Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Adventure

What I'll look like after a Tokyo-Shikoku journey on local trains

Every once in a while I like to subject myself to personal experiments. For example, last year I attempted (and more or less successfully completed) a summer hibernation challenge, just to see how long I would last without driving myself insane (I overdosed on photo booth and take out sushi).

This summer, I'm attempting a different, more exciting kind of challenge. In a few days I'll be traveling all the way south to Shikoku, the island where I spent my first year in Japan. It's actually very far away, and I'll use my Seishun 18 kippu to ride local trains all the way from Tokyo. As I've mentioned before, this pass is one of the best deals in Japan, and is only offered at limited times, so I highly recommend getting your hands on it, to hop all over the country for next to nothing.

If you have a lot of time, traveling on slow trains is the best way to see the landscape of Japan. Even though I love riding the Shinkansen, it speeds through so quickly, and it's difficult to take in the surroundings and see small towns. I just love riding trains in general, as they're less smothering than buses and allow more freedom to move around.

All my friends have warned me, though. The journey takes several hours (possibly two days), and I think I'll hate myself halfway through and be tempted to hop on the Shinkansen, but I'll try to resist the urge. I'll make sure I have plenty of books, music, snacks, and water.

I'm particularly excited to return to Kagawa prefecture, a place I'm so fond of. It has been over a year since I last visited, and many of my friends are still there, and I've missed the rice fields and mountains and general peacefulness of the countryside. I can't wait to write about it and share this part of my life that is unfamiliar to most of my Tokyo friends.

I've been so lighthearted thinking about Shikoku and just loving my summer in Tokyo so far, I think my heart will explode with happiness.

I will travel from Tokyo (lime green part on the right)
to Shikoku (light purple island all the way down)


Noire said...

I'll be using the Seishun 18 kippu this summer to make my way over to Shiraishi Island and rabbit Island as I love bunnies :)
I'm not too excited about the 12 hour, 11 transfer train ride.

Yuri said...

That definitely seems like a journey! I hope you can have fun, and hang in there if you start feeling tired :]

Komainulock said...

Since last time I have been trying to read your past posts. I know why you have an insight into French through your previous posts. I also have an experience of living in Korea for a year. Fortunately, however, I lived there with my brother, so I didn't feel isolated in Seoul at all:)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading all of your new posts. And I recommend you to visit Karuizawa in Nagano pref if you have the time. It's one of the best places in Japan to escape from the hectic life and humid Summer in Tokyo.

Have a great adventure!

Betina said...

Hey Vivian,
Hope you'll have a great little summer adventure. I love traveling by train too. Somehow time stops while you're looking at the scenery outside the window.

Anyway, if you need some new music for a playlist, check out Twin Shadow. Maybe you know him, but his music is news to me, and I think he'll be a great addition to my summer soundtrack.

Neo said...

Hi Vivian hi!

I LOVE this idea, it seems like a great way to go back to where you started and reminded yourself of that quiet life. I have been reading your posts where you just explore your Shimokitazawa neighborhood, and I love everything about it!

I hope that heat and humidity isn't all too bad at this point -- bring LOTS of water if you're going on such a long journey. I am excited to see photos from this journey!

Sending positive thoughts your way


kathrynoh said...

I've done Tokyo to Fukuoka on the Seishun 18. My advice - take a cushion or at least a big scarf or something you fold up to sit on! I didn't get bored though, always something to look plus I had books, sketch pad etc. And napped.

The Tokyo-Fukuoka route is good too because there are plenty of trains so you don't need to stress if you want to get off somewhere. I also did Tokyo - Niigata - Akita - Aomori and there are like 2-3 trains a day so had to plan it very carefully.