Monday, August 22, 2016


We only spent one full day in Tokyo (we’d return for a few days at the end of our trip), and as we re-packed, we started the first of several cuts to our one, physical travel guide, removing the sizable Tokyo section to lighten our load.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Finding Our Food Footing

This is the story of how, on a rainy night in the Japanese Alps, we came to eat the worst meal of our whole trip: a train station fast food burger from the Mos Burger chain.
One of the things David was looking forward to in Japan was the cuisine.  Lana was a little apprehensive about it, as she’s not a big fan of fish, especially raw fish, or things that have been cooked but are served cold. All things heavily represented in Japanese cuisine.  We also knew that we could not expect an English description of dishes or ingredients, and that generally, things come exactly as they’re traditionally made. Substitutions are not really an option.  The very polite staff may smile and nod to your “no this/no that” request and then the dish will come out exactly as the cook always makes that dish.  We can respect that.  We also knew, from previous experience using translation dictionaries, that menus often contain specialized vocabulary that’s not in a common dictionary.  We knew there would be challenges, and we didn’t even know all of them yet. 


Japan was one of the first countries we placed on our must-see list for traveling around the world in 2012, and it was one of the last that we removed from that same list, due to cost and time constraints.  At the  time, we decided that Japan was a good candidate for it’s own, dedicated trip.  While our must-see list has grown since then, Japan seemed to be the obvious choice for our next over-seas trip.  A great deal on tickets didn’t hurt either.