When I first traveled to Japan as an exchange student in 2001, I lived in northern Kyoto, a block from the Kitayama subway station. Article Continues Below My first time using the train to get to my university was almost a disaster, even though it was only two subway stops away. I thought I had everything I needed to successfully make the trip. I double- and triple-checked that I had the correct change in one pocket and a computer printout…