Off to Japan once again!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick announcement that my wife, daughter and I will be taking another trip to Japan in the second-half of August.

Normally we go at the end of the year so we can enjoy New Year’s and also my daughter’s birthday, but the prices for airlines are getting extremely expensive. We spent a huge amount for our trip in late 2011 because the flight was so close to New Year’s and that didn’t take into acount money we spent there. Also, flying around that time was extremely stressful because we just got finished with Christmas, my daughter’s birthday celebrations in the US, and so on. It was just too much. Plus, my daughter had to miss some school

So this time we decided to do it during late August. My daughter’s summer-school will have finished, and she won’t miss any school in September. Also, it will make my life at work a lot easier too, because my company is very busy around the end of the year (holiday shopping, etc). Plus, the airfare was about one-third cheaper flying in August instead of the New Year.

Now, there is one big drawback though to coming in August: it’s super-hot and muggy.

In Japan they call it zansho (残暑), the lingering, long summer heat. I haven’t been to a hot and humid climate since I was 23 in Hanoi, Vietnam (mid-summer), and I usually go to Japan when it’s pretty cold or early Spring. We’ll see how it goes.

As for plans there, I don’t have much. My wife and I and her friends all want to go to Shin-Okubo again. I hope to load up on KPop albums, and my wife might get some dramas as well as albums. I could buy them in the US using YesAsia.com or Amazon, but I had a bad experience with the former, and the latter is fine, but selection is limited.

Also, I hope to visit Sensoji temple in Tokyo again. It’s been a long while, and I’d like to pay Kannon Bodhisattva a visit. :)

So, if you’re in Japan around August, I’d love to see you! I always try to visit a couple friends every visit, but I’m also happy to meet new faces.

Hope to see you there!

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About Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.
This entry was posted in Buddhism, Japan, KPop, Music, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Off to Japan once again!

  1. cocomino says:

    8月の飛行機代金が安いなんて知りませんでした。 こちらは、8月15日のお盆の時期は、最も高いです。
    川越も観光にはいいですよ。。

  2. dutchdharma says:

    In 2006 i visited Japan in July/August. It was very humid and hot, fortunatly there are many pleases where you could cool down with air conditioning installed, also a lot of places to buy cool drinks. I’m curious how Japanese will go through this period with the energy problems they are facing. Airconditioning takes a lot of energy.

  3. Marcus says:

    Hi Doug,
    If you want to visit Kanzeon Bosatsu, then you must Must MUST go here:
    website: http://www.t-kannon.jp/index.html
    my report: http://marcus-michikusa.blogspot.jp/2012/05/blog-post_10.html
    It’s a bit of a trip from Tokyo but totally, 100%, worth it. The best place I’ve been to in Japan.
    Enjoy the trip!
    Marcus
    PS – I’ll miss you this time as I’ll be out of Japan in August!

    PPS – to dutchdharma, what energy problems? Tokyo is still light up day and night like a Christmas tree gone beserk! As long as there are advertising hordings using the energy of a whole street on display 24/7, as long as supermarkets think it necessary to play 6 or 7 tv screens simulateously 12 hours a day, as long as pachinko parlors light up entire districts with their lights and noise, as long as the train stations continue to line their concourses with banks of electronic advertising, I can’t take seriously any claim that energy is in short supply!

  4. johnl says:

    As for energy conservation, no one wants to live in dark and dreary conditions, although there was some of this feeling for a few months right after the earthquake. Many shops had half of their lights turned off. More recently, they have made progress in switching to LED lighting–the shopping area near my station has done that for the street lights. And my electricity bill always shows how my own energy consumption compares to the corresponding month of the previous year. I have been pretty good at coming in near the suggested target of a 15% reduction. So, I suspect lots of individual households are conserving, and public lighting is achieving normal levels of brightness with less energy.

  5. Marcus says:

    And yet the vast majority of shops continue to leave their doors open, pumping cold air in summer or warm air in winter onto the streets, and loudspeakers are still stacked up outside many shops repeating the same banal messages at top volume. All of which is hardly a great use of scarce resources.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/06/tokyos-luxury-retailers

  6. kelleynymph says:

    I remember Japan being that way when I first arrived there, I got there in the first week of September and the humidity was simply horrendous. I always thought Maryland could be pretty awful, but Baltimore has nothing on Tokyo, especially when you’re on those crowded trains.

  7. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi guys,

    Cocomino: お盆やすみの海外の航空券は安いのは不思議ですね。多分遅いけど、花火大会を見に行きたいです。シアトルはずっと寒いから、暑い場所はどこでも行きたいです。:)

    dutchdharma Yeah, the heat is probably really tough, but I think we can find ways to manage. :)

    Marcus Thanks for the Kannon tip. I think I’ve been there or at least passed it one time a while back. It definitely looks familiar, but my memories fuzzy, and I’m pretty sure I took lousy photographs.

    Johnl That’s interesting about the energy reduction. How do you personally track your own reduction by 15%? I’m curious how you measure it.

    Kelleynymph I remember one time we came to Japan in October, but it was unusually hot and humid. My daughter was 7 months old and sweating a lot because she was strapped to me in a carrier. I can’t wait to see what August is like. ;p

  8. johnl says:

    My electric bill includes a figure for the energy unit consumption of the corresponding month of the previous year. Soon after the earthquake, the bill also noted the 15% target, and my own percentage change. However, it seems that the 15% target has disappeared from the bill, although the consumption from the previous year is still there.

  9. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Oh that’s neat. We have something similar here in Seattle where it shows your average and then compares it to other homes of comparable size in your neighborhood. In winter, we’re usually one of the worst consumers because our house heats so poorly, while in the summer we’re one of the best because we don’t use heat and our washer/dryer is pretty efficient. :p

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