Cuba is literally on the other side of the world with respect to Japan. Additionally, the USA embargo does not allow air companies to fly from the USA to Cuba. But most of the flights from Japan to the America are via the USA! To sum up, it really takes time and money to get to Cuba from Japan.
The easiest way and the most expensive is to fly via Toronto with Air Canada. That solution is simple and fast, but also really expensive... This Xmas, we went there in a more relaxed and cheaper way: Tokyo to LA, LA to Mexico City and Mexico City to Havana. We stopped 2 days in LA to visit friends and to go to Universal Studios Hollywood and 5 days in Mexico city. Doing this, the trip was much much cheaper and we got to see friends and visit other interesting places!
Just after our flight into LAX, we moved to the LA downtown area, to our hotel, where we would meet my friends Alejandro and Romelia, from my time in Caltech. After meeting them, we walked around Figueroa Street, the oldest part of LA and with a clear Mexican feel... Mexican feel according to Americans of course... and then, we moved to Pasadena, the city where I lived almost 2 years of my life, already 3 years ago.
In Pasadena, we went for a walk in Caltech, where I could recall many memories of my life in Southern California... It was nice to be back to my last university and walk around those buildings without the pressure you have when you are a student there!!!
For dinner, we went to a Peruvian restaurant to eat ceviche and we could also meet my friend and former housemate Bernardo and his girlfriend, Gogui.
Bernardo bought my American car when I moved to Japan, and he still keeps it in good condition. I could meet my old mate of so many battles... I traveled so much in the American West with him... good old memories! ;)
Thanks guys for making this stopover in Los Angeles so special!!!