I was surprised at how nervous I was before my trip. I made the mistake of telling some friends and family about it in advance, which meant several months of well-intentioned but nonetheless overwhelming advice. (This took the usual form: a combination of personal experience, second-hand anecdotes, Internet fragments, pop culture references and blind conjecture.) The most common theme was the potential culture shock, but thankfully, Osaka International Airport is a lot like other international airports. There are the usual signs for toilets/immigration/baggage/exits, with reassuring logos and English translations. There’s the obligatory duty-free boutique, whose classy wares are completely inappropriate for how disgusting and post-flighty everyone feels. And there’s the interior design: clinical, bright, spacious. I wonder if these consistencies are deliberate, to stop people from just freaking out and screaming whenever they land somewhere new.