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Nov. 10th, 2018 @ 04:32 pm Vacation planning
Current Mood: pensivepensive
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So, every once in a while, I get a question from a colleague or acquaintance about vacationing in Japan. We have been there quite a few times ourselves, and it’s a big country, so people want to know where to go and get some “insider tips”. Often, people have already done some homework, and they can point to some trips prepared by tour operators.
I get that you want to see a lot of different things from the place you are visiting — especially from the Netherlands, Japan is far away, and I guess most people would visit only once. But those trips have a lot of travel — and sitting in the train is interesting the first time, but after three trip in a Shinkansen, you know the drill and I think you would be better served by spending more time seeing the sights. And why would you schedule an excursion to Nara and Fushimi Inari on the same day? Both those places can be enjoyed for a full day by themselves!

I guess that I’d rather spend some time at a place to really be there, instead of hurrying along, take a few pictures and then go to the next place. It makes it hard for me to give advice. Perhaps I should think of a ‘recommended itinerary’ that I can just give to people as inspiration, as a starting point?

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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sakuracoin
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From:resonant
Date:November 10th, 2018 05:41 pm (UTC)
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That would be good to share.
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From:tabular_rasa
Date:November 10th, 2018 05:41 pm (UTC)
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I feel like the broad vs. deep argument is relevant anywhere you travel. Unfortunately, most people are bound to some extend by time and often by expense, so you have to choose one or the other. Some people are more box-checkers and want to hit as many significant sites as they can (and after all, people will always ask you when you get home "Did you see this? This? This? How could you travel to X and not see Y!!"), while others (like yourself) prefer to breathe a little more in one place.

When I'm giving advice for people's travels (as I'm often asked particularly for Japan as well) I try to feel out whether they're more into a sweeping overview or intimacy with a particular city, as well as the kind of thing they're into-- like a lot of people I know who don't care much about old shrines and castles but mostly want to shop and experience fashion or geek culture, in which case they might as well never leave Tokyo.

But I lived in Japan for 2 years, plus a semester abroad and a month-long tour as a teenager, and I've definitely not seen everything. Hell, I probably didn't even see everything in Hagi, where I lived for 2 years!
(In turn, I'm always shocked by people who seem to think they can ~do~ the United States in 10 days or two weeks. Do you? know? how big? the US? is? Even just a city like New York City can exhaust 2 weeks easily and you won't "see it all").

My family growing up often did repeat trips to the same cities (London; Scoul, Switzerland) and I think there's something to be said for that; you get familiar enough with the geography, the transit system, etc, that you feel comfortable there-- and can then you can use your home base knowledge to expand your travel horizons and get more off the beaten path and into the local haunts.
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From:spiral_meter
Date:November 10th, 2018 11:31 pm (UTC)
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Japan is definitely on my bucket list fersher.

b
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From:nucleosides
Date:November 11th, 2018 12:39 am (UTC)
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At first, I read this as "vaccinating in Japan", I'm not even going to lie. :P

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