After looking at the Imperial Gardens in the sweltering humidity we started looking for some lunch. Colleen noticed that a Godzilla statue was near by. We slowly made our way towards this mammoth beast only to find out he is about 2 feet tall. Continue reading “A Lighter Side of Tokyo”
This is my view as I’m writing this. The photo does not do it justice. And we can only capture one section of it (photo tips welcome). There is a zoo directly below and five elephants rambling by not 700 metres away. Dozens of temples. And too many gorgeous green hills in the near distance to count.
Aside from the Japanese writing everywhere, Tokyo could have (almost) been any other large city with a temple thrown in every few blocks. In Kyoto… I feel like I am in a different country. Completely. This is what I’ve been waiting for… distant lands. Continue reading “First Impressions of Kyoto”
Every hundred steps leads to a temple or shrine. The first morning we walked by many without knowing what exactly we were looking at. Fortunately, A little bit of help from the internet, and we gained some factual knowledge. For example, the red hats on the statues are generally gifts to bring luck or to ease suffering at the loss of a child.
Isn’t that clever? I bet I’m the first one to use that post title.
With a population over nine million and a transportation system to go with it, I was completely intimated by visiting Tokyo. Most especially by the subway system that we certainly had to use if we wanted to see anything beyond our immediate hotel area.
Turns out it wasn’t so bad. Once we jumped in and made our first outing on Tokyo’s extensive underground, the second and subsequent rides were painless. And we felt old hat. Transportation in Japan is expensive. A cab from Narita airport (which is in a completely different city by the way) to the downtown area of Tokyo starts at 22,000 yen. That’s $255!?!
One of the most common questions I get about our world travel plans is how much all the hotels and airfare for a family of five are going to cost. Well, so far we’ve spent $511.16 for all the flights we’ve booked to date. Between the five of us that’s 20 one way flights, seven of which are in business class. Continue reading “Sweet Spots and Travel Hacking – Airfare”
Our journey to the far side of earth started in style in the British Airways Lounge. Our pre departure time whizzed by too quickly before we boarded the Japan Airlines (JAL) flight from Boston to Tokyo and settled into our business class. All thanks to the Queen of Points, Colleen.
We arrived in Boston and stayed downtown at the Intercontinental Hotel. It’s a fairly upscale hotel that gets good reviews which are well deserved.
Since this was our first destination we chose to take it a bit slow and test out morning routines and also look to do some walking. Colleen even came running with me – I think the last time was when we lived in Manor Park in 1995 and it didn’t go so well. This time it was great! We ran two mornings – the third we were in transit. Continue reading “Boston, A Walk About Town”
Many of you may be wondering why we’re flying out of Boston instead of Ottawa….
It’s certainly a fair question. And I’m happy to share. So sorry…
The biggest reason is simply because I found five business class seats on Japan Airlines in their Sky Suites. I booked those seats using award miles from Alaska MIles. I have never flown on Alaska Air but I can still earn (and convert to) their mileage program quite easily. Certainly enough for all five of us to fly in business class half way around the world. And with a free stopover to boot!