Sakura. Chidori-ga-fuchi, Kitanomaru Park at Chiyoda-ku in Tokyo. From flickr user Yoshikazu TAKADA (Creative commons license.)

Hello folks! As you read this blog post, I’m in the process of heading to Japan. JAPAN! In all my forty-seven-and-a-half years I’ve only been on the continent of North America and have only visited the US (of course) and Canada. The only time that I was in a land where English was not the native language was Quebec, and you can still get by with limited-to-no French comprehension there. Now I will be flying across an ocean and traveling to a land where English is definitely not the common language. And to think: I expected my first overseas trip to be to the UK…

Why haven’t I mentioned this trip yet? Good question. Up until yesterday I was not sure if I was going! This had to do with my passport, or lack thereof. I did have one before, but it expired right at the height of pandemic, when traveling overseas wasn’t an option. So I didn’t get around to renewing until a couple months ago, when this trip was a sure thing. Well, even with an ample cushion of time and expediting things (and several five-hours-on-hold calls to the passport agency), the passport had not yet arrived by this week. Frantic, I got in touch with Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office and they managed to get me an urgent appointment with the Seattle Passport Office (thankfully, the city we fly out of) on Wednesday morning. If the passport is indeed ready at the appointed time, I’ll keep my original Wednesday flight, if I have to wait until later in the day, Emee and her daughter will head out then, and I’ll get the Thursday flight.

Anyways, a big thank you to Congressman Blumenauer and his awesome staff. Him saving my ass is the story I will now tell about our bike-obsessed representative, rather than the time he may have been trying to cut into the beer line at Velo Cult’s (RIP) grand opening in 2012.

Anyways! We’ll be in Japan until Tuesday April 4th. We’ll be mostly be in Tokyo but will also spend a few days in Osaka and take a side trip to Kyoto and perhaps the mountains. Yes, we hope to see the cherry blossoms. Yes, I will be bringing film cameras–the Minolta XD5 with MD 50mm f/1.7 prime lens plus the MD 28-85mm zoom, and also the Olympus XA. The Minolta will primarily be used for color (and perhaps some slide film for those blossoms), while the XA for black and white. (Though I might switch them.) And I’ll be in a place where film should be easily accessible. I plan to ride a bike or two (though I’m not bringing the Brompton this time), check out a camera shop or two, get some art and stationery supplies, and in general be a tourist. Let me know if you have any tips/suggestions in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “JAPAN!

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  1. Oh my gosh!! I’m so excited for you!! 🙂 And super excited for the cherry blossoms, which I hope you take super awesome pictures of:) I would like to see that someday.

    Little known fact: I was born in Japan, not too far south of Tokyo:)

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