How many of you like to travel? I would love to visit every country in the world. Yes, even the dangerous ones, as long as they’re not dangerous in the future. But there are some that I absolutely want to go to within the next ten years.
Below is a video where I describe the countries I want to visit. You’re welcome to read the list below the video, but you won’t get the reasons or why some of these countries are special to me. So, watch the video!
And here are the countries:
So, which countries do you want to visit, and why? Let me know in the comments section below.
I have a lot of videos to edit and post to YouTube. They were mostly taken back in October while my sister was visiting for two weeks. You’ve been waiting a long time for the videos to come out, so I thought I’d give you an idea about what you’ll see. So, here’s the grand list of videos I will post.
Enoshima – This will be a long video
Tsukiji Fish Market
Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and Odaiba
The Railway Museum
Ofuna Kannonji Temple
Kotokuin Temple (Daibutsu)
Oyama (hiking to the top of a mountain)
Shinjuku Gyoen (gardens)
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko Statue
Imperial Palace East Gardens (this will be a big video)
Tokyo International Forum
Hikawamaru (an old passenger ship)
Yokohama Chinatown and Chinese food
Motomachi (shopping district)
Yamate and Berrick Hall
And there will be another video from Izu. Or maybe more than one. We’re supposed to be going there later this month to see the kawazu zakura, which is a kind of early-blooming cherry tree. They’re bright pink. The area we’re going to has other attractions, as well.
Any of those look interesting to you? Let me know which ones you want to see in the comments below.
And just for a little taste, here’s the last Taste of Japan video. It’s a ride on one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels. It’s also the world’s largest clock. The view is amazing!
We just got back from a trip up to Saitama to visit my wife’s family. During this trip, we had to take a number of buses and trains. The system is extensive in the Tokyo area, and you can get pretty much anywhere you want in a timely manner and without much difficulty.
The trains are quick, many traveling between 90 and 110 kilometres per hour. The express and rapid trains are very nice for long distances. You can easily transfer from one train to another, even if it’s a different company. You can use the same IC card to pay for any train or bus. No need to count out change for a bus or train ticket.
Packing around a not-yet-4-year-old is not the easiest thing, and with her inability to sit for a very long time, she’s difficult to handle on a long train ride. While taking the trains and buses is convenient, it’s troublesome with a young child. On our way home, she fell asleep, and I had to carry her between two trains and have her sleep on me. And then there are the crowded trains. She was extremely fidgety on that train, and wanted to stand, then be held, then stand, then be held, etc. It’s physically demanding to travel by train with a young child. For something like this, I’d have preferred to drive. However, with the roads and traffic in the Tokyo area, that would be a major headache. I don’t think I could find a parking space, either.
For an overnight trip to a destination only one and a half hours away by train, I took a whopping four buses and eight trains. I love the train system in Japan, and could easily travel everywhere, but I wish I could do it with my daughter being a couple years older.
Ever take a trip or commute that frustrated you because of the transportation system? Or having to deal with young children?
Whenever I’ve been somewhere so many times it feels routing, I start going into automatic mode. I don’t seem to pay attention to my surroundings. When I go to new places, not only do I notice everything around me, I also feel the atmosphere of the place.
Thinking back to when I was a kid, I think I was always sensitive to the atmosphere of the places I was in. I got a certain mood from every place. I always remember camping at the Wapiti River, going to the playground near my house, and playing at recess in elementary school. Later, after we moved to a new town, I always enjoyed the atmosphere of the undeveloped area behind our house. There was a forested area that I often walked through.
As I grew older, I found that I wasn’t feeling the atmosphere as much. But it wasn’t sudden, it was gradual. Or maybe as an adult, I’ve been distracted by inner thoughts, and just didn’t give my full attention to my surroundings. That’s probably more likely.
What I noticed earlier this week is that I was actually feeling the atmosphere of the place I was in. I was just going out to buy a drink during my lunch break, and as I walked past a temple, I slowed down and just looked around. I started noticing the details of the temple and the high-rise apartment building next to it. It was at that moment that it hit me. I could feel the atmosphere of the place. Not only that, it made me think about how it felt when I was a newcomer in Japan. Everywhere had an atmosphere. That’s one reason I started walking around neighbourhoods near train stations. I wanted to experience the atmosphere of different places. It fascinated me.
But lately, I haven’t really gone anywhere new. And then I decided what I would do with my YouTube channel, and I think I found a way to recapture that feeling. I started thinking about the places I could go, make videos, and share the atmosphere of the place with others. I want to give people a simple view of the place. Little talking, just observe what’s around. I decided to call this series A Taste of Japan. Maybe through this, I can regain that feeling of newness that I used to have. I hope I can. And I hope you’ll enjoy watching the videos, too.
Reading fantasy, I find that my mind paints a picture of what the world looks like. There tend to be a lot of forests. And mountains. And caves. Sometimes there are grasslands and deserts, but mostly forests.
Looking around at the real world, I sometimes imagine what places are most like a fantasy setting. Here in Japan, you can find pockets of wilderness in the city that provide you with bamboo groves or valleys with small streams and tall trees. But when I think about fantasy, one place stands out. It’s in Canada. On Vancouver Island, there’s a place called Cathedral Grove. It has these massive trees in a temperate rain forest, and it’s a place you could imagine mythical being live and hunt in.
What places do you think could fit into a fantasy story?
One reason I love reading fantasy and science fiction is the possibility of exploration in remote or unknown places. So the thought of being in a remote place is appealing.
I haven’t really been anywhere remote. Maybe the most remote is North Dakota. The towns and cities are small, and the nearest large city is quite a distance away. But that’s not exactly remote, is it?
Or how about the top of Mt Fuji? It’s too near Tokyo to be remote, but on the top of the mountain, the feeling of being on the frontier was there. Except it was crowded. And I was next to three cell phone antennas.
How about you? What’s the most remote place you’ve been? A place where few people live, and signs of civilisation are limited. Let me know in the comments.
I love being high. But I also hate it. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. I’m talking about tall buildings and mountains, of course!
I like being at the top of this:
And seeing this:
I love seeing the view from tall buildings and mountains. In Japan, we have Yokohama Landmark Tower in Yokohama, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (which is free and has a great view in Shinjuku), Sunshine 60 (a rooftop view from Ikebukuro), Tokyo Tower (looks like the Eiffel Tower), and Tokyo Skytree (tallest freestanding tower in the world at 634 metres). They all command amazing views of the cities they’re in.
In Edmonton, the city’s newest tallest building is under construction, Stantec’s headquarters, and will be 250 metres tall, the tallest building in Canada west of Toronto. I’m excited to see that.
But I also said mountains. I’ve been to the top of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Oyama (and will likely go there again in October), and Mt. Takao, all here in Japan. In Canada, the top of the Whistlers in Jasper afforded a wonderful view of the town.
But where’s the hate? Well, if I’m on a balcony, the edge of a cliff, or at the top of a building without a barrier, I don’t like leaning over the edge. I get an immediate feeling of pending doom. If there’s glass in the way, no problem. A balcony railing isn’t good enough to stop the feeling. But I’m fine with being at the top of a 3,776 metre mountain, which also happens to be a volcano.
I’d like to give my American readers a big Happy Independence Day! You make up more than half of my readers, and your support is appreciated very much. I hope you have a wonderful day, a great barbecue, great beer, and great fireworks (if you do all of those).
I may be Canadian, but I do have a connection to the US. You see, my grandmother was born in the United States. North Dakota, to be exact. Yes, my grandmother was American, but immigrated to Canada when she was young. But being from North Dakota, she was Norwegian, as many Norwegians settled there. Lots in Minnesota, too, right?
When I was a kid, my grandparents had an idea for one summer. They suggested that they take me on a road trip around the United States. They had given me some amazing maps of the US that were made in the 1980s, but incredibly high quality paper. Those were some of my favourite maps. All fifty states had their own map, and I looked at them a lot, being a geography geek as long as I can remember. That trip never came to be, unfortunately, but it would have been incredible. We would have traveled around with their fifth wheel and stayed at campgrounds all over the country.
Now that I’m returning to Canada with my family, I’d love to take a few road trips around the States, as well as Canada. Lots of places to see, and I think it would be incredible. So, this is your chance to convince me which places would be a must see in the US. Let me know in the comments.
I’m from Canada, but I’ve been living in Japan since 2005. When we move to Canada next year, I will have been in Japan nearly 11 years.
Living in another country can give you a different perspective on many things. You learn about different cultures, languages, and food. And you can also learn more about your own country from outside. I have a very different perspective on Canada now, and I can appreciate it more, as well as see where the problems are more clearly. I feel like I want to get more involved in things in Canada. I also want to travel a lot in Canada.
How about you? Where are you from and where have you lived? What did you learn when you lived abroad?
The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.