Benkyo! Benkyo! Benkyo!!

It seems that my trip to Japan will be quite interesting this time around, and I should really study the language better.

The route has been confirmed as follows:

  1. Fly from Vancouver to Narita (Tokyo, Japan)
  2. Somehow find the JR Train Station and the train I'm supposed to get on to Gifu
  3. Find Reiko at Gifu Station

And then on the way back:

  1. Make the trip from Nagoya to Osaka without Reiko
  2. Find the right place to catch my plane
  3. Fly from Osaka (Kansai) to Vancouver

It should be interesting…. One of the nice things is the time I need to be in Osaka. Luckily, my plane will depart at 5:55 pm. This means I need to be at the airport no later than 3:00 pm. This will give me the required time to "get lost" and completely make a fool of myself as I try to find my way to the airport :P

Of course, it shouldn't be too bad. The first time I flew to Japan, I had to take the train from Nagoya to Gifu following a set of instructions from Reiko. She did a pretty good job of putting everything together, and once I got to Japan and started using them, it made sense. I'm sure I'll be able to get instructions that are just as clear as before.

By taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Toyko to Gifu, I'll get to see quite a bit of the country, too. In April, it was already dark by the time I got on the train from Nagoya to Gifu so, there was no way to take decent pictures of the countryside. This time, I'll be landing in Tokyo at 3:20 pm, so I should get a few hours of sunlight before I can't take pictures from the train without excessive reflection from the glass. I can't wait!

I've wanted to see Japan in the winter for the last 10 years. In all the movies, dramas and anime's I've seen, it's always looked so peaceful and serene. It shouldn't be too cold where I'm going … but one day I would really like to visit Hokkaido during the Christmas break. It's supposed to be really cold up there, and it would be great to see many of the less-Americanized places in Japan.

Before meeting Reiko, I found it hard to believe that people would fly to other parts of the world more than once every few years. The costs always seemed to be very limiting. But now I can see what the attraction is, and why so many do it whenever they can. Seeing the beauty of nature around the planet, and the amazing cultures everywhere is what makes distance vacations so enjoyable. We can learn so much more in person than we can with any documentary … no matter how good the narrator and script is.

I'll make sure a photo gallery is running on my site before I go. This trip I'm aiming for at least 1000 pictures. I still need to get the Canon camera I want … but it shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

Of course I should really learn some more Japanese so that I can get around better…