The Japan “Journal”

When Ed and I travelled to Nova Scotia, we brought along a journal that we used to track our activities and how much everything cost. The little journal kept us on track for our road trip, and in the end we ended up being well under budget.

For Japan, we know the budget is already gone before we even touch down in the country because we kept saying “hey, it’s our honeymoon!”

And as much as we’re going to let loose and have fun, we need to make sure we don’t let “hey, it’s our honeymoon!” go to far.

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Some Last Minute Changes?

I’m working like mad with Ed to get everything ready for Japan (and continue keeping everything else we have our hands in running as usual), and of course I have a mini anxiety attack.

Looking at our plan, one place I was never 100% on looked a little iffy again. The hotel was so brand new it’s not on Google Maps, it was the longest trip to get there (7h, or 6 if we got to the train station for 7:30 am), transit getting around there was iffy, it seemed pretty kitsch, and there was another option for a similar trip as a day trip from Tokyo.

We also, after working on our plan, were sad we hadn’t booked more time in the mountain city Takayama and wished we had more time in Japan to really get into the less tourist-y areas, and maybe add that day trip we had talked about.

A quick discussion and a search later we had changed our minds on what we were doing (here’s a tip for last minute changes, if it’s not TOO last minute: always get reservations you can cancel for free. Then, when you make changes, give yourself 24 hours with both itineraries. Then, when sure, delete the one you REALLY don’t want – we actually ended up deleting our old itinerary just a couple minutes ago, even if we booked the new hotels last night).

We’re super psyched, as we added a night to Takayama and 2 nights to Tokyo – but gave ourselves 2 experiences we hadn’t had previously (since Japan is too booked for April now and we could not extend our hotel stays): we now are staying in a historical mountain house in Takayama and a love hotel in Tokyo! We’re also in great shape to do a day trip to Hakone and some neat areas near Yokohama.

Didn’t think I could get more excited… but now I am!!!

This is Hida Gasshoen, a historical mountain home (or at least a good recreation – I couldn’t easily find confirmation) turned into a Ryokan.

Oh, I’m SO excited!!

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What am I Looking Forward to Most in Japan?

We’re doing a LOT I’m excited about. Crazy experiences, beautiful places, it’s going to be an amazing adventure. My photographer’s joy is coming out as I can’t wait to go shutter-wild there and see what images I can bring back!

As we keep planning, I find myself currently drawn to a couple things – maybe because a bit more planning was required for them, maybe because we had to do recent research – I’m not sure. But here right now are the top three things on my mind when I think about the upcoming trip to Japan:

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Gonna Miss These Floofs

The hardest thing about getting ready for Japan hasn’t been packing for mountains, beaches and everything in between, or the language and distance hurdles, or making sure our co-workers won’t let things descend into anarchy while we’re away.

By a wideย margin, it’s getting ready for a whole month without our pets.

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The Japan Packing List

Packing is most certainly a complicated task requiring strategy and diplomacy.

Due to Japan’s location and unique makeup, Edward and I will be travelling together for a month in a country where we will experience beaches and mountains, summer-like sun and winter-like cold (and maybe even snow).

And yet, as mentioned earlier, we are going to try getting all of our stuff in 2 carry-ons (we’re looking into if we can also have a personal item for the flights) and 1 fairly big suitcase.

So what’s on our list to cover it all?

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