The new year is here and so am I … though still not sure of what the latter half of 2015 holds. As I write this, my husband and I are waiting for word of our next move. Yes, after seven years in Japan, we may have to soon leave the archipelago we’ve called home for so much for our adult life. It makes me too heartbroken to even contemplate in concrete terms so until I have the information in hand, I’m blissfully pretending nothing will change. 🙂
But that means I might only have six or seven months this year to get in all of the traveling I want to do. And as time ticks down, isn’t it always the case that you want to cram in everything you haven’t already seen or done??
I did a pretty good job of hitting my goals for 2014 (more on that in a minute) and adding in a few destinations that weren’t even a glimmer in my mind last January. So what’s on the agenda for 2015? Well, here goes:
Matsue – I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been saying I want to go to Matsue since we moved to Kyushu in 2012 (and long before that too, actually). But here’s the thing. It is dang hard to reach, y’all. Trains, buses. flights … nothing gets me there from Kyushu in a reasonable amount of time. But I absolutely want to make it happen because I can’t leave Japan without having witnessed the Adachi Museum of Art’s garden, rated number one in the country for years. And with a castle and canals and a host of tempting food, it’s just a matter of finding the time.
Kinosaki Onsen – No secret that I am an onsen lover. What is surprising is that I have never taken the time, in all my trips to Kyoto, to pop up north to the Sea of Japan Coast to visit Kinosaki Onsen. I hear the willow-lined streets there are lovely but for me, a visit needs to happen in winter so I can both soak in an onsen while watching the snow and gorge myself on the crab that will be in-season. I very much see this goal getting checked off quite early this year.
Aomori – If I am around this summer, I vow to spend it in Aomori. I still want to witness the Neputa Festival in early August and enjoy a hike along the Oirase Stream, one of the prettiest places in all of Japan according to a friend of mine. Add to that the fact that I have never been that far north in Honshu (and should use that excuse to pop across to Hakodate in Hokkaido as well) and it definitely means that, if I am here, my summer travel plans are already set.
And in the meantime, I aim to fill my weekends with local trips, festivals and as much onsen hopping as I can. I already have a trip to Mt Koya on the books for the end of the month (SO excited!) and I’ll explore Yamaguchi Prefecture with my daughter in tow in February. Who knows what will catch my eye along the way. Any suggestions?? Chime in below!!