Feb 1, 2019

Japan 2019: Traveling around Tokyo (and Kyushu)

During the past year I have not had a real plan where to go and what to experience so I let some of opportunities drift by and did not take consistent action to accomplish my goals, such as travel goals. One of my friends is an avid traveler so I let her take the lead in many of the travels we did together. Since she moved a little farther away, I haven't been traveling as much, something I do want to change this year! 

One of the people from whom I have drawn inspiration from is the YouTuber メンタリストDaiGo who has also written tons of books on different topics regarding self-improvement. He uses Japanese as his main language for output which sometimes turns reading or listening to him into quite a challenge for me (but also definitely helps in improving my Japanese language skills). 

In one of his videos (正月休みムダにする人しない人) he mentions a way to rest effectively and not lose motivation when returning to work after the holidays. He suggests doing something that is totally new to us and gets us out of the comfort zone when we get days off of work.  This can be talking to new people, traveling to new places or experiencing a new activity. He also recommends to plan the trip yourself instead of letting a company plan it for you as that increases anticipation and excitement for it. So I want to share some of the short-trip travel plans I have for this year and maybe it will also inspire you in your future travel plans. 

Tokyo Metro Stamp Rally

Tokyo Metro has been doing a monthly stamp rally for more than 2 years now, which I only found out about at the second half of last year. So far I have only "participated" in one of them but found it enjoyable.  

Unfortunately you can only know about the current month's rally route (and, of course, the routes in the past) but not about future rally routes in advance. 

Taking Mentalist Daigo's advice though, I don't want to simply copy the suggested route (although that can be fun, too) but do a little research by myself and add and remove destinations from the original route.

       Japan 2019: Traveling around Tokyo (and Kyushu) photo

Detective Conan (around April) and Pokemon stamp rally (around July)

Every year JR is holding a stamp rally featuring Detective Conan and Pokemon. In the past I have only passively collected the stamps I happen to stumble across during my part time jobs but this year I want to actively choose 1 or 2 destinations per rally I have never been too, featuring my favorite characters and planning a day trip around them. Speaking of Detective Conan, I am most definitely looking forward to the new movie airing this year April featuring the magician Kaito Kid. 

Mucha Exhibition (July 13-September 29)

I am very excited about this exhibition as I have never seen any of Mucha's works in person. Ever since my art classes during my high school years in Germany I have been a big fan of his art style. One of the reasons might be because it resembles the comic and manga art style. A fan of his art also created Ghibli artworks which simply look beautiful and astonishing. This exhibition takes place in the Bunkamura Museum located close to Shibuya 109. 

Japan 2019: Traveling around Tokyo (and Kyushu) photo

Inokashira Koen and Zoological Park

Although this will probably be just a short half-day trip, I somehow have always been postponing it. I tried finding it on my trip to the Ghibli museum many years ago but was unable to find it at that time (and my company didn't really care to really find it so I had to give up early). So this year I want to enjoy looking for the famous squirrels that reside in this park. 

Trip to Kyushu: Kagoshima 

I have always wanted to travel within Kyushu, especially to Kagoshima. One of the reasons was to visit my friend there but another reason is the beautiful scenery with the beautiful Mt. Sakurajima and the sand onsen. When I first heard about the sand onsen I remembered a scene in Pokemon Emerald in which elderly people were taken to a sand bath close to a mountain. Turns out these scenes where actually based on Kagoshima! I was thinking of including one or two prefectures in Kyushu depending on budget and time. You can find travel information on Kagoshima's website www.kagoshima-kankou.com or on Kyushu's website www.welcomekyushu.com

      Japan 2019: Traveling around Tokyo (and Kyushu) photo

Although looking at this list makes me feel a little overwhelmed I am also excited to get out of my comfort zone and see different sites of Japan.

So what are you looking forward to this year? What inspired you to do those things?



A graduate student traveling around Japan