●With every passing day we get closer to our trip day (July 6, 2011), and with nightly injections of Miyazaki masterpieces such as My Neighbor Totoro or Howl’s Moving Castle our bottled excitement becomes overwhelming, but how to liberate this excitement? Lately I have been selling a lot of my higher priced possessions such as my Yamaha Keyboard, or M-Audio 25 Key MIDI controller on eBay to save up for the trip and also to feed my beginner DSLR kit. Another way of venting this excitement is to improve our website. You might have noticed our enhanced pages and improved design, our new Q & A page, Resources page, our guava colored links, and ginormous navigation links. Our Q & A, will be a helpful and hopefully comic way to display some of the differences from Japanese culture and a way for our readers (you) to ask questions about Japan and us.
We have also added something that distinguishes when she and I write. A blue dot ● will represent when I write something and a pink dot ● when she writes. We are hoping to provide different thoughts and experiences from a gaijin and from a Japanese native.
On a separate note, thanks Weebly for providing users like us a chance to sharpen up our HTML/CSS skills in a n00b and controlled environment; that is for me at least, she is a seasoned Computer Science major. Has anybody tried out Wordpress? Any suggestions on our website design or pages that you would find useful?
For people who do not know, in Japanese offices, people say “Ohayo Gozaimasu” (Good Morning) no matter what time of the day it is, yes even in the night. I remember the first time I worked at McDonalds in Japan I got in trouble for saying “Konbanwa” (Good evening), since it may not be evening for those people who work night shifts. At the time, having worked at McDonalds as a high schooler was something most people would be proud of, I am not sure if that has changed. McDonalds is known to be a very strict employer in Japan - For example I had to dye my hair back to black before I started working, I got in trouble numerous times for being slow (we had to basically jog behind the cashier to show the customers we are being as fast as we can), for leaning against the cashier, wearing too much make up (that day I wore a little bit of blush and a little bit of mascara :( ). So future employers like to see McDonalds listed as your past employer.
Anyway, while he is going crazy selling on eBay, I just keep on day-dreaming about where I want to take him, what I want to show him and what I forgot to show him during our last two week trip to Japan. I can day-dream any time, but what I am having trouble with is actually visiting Japanese travel websites and finding good travel packages. Especially for the two of us to visit Okinawa. So far, I have used H.I.S (his-j.com), JTB travel (jtb.co.jp), and Travel.jp (travel.co.jp/domtour). These sites are in Japanese and I’m pretty sure they don’t have English translations, but they offer great prices for travel packages which usually include everything and they offer diverse choices. We are still looking for a good package, so hopefully we can give you more information on Okinawa soon.
As for our flight, last time we used All Nippon Airways (ANA, ana.co.jp). We both loved it. The food on the airplane was delicious and service was outstanding. This time, we are going to try out Japan Air Lines (JAL, jal.co.jp) - just because I have a lot of mileage accumulated and after one more flight I will have enough mileage to bump up a class. I personally have not had good experiences with JAL at the airport but during the flight they are an amazing airline with great service. I do have to give them credit as when snow storms hit Boston last winter, my flight from Boston to NYC was delayed a couple of hours, then the JAL crew waited for the all of us who were on the delayed flights and picked us up at our respective gate. What a relief! Other than that, their “Sakura Lounge” (only for classes above Economy) is amazing. All you can drink + all you can eat + wi-fi + shower, etc. Perfecto!
What do you recommend for research on travel packages and tours within Japan? Also, would you add or take out anything from our Journey plan?
Enjoy, and thanks for joining us!