Monkeys in Nagano

Photo from Wikipedia

There are so many things I’m excited about when it comes to our long-awaited adventure, which starts in just a few days. In addition to all the sights I can’t wait to see, here are a few that stand out in my mind:

  • Hanging out with monkeys
  • Soaking in Onsen (hot springs)
  • Trying interesting food (I’m even willing to try some sushi that’s still alive – and I never thought I’d say that!)
  • Being outside all day and night for the majority of 10 weeks
  • Learning a little Japanese
  • Visiting a sake brewery
  • Drinking lots of sake
  • Watching a sumo wrestling match or practice session
  • Meeting travelers from different parts of the world
  • Increasing my tolerance to spiders and other scary bugs after camping for so long
  • Seeing where Kelly used to live in Hakodate and hopefully meeting some of his old friends and students
  • Taking a break from the compulsive need to get online and check e-mail and Facebook every day (ok let’s be honest – every half hour)
  • Getting in great shape from biking and walking every day
  • Cycling the Shimanami Kaido, a a 60k long road that connects Japan’s main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

Photo from