It's official - we're going to:
(All images courtesy of Wikipedia, by the way.)
And quite probably other sites in South Korea and Japan as well. Suwon, perhaps? Maybe Kanazawa? At least Mt. Fuji's on the list so Jason can get his mountain-running checked off. I'm hoping to find a craft/cooking/Bunraku class to take while he's frolicking in nature. Plus, I can hang out with Buddhist monks again!
We tried our darndest to get into North Korea on this trip as well, but it turns out that there's no tourist transportation between two warring countries. Go figure. I'm still a little bitter about this. At book club tonight I mentioned that we tried to find a way to get to North Korea on this trip. "North Korea?" the ladies exclaimed. "You want to go to North Korea? Why would you want to go there? It's dangerous!"
Every time someone reacts that way, it just makes me want to go there even more.
Jason and I are discussing the DMZ, and we still may tack it on as a day trip; but right now we're weighing the value of taking an entire day to get a glimpse of North Korea through a fence in a barren landscape against having an extra day to explore Japan. I told Jason I may be willing to let the DMZ go if we put a Hong Kong/China/North Korea trip in our plans in the next five years. He was quick to agree. We both may be more than a little driven by imaginary competition for passport cred against invisible fellow travelers.
He was also quick to agree to stripping down in public again when I pointed out that by going to Korea and Japan we have the chance to add two more countries to our naked bathing list. I'm pretty sure that's exactly the kind of thing my Young Women's leaders had in mind when they gave all those lessons about setting goals.
Between that, Tokyo's reputation for Michelin restaurant stars, and the theater-viewing possibilities; this will be a fine summer trip indeed!