Geeking Out Monday: Japan

Welcome to Geeking Out Monday, a brand new segment where I write about what I’m most excited about right now! Monday can be a huge drag so let’s take a bit of time at the start of the week to think about the things we love!

This week I’m geeking out about Japan!


I’ve been interested in Japan and Japanese culture ever since I got interested in anime. I took Japanese in high school and college, regularly eat Japanese food, and yes, still watch anime. But the reason I’m geeking out about Japan right now is that I’m in the middle of planning a trip to Japan.

Deciding to go to Japan was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Yeah I know, how does a broke millenial living in the midwest impulsively go to Japan? Well I’m lucky enough to have a friend from college in the JET program. This is her last year teaching in Japan, and around Christmas I realized it was my last chance to visit her.

I started looking at flights and somehow found round trip tickets for a little over $800. During cherry blossom season. I decided that this was fate, since every other time I’ve looked at flights to Tokyo it’s been well over $1,000. I talked to my friend, and a week or so later my wife and I had tickets to Japan.

We’ll be overseas for about two weeks. We’ll be spending a couple nights in Tokyo and a couple nights in Kyoto, but for the most part we’ll be staying in a small mountain town called Koshu. My friend has views of Mount Fuji from her home, and it’s only a two hour train ride to Tokyo.

I’ve learned that two weeks in Japan isn’t even close to enough. It will be my longest vacation, and I’m not even going to do ¼ of what I want to do. Some of the adventures I’m most excited for are:

  • Visiting temples in Kyoto

  • Trying tons of authentic Japanese food

  • Participating in Nagomi Visit, a service that allows you to meet with a local host and cook a meal together in their home.

  • Seeing otaku culture in Akihabara

  • Hiking in the Japanese mountains

  • Sakura!

  • Finally trying an onsen

  • Testing out my rusty Japanese

Looking at my itinerary so far, I can tell it’s a bit ambitious, especially in Kyoto where we only have about 3 days to explore. I can’t help it. There’s so much to see and experience. When I travel, I want the experiences I have to broaden my horizons, and the more things I see the more chances I have for that to happen.

Have any of you been to Japan? I’m always interested in people’s recommendations, and I really want to see some off-the-beaten-track things as well as the more typical tourist attractions.

What are you Geeking Out about today?