Archive for July, 2007

Getting a travel date

I’ve heard that using frequent flier miles can be tricky, although I’ve never had a problem in the past. While I made my reservation well in advance and am reasonably pleased with my final arrangements, getting there wasn’t easy. When I started looking for travel dates the airline computer gave me a lot of choices involving an overnight stopover in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles or somewhere else I don’t remember. It was late in the evening; I decided I couldn’t cope and went to bed. I like to sleep on important decisions– this looked like it was going to be painful. The next morning, having decided that if I had to have a sleepover, it should be in Chicago, my former hometown, I began looking at the computer again, changing some parameters, looking at different dates, and finally found a flight to Chicago with only a few hours layover before a non-stop flight to Narita–well worth the extra effort on a good night’s sleep.


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In addition to the Internet, which seems to have unlimited resources, I am using two guidebooks: Lonely Planet Japan; Kodansha Gateway to Japan ; and three books from classes I’ve taken during the last two years: Gerhart, Eyes of Power; Coaldrake, Architecture and Authority in Japan; and McKelway, Capitalscapes. I want to make decisions now about where I would like to go in Tokyo, Kyoto and various other places and figure out, approximately, how much time I will spend in each place. Since I am sure the best laid plans can go astray, I also want to decide what is most important to me. Some of the places I have already selected are the National Museum of Tokyo; Mingei Museum Tokyo; Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum; Museum of Modern Art, Shiga; and the National Museum of Japanese History, Sakura, near Narita, which I will save for last day. This is just the beginning of a long list. As I make these decisions I will write about what I plan to see in each place and use this blog as a guide.

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