I’m going to Japan

Today, there’s a about a month until I leave for my Japan trip.

When I tell people I’m going, they ask “Where are you visiting and for how long”, I reply “I don’t know.” This always seems to lead into confusion.

Going to Japan has been at the back of my mind for about five years, but last year, seeing some photos of the Sakura (Cherry trees) in full bloom made me decide that a good goal for a trip would be to photograph Sakura. So I decided I would fly to Japan in the Spring of 2009, and follow the blossoms.

And therein lies the problem; Trees are extremely bad at keeping to human schedules – they bloom when they blooming well feel like it.

Fortunately, Cherry Blossom season is a big thing in Japan; so much so, that the country’s meteorological agency publishes forecasts of when the flowers will be blooming in different regions of Japan. As of today (16 Feb/09), they still don’t have the 2009 forecasts posted. According to my web-research, the first one is generally published between mid-February (now) and the beginning of March.

Add onto this that I’m really bad at sticking to dates when traveling. If I find somewhere I really like, I like the freedom to stay a few extra days. If I pass an interesting-looking place on the train, I like the freedom to back-track and just add it to my itinerary.

However, I do have a preliminary list of places I think I want to go… Some may get pruned, some may get added, but this is my “basic plan” at this point:

  1. Okayama
  2. Himeji
  3. Kyoto
  4. Kanazawa
  5. Matsushima
  6. Kinkasan
  7. Tokyo

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