My name is Christy and I’ve been traveling to Japan with my daughter, Kira, since 2006. This website is where I provide tips and advice to help you travel to Japan and explore all the wonders it has to offer. I hope this website will inspire Otaku, Japan-lovers, and anyone else who’s interested by showing them that a dream trip to Japan can come true.
You see, before we took that first trip I didn’t think that I could afford to travel that far away or negotiate a country where the language is so different from English. The only non-English speaking country I had visited was Mexico. And I studied Spanish in school; and besides, their alphabet is the same.
But I have a friend who grew up in South Africa and she encouraged me to go. She knew that Kira and I were huge anime fans and wanted to make the pilgrimage. Anime—Japanese animation—often tells stories about life in Japan and is always a reflection of their culture. My interest in anime became an interest in Japan so I followed my friend’s advice and began researching trips to Japan.
Our first trip in 2006 was a 5-day package tour that I booked through Jalpak Tours. My agent, Reiko, arranged everything. She even had a woman meet us at our hotel and take us on the train to visit the Ghibli Museum. The package included a city tour with a guide who had nothing new to tell me. I realized that I would rather explore without a guide. So, on our last day, I decided to brave the train station and we rode to Shibuya and back on our own!
In 2007 we took a 16-day trip and traveled beyond Tokyo. This time I gave Reiko specific instructions: a few days in Tokyo, a stay in a hot springs resort, and a few days in Kyoto. She arranged the transportation and hotel stays; I did the rest. I researched things to see and do and figured out how to get there. Despite some bumps we managed and our confidence grew.
In 2009, I made all of the arrangements for our 20-day trip. We stayed in Tokyo, went to Naeba for the Fuji Rock Festival, visited Mt. Fuji and finished up in Hakone. I found and booked accommodations, poured over train schedules, and selected activities.
Now I am planing our next trip. We want to visit Hokkaido so this time we’re getting Rail Passes. We want to try more hostels and inns. I built this website so I can help you create the trip of your dreams—just like me.