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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Travel Arrangements

   I sure did pick a really bad time of year to fly to Japan, but it really couldn't be helped (I had to work around the Navy's schedule and Erica's summer break).  Regardless, both mine and Erica's plane tickets to Nagoya, Japan are paid for, and there is no more turning back now.  I knew international flights were expensive, but after a grand total of $4650 (2 people) for the flight alone, I am really feeling it.  The flight alone costs more than our tuition at Yamasa!  On July 16, 2012, I will be flying around the world to spend a month studying the Japanese language at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan.

Lanterns floating down river during the Bon Festival
 The reason why the flight is so expensive, other than it being the busiest vacation month of the year, is because of the Bon Festival.  The Bon Festival is a Buddhist tradition in which Japanese families get together to welcome and celebrate the spirits of their ancestors.  The date of when it is celebrated varies from region to region, but it lasts 3 days and is celebrated around July 15 (close to my departure) or August 15 (close to my return).  I'm not sure what holiday to compare it to in the States, but I would say it is most like Thanksgiving since families get together and employers give everyone time off for the holiday.  I will have the opportunity to experience the Bon Festival just before I leave (it is August 12 - 15 in Okazaki), so I will do another write-up then.

   All of my preparations are complete with just 6 weeks left before I leave, and I can hardly wait.  Really, this trip is going to give me a taste of what my life will be like after the Navy, since I intend to return to Yamasa as a full time AIJP student after I separate from the Navy. 

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