Prepping For My Japan Trip

by Ed Lau on April 21, 2008

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before here. I talk about it often with the Dot Com Pho crew since some of them will be coming for the first leg but I don’t remember if I mentioned it before here on my blog. Anyways, for the past six months, I’ve been thinking of going on a little trip. Several Dot Com Pho members and myself are heading to Taiwan in June for the Computex show. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking of going at first but since I’ve been thinking of going to Japan for awhile, I might as well make a little detour to Taiwan while I’m at it.

I’ve never really taken a trip on my own but I’ve always wanted to. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoy being with my friends and family but sometimes you just want to do things on your own schedule without having to put up with anyone else’s so after Computex ends on…I believe the 7th or 8th, I’ll stay in Taiwan for another couple days and then head to Japan, where I’ll live until mid to late August. I’m guessing I’ll leave right at the end of August. I don’t have much in terms of planning other than a few foods I have to try (Fugu, in particular, or poisonous puffer fish) and a couple places I have to visit. Mostly, I want to hang out with my camera and see what happens. I’ll be based out of Tokyo but I’ll be taking short trips elsewhere as well, including a visit to some traditional Japanese ryokan and maybe a couple days in Kyoto.

Why go by myself? Well, honestly, I think there’s less stress involved when you take a trip solo and I’m outgoing enough that I’m sure I’ll meet some people along the way. I don’t speak the language, know my way around or anyone in the vicinity but hey, that’s never stopped me before. Also, I think of this as a little bit of a “test run” to see how traveling solo treats me. In all honesty, I have absolutely zero clue what I want to do after I’m totally finished at university (one more year…hopefully) and I think either teaching English in Japan (like Gary did in Korea) might be fun or heck, I could just pack up and see where the road (or planes) take me. I’m at a point in my life where I could just pack up tomorrow and jet. Hey, might as well have an adventure while I’m still relatively young, no?

I confirmed the apartment I’ll be renting this summer last week. It was a little bit more expensive than I was hoping but I can’t argue with the location, which is a short train ride (10 minutes) and stroll from the middle of Tokyo, near the Shibuya station. While it is tiny by Western standards, it’s massive when you consider the size of an apartment in Tokyo.

Anyways, I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions. What suggestions? You tell me. Could be particular places to visit, a fun club, a great restaurant…whatever. I’ve got two and a half months to do whatever the heck I want. Are there any special events happening in Tokyo between June and August I should know about?

I’m sure I’ll update a bit on this before I leave and the.[ED]ition will turn into a travel blog during the summer with live blogging from Computex and then my travels in Japan.

in Travel

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

becky April 22, 2008 at 7:53 am

Nice apartment…. Tiny, but clean and livable.


Stephen April 22, 2008 at 9:25 am

If you get lonely Ed, I’m sure that someone will be waiting at the 7-11 to offer you beautiful girls to your apartment =)

I was going to do Japan, but I think I might hit Italy instead. Ciao!


Leo April 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Or beautiful boys ;)


Mike Huang April 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Dang Ed, how much money are you making? A room like that in Japan should cost a WHOLE LOT!


p.s. Talk to and get together with him :)


Ed Lau April 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm

The rent isn’t too crazy…but the monthly would get me a decent downtown apartment or house in the suburbs here in Vancouver.


Malcolm Owen April 23, 2008 at 1:19 am
Malcolm Owen April 23, 2008 at 1:20 am

Damnit, I screwed the link up, sorry…


Leo April 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm

My sister worked for JET, one of the prerequisites is that you need a degree from a recognized university. Ed’s photography classes just won’t cut it ;)


Ed Lau April 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm

12 credits from being a Bachelor of Sociology… :(


weew April 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I am teh jealous…

How did you find a place to stay? Any tips?

One piece of advice is to bring lots of money as credit cards are not as popular in Japan. This is not the say that cc are not widely accepted, that I don’t know. I just know that they carry a lot of cash over there and also use their smart phones for payment.


Michael Kwan April 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I thought you said your apartment was near Shinjuku station, not Shibuya.


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