I've only experienced Japan in winter twice, both times whilst we were living there between 1998 and 2000. I'm pretty sure we didn't travel either, so this year is really going to be a revelation. We're off on Tuesday morning, to arrive in Japan about 9pm that night...
Our trip is going to start off in Kyoto for 5 days, including a couple of day trips to Himeji and Hiroshima. Hiroshima is the farthest south we'll venture, and then we'll head north. Three days in Tokyo, followed by Hachinohe (Aomori prefecture), Hakodate and Sapporo. I'm expecting by this stage to get out the scarf, gloves, and thermals. Most times when I've gone to Japan, its been mid summer, sweaty, Tshirts, shorts and summer festival season.
L and I are going this time, after I took G last year - it'll be fun for L to tag along I think, along with 12 students from school and another teacher.
Onsens will be the order of the day, something to warm us up, after braving the cold. At the top here is a photo of us at a most memorable onsen in our time in Japan - with friends - fun! Apparently the onsens of the north are renowned, so hopefully we'll be able to get to them up north. A brother in law of a teacher at our school happens to be a Professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, so I'm pretty excited that he'll organise a talk with an hibakusha (Atom bomb survivor) in Hiroshima. It'll be a chance for us Aussies to hear another side of the war to Anzac Day and Gallipoli. Also, K in Tokyo has organised two friends to meet us and take us around Harajuku, Shibuya, Yoyogi park on a Sunday - Kakkoii!!
I'm meeting a Principal in Tokyo for lunch, while my students go ahead to Disneyland... hoping to set up some sort of exchange, which has eluded us for a while.