Originally, I planned to fly to Japan in early February, but couldn’t get a flight ticket for the fare I wanted to pay for the dates I wanted, so decided to go there in March. This trip to Japan is not really a vacation. My mom is sick, so I want to see her and need to take care of things with my sister. Though, Feb-March should be the off-season for traveling to Japan, no mileage seats were available. So, I booked an economy seat, and upgraded it with mileages. Actually, the whole family is going, and kids are flying economy both ways. Economy plus seats, so it shouldn’t be too bad. From CT, we’ll fly to DC, to San Francisco, then to Osaka. I thought about taking a direct flight to Japan (from JFK to Tokyo), but since I’m coming back from a business trip the day before, it had to be in and out of CT.
Also, I purchased Japan Rail Pass (JR pass) for us. I always use Rail pass as it saves me lots of money in traveling within Japan. There are several types of JR pass available. Different length (7 days, 14 days, and 21 days), different classes (Green and regular), and some only work within limited area. I got us 7 days pass that works nation wide in Japan. It also works with JR buses and JR ferry boat, which we’ll use to go to Miyajima. Since Japan Rail Pass works with Shinkansen (those speedy bullet trains), too, and we can get seat assigned, $265/pass is definitely a great saving for us as we plan to use Shinkansen a lot while we are in Japan.
Now, the question is… “What should I bring for Omiyage?” Omiyage means souvenirs, and it’s a Japanese custom to bring souvenirs (usually some food items) to your family, friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, etc. etc., when you come back from travel or visit someone. Every time I go back to Japan, buying enough Omiyage is a big task and causes me a headache. At least this time, I’m not traveling alone, so others can carry some. Hehehe. I’d better get busy with shopping. Only 16 more days till Japan trip!