First Impressions of Kyoto

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”

Tokyo – a Taste of History with Temples and Shrines

 

Buddhist Temple Tokyo

Tokyo – A Taste of History

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.

Continue reading “Tokyo – a Taste of History with Temples and Shrines”

Konnichiwa from Tokyo

Isn’t that clever? I bet I’m the first one to use that post title.

Inspired Karate

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!?!

So subway travel in Tokyo was inevitable. Continue reading “Konnichiwa from Tokyo”

Sweet Spots and Travel Hacking – Airfare

Japan Airlines Business Class Sky Suites – Boston to Tokyo

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”

Boston, A Walk About Town

 

Downtown Boston
Boston

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”

So, How Much is this Round the World Trip Going to Cost?

Well, Boston was our first budget buster location. Though we knew that going in. It came in at a whopping $426 Canadian per day. And that is hacked.

Admittedly it was for a family of five. But if we continue our around the world travel at this pace we’d tap in at a total trip budget of just under $156,000! Let’s add some more exclamation marks there!!! That’s just not an option. Continue reading “So, How Much is this Round the World Trip Going to Cost?”

How to Travel from Ottawa to Boston for only $1.19 (those are Canadian dollars!!) plus fuel…

Our $1.19 one way drop off National Car Rental

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!

But it still leaves the question, why are we driving to Boston instead of flying? Continue reading “How to Travel from Ottawa to Boston for only $1.19 (those are Canadian dollars!!) plus fuel…”