All my bags are packed. I’m ready to go. I’m standing here outside your door—well actually your inbox or your search engine results—and I’m anything but lonesome. Though I might be so happy I could cry. I’m leaving on a jet plane.
I’m fewer than 20 sleeps to lift off. (And yes, I still count sleeps.) After that, for 25 nights I’ll sleep in Japan.
When TripAdvisor alerted me to an Air Canada flight to Osaka-Kansai for $804 (all taxes and fees included) in May, I jumped at it. I can’t get half way across Canada for that. Bonus, the entire cost (along with my 21-day JR Rail Pass Voucher and most of my accommodation) was covered by points accrued on my TD Platinum Visa Travel Card.
The timing of the offer was also perfect. Mid-September temperatures are still summer-like by West Coast BC standards, but the crazy-making August heat is over. Even better, my friends in Kanazawa get extra holiday time for “Silver Week” which combines Respect for the Aged Day and the Autumnal Equinox national holiday.
Thinking to optimize the respect thing, I considered asking my hairdresser to skip the low lights and ramp up the silver; however, since I don’t qualify for senior rates (yet) I thought better of it. I didn’t want to find myself in a politeness or insult stand-off when offering my seat to someone I assumed to be more “aged” than I. That can get dicey sometimes. Like offering someone congratulations, asking when her baby is due and she snarls that she’s not pregnant. Yup! Done that. Oopsie! But I digress.
I’ll see dear friends, perhaps meet new ones, revisit favourite places and explore new parts. Thanks to the convenient and reasonable chain of Toyoko Inn Hotels throughout Japan, my bed is reserved nightly. I don’t have to worry about where I’ll sleep or be forced to pay an exorbitant last-minute price.
Generally, I like laid-back travel. I can’t see it all and don’t even attempt those irrational squeeze-in-everything whirlwinds that create exhaustion and reduce the experience to a great blur.
I have a few must do activities scheduled: meals with friends, a lesson with the Sogetsu Ikebana school in Tokyo, a stay at a ryokan with onsen. However, I’ll mainly walk the streets and ride the rails based on the weather and whim. Bliss!