We are home after 33 days (including 2 Friday 19ths due to International Dateline), including Japan and Seabourn Cruise. It was a very full trip with sights, experiences and tons of photos. As you saw in my last post, of our Itinerary, we were on the move. In Japan, we learned to use their railway and subway systems. At first it was confusing because they have several different companies. But after figuring it out, we saw that their system was very well organized and efficient, but expensive.
Our hotels in Japan were nice, although smaller than in USA, but they both had the Toto toilets, really deluxe (bidet and back shower with heated seat and music!). We were visiting during their Golden Week, initially, so the tourist areas were more crowded than usual. Our visits were to Osaka Castle,
Nara Park, Dotonbori District (Carnival atmosphere in shopping/restaurant area), Kobe, and Kyoto. Even with all of the trains and subways, we still walked about 3 miles a day. Jim was able to do that, with stops and utilizing his cane, especially on steep roads, such as in Kyoto. The biggest problem was adjusting to the time change; 16 hours between CA and Japan. At first we were waking up at odd hours and having to take naps, but we adjusted. I had ordered a “pocket wifi” prior to our trip and it was delivered to our hotel. That was a big bonus and able to use with unlimited, secure access. Google maps has a setting for trains, so we utilized that to get to the correct track, along with asking assistance from agents and fellow travelers. English was not as common as we expected, but the ticket machines had an English setting. We did not meet any locals, but spoke with several English speaking tourists during our outings.
After these 8 days, we boarded the Seabourn Sojourn for 21 day cruise.