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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – Not with a bang… (Finale)

    “Osaka is basically closed,” my host told me. “People are being urged to stay inside. Everything is shut down.” That was it. She wasn’t there when I went to check out, but I had always said farewell to my hosts and she was so kind, so I sought her out. When she asked where I was headed next, that was the warning I received. It started to rain, which hilariously set the mood perfectly and added to my misery, though it wasn’t funny at the time. Looking back, I think I was actually a little scared. A hundred thoughts went racing through my mind; how do I get home? Should…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – The Stone Garden

    Purchasing my ticket for the Shinkansen and looking like an idiot trying to slide it through the reader backwards, I made my way to the bullet train. It was, without a doubt, the fanciest looking coach I’d ever seen; both on the outside and in; pearl white body, lavish blue interior with comfy chairs, storage space and loads of leg room. I had my mask on, as did all the others in my car, and I wouldn’t remove it for the whole ride. It rocketed down the track, burning at 320 km/h; so fast that it blurred the foreground of all the photos I took of the picturesque Japanese landscape.…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – It’s Policy

    Tanaka Gokurakudo https://www.hostelworld.com/pwa/hosteldetails.php/Tanaka-Gokurakudo-Guest-House/Kyoto/280879  was right next to the train station in Kyoto so I’d come full circle. I thought I’d been locked out since the door didn’t pull open. Apparently, this one slid. Feeling foolish in front of the few in the kitchen, I casually joined in the conversation. The pair of guys were scuba instructors from northern Spain and told me about the colors of Madrid and all the vacationers they’d met. The younger lady in the room was from, surprise surprise, Germany, traveling the world. After crossing North and South America, she wound up here and was planning to go to mainland Asia. With all the plague stuff…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – The Plague

    I chose to stay at Suzuki Guesthouse for another week, not necessarily because I was scared to go outside, but because I was trying to decide how to go about the rest of my journey. It’s been nearly 7 months since I left home and I was planning for at least 12. Not wanting this to end so soon, I came up with a few options, none of which were appetizing. Plan A: move on. Just like the Schengen Area in Europe, Japan has a 90 day rule, which I did not want to overstay. Although the reason sounded pretty just, illegal activity, no matter the motivation, is not something…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – Pomehuahua

    I could hear the yippy creature from outside. It had only taken an hour or so from Friends to Suzuki Guesthouse https://www.hostelworld.com/pwa/hosteldetails.php/Suzuki-Guesthouse/Kyoto/267526 The city center was like any other, with tall buildings of glass and streets filled with people; a little less here than Tokyo, but still business men and women marching to work. I passed through a market, then around Nijo Castle to my destination. I entered, kicked off my shoes and filled out the usual forms. The lady offered me tea and we talked for a moment. Something about her accent made me question where she learned English. “Self taught,” she said. I was impressed; trying to learn…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – Geisha Girls

    I went anyway, through the rain, knowing I’d be stuck waiting outside the front door. Turns out it was open, so I slipped inside. The receptionist greeted me and offered toast and tea, which I took the latter of and waited until check in. YouTube entertained me on the couch until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. They let me into the room an hour before the usual time, since there weren’t very many guests and the building was already near spotless. The place was Friends https://www.hostelworld.com/pwa/hosteldetails.php/Friends-Kyo/Kyoto/278444 and over the week, I made a few of them. A traveling Australian guy was the first to introduce himself on…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – The House of Anne (Part III)

    Sticking with Anne’s for yet another week I made the arrangements to get to Kyoto. There was an overnight bus I’d be taking for around a tenth of the price of the train tickets. I was actually looking forward to it; I’ve never been on a night bus so the experience would be something fresh and unique. Able to take a breath, it was finally time to see the Imperial Palace. Just a quick jaunt down the road, I came across the more business section of the city. Tall buildings soared over head, their windows reflecting warm sunlight down to the city streets. Across the moat and through the gate…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – The House of Anne (Part II)

    Something that I haven’t done on my trip so far, I’ve decided to stay at Anne’s for another week. I love the aesthetic here, with the traditional feel and pleasant atmosphere. The writing space is comfortable and I’m still close to everything I have yet to see or enjoy. With this new virus starting to take off and become more of a global concern, schools and a lot of touristy places have begun to shut down. Unbeknownst to me, one of the cities grandest museums was just a little ways away back towards Hiromas Hostel. Since the place was closed on Monday, I went the next day. I made a…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – The House of Anne (Part I)

    Not too far from my previous stay was Anne’s https://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Anne-Hostel-Asakusabashi/Tokyo/32652 This was a fantastic little gem just off the main street and a fair bit closer to Akihabara. The common room was in traditional Japanese style, with a mix of tatami mats and hard wood floor. Tables rose from sunken seating making me feel like I was both on the floor and in a comfy chair. A flat screen TV hung off a wall, showcasing Japanese news, game shows and a few Studio Ghibli films. The staff were fantastically kind (a stereotype I’m glad is true) and my fellow guests were pleasant as well. Though I met many, like the…

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    Acazia Official Japan Blog – City Lights

    My ‘not so bad’ decision led me on a three hour walk through the streets of Tokyo. On its own, it would’ve been fine, but I had sack full of clothes and computers strapped to my back. Walking in the opposite direction to the river and crossing the train tracks, my trail continued westward. The first section continued as I expected. Little streets wound their way through the outskirt suburbs of the city. Cars that looked too small to be cars petered past me as I clung to the side of the road, dodging lamp posts and telephone poles. My first marker was the bridge that crossed the Naka River.…