Circling Japan - Summer 2014 travel blog

Circling Japan - Summer 2014

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Martha travel blog
The first time we went to Japan in the 1980's, we found it both familiar and strange. Superficially, the buildings, clothing, subways, stores, etc. were very similar to what we had at home. But as soon as we had closer contact with people, we saw huge differences. Some of them were inscrutable. Although the locals had studied English in school, they were shy about actually speaking with us and were much more comfortable with the written language. We learned to carry a note pad. It distressed me not to be able to read a single sign. I would look at a store and have no idea if it sold tires or cat food. Restaurants usually had models of their food in the window and we could point to what we thought we would like to eat. Sometimes even that lead to the unexpected on our plates.

A cruise from Alaska to Bangkok we took in 2007 included a few Japanese ports and it was such an easy way to enjoy this country without major language struggles. So when we saw a cruise itinerary that combined three back to back cruises around the islands of Japan, each with different port stops, we booked a cabin. We're expecting to travel with only a few other English speaking passengers so even while we're onboard, this will be a real adventure. A few stops in South Korea, China and Russia while change it up a bit.

•Return to main trip page to see our other travel adventures.

Order: oldest at bottom ( reverse )

 
26 
 
 
new home away from home
 
25 
 
 
the longest day
 
24 
 
 
back where we started
 
23 
 
 
under the volcano
 
22 
 
 
never give up
 
21 
 
 
not what we expected
 
20 
 
 
circling the sandobaru
 
19 
 
 
gold and wagashi
 
 
 
 
East meets Princess
 
18 
 
 
China Town
 
 
 
 
reflections
 
17 
 
 
a red letter day
 
16 
 
 
in the rain
 
15 
 
 
Yosakoi Soran festival
 
14 
 
 
new Russia?
 
 
 
 
Shiretoko Peninsula -...
 
13 
 
 
cranes & fish
 
12 
 
 
return to Yokohama
 
11 
 
 
ruminations at sea
 
10 
 
 
Chiufen
 
 
 
Kaohsiung
 
 
 
Taroko Gorge
 
 
 
Asia's vacationland
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