In exactly 4 days I will be packing up the necessities and preparing to embark on another adventure. Unlike the rest of my travels though, this time I will be headed into uncharted territory. The majority of my travels have led me to Europe, but this time I will he headed to Japan. This will mark my first introduction to Asia and the mysteries that the region has to offer. Though I am a little intimated by the potential culture shock, this feeling is overridden by genuine curiosity and excitement.
In the last few days, I’ve finally had time to start research on both cultural expectations and geographic context for all the things that I hope to see. Our trip will start in Tokyo before heading to see a local department in the town of Nakahara and finally riding the Japan Rail trains down to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. Though this itinerary is pretty flexible, it is always good to set out with general idea of where we will be headed.
Even preparing for this trip has been educational. For the Japan Rail train passes, we had to order them ahead of time. Evidently they ate not actually sold in Japan since they are a promotional experiment set up by the government to help tourists and boost the economy. They must be picked up out of the country. Only visitors to the region can get them for either 1 ,7, or 14 days. While I was visiting Boulder, Colorado one day, my father sent me an address of an independent British travel company office off Pearl Street and instructed me to pick up the tickets. I walked into a brand new, yet nearly abandoned officebuilbing and took an elevator to the top floor. After giving the receptionist our last name she handed me three, antique looking, paper tickets with japanese lettering and barcodes printed on the font. I was expecting something comparable to a DC metro card. Instead, the tickets that were handed to me stirred up memories of the train tickets seen in popular children’s anime, Spirited Away.
I try my best to remain openminded and look forward to the known. I live by the philosophy that the best stories come from experiences where you walk into a situation without any preconceived notions or expectations. No matter what I might encounter, I’ll do my best to take on life one step at a time. As always, I hope to share my experiences and adventures though this blog.