Saturday, April 17, 2010

Japan 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sumimasen (sorry)!

So, the blogging thing proved to be a bit difficult since I have been on the go so much. Just made it to my final stop (Tokyo) and my hostel has free internet. I'm going to try to catch up on my posts (if I don't do it now it will take awhile to get around to it when I get home). I've taken a couple hundred pictures, but those will indeed have to wait until I'm home. For now, I'm off to explore while the day is young!

Friday, April 2, 2010

15 hours by plane, 4 hours by train, and a bus thrown in for good measure

So, after 24 hours of non-stop transit I finally made it to my hostel (an hour after I was supposed to have checked in). When I arrived at Narita in Tokyo, the "simple" route I had planned to get to Kyoto was a bit disrupted due to "strong winds" canceling the rail from the airport to Tokyo Station. This caused me to have to take a couple of local trains I had not planned on taking to get to Tokyo Station and then head on to Kyoto. It was simple enough to do because everything is either well written on signs or if you look the slight bit turned around someone takes it upon themself to help you.

Extremely friendly people. On my train to Kyoto I needed to call the hostel to tell them I would be late. A couple of problems, one...people are not allowed to use their mobiles on public transport (except texting), and two I discovered my cell phone will not work here. Long story short, the lady in the seat next to me took it upon herself to tell the train attendant my situation and the train attendant took me in the carriage between the cars for me to use her personal cell to call the hostel.

My hostel is super nice, clean, the staff are extremely friendly, and it is in the perfect location. Only negative side...the dorm room (of 10 women) is about the size of a small trailer. My solution was to take a shower while everyone was out and about, get to bed early, and get up at the crack of dawn to avoid stress of getting ready in cramped corners. And so, here I am ready to start my day.

Ohayo! (Good morning)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Testing 1, 2, 3 - Is this thing on?

So, it's time to fire up the old blog in preparation for my upcoming trip. To start, here are 5 reasons why I'm excited about Japan:

  1. Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) - Did you know that they actually have an official "forecast" for this in Japan? I've been keeping an eye on the progress of the cherry blossoms and am ecstatic that they should be in full blossom when I arrive.
  2. Green tea - ice cream, Kit Kat bars, and any other item I can find with green tea in it.
  3. Food - Sukiyaki, yakitori, fresh sushi near Tsukiji Fish Market, ramen, okonomiyaki...yea, food is half the reason why I travel.
  4. It really is a budget vacation - With me averaging $30/night for accommodation, no tipping in Japan, and many sights being free, Japan CAN be done on a budget. More on that later...
  5. Kyoto for it's culture and geishas, Tokyo for it's funkiness, Hiroshima for the sake of history, and Mt. Fuji for it's sheer majesty.
Stay tuned, if you're so inclined...

Sunday, June 8, 2008