Sunday, January 16, 2011

Planning Stage 04: Itinerary.

And so the real planning begins.

It's hard, REALLY hard to come up with actual plans, and I'm quite afraid that I'll get it all wrong.  The biggest issue for us is being able to accurately know when we'll be staying in each hostel.

Mike and I met up last night and spent a few hours discussing our itinerary.  Mike has been to Japan before, and was against staying in Kyoto, but wanted to stay in Osaka instead.  My reasoning for staying in Kyoto was having the feel of a calmer Japan as opposed to the city, but when I thought twice about it, I realized that we'd be going to Osaka every night to do stuff anyway (everything in Kyoto closes early), so it would be less of a pain to get back to the hostel in Osaka than to trek it all the way back to Kyoto after we're nice and sloshed.  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Planning Stage 03: Mt. Fuji.

What's a trip to Japan without seeing Mt. Fuji?

I really wanted to climb it, at least a little bit, but I just had no idea how it worked at all.  I mean, how cool would that be?  To say that I actually stood on Mt. Fuji.  That's mainly because I seriously thought there was some sort of easy-to-walk-to place low on the mountain that everyone could visit whenever they wanted.

So wrong.

If you climb Mt. Fuji, you climb Mt. Fuji, all the way to the top.  It takes about 8 hours and a ridiculous amount of special climbing gear.

I am in no way a climber.  I don't climb mountains for a reason.  It's cold.  And the equipment you need is expensive, and you need a lot of it.

Not that Mt. Fuji is open for climbing business in May anyway.  I would have to go in July/August to actually be able to have the choice to climb.

But researching visitor options for getting on Mt. Fuji was probably a good thing, because I've come to realize that planning this trip is going to be a lot more complicated than I expected.  There are a lot of things I want to do and see, and while I'm really not that broken up over not being able to climb Mt. Fuji (even a little bit), I will be devastated if I can't visit the Ghibli museum because it's closed during a certain day, or I miss out of Hello Kitty Land or something.  Or I go to see an actual Japanese fish market but they've closed up by 10am and I've missed the whole thing!

When I realized all this I started to panic.  Our plains will have to be so detailed!  So exact!  We'll see this on this day at this time and blah, blah, blah.... It's way stressful.  And of course my boyfriend pointed out to me that I should probably look up what type of restraints I wanted to go to and where they were so I could find them easier.

....Really?  I have to plan everything down to where we go to eat?

The whole thought kind of bummed me out because I don't want this trip to be that way.  Hurry to this site!  Then to this museum!  Then to this place for lunch!  Then shopping here!  What fun is that?  I want to get lost in Japan, to be able to find things on accident.  But I also, on the other hand, don't want to just wander around aimlessly not knowing what to do and end up missing some stuff.

I realized after all this panic that I just need to find a good balance.  Pick out the things I really want to do and find times when they open, and just spend the rest of the time trying to find good places to eat or meeting new people by asking where to go.

Thinking about that got me more excited for the trip all together.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Random: I love

Really this post is going to be a giant free ad for  But I've been spending a lot of time on there recently, and I wanted to share with others who are seriously interested in learning a language but have no idea how to start.

Obviously the best way to start learning is to take a class and get some private, one-on-one help.  I had a tutor for a bit in high school, but it didn't last long (she moved back to Japan  D: ), and I pretty much forgot everything over the years except for how to count (and even then I always managed to switch #'s 7 and 8) and how to introduce myself in a polite manor.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Unexpected #1: I love connections.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to blog about this little miracle of mine, but I just couldn't go to sleep and wait until I had it all out, I'm too excited to hold off.  :)

There's a few things I really like about my job.  The first is that I love it when a parent informs me that their daughter uses their barbie/bratz dolls to pretend it's me fighting crime.  It's one step above the kids themselves (because what could possibly be cooler than being a superhero?), although the kids themselves are a super close second.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Planning Stage 02: Tickets bought!

I start the year 2011 off with some exciting news! Plane tickets to Japan: Bought!

It's been a trying few months, and for a while it didn't look like Japan was going to happen (the biggest issues being John's start in the PA program, and my dog's very expensive surgery), but thankfully I was able to pull it off. On December 31st, 2010, 3 tickets to Japan were bought.