Starting tomorrow, in fact, when I get to head to the JR station after work for a 5:37 train to Okayama, so I can get on the 8:33 shinkansen to Tokyo. That will put me in Tokyo at 11:45. For those tracking the numbers, yes, it takes six hours to go between Matsuyama and Tokyo by train. However, it takes 12 hours to do it by highway bus (the cheapest method) and the two-hour flight is very expensive unless you book really far in advance on the right days. I like the train, anyway. It’s a nice way to travel.
Incidentally, this weekend is an instance of planning fail on my part. It’s a three-day weekend here in Japan (Friday is National Foundation Day, or some such thing) and I went back and forth for ages on whether I wanted to go to Kawagoe to visit people. Well, I finally decided about a week ago that, yes, I do. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect up with my host family, so I was out a place to stay. So I’ll be returning to the place in Ueno where I stayed when I went back to the States for Christmas. I was kind of dismayed by this, because it’s an added expense, but I’ve warmed to it because it means I’ll get to spend some time in Tokyo on my own. I like that sort of thing and it’ll be really nice to have a day to just bop around by myself.
Friday will be spend in Kawagoe with friends, though, which I’m super psyched about.
So this weekend is Tokyo/Kawagoe. Then the weekend of my birthday (5 March), I’ll be going to Osaka and Kyoto with my friend Lauren. I got the Monday off, so I’ll meet her in Osaka Friday night and come back to Matsuyama Monday night. Then, during spring break at the end of March, I’ll be going back to Tokyo for my friend Katherine’s wedding (also the friend I’m going to see this weekend) at Disney Sea. So, yeah, over the course of the next 7 or so weeks, I’ll have two trips to Tokyo and one trip to Osaka/Kyoto. It’s a lot of time to be away, but I’m going back to the States in August, so I feel like I should take advantage of the fact that I can take pretty spontaneous trips around Japan. I mean, I decided to go to Tokyo 10 days before I’d be leaving. When JET ends for me, I’ll lose that. For now, anyway, because I do intend to come back to Japan, but on my own terms and where I really want to be.
And that’s it for me. I’ll take pictures this weekend and do a more interesting, travel-tastic blog post when I get back.