It’s mostly a family vacation thing – partially “I’ve always wanted to go there” and partially a little live research. (I’ve been doing a lot of historical sleuthing on the Edo period Yoshiwara – not because I want to romanticize it in any way, but it is rather fascinating, if somewhat depressing.) I don’t know if I’m going to set a historical story there or just borrow elements for something more fantasy based, but I figure getting to see some of it directly will be very helpful. (I have very mixed feelings about utilizing another culture in fantasy settings anyway – probably best for another post, but at any rate more research of any sort can’t hurt at all.)
We’ll be there for a couple of weeks – with a lightly planned itinerary and even lighter baggage (as in no checked suitcases at all). I don’t like micro-management at the best of times, let alone when I’m exploring. Plus, with the fibromyalgia and the back ridiculousness, I don’t need to set myself up for failure if I can’t manage to do everything I want.
At this point I’ve got a few points of interest mapped out that I want to do/see and the rest are “if we have time and I’m up to it.” Otherwise, it can wait until the next trip. I’ve also actually been studying the language for about a year now – my grammar is pretty poor still, but I do study kanji/vocab every day. At this point, I read it far better than I speak it, even if I’m slow, but I figure as long as I can manage the basics, that will be good enough. I’m decent enough with hiragana/katakana anyway and I suppose google translate can (poorly) handle the rest.
And really, I’ve been making a number of Japanese conversational friends on Hello Talk/LINE, so if I get stuck, I can always ask one of them. (We’re actually going to meet at least one of them in Kyoto, so that should be nice.)
I will probably be spamming Instagram with photos, so feel free to follow me there, if you’re interested. I’ve had ideas of trying to do a nightly travel blog update here, but we’ll see how my energy levels are. I’m not bringing a laptop, but I do have one of those lovely new iPads with a keyboard and a number of writing apps I’m going to try to use/test out, so we’ll see how far I get. 🙂