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Welcome to 2011: Japan again

First trips for the year are now booked. I'm off down to Melbourne for a day next month to watch a concert of John Williams music. Then a couple of weeks later the three of us are flying back to Osaka courtesy of a very cheap Jetstar deal. We have 16 days there, but I was rather tempted to book onwards travel somewhere else - like Europe or the US while the dollar is strong. It still works out about the same as flying from Australia though, once the Japan fares are taken into account.

Why Japan again? Apart from cheap flights, there is so much yet to see there, so many railway lines to catch! Just doing some planning I realise that 16 days is not enough for all the itineraries I want to follow. There are so many railway themes I could choose, like the entire west coast of Honshu, or the length of Japan by rail, or every Shinkansen line... But I don't just want to take fast trains, I want the slow locals, I want to stop off at odd towns and explore. We did a little of that last trip and it was fun.

It's not just my trip and I have to make sure that B and Alex enjoy it too. At least Alex enjoys watching the Japanese version of Spirited Away and has managed to watch it twice, each time in two parts. He can even say "konnichi wa" now.


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