Since I moved to Japan in 2010, I've been to 7 new countries: China (including Hong Kong and Macau); Malaysia; South Korea; Singapore; Taiwan; Thailand; and Vietnam. Next year, I'm going to see other parts of China, Malaysia and Thailand, and I'm going to see Cambodia and the Philippines. :D I also got to see Hawaii for a few days when one of my good friends got married back in April 2012.
As I mentioned in the original post
, I never thought I'd actually see any of these places, nor have I had an inkling to see any of them. Whenever I tell my family about an upcoming trip, at least one person asks me why I'm going there instead of seeing more of Japan.
Of course, nearby cities and towns are cheaper, but when it comes to places farther away, it's cheaper to go abroad!
Since I live in Kurashiki, my nearest airport is Okayama. It has daily flights to Shanghai and Seoul that depart early enough in the morning and return in the evening, so if you want to go farther, connecting in Shanghai or Seoul isn't a problem. Anyway, let me give you a couple of examples of how going abroad is cheaper than travelling domestically.
1) The first time I went to South Korea, I had three consecutive days off work, which was incredibly rare. I wanted to go to Okinawa and at that time, it would have cost me nearly TWICE AS MUCH for the flights alone!
2) I finally made it to Hokkaido this summer, and even though I booked my flight as early as possible to get the cheapest fare, the return plane fares and accommodations to Thailand and Vietnam were about ¥23,000 cheaper!
3) Airfare to Akita or Aomori is not much less than return airfare to CANADA! It's absolutely ridiculous! The Shinkansen that far from Okayama would take quite a bit longer than flying.