Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Tomorrow starts my 10-day Japanese odyssey with my friend Gina. I've got cherry blossom fever big time, so I can't wait to get moving despite the 30-hour journey from Cleveland to Kyoto. BUT, I found out that I've been upgraded to first class (for free) for the first leg of our flight tomorrow to Houston, so I'm psyched. I've never flown first class before! Hopefully we can convince the folks at check-in to let Gina accompany me. Now if only we can score deluxe seats for the 14-hour flight from Houston to Tokyo and the four-hour train ride to Kyoto... Here are some highlights of our itinerary:

Kyoto: April 2-6
- Visit Nijo Castle and as many of the 19,000 temples in the city as possible
- Go geisha watching in Gion
- Breathe in the cherry blossoms (check out the blooming forecast...perfect timing!)
- Take a sushi cooking class

Hakone: April 6-7
- Explore the Venetian glass museum (the blogger who reviewed the museum in the link helped us to plan our transportation for our trip. Thanks Sandy!)
- Ride the Hakone ropeway by Mount Fuji

Lake Kawaguchiko: April 7-8
- Admire kimono at the Itchiku Kubota Museum at Mount Fuji (Canton currently is showing kimono from this museum, and I saw a preview of the exhibit in San Diego)
- Sample the hot spring by our hotel

Tokyo: April 8-10
- Ogle giant tuna at the Tsukiji Fish Market
- Poke around the Imperial Palace
- Grab coffee with a reporter at Time magazine in the ginormous Mori Tower

FYI, since we're staying in Japanese ryokans for most of our trip, I won't have reliable Web access until Tokyo. I'll do what I can to find Internet cafes every couple days to blog, and I'm hoping I'll have Web access on my work phone so I can send travel updates via Twitter (check the home page of my blog on the right side). The phone's on the fritz, so I'm doubtful that will happen since I can't make or receive calls at this point. So, DON'T WORRY if you don't hear from me for a while. We're going to have a great time, and we're visiting very safe cities.

Back to packing...


  1. Thanks, AAB! I missed you guys a ton...but not the snow!