Heading Far East: Traveling to Japan

USAF plane and Mt Fuji

My father took this photo sometime in the 1950s when he was stationed in Japan with the US Army.

I panicked a couple of weeks ago when reports circulated that the Japanese government, in an effort to increase tourism, was going to give away 10,000 free trips. Then I was relieved to learn that though the Japan National Tourism Office is considering such a promotion, nothing’s been approved yet.

We’d already planned our trip and Erin and I, and my mother Junko are leaving early tomorrow for San Francisco, then on to Narita Airpot outside Tokyo, and a switch to a flight to Sapporo in the northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Seven months after the earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster hit Japan, we’re going to do the one thing that I think will help Japan the most, even more than the hundreds of dollars we’ve donated to various aid efforts.

We’re going to visit – with my mother in tow – and spend money there. Since the dollar is hurting against the yen, we’ll be spending even more money than we originally had expected.
Continue reading