Heading South for a Few Days…
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Japan is known as an “Island Nation” because it does not share a border with any country. That tends to make you feel that domestic travel is simple and close to home, even if you actually travel some distance, because you never leave “the island”. Domestic travel feels less expensive, too: Japan is a relatively small country, and so a trip to a far-flung corner of it is just a bigger version of a trip to the local convenience store.

But, of course, “Island Nation” really should be plural, “Islands Nation”, because there are many islands. There are the four huge islands that are collectively known as the Japanese mainland, but there are thousands and thousands more.

Some are much further from the mainland than others.

A couple of years ago we spent the early-May Golden-Week holidays in snowy Hokkaido. Last year I took Anthony camping. This year we're heading south.

We're heading off tomorrow on a short trip to one of the “further” islands, Ishigaki Island. It's a domestic trip – no passports or three-hour-ahead-checkin required – but during this trip, we'll be closer to Taipei than some people in Taiwan. And everyone in Korea, North or South, will be closer to our house than we will.

I've packed a few pairs of shorts, a Bill Bryson book my mom sent for my birthday earlier in the month, and (of course!) my camera and a small selection of lenses....

Back in less than a week....


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Happy snorkeling! Funny thought – you have a packload of high quality camera gear. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the best shots you get are from a $7.00 disposable underwater camera? 🙂

— comment by Marcina, USA on April 29th, 2009 at 9:52pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Have a nice trip. After making such great plug-ins you’re worth it. 😉

— comment by Håkan Dahlström on April 29th, 2009 at 10:13pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I myself am fond of the term “archipelago” to describe what Japan is. Such a fun word to write or say…

— comment by Zachary on April 29th, 2009 at 10:55pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Zachary commented “I myself am fond of the term “archipelago” to describe what Japan is. Such a fun word to write or say…”

Funny that you say that, because not only do I also have a list of words that I just enjoy how it feels to say, “archipelago” has always been at the top of that list. “Maracaibo” is another. Hmmm. If only there were a bunch of islands in Venezuela’s biggest lake. I’d love to go visit the Maracaibo Archipelago.

— comment by Marcina, USA on April 29th, 2009 at 11:53pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Have a great vacation! Can’t wait to see the pictures afterwards. I enjoyed all the posts earlier about Kyoto’s hidden treasures and such.

— comment by Sonal, MN on April 29th, 2009 at 11:58pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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