After our Eastern Europe holiday in September 2013 I began thinking of our next holiday destination for 2014. I begun having osteoarthritis of my knees and I know I don't have many years left to be able to travel without aid. And the EE holiday taught me to only consider short trips. It isn't I'm not game but my wife doesn't like traveling as much as I do. Plus from 2014 we have more time constraints. Our granddaughter staying with us has started school and any traveling has to be done during her school breaks.
I've never seriously place Japan as a preferred destination, not because of anything I dislike but the impression of high cost of holidaying there. Having been to most of the popular Asian and Australian destinations I have Japan uncovered. I've shortlisted only 2 areas I like to go - the Mount Fuji area in Honshu and Hokkaido. My primary interest is again sightseeing with minimal known strenuous walking. Hokkaido was recommended by a friend but the weather is much colder and only amenable during summer or early autumn. My first choice is the Honshu InDepth 7D/5N package offered by Golden Tourworld Travel or GTT. The attraction is its full board package as I don't need adventure at my age, just the relaxation to be driven and shown nice places and provided all meals like they did for the EE holiday. I was tracking this package since last November but it was only on Jan 7 that I got a departure date and price. The holiday period was perfect. The 7 days covered the first term break. I wasted little time to accept it after informing my wife and children. Nothing apart from something tragic like earthquake or radioactive spillage can derail my plan. Concerns on the Fukushima nuclear plant radioactive spillage is dispelled as this tour itinerary is far from Sendai. On Jan 13 I paid the deposit to secure 2 places for the tour. The balance I paid late February. Visa is not required for this trip.
The recent disappearance of MAS flight MH370 does gave me some anxiety but I quickly dispelled it as an event beyond anyone's control. I decide to put my trust God as I've always did every time I travel overseas. Our tour leader informed me our group size is 23. Over the past days we began to pack. The weather is expected to be cold, from 8-16C, so we pack accordingly. As this tour coincide with the beginning of spring there is a good chance of catching the early bloom of the Sakura flowers. Hope we're lucky and to share here with my readers when I return from Japan.