wednesday.

Wow! What an exciting day. Not just for me, but also for many other people as well, including the Charles Hamel Family.

They arrived at the Asahikawa International Airport about 45 minutes late, on a JAL flight from Tokyo.

I didn't mind the extra waiting time at all.

In fact, I enjoyed looking into every nook and cranny of the Terminal Building, that I was allowed to go into.
I was a bit surprised to see so many people at the airport today.

I heard many people speaking Chinese and Korean as well.

A good sign that the rest of Asia, and the world, is waking up to the natural beauty that IS this island paradise, HOKKAIDO.

I also saw several groups of high school students, some of whom were wearing their school uniforms, and waiting to board an airplane bound for Korea.

They must be going on some kind of exchange/friendship program.

I was happy to see it.

Hopefully, they will take some interest in the Korean Language, and realize that the cultural and linguistic differences between the two countries, is very small indeed.
The Asahikawa International Airport, has really improved its image within the past several years.

The gift shops were all very busy, and there were several locations around the terminal building, where big flat screen TVs, were playing DVDs of the Asahiyama Zoo, and various other festivals held annually throughout Hokkaido.

I was impressed by the picture quality of the moving pictures, and also the fact that there were subtitles in English, Korean and Chinese too.

Yeah, the people who put these things together, really get it.
What's good for Hokkaido, is having more and more people, who are adventurous and ambitious, coming here to live and work, on a long term basis.

Japan needs more children and Hokkaido is no exception.

I have known about the Charles Hamel Family since August of 2006, but I have never met them face to face, until today.

What an interesting experience it was! In July 2006, the family began making plans to move to Japan, to live and work on a long term basis.

In August, they found my website while doing research on the internet.

At that time, I did not have any email address displayed anywhere on my website, and I never check the ADMIN account which is a part of every website.

So, Charles Hamel made a long distance call from Houston Texas and left a message on my answering machine which included his email address.

The next day I sent him an email saying that I would be willing to answer any and all questions they might have about living and working in Hokkaido, and that was the start of a long correspondence between me and him.

In the meantime he started several websites of his own, and I would read his posts, and he would read my blog, and we would send emails back and forth, about various things.

Today, he and his family arrived at Asahikawa International Airport, and I and several other people were there to greet them.

Welcome to Hokkaido my friends.

I know you will enjoy living here as much as I do. Maybe even more!

The best part of the year is just getting started, and there are many places to go and lots of things to see.

It's a whole new world, starting again and again.

All of your hard work in preparing to make this big move has just started to pay off. You're gonna love it here.