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Reflections on the Japan trip

I had a great time in Japan last month! But it's always worth noting what I can learn for future trips.

  • Take notes at the end of each day! At the end of a trip, I'm exhausted (and often get sick), so it can be difficult to remember all the stories and remarks I wanted to share.

    (For example, the Japan trip ended almost a full month ago, and I've only now finished the blog post about it. And I still know that I've forgotten to mention some neat stuff!)

  • Either reserve more time for resting, or make better plans ahead of time. Before the trip, I was focused on getting some work done for the West Coast Amateur Musicians Society summer music camp, so it was a bit of a scramble to figure out what I'd do in Osaka and Kyoto in particular. Travelling with my Japanese friends was great because one of them made the plans. :)

  • Improve my Japanese. Before going back to Japan, I should be able to read the common food-related kanji, and to be able to ask if I can have a dish without the meat and fish (if it's a sympathetic restaurant, like a natural food store). Not having to worry about finding vegetarian food would be a huge relief!

  • There were really famous places I didn't see, such as Kiyomizu-dera and Kinkau-ji in Kyoto. More time in Osaka and Kyoto is definitely called for!

  • That said, the things that I enjoyed the most were more the "ordinary" things: watching a train conductor pointing at things and saying stuff, hearing the Kansai dialect, the animal cafe, and of course the Meetup group party. So even though I'm quite aware that there's more things to see in all the cities I visited, I'm not disappointed that I didn't get to see them yet.

I'm not certain if I'll try to visit next year, or wait two years. It depends on how works goes, and how much I improve my Japanese in the next 6 months. I definitely don't want to wait 3 years, though!