I've dreamed of going to Japan since jr. high school. How many years, you ask? Well, I'm not telling but it's been more than a couple years.
Finally, in 2 years, I'll get to go. It's been more years of waiting than I would have hoped but I think I'll appreciate the trip more. If I had gone after high school, would I have taken "Intro to Japanese" in college? Would I have looked up as many tips and tricks about visiting? Would I love the food as much?
My mother asked me what are the key things I want to see in Japan; where do I need to visit to make it a great trip? The wonderful, and perhaps challenging thing, about Japan is that I love the culture and country so much that many of the things I want to see are in so many places like the temples and shrines that cover the country. Well, you say, it should be easy to see stuff that's everywhere but it's difficult to plan a cross-country trip with multiple people this way.
It is also a good thing that the key things I want to see are everywhere because I don't have a million places that are "must sees". I sat down and thought hard about what I needed to see in Japan to feel like the trip was a success. I realize that most of what I was looking for was just being there. To help my parents plan their side of the trip, I thought of about 5 things that I needed to do and a few more "hey, that'd be fun" things. Mom had the great idea of doing a day activity in Kyoto where we'll have the chance to dress up like a geisha! How amazing would that be? We'd be given about an hour to wander around a nearby park that what a temple or shrine and take pictures.
For now, I stare at picture of landscapes, learn about the money, and continue to dream of the rising sun.