Walkabout X: Lost In Translation
When: November 9-26, 2019
How: With friends & solo
While Japan had been on my wishlist from the get-go, it jumped to the top when two good friends of mine proposed a group trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
As it worked out, it was the perfect way to travel with friends of different ages and interests: we met in Tokyo at the beginning of the trip, went our separate ways for a few days, met up again in Osaka, parted ways again, then met up one final time around the Fuji Lakes.
This first venture into Asia took me to a country of ancient cultures and ultra-modern cities, of bright neon lights and spectacular fall colors, of conveyor belt sushi and steaming hot bowls of ramen, of crowded trains and ancient eastern philosophies, of bowing deer and pagodas, of samurai warlords and atomic devastation, of anime and origami.
If anything, a visit to Japan is a study in contrasts, which makes it easy to customize a vacation here to one's own interests. For me, it was an all-too-brief introduction to the complicated Japanese culture, one that would likely require future visits to understand completely.