Budgeting for Kyoto: Is it feasible?

As I mentioned yesterday, trying to work Kyoto into the 9 day trip could be a little difficult.  I want to make sure there is plenty of time to do all the things we want to while in Tokyo.  It could be possible that if my sister decides to head home after the Tokyo part of the trip, I may take a few days by myself to visit Kyoto, but it could be a little pricey to do so.  Continue reading

Trying to fit Tokyo and Kyoto into the trip

We want to visit Kyoto, but will there by enough time to make it worthwhile?

So 9 days is the firm number my sister and I are set on right now for the trip.  She has to return home for work and her children and I have to return to my job as well, setting the limit on how many days we can explore Japan.  Tokyo is the primary focus for us, but the city of Kyoto is something we both want to do.  The only problem is, will we have enough time to see both? Continue reading

Keeping an eye on Fukushima Dai-ichi situation

TEPCO keeps saying things are fine, I’m not buying it.

There are a lot of safety concerns whenever you are traveling and with an overseas trip, they are even greater.  Japan has the threats of earthquakes and tsunamis, but one threat that I’ve been following for awhile is the Fukushima nuclear plant and the radiation concerns that go with it.

The Fukushima plant was damaged back in 2011 when a powerful tsunami devastated parts of the northern coast of Japan.  The plant has been dealing with overheating issues, radiation leaks into the ocean, and trying to keep the entire thing from melting down.  A new article on Yahoo that came out today mentioned that steam was seen rising from one of the cooling tanks, although the workers and administration at the site said everything was normal. While TEPCO says all is fine, who are they trying to fool?  Thousands still can’t return to their homes, the area is still devastated near the plant, and radiation levels in the ocean near the plant are higher than ever before.

While visiting Tokyo does not put us directly in harms way of the plant, it is still something to watch.  The radiation that is getting into the ocean does affect the marine life, which is a major part of the Japanese way of life.  It is a reality that Japanese people are facing all the time and something that we will have to face when we land.

More thoughts on an airline credit card

I want to be on this plane!

This is a follow up to that last post about the pros and cons of an airline credit card.  If I get a card, it would be a domestic carrier, either American, Delta, or United.  These are the best airline options that operate out of the US and fly into Tokyo (Narita or Haneda).  However, there is another option for flights into Japan, both Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airlines (ANA).  Continue reading