A Travel Planning Journal

My friend suggested I start a travel planning journal to make notes about restaurants, places to see, things to do, etc. in all the places I’d like to travel to. The following year will be quite busy, as I’ll have to research which countries I’ll actually be able to visit (time-wise, and money-wise), which countries may require a special visa before entering, how much time I should spend in each country, etc.

I opened up my Japan Travel document to see how much progress I’ve made. After the big summer trip I just finished, there isn’t much left for me to visit. These are the places remaining on my list and my reasons for wanting to go. What do you think?

1. Kyoto
I love Kyoto. I’ve been there four times already, and I’m still not done. I want to go in the fall to see the red leaves, and perhaps get my photograph taken dressed as a maiko. I plan to go again in the springtime as it will be my last spring in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossom season. I still want to see Sanjuusan-gendo, a Buddhist temple which Hiroshi Sugimoto photographed. It is famous for its 1001 statuse of Kannon. It’s too hot in the summer, yet so many people tell me that I must not miss the Gion Matsuri. Should I go see it? Do I really need to visit Kyoto three more times over the next year?

2. Mie
Technically, I’ve been already since I traveled to see Ise Jingu. However, Nick still hasn’t been to see it, and I’ve been wanting to visit my friend Amber!

3. Okayama
A small town, but my friend Gemma is living there and I’d love to see it while she’s teaching there.

4. Aomori
Another small, rural town. Again, I want to go to visit a friend who is teaching there.

5. Kamakura
Originally, I wanted to see the Buddha of Kamakura, as it is famous from poetry. Is it worth seeing, after visiting the large Buddha in Todai-ji, Nara? Jerome and my friend Ken both enjoyed biking there. Perhaps I should try it?

6. Kanazawa
This is a place that has been recommended to me by more than three people now. Located in Ishikawa Prefecture, it is the second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids during World War II. It’s nick-named “Little Kyoto”. Should I visit it, although I may see Kyoto a total of seven times in my 2-year stay here?


Summer Itinerary

Tokyo→Yokohama→Hamamatsu→Kobe→​Nara→Kyoto→Hamamatsu+Fukuroi Hanabi→Osaka→Beppu→Nagasaki→Hi​roshima→Okunoshima→Miyajima→an​d back to Hamamatsu once more.

Seven more days until my little sister & my little brother-in-law arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun!

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