Things this trip taught me

A souvenir shop's garden
A souvenir shop’s garden
  • If I pack three pairs of ‘pants’ (one skirt, two pairs of shorts) – then I need the same proportion of tonal knickers (cause I’m like that!).  I didn’t have enough light toned knickers, but Uni Qlo to the rescue…
  • Synthetic pockets in my white shorts – need replacing stat!
Inside the moss garden
Inside the moss garden
  • I had the least luggage, but could have wedged in a few more light/thin t shirts of similar – not that I owned something I ‘should’ have packed
  • I’m incredibly well travelled, and actively seeking to learn and work things out. I did NOT like my discovery being short cut by a friendly helper I’m travelling with, but I love to teach when people are interested (like teaching Japanese characters to the girls)
Moss garden
Moss garden
  • I love to write – I wrote daily emails, AND a handwritten journal, which I bought some great scrap booking stickers for in Kyoto – mighty proud!
  • I’m not the most obsessed about wifi or internet! At least in this group of 12!
Gift shop after moss garden
Gift shop after moss garden
  • Handbags really are the best way for me to day trip – easy to get tickets out repeatedly, small and therefore light, and had a light bag in there for ‘shopping’.  Someone pointed out it was getting rain in it, but seriously, it didn’t, and no zip didn’t worry me in Japan!
  • Runners are way more supportive than $4 canvas slip on runners.
  • The smell of cigarette smoke is pervasive, and smoking is still quite acceptable in Japan (with smoking rooms quite common).  Three nights in a formerly smoking room was a little unpleasant :s
  • You are automatically charged for plastic bags at grocery stores, but at convenience and all other stores, it’s the default way to show you paid for something.  If you mime you don’t want a bag, plastic branded tape is placed over all items’ barcodes!


As soon as I hit publish, I’ll think of more things! But that’s ok, blogs are living, I can update it 😉

What did you learn from your last trip?

10 Replies to “Things this trip taught me”

  1. When I travel, I use a combination of a handwritten notebook, and Internet use…helps me adapt to the often-limited availability of wifi (since I don't have a device with a paid connection). I would hate having to adapt to being around stale smoke again! Everything has been non-smoking for years. Love the moss, stone and bamboo gardens/forests!

    Would be interested to hear about the content of your training exercises in Japan.

    1. I think it's great you hand write stuff toO!

      Oh the stale smoke made me wish I'd packed perfume, and I looked at buying a pump pack with a natural-ish fragrance (I was leaning for geranium – of course I wish I'd bought it now!).

      I'll post next about the 'disaster' components of our tour – we went to three museums/learning centres, and then had a tour with a tsunami survivor.

  2. You know a lot of travel tips, Sarah – we're still grateful that I read on your blog to take a power-board. With 7 of us staying together, the 'charging station' ended up being the highest-used thing we packed.

    On this list, I like the handbag suggestion as a tote. Daypacks do make it harder to find everything, particularly small things like bus tickets.

    1. I think I mentioned somewhere, I didn't take one for this trip – but I would if I'd taken more 'appliances'.

      I agree – I have a candid photo of a tour companion looking through her backpack – it's almost the sample of half our tour – people looking for those little tickets!! I can understand a backpack for a hike or similar, but in an urban environment, they do present some obstacles.

  3. Oh, I'm not a fan of cigarette smoke at all. It makes me sick to smell it. Thankfully it's not a concern around here because you can't smoke indoors.

    I take my journal on vacations too 🙂

    1. Yeah it's pretty uncommon to smoke in Australia either – but in Japan you have smoking sections of restaurants still! YUCK!

      I don't really journal normally (just blog) but a travel journal is almost always something I do.

  4. I think a handbag also makes you look less touristy in an urban environment.

    What amazing gardens! I would hate the smoking. Don't think perfume can mask the smell. Just adds another layer.

    1. I agree – a hamdbag makes me look like someone normal! And that's what I aim for (even with my lily white skin!)

      The smoking smell was a let down, thankfully it was only in the last few days of an amazing trip!

  5. I use a handbag when I'm out and about travelling – much easier than a backpack. Shame about the smoke smell – it feels years since I've encountered this problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.