And So It Begins!


I’m sitting in LAX right now, 12 hours into a trip that started at 4 am this morning with a drive to Logan Airport to catch my first flight. It was pitch black, and I had my fingers crossed I would be able to see the Perseid “meteor storm,” but unfortunately it was still cloudy. It was a beautiful sunrise, though, and I learned that Boston’s rush hour really does start at 5:30 in the morning.

First stop: Tokyo! I’m going to have three nights in Tokyo, then catch the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto for four nights. I’m planning to use Kyoto as a base for day trips to Hiroshima and probably Nara, though so far I’ve only read the Tokyo section of the guidebook. Whatever, I still have an 11 ½ hour flight from LA to Tokyo, plenty of time. I’m checking out e-book guidebooks from my library instead of buying a bunch of paper ones. Traveling light, 2016 edition. So far, my library has me covered, but I probably will end up buying the e-books for at least a few countries.

My cousin is in Tokyo right now visiting her boyfriend, and she speaks Japanese, so I’m planning to meet up with her on Sunday or Monday and hopefully she can show me around a little. She taught English in the southern part of Japan for a year, so I will also pick her brains about what to do in Kyoto/Hiroshima/Nara/etc.

Although I’m nowhere near as exhausted at this point as I was the only other times I flew to the other side of the world (India: the day after finals ended; Australia: a Sunday flight after spending all day Friday/early morning Saturday moving my entire apartment from DC to Boston and then catching a bus to New York), I’m still spending my first few nights in Japan in a hotel, to get over the jet lag a bit before I switch to sharing rooms in hostels. The hotel advertises “Godzilla-view rooms,” which should be interesting.

So excited to start my adventure!