Anyone else going on the AOP913 Ancient and Modern Japan trip leaving on 27 Mar 09? Would be great to hear from you.
I am also booked on the trip. The departure day is the last day of term so I have already planned my quick getaway. I'm really looking forward to the cute monkeys in the thermal springs and riding on the bullet trains.
I just booked the trip today! I am flying from Scotland so not on the outward flight with you but hope to meet in Kansai airport as I arrive 1.5 hours before you but on the same flight home! I am alone too. Looking forward to everything! I have wanted to go to Japan for so long and don't worry I'll be taking hundreds of pictures too!!
Thank you for the welcome!! I am not sure of any books - I've watched Last of the Samurai ;o) But I don't think it counts!! I've been busy studying my Japan guide and my Tokyo guide....there seems to be so much to see!
Have you been on any Exodus trips before? I was in Andalucia walking last year and loved how well organised everything was!
Yep, I went to Peru to do the Inca Trail with Exodus a couple of years ago - it was a great trip, small group, excellent guide, wonderfully stress free. The only reason I didn't go to Nepal/Tibet with them last year was that the dates didn't fit. But I'm back with them now. Can't fault them for organisation.
My only minor niggle is that they've changed the flights for this trip from Japan Airlines to KLM, which now means changing in Amsterdam and making the whole trip much longer. Personally I think they should have just swallowed the fuel surcharge and kept us on Japan Airlines flights. But what can you do?
I must start reading my Japan guide so I can figure out what to do on the few free days we have. Mt Fuji has to be on the list I think ...
Not sure about the singing - I may get deported from Japan if they hear my poor voice!! Schipol is a great airport to spend time - shops galore, lounger seats, a mini art gallery.....now I have 4 hours in Charles de Gaulle i.e. no seats, often no toilets after security (because the often do security at the gate)......all in all a depressing place!
I think I'll have to consume quite a lot of sake before attempting the karaoke!
I'm not keen on Schipol airport myself, but that's probably because last time I was there my iPod got nicked so I spent 2 weeks travelling the roads of Peru without music. V. annoying. I was looking forward to a flight on Japan Air, the service is supposed to be top notch. Still, KLM gave me loads of ice cream last time so I shouldn't complain.
Wonder how big the group is going to be? It's still listed as available so it's not fully booked.
I'm Helen and I will also be joining this trip. So excited now that I've recieved final joining instructions today. I've been eating soba noodles for the past 3 weeks to get into the zone..... oh, and reading Japanese slasher fiction - probably not the best introduction to Tokyo, but hey, exciting all the same.
Does anyone know if we'll all be seated close on the flights?
......oh, and I'm taking my walking boots as my everyday shoes because they're more comfy than my trainers for city days - hideously unnattractive but really comfy.
Rugged suitcase on wheels with a hold all for ditch your suitcase day for me.
I'm packing a sleeping bag liner for the ryokan, but not taking an actual sleeping bag because I'm under the impression that bedclothes will be supplied.............. am I wrong?
Is anyone taking a posh frock for nights out? And if so, will you let me get away with a moderately smart shirt with my jeans, as long as I promise to forgo the walking boots with that outfit? I'm really trying to pack light, but I'm worried about packing too light as 2 weeks is quite a long time.
I must must must half pack my bags this week. I'm camping with cadets until thursday night then flying out on friday morning.............. it'll be a rush, that's for sure.
My final joining instructions came today. With our posh frocks for the evening it looks like we might be all fighting over the millionaire, should he be out there! Getting very excited now. I was sitting in my staff room today talking about and relishing in the fact that this is the first Easter holiday in over 20 years that I won't have to mark GCSE coursework as my subject has dropped it.
How do we find out how many people are booked on the trip now? I guess it could be full. I booked my taxi to Heathrow this afternoon......... Keep your eyes peeled for me - I'll be the one in the bar with a Tokyo guidebook under her nose. Helen
Hello! I agree with the onslaught! Do you think (apart from the 1 couple and the guy I was told was booked when I booked) that it will all be women?? Last i checked there were still 4 places on the trip which means a cohort of 14 - which is the same as when Karen checked last and was told there was 1 couple and 12 solo travellers!
I too am trying to pack light - no posh frock for me but perhaps a skirt! Ordered some yen today and will get some more next week - the exchange rate is so miserable - perhaps I'll be eating noodles the whole trip too!
Latest on cherry blossom is opening in Kyoto on the 26th of March with full bloom within 10 days and on the 24th in Tokyo.
Got my joining instructions today. Depressingly early check in (why 3 hours before a short haul flight? Don't understand). Not sure whether to risk the tubes or book an expensive cab. I've given up on all attempts to pack light now - we're in one place for quite long periods of time so at least we don't have to move our bags every day. As long as I have enough room to bring home some goodies.
As for how the group is made up - maybe all the boys have been terrified by our chatter here and stayed away? ;-) I think us solo women will definitely be in the majority. Girl power!
BTW - I enquired elsewhere on the exodus forums about taking money to Japan and got the following from one of the senior Exodus staff. Should put everyone's mind at rest:
"It used to be very difficult to withdraw cash from ATM's in Japan using non-Japanese cards, but this is no longer the case. Many ATM's - often located in small convienience stores - take debit cards with Maestro and/or Cirrus logos.
Further information can be found on the Japan Guide website: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2208.html
If taking cash I would recommend Yen and not US Dollars."
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