Well time between blogs should be diminished as I am now the proud owner of a new Sony Vaio laptop- yes- a “Japanese” computer. I almost bought one in Japan but I thought it was annoying enough reading all the English pop up info and warnings… let alone translate them from Japanese! I am hoping to get some type of system on here though where I can have a Japanese word processor. I end up writing emails to friends in romaji rather than Japanese characters and I am sure it is a pain for them to read. So on with the topic- Otabi– “the trip”.
I am very happy to announce that I will be going back to Japan this year to train with John Friend. I will be participating in an immersion training and observing a Teacher Training. Both trainings will be located in Yokohama- just south of Tokyo on the bay. Beautiful international city- reminds me a lot of Vancouver actually.
As I was checking dates for the Yokohama training I noticed the word “Nikko” as I was closing the page. I clicked back to find that John had added an additional two day training in Nikko Japan. I was immediately struck with a sense of excitement…. and disappointment- there was just no way I could make this all work and afford it. (Two kids, one husband, very little money…etc) I talked it over with hubby and for just under $300 Canadian I am now in Nikko for two days as well. The Nikko part of the John’s trip is being held at Eco Nikko. It was looking at the pictures that sold it for me. ( see above photos) The venue is located on the same mountain side as Toshogu-shrine- a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shrine was built in honour of Tokugawa Ieyasu- the first Shogun that united feudal Japan. The colourful Shrine sits amid a lush green forest of pines and cedar. One of the most famous buildings has the three monkeys carved in the arch way with the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. John is planning a practice, meditation and tea ceremony. Now- is that like a retreat written for me or what? How could I not go!
Well I was figuring out trains, planes, and automobiles I came across two great sites I would like to share. The first one is the Japanese Train Route Finder. Incredible- you put in where you are and where you want to go- what time you want to leave and “poof” -one to five ways of getting from A to B. They are all sorted by length of travel, most economical, most expensive etc. I can’t say what a valuable tool something like this is for a country that is so train dependant. There really is no better, faster and economical way to travel in Japan.
The other site is one for cheap hotels in Japan- Rakuten. I couldn’t find a little Japanese family inn like I usually stay in so I went for the cheap hotel instead. For about $60 canadian a night I found a decent hotel a train ride away with all the amenities. I could have stayed at the Hostel for $30-$40 but spent the big bucks instead for a private bathroom and an internet connection.