Living Abroad, Traveling

The Lonely Traveler

August 26, 2016

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Arriving in Narita Airport following the program was such a surreal feeling. It was the time I had to wave “see you in the future” to my fellow ambassadors. It was nice meeting them although the program lasted for 12 days (I keep saying it in the blog). I enjoyed every single of my time in Fukushima, learned and studied the problems and solutions the prefecture is dealing right now, and built a long-lasting bond with everyone involved in this program. Fukushima was a memorable journey that I would never have imagined before. I wish I could have stayed there for a longer period of time.

Well, well.

Being back in Tokyo, I still had three weeks until home. And I didn’t want to stay in the shell. So I decided to travel solo around Japan by bus. Taking regular trains or shinkansen (bullet train) could be [super] expensive. I did a little bit of research and figured out that a reserved ticket of a one-way trip with Shinkasen from Tokyo to Kyoto (or vice versa) was around $120 – the cheapest I could get. But that was still expensive for me so I did not reserve it. I knew the price would not be friendly to me but just to give you an idea of the base price.

I heard about getting a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) would be convenient to travel around Japan. And yes, before coming to Japan, I dreamed of having one on my hand. Briefly, having a JR Pass is a pass (as it says) that can save you a lot of money if you frequently travel around Japan with trains and shinkansen. Unfortunately and sadly, it is only eligible for travelers with status of “temporary visitors.” In other words, students, professionals, or anyone who have a status other than “temporary visitors,” as far as I am concerned, are not eligible. It is a little bit depressing but I moved on from that particular issue. For more information, you may google “JR Pass”.

So it would be best for me to reserve a bus seat for my journey to any destinations I wanted to visit. It took longer in time yet it was way cheaper that you can get about $20 for a single trip. But again, price varies depending on the region you go. I could not think of any better way to go around Japan without taking a bus.

And my journey started from the west.

 

Photographs: Immanuel A. M. Sinambela

*these photographs do not seem to have something to do with the content above. But it serves for decoration purpose.

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