I really have to give some snaps to Mr. Higashi. Our country would never have been built if it weren't for people with that can-do spirit. A lady I work with is of Japanese heritage and really would like to visit. Last year I heard of a contest being run by the Japanese Tourism Board which gave away 10,000 plane tickets to foreign visitors. There were some rules, of course, mostly regarding blogging or writing about traveling to Japan. Ok, before you all start laughing and saying this is my way of trying to get one of those tickets, the ticket scheme is not in the 2012 budget for Japan.
Japan does have a lot to offer. Beautiful Shinto and Buddhist temples, many places to hike (Mt. Fuji!), awesome food (I'm not a sushi fan but I LOOOOOOVE teppan), and interesting people. According to Mr. Higashi's site and CBS News, here are a few of the details:
Through his website, culturalnews.com, Higashi is organizing a tourism expedition to the scenic rural area. Airfare will be about $750, bullet train and bus tickets, hotels and other costs will bring the total tab to about $2,000.I would love to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, drinking tea from delicate little cups, listening to a shamisen being played, or visiting a cultural center where I can learn about kimono and all the intricate ways to tie an obi. I never knew until recently how long those things really are! I'm also interested in seeing some of the Shinto temples. For a preview of some great Japenese art, readers can always visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, located next to the La Brea Tar Pits/Page Museum. They even have a fully assembled samurai costume!
The trip promises to be very traditional, with lodgings at the Ksennuma Hotel Kanyo, near the center of the tsunami-affected coastline.
“Accommodations are in Japanese `ryokan’ style, sharing one big room,” Higashi said.
For more information on visiting Japan, click on the links below:
Japan National Tourism Organization
3-day Bullet Train tour to Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Nara from Tokyo- $852
Cooking class, Sake Tasting and Nishiki Market tour- Kyoto- $173