September 17th, 2009

Super Mega Japan Trip 2009 (with sprinkles)

I am currently in Japan and would like to try and document my trip as well as I can.  The best way to do that seems to be to do it as quickly as possible while the memories are still fresh.  Of course I'm now on day 6 of my trip (though only my third full day in the country thanks to long flights and delays) and I haven't really started.  So let's get this going, shall we?  Yes.  Let's shall!

First, let me just setup the trip as a whole:

In my previous entry I mentioned that I’ve been trying new things and having new experiences.  For the most part, if I am presented with an opportunity or invitation to something that I have at least some curiosity or interest in and have the means/ability to do it, I do.

This happened in a very big way recently as thenarus, who is currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan with the USAF mentioned that he had some leave coming up and suggested I come out for a visit.  Rather than worrying about the expense and impracticality of such a trip, I just decided that it was indeed something I wanted to do.  And I now find myself over 7,000 miles from home writing this entry from Japan.

While the idea was initially pitched back in July, I had already pretty much booked the entirety of my August, so I decided to make the trip for September.  As it turned out, August was even more eventful than I had anticipated at the time and I didn’t really think about the Japan trip all that much.  All we really did was set a target date for the trip that would work well with Jon’s schedule and also allow us to meet up with another friend, Rik, on mainland Japan. 

It wasn’t until the very tail end of August and through the first week of September that any real planning took place.  I booked my flights and the three of us planned out a basic itinerary in basically he course of one week for a trip that would commence in just two.  It was really a pretty intense seat-of-the-pants experience.

Meanwhile, I had to really put things into overdrive—especially at work—to get things in order for me to be gone for two whole weeks.  I figure if I’m going to the other side of the world, I might as well spend a decent amount of time there since just getting there is such a major cost in the first place. 

I’m pretty sure that I’ve never been away from home or work for such a long period of time since I’ve been out of school.  It really seemed like a major undertaking to get things ready to be gone for that long since I know better than to expect that my world at home would just sit and wait for me for two weeks.

And that brings me to Saturday, September 12…