So, the next few blog posts won’t be focused a lot on quilting although there is some of that happening these days as well.  I have been asked by many people now when I am going to post about my travel to Japan so here it is. This is going to be good for me as well as it will bring a lot of the trip’s memories back.

Why Japan

I have been asked why Japan! A few years back now, I visited Japan for the first time with my then husband Doug as his daughter was teaching English there and my ex wanted to go and visit her. At first, I wasn’t that excited at the prospect, I had never really travelled outside of North America except to Hawaii and that is part of the United States so can’t really be counted even though it is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

I did a lot of research on Japan at the time and in so doing I started looking forward to the trip. We were gone just over 2 weeks. Well, it turns out that I fell in love with Japan and have always wanted to go back.

The Opportunity

About 3 years ago, Mom and I went on a cruise through the Panama Canal, (see posts here) and on that cruise, we had quite a group of people at our dinner table. Two of those people were a woman and her brother. Well, the three of us hit it off and we ended up spending a lot of time together on that cruise with Mom participating when she could.

Karen came to visit me here in Victoria that year and I happened to mention that I really wanted to go back to Japan someday but Kevin (my current husband) didn’t like to travel. Next thing I knew we were booked to go, and the rest is history.

Trip Planning

So first off, Karen does a lot of travels with a company called Overseas Adventure Travel (I highly recommend them BTW, the service was excellent). This company specializes in small group travel which I agreed to because of the small size (I am really not a fan of group travel under normal circumstances, travelling with a busload of 40 strangers and being told we only have 1 hour in a place just doesn’t interest me at all). Karen assured me that OAT was different, and she thought I would enjoy it. She was right and because the group was small, we got to do and see many different things we wouldn’t have done or seen on our own, but I will get into more of that as we go along. For this trip, we did some with OAT and some on our own and it was wonderful!

 Start of the Journey

Karen lives in Newport News Virginia, so to make this trip together we both had to meet up in Seattle Washington. She decided to fly into Seattle on Thursday, March 21, 2019, and overnight in Seattle for our flight out Friday morning. Since for me, it is a short 35-minute flight from Victoria to Seattle I could easily have flown Friday morning and met up with her at the airport. However, I decided to fly to Seattle on Thursday as well and was invited to stay overnight with my cousin in Seattle. This was awesome as I hadn’t seen them in a while (so close yet so far type of thing).

First Leg Seattle

So, I arrived in Seattle at around lunchtime on Thursday and Beth my cousin’s wife picked me up at the airport. It was a beautiful sunny day and the two of us had a wonderful walk around their neighbourhood all the while catching up with everything that had been going on in our lives. They have a beautiful house that is overlooking Lake Union (I think but could be wrong) and a view looking up to Seattle from their living room window.

It was a lovely afternoon with my cousin joining us when he finished work for the day. The next morning, Mark was able to swing by Karen’s hotel and pick her up and then drop the two of us off at the airport.

A Sad Note

I am so glad I made the decision to visit Mark and Beth even for so short a time as I hadn’t been home from Japan for long when I got the news from Mark that Beth was in hospital fighting an inoperable brain tumour. That was now over 40 days ago, and she is still in hospital as I write this. Beth is only a year older than I am. It just brings home the fact that life is short, don’t wait to do the things you want to do. She had just retired and was looking forward to travelling to Italy and making plans for downsizing in the next few months.

The Flight

Our flight left before 1:00 pm on Friday, March 22, 2019, and arrived in Narita Airport which is about a 40-minute train ride outside of Tokyo.  It was 3:40 pm on Saturday, March 23, 2019, when we arrived. Neither of us slept on the plane so we had been up over 24 hours by that time and we still had a train to catch.

Getting through customs was really easy, Japan has so many people around waiting to help you and direct you in the right direction (unlike many other countries) and before we knew it we had our bags and ready for the next step.

Next Steps

Once we landed at the airport we had two tasks, one find the post office (yes Japan has post offices located at all of their airports and even at all of the different terminals at the airports!) Japan Wireless had mailed me the wireless device we were to use so all I had to do was show my passport and pick the parcel up at the post office! Yup talk about efficient!

We asked directions, got to the post office, picked up the parcel all in record time. Next we needed to find the train into Tokyo. We had already purchased vouchers for the Keisei Skyliner so we just needed to exchange them for tickets and get into the city. This cost roughly $20.00 per person. We could have done this cheaper by taking a local train but that would have been over an hour and the Skyliner was a lot more comfortable and only had a few stops so was much faster. Comfort and speed overruled the few dollars we would have saved at that point.

More to Tell

So, there is obviously much more to tell as this is only the start, however, I am going to leave the trip here for now and pick it up again, from this point. I will try to post more often so this doesn’t draw out to weeks and weeks of Japan blog posts!!

Stay tuned


  1. sheila

    great blog Janice … looking forward to more… :):):)

  2. sheila

    I really enjoyed your blog Janice … so sorry to hear about Beth….

    looking forward to more about Japan… :):):)

    • sunshi72_wp

      Thanks for the great feedback Sheila. It has been great going back down memory lane. I know I will really have a record of it on this blog.


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