Japan Trip Planning
Let’s face it, preparing for a trip can be stressful, especially when creating my own itinerary and details. I don’t dislike organized tours but there are some countries, like Japan, I can do on my own.
I have a personal motto ” always expect the unexpected when travelling “, so planning well in advance, like a big one as Japan, requires me to create a plan so my travel goes as smoothly as possible yet be open to those unexpected mishaps.
Long Haul Flight-The 1st Challenge
My first longest flight ever was travelling to Australia, a total of 23 hours ! From Vancouver to Sydney Australia was 15 hours ! I was quite nervous before the flight as I did not know what to expect. Will I sleep ? Will I have enough leg room ? What will I do ? Will I get bored ? Will I panic?
Since last year, Air Canada now offers direct flights from Montreal to Tokyo & flight time is 13.5 hours!!! Ouch , here I go again! The things I do for travel and what I love to do ! Not as nervous but this is how to prepare yourself .
What to Bring on Board
I know some people bring tranquilizers to knock them out during the whole flight but I don’t have a need for pills as I am not as anxious. The problem with me is that I cannot sleep so finding things to do for 13 hrs is the challenge.
The essentials items I bring with me is my music ( meditation included ) , melatonin pills to try to sleep, my Lonely Planet Japan book for little details, my computer so I can edit some old photos, some downloaded movies I always wanted to watch.
It is important to dress with loose fitting clothes for added comfort. Wear comfortable shoes to remove them on your flight and please let’s remember the importance of nice feet , ladies and gentlemen ! I usually wear ankle socks as it gets cold on board.
Long haul flights can be challenging especially on your body. It is important to stay well hydrated and to move around a little. I swear by my window seat but this time , for Japan, I took aisle seat for the freedom on getting up when I feel like it. Stretching your legs and circulating the blood flow is a healthy thing to do.
It’s ok if it looks like you are always going to the bathroom, moving around is good. Freshen up a little in the bathroom, stretch or do circular movements around your neck to loosen your body a little. Much better than feeling like a wooden board lol !
Japan Railway System – Challenge #2
I will tell you a little secret. There are still many countries I plan to visit yet feel intimidated or a little anxious. I try to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and travel even if solo. I do not want to pretend to you nothing scares me when I choose a destination, because it does! But I do it anyway.
Well for Japan I have 2 challenges or perhaps 3 or 4 . Not sure if you have seen their Railway System but it looks complex and confusing ! Sure I can ask around but I was told in Japan not many speak English ! Yikes, challenge number 2 ! Lost in translation here I come !
All in all , I know with a little patience I will manage their Railway System. If you decide to go to Japan , it is important to understand you MUST purchase your pass in your local area and only activate it once in Japan. For all details on Japan I will inform you once I get there.
Japanese Food -Challenge #3
I believe food is essential part of travelling . Food determines the culture one visits. In every country I have visited I have always tried their authentic foods. I mean this is the point of travelling right? Immersing yourself in the culture and that includes food!
However, since I travel solo, I especially do not want to fall sick. I know what I can stomach and what I cannot. Since language is already a challenge in itself, I have to know what I am eating before it gets in my stomach. I did prepare a list of some common foods in Japan so I know which one to eat.
I have learnt a most popular dish is fugu sashimi, it is a poisonous puffer fish delicacy ONLY a few legally certified chefs are able to remove the poison and serve it. Japanese have eaten this delicacy for over 100 years.
No thank you I will pass. Yes I will remember that word during my stay in Japan.
However, Japan culinary tradition is based on The Power of Five-the 5 pillars of Japanese cuisine ( will explain in another post ) so I am not worried only excited to try.
Japanese Confusing Streets – Challenge #4
So here is a doozy ! In Japan there are no street addresses ! More YIKES! According to Japanese streets it goes by blocks and sections. So how will I find my way around ? Google maps! This to me will be the most challenging of them all. Taxis are very expensive so I only have myself to rely on ; and google maps! Which I have a feeling the Japanese streets also outsmarted Google maps lol .
When it comes to travelling, it really is about getting out of your comfort zone and learning about a different culture. I love a challenge and looking forward to learn how I will deal with Japan.
Looking forward to my new adventure. Just wish me luck 🙂
I highly recommend the newest edition Lonely Planet Japan book with full of insights and information before you leave.
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