The big count down has begun… Rounding off my job has proven to be quite hectic, as always when rounding of the school year being a teacher. Rounding off this year is slightly different though as I won’t be back in September. I have handed in my resignation letter to be able to fulfil my long desired dream: to travel and write. The world at my feet; in a few weeks, together with Claire I will find myself in a plane the night of the last school day for our exciting first big trip together. Destination: Japan for 6 weeks with a 24-hour stopover in Seoul, South Korea!
We have always considered preparing a trip as good fun. We would find ourselves reading about the country, its history, digging into literature, watching movies, trying to get a few basic sentences prepared etc. Preparing a long trip to Japan has left us little room to start understanding the language or to spend valuable time watching movies. Going to Japan means: planning and booking your stay, buying train passes outside Japan as they are intended for non-Japan residents, checking the Yen rate on a daily basis, getting the international driver’s license etc.
Booking the accommodations months ahead of time is a tough one. We like to arrive somewhere, wander around, talk to people and then decide how long and where to stay. Apparently this is not a wise way of traveling in Japan as hosts at campsites and hotels in general don’t like unexpected guests and might refuse you without a shadow of a doubt. Before booking our hotels, campsites, Airbnb’s, hostels and of course a capsule hotel in Tokyo, we spent quite some time reading about the culture, climate, different landscapes, history and what to visit before deciding on our route.
We have managed to come up with an interesting route covering the highlights but also the unravelled parts of Japan like the temple of moss for which we needed to send a letter in Japanese with a Japanese return address to request a permission to visit.
We will go on a 6000-kilometer road trip from Fukuoka on the Southern Island Kyushu to Sapporo on the Northern Island Hokkaido, taking rental cars, bullet trains, busses, subways and ferry boats. We’ll visit Nagasaki, the old Dutch port Dejima, the beaches of Shikoku, lost temples in Kyoto, monkeys bathing in onsens, rivers to raft on, gorges to follow, volcanoes, the jungle of steel aka Tokyo with the biggest fish market in the world (eating the most fantastic sushi’s!), Hiroshima, the Japanese Alps where we will hike the Daikiretto, and the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido where we will go for a 6 day hike through bear country (note to self; buy bear bells and bring rope to hang the food in the trees!).
Stay tuned for our posts about our adventures in Japan. Feel free to fill out your e-mail address to receive a notification to not miss out when we post a new blog post.
Have a good summer!