Japan – At a Glance
Our first steps off the ship in Japan felt foreign. We had a general idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do, and no real idea what to expect as we navigated our way to the train station. The kids were put in charge of Japan, as they were disappointed with the one day we had in Hawaii, and had a difficult time agreeing on what to do. This delegation worked beautifully, they were armed with a map and the desire to see, learn, and explore Japan. Cameron was assigned to Kyoto, Caitlyn to Osaka and Morgan to Nara. As it turned out Caitlyn oversaw food, Morgan oversaw buying train tickets and determining the fare, and Cameron was in charge of the map.Before we even made it to the train, the first familiar sight was the orange, white and green stripes of a 7-11. A place I would never go at home to buy food, and yet here we were just 5 minutes off the ship, buying triangular sushi sandwiches the Belfiore’s had told us about. With a little help from our phones, we avoided the raw beef, and managed to find some tuna, and some mystery fish. We carefully opened the packages as we had been instructed and had beautifully crunchy seaweed wrapped around our triangle rice and raw fish delights.
We continued to the train station, but not without going to the subway station first, then stumbled our way through buying train tickets. This seemed at the time, like a huge accomplishment and was quite challenging. However, it did not take long for us to learn to take the train with ease. The children became experts at figuring out the trains, subways and buses. They were tasked with calculating our fare and determining the platform to get us to the correct stop. Morgan became the official ticket purchaser, with everyone racing to see who could determine the fare and route first.
Japan was a marvelous country that served as a very good starting point in teaching us how to travel in a country where we did not know the language. The people were incredibly friendly, helpful, and we were put at ease with the extremely low crime rate here.
So, what did we do in Japan? We ate, and ate, and ate some more. Oh, and we saw a lot of Temples, Monuments, Monkeys, Shrines and were outfitted with Kimonos. We booked our accommodations on the fly and began learning how to travel together. Be sure to read my other post of the food, Cameron’s detailed post on everything, and Morgan’s post on Nara.