2020 was quite the year to say the least but on a personal note, one of the unfortunate things that happened was that Joe’s and my trip to Japan was cancelled (fortunately and more importantly we’ve stayed healthy). That trip was going to influence the posts I’d write this year as well a provide me fresh images to use whenever writing about Japan. Despite this year’s challenges, Joe and I were still able to take a few day trips around the Pacific Northwest as well as plan a future solo trip to Hawaii so luckily I’ll still have fresh content for you to look forward to.

Let’s forget about 2020 though and look forward to the future!

Japan trips

Per usual, I made a Google slide deck of things to do for the trip we planned on taking this past November but I plan to edit and upload the slide deck in a new post in the very near future. In a nutshell, the plan was to spend the first night at the Tokyo Station Hotel, take the shinkansen to Kyoto for two nights and stay in the Gion (Geisha) neighborhood. After that we would’ve spent the rest of the trip in Tokyo, staying in Shinjuku, revisiting favorite spots and exploring new locations we couldn’t get to last time (including the neighborhood that Sailormoon took place in!). However, after reviewing my itinerary full of the new information I’d gained from watching the NHK World Japan app programs basically on repeat, I decided there was changes I definitely wanted to make and I’ll be sure to publish my plans.

Flexibility please: bucketlists by cities & neighborhoods

I decided that the main flaw with my November 2020 itinerary, regarding how it’s currently structured, is it doesn’t allow stress-free flexibility if the weather isn’t right or maybe you just don’t have the energy you thought you would, to name a couple examples. So I decided that my personal itinerary for my next Japan trip (the airplane tickets were non-refundable so I gotta go again!), I’ll be creating bucketlists based on the areas of Japan that I’d like to visit. The most detailed bucketlists will be of Tokyo city and Kyoto city where I’ll organize the lists by the neighborhood/area within that city (like Gion, Kyoto or Shibuya, Tokyo).

After watching the #TOKYO, Tokyo Eye 2020, Core Kyoto and Japanology + programs basically on repeat, I have been taking detailed notes that I plan to incorporate into my posts. Initially I was just adding these TV show notes to the Google slide deck I mentioned above (so those notes will still be there), but now I hope this new method will provide me flexibility to pick which neighborhood I want to visit that day based on the activities available, the weather, and how I am or the group is feeling that day.

Trips organized by themes

Another series of posts I will create will be itineraries based on the types of experiences you’d like to have in Japan. I’ll do research on places to visit if you love the aesthetic of tiny back alleyways, rooftop experiences, Disney focused and more. These posts will be helpful for people who aren’t necessarily worried about seeing every tourist attraction, but rather focus on experiences they find interesting (although I’ll try to incorporate which tourist attractions are nearby for those interested). I’ll also only be focusing on parts and aesthetics of Japan that I’d like to visit one day so I likely won’t cover too many themes/cities.

Instagram | #PNW #afk_adventures

Since I can’t travel as much, my images on Instagram (@afk_adventures) will focus mainly on local photos around Washington, a couple images from our day trip to the Oregon Coast in November, and eventually I’ll have images from my upcoming trip to Hawaii in 2021!

Oregon Coast day trip

Joe and I took the camper van down the 101 scenic Pacific Coast Highway route stopping to visit Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Manzanita.

Hawaii 2021

Follow me on Instagram (@afk_adventures) if you’re interested in seeing my daily adventures around Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. I’ll likely spend 99% of my time there but I hope to also explore other parts of the island to revisit favorite places and discover new locations (my friend from college lives there so we plan on reuniting one of the days!).

Check back soon!

I have a draft post on activities around Asakusa (tourism is likely to start again as early as April!) so I hope to post that this month and then next month stay tuned for my Hawaii posts. I hope your 2021 is filled with love and happiness!

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