My, it's mid October now!? I have been sort of busy doing lots of research for my upcoming trip to Japan in November. The last time I went to Japan with citrusboy was in 2003 (when the above picture was taken), and it was just(!) Tokyo for less than a week. It was more like a "Let's use our mileage and go to Australia this weekend! Doh, Australia just denied my visa application. Well then, let's go to Japan!" type of trip. (Uh, I'll elaborate more on the visa thing some other time.. maybe -_-;;) It was spontaneous alright, with very little time to do any research. But back then, we were used to just showing up in Japan and visiting the nearest travel agency to book hotels, etc, anyway. And we had a travel guide book.
This time, we are going for whopping three weeks, all over Japan. I believe we are consulting at least 3 thick guide books, 2 Kyoto books, plus the.. internet. That's huge. Overwhelming, yes, but we need some research because we'll cover lots of cities, and restaurants (food tour!). And, apparently, November is a very desirable time to travel, not just for foreign visitors but also for Japanese residents because of the beautiful fall colors. Competition! It took us weeks to find lodging in Kyoto at an affordable price. And then there is Fukuoka, where some sumo tournament will be hosted, the same week we want to be there. Great.
Anyway, that's what's been going on. It's kinda amazing how much I've come to depend on the internet. Back when I went in 1999 for a study abroad program, all I consulted were some informational booklets from my school and fellow students. But now, well, there's Google, and there are so many people who share stories of their trips on the internet! Photos, reviews.. oh my! I'm trying not to overwhelm myself, and of course, we will have days when we have nothing planned. After all, some of the best travel memories I have weren't exactly planned. :)
Needless to say, I am super psyched. Thinking about all the good food I'll get to taste makes me drool right now. Hopefully, I will get to see my ex-roommate, and my old friend from junior high. And I'm definitely not going to miss Studio Ghibli Museum and Chihiro Art Musem this time. And best of all, I'll be shooting Polaroid films. In Japan. OMG.
(me reading The Gardens of Kyoto)