Japan trip in July

Yummo, titled "Salmon Pink" source: Louise Hawson http://52suburbs.com/2012/12/01/kagurazaka/
Yummo, titled “Salmon Pink”
source: Louise Hawson

My apologies, devoted and committed readers (hahaha), it’s been more than a week since my last confession post.  But to break the silence, I have some VERY exciting news (which I alluded to in comment on declutter)!

All the wonderful photographs are directly from Louise Hawson, and brilliantly talented photographer from Sydney who took her daughter Coco around the world last year, visiting two cities that I will.  I was a diligently follower of her weekly posts, and have enjoyed her books thoroughly (52 Suburbs and 52 Suburbs Around the World).  Seeing you probably don’t know her, please take the time to enjoy her site: 52 Suburb Around the World

For my cat loving readers! Source: Louise Hawson
For my cat loving readers! Titled ‘Ginza Cats’
Source: Louise Hawson

An opportunity came up through the State Emergency Service (SES) which I volunteer for to join another area’s group heading to Japan for two weeks in July.  The other unit has a sister city in Japan.  Plus, there are some pretty interesting and unique challenges that Japan faces regarding emergency management.  The tour will only touch on ’emergency’ stuff on three occasions, and the rest of the time, we will enjoy being tourists complete with a tour guide.

I know I’ve said previously and repeatedly, that I’m not a fan of tours.  However, in livetolist format, here’s why I am joining a tour

  1. My high school Japanese is limited to ‘hi, my name is Sarah, I eat cake’
  2. I don’t have a burning list of things I *must* see and do in Japan
  3. However, I’m generally intrigued by Japan and it’s unique culture
  4. I have a passion for disaster recovery, and hope to move my career in that direction
  5. Opportunities like this don’t come up every day (and when you’re without children/ill parents/huge debt)
Titled: snowmen and Sanat:: 1 source: Louise Hawson
Titled: snowmen and Sanat:: 1
source: Louise Hawson

So here’s a brief summary of locations and activities planned

  • 5 nights in Osaka and/or host city
  • Kyoto Gion Festival
  • 4 nights in Kyoto
  • Bullet train to Hiroshima
  • See a Sumo match
  • Stay in a Ryokan (the traditional Japanese matted room with a futon)
  • Meet a Geisha and chat after watching her dance
  • Visit tsunami region
  • Bullet train to Tokyo
  • 3 nights in Tokyo
  • Visit Disaster Prevention Park
Titled: travel back in time at 300 km an hour Source: Louise Hawson
Titled: travel back in time at 300 km an hour
Source: Louise Hawson

There’s naturally more than this, but these stand out as the ‘cool’ notable items!

I’m so pleased I continue to regularly save money, so that I can say ‘yes’ to things like this without great concern.

Do you want to visit Japan?  Even if you don’t really want to, what’s one things you’d like to see or do whilst you’re there?

18 Replies to “Japan trip in July”

  1. That sounds like a great opportunity 🙂 It will be really interesting to see the differences between Japan and Australia in terms of disaster management (and not something people think about a lot!).

    We learnt Japanese for half a year in primary school and I still remember how to say "My name is Lizzy" 🙂

    1. Hahaha seems we learnt the same things… It'll be interesting to see if I start to recall more and more whilst I'm there.

      I'll be sure to report back with how things go 🙂

  2. That's a pretty amazing trip you have lined up 😀 I look forward to hearing more about it in the future!

    I'm still snickering about the "Hi, my name is Sarah, I eat cake" part.

    1. Hahaha it's truly what I remember learning! Cake is similar to English, so that's why!

      I'll be sure to take my own (sub professional) photos too, and bore you with all the details!!

  3. Wow! What a simply amazing opportunity. Absolutely "grab it with both hands" while you can! You have a big schedule there with lots to fit in!

    I would *love* to go to Japan. This is partly because the Adam Liaw cooking series got me interested in the culture…but also Mr 9 learns Japanese at his school. J really enjoys learning Japanese at this stage, so I really need to get my act into gear and get some photo books for us to look at at home as a family.

    Ps (thanks also for the link!)

    1. I have grabbed it, and I'm so glad it's proceeding – there was a chance it wouldn't proceed due to lack of numbers, so my involvement helped get it across the line 😀

      IT should be a unique cultural experience. I have been before, but it was an overnight layover each time (and mum and I stashed plane food to sustain us, due to the 'high prices'!!)

      Always happy to link to you.

  4. Fantastic! And you will get to travel within the country, too! If I ever visited Japan I would want to see street fashion in Tokyo, and go to the little Studio Ghibli museum. Link picked up a lot of Japanese from self-study and from watching anime. I got so I could sing along to the theme songs with the Japanese subtitles on. From here, Japan is a "once in a lifetime" type trip, like going to AUS or NZ!

    1. Australians seem to be so prone to travelling long distances. Even my colleagues in the field all take international holidays (maybe we're all overpaid?)

      I'll definitely look out for the street fashion – even school uniforms are different and adorable!

  5. It's awesome you get to take advantage of this! Sounds like it will be a lot of fun, what a nice trip to look forward to. You're right that opportunities like this don't come around very often, and it's wise to take action on them. I don't know much about Japan, only because it's completely unrealistic that I'd be able to travel there anytime soon! I also don't know if I could do such a long flight. Disaster recovery does sound like something I would be interested in, though.

    1. It is awesome! And the flight isn't that short for us either – 10 hours! But compared to LAX (14-15hrs) or Europe (24 hrs), it's relatively close!!

  6. This sounds like a great opportunity (and trip) for you – you're right to grab it.
    I don't know anything about Japan, but it looks like a very interesting place to visit.

    1. I wonder if we (Australians) know more about Japan as it's closer to Australia, and we get a lot of international students? In any case, it's hard to avoid sushi anywhere in the world nowdays.

  7. Sounds like a great trip. And to be able to combine your interest in disaster recovery is pretty good.

    While Japan is so different and very intriguing, I have no desire to visit but Mr Sans wants to ski there so we may end up going anyway. I do like how they prepare and present food. So much attention to detail, like those gorgeous little snowmen.

    1. I think that the Japanese are generally so meticulous, and so good at working in small spaces, or making small things.

      Japan wasn't on my 'want to see' list as I spent two overnight layovers there when I was 8. However, I know there's so many cool and interesting things in Japan that I wasn't opposed to the idea of visiting it more thoroughly in the future. I hear it's fantastic for skiing, so you might just find yourself there!

  8. Ooh, super exciting! Can't wait to hear more about this trip 🙂

    I don't have a strong desire to go to Japan, but if I was offered a similar work trip, I would definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity. A tour or scripted portion of the trip would be great for me since I know so little about Japan – at least then I'd feel I hit some of the highlights. I hope you enjoy your time there!

    1. I think the tour will help me a lot, cause I haven't learnt a lot of Japanese history especially (whereas I read a lot about WWII in Europe, so am ok without a guide). I'm sure it'll be a blast, and I'll sum it all up on my return.

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