Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hawaii and Japan, 2014 - 10/15 - Day 0 - Plans and Itineraries

My partner Sean enjoying our first full-strength restaurant
cocktail after being released from the shackles of
Utah liquor laws

It is a casual rule of mine not to visit the same place twice. Afterall, there are so many places to see out there, it seems a shame to overlap. But I also recently started another chapter of my life as well, a chapter I am sharing with my partner Sean. Japan was high on Sean's list of places to see, and since we were planning on going to Phil's wedding, and Hawaii is halfway to Japan anyway, it seemed a natural choice to make it our first international destination together. So, I happily return to Japan, expecting that my perspective will be notably different with a partner than it was traveling with friends.Ok, sappy stuff out of the way, let's talk about itineraries. I am currently writing this entry on the plane from Seattle to Maui, where we'll arrive in the late evening and then drive to the property we are renting for the next six nights. The next five days are all Maui and wedding. We've got a few hard scheduled items like driving the Hana Highway on Friday and snorkeling on Sunday afternoon, but the rest of our schedule is either wedding related, or unstructured. It also appears now that we'll be enjoying the company of category one hurricane Ana during our short stay, so our plans may have to be a bit flexible.
Two nights in Oahu, then we're off to Tokyo, where we'll spend five days and five nights. There's no wont for things to do in Tokyo and we've got a loose list of things we want to hit up and a much bigger list of things we want to eat. I'll get to that in another post.
All of our stays with the exception of the night in the Ryokan, the two nights in Nara, and the two nights in Honolulu, are at rented apartments we discovered through two services - AirBnB and HomeAway. A coworker of mine said he had a terrific experience using them when he traveled to France, so thought we'd try it out on this trip and see how it goes. I'll report in with my findings.

Setting off for adventure again!
I'd like to get started on this particular travel journal acknowledging the impetus for this trip, that being the wedding of two good friends of mine, Phil Katz and Jessica Mulvey. My first trip to Hawaii and indeed Japan, were both in Phil's company, and he and his generous family allowed me to stay in their home in Maui and experience the island with people that were very familiar with it. Now I return to Maui to see Phil married to the love of his life and enjoy the company of his family once again, though I suspect they might be a bit more harried this time around with the hundred plus other guests that will also be enjoying their company.
After Maui we island hop to Oahu and spend a few days there. I know very little about Oahu, having only been in the Honolulu airport and not much else. We're staying in the city and have some loose plans to maybe...hike...somewhere, I don't know. The plan will become clearer as we get closer, I'm sure.
Following Tokyo we take the Shinkansen to Kyoto where we'll be spending one night in a traditional ryokan, equipped with onsen and everything. I suspect our hosts won't speak a lick of English, and I look forward to the awkwardness of that. After the one night in the ryokan we'll be spending three more nights in Kyoto, and then headed for a short stay in the town of Nara.
After Nara, it's back on the Shinkansen to Osaka where we'll spend three nights before returning to Tokyo. Two more nights in Tokyo, then it's back to Salt Lake City via Portland and back to normal life.
That's it for now. Tune in for the next time!

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