A Spontaneous Vacation?
For those of you that don't have facebook, you may not know we have a possible vacation planned starting tomorrow. As for facebook, I typically will write stuff that we are doing or thinking about doing and those thoughts just don't make it onto my blog. Which I like to keep to things we've done or hare planned for.
As for our vacation, we had hoped to spend 7-1o days vacationing around Japan about this time. But, we decided to do the trip kind of last second and all the ryokans Eric called said they were full. Seems like a lot of other people want to vacation this summer too. Doesn't help that Obon is just around the corner and almost all the Japanese travel back to their hometown during this holiday. So, Eric had spent days working out an itinerary, with places to see, places to stay, and which route to go by. Turns out we couldn't find anyplace for us to stay though. So, he scrapped the idea and looked up Okinawa, Japan's Hawaii like island. Turns out we could stay on the beach from anywhere between $25-$150 with military run lodging. Eric called and reserved one cabin for a couple of nights before it was taken. Then it was time to find a way to get there.
Shizuoka has a brand new airport and they have one plane daily to Okinawa. However, it would have cost us $2,900 for round trip tickets for the family. Hmm, the flight is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long! Tickets were a little cheaper out of Tokyo, but we'd have to calculate the cost to get to Tokyo and then it wouldn't be much different. I also looked at other airports like Nagoya and Osaka, and still not much of a difference. No wonder the Japanese don't travel much, it's too expensive to go anywhere!
My next idea was just to go up to Yokota and catch a hop to anywhere. Lots of planes go in and out of Yokota and if there is room you are allowed to travel space A. I've done it by myself several times years ago, once to LAX from Misawa and then to Korea and back. You end up basically paying for meals so it comes to about $25 each way. The only downside, you don't know if you are getting on the plane until several hours before it leaves. I've been left in LAX once before trying to get back to Misawa. So, I had to buy a last second ticket which isn't economical. But, we have like a month of vacation so we figured might as well try it. Turns out there is a plane leaving Yokota for Okinawa the day we want to catch a flight. Will it have 4 seats for us? I don't know, but we'll show up at 5:45 am to check in and at least try. Could save us nearly $3,000!
Six hours from now, just after our 4 hours of Japanese lessons, we'll be doing the three hour drive to Yokota. It will be a short night stay on base before heading to the base terminal. Pray that we get on the plane and have an easy trip to Okinawa. Not sure if we'll have internet access while we are there, but I keep up with facebook and the blog if we do.