Three Weeks!

Where does the time go?

It seems like only a week ago that my countdown showed 38 days, but now it's rolling under 21. As my trip to Japan edges ever closer I'm beginning to wonder whether I'll have everything ready in time. For the moment I still need to get a few little things, like a new suitcase that won't bust open during airport baggage handling and some stocking stuffers for Reiko-chan. I still haven't found the perfect gift for Reiko's family and, of course, I'll need to get some money converted to Japanese Yen, too.

Last time I went to Japan, I was there for 9 days and managed to spend less than $900. This time I'll be in Japan for 13 days and can only bring about the same. There will be some extra expenses this time, too. The trip from Narita Airport in Tokyo to the train station in Gifu will be about $100. And then the train from Nagoya to Osaka when I return will be about $50. Will nine hundred be enough?

Accessing my Canadian money is not very easy when I'm in Japan. Last May I was forced to draw money from my MasterCard when running low on cash, and this could only be done at a Post Office during regular business hours (not all ATM's operate 24 hours a day, there). I'll admit that the exchange rate during these transactions was much better than expected, but I really don't want to resort to this unless necessary.

So there's the question … just how much should I bring in cash?