Tag Archives: island

Emperor’s birthday: island holiday

Emperor’s birthday: island holiday
Emperor’s birthday: island holiday

Flashback to February 2022:

Japan, it surprised me to learn, gifts its citizens with more national holidays than any other country. Perhaps these enforced rest days present a remedy to the workaholicism? Unlike USA holidays, they do not confine themselves to long weekends but pop up unashamedly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with nothing but paid leave to make up the difference.

Facing one such holiday in the middle of the week (in honor of the Emperor’s birthday), I decided to test the island bus system on a day trip to the opposite shore. Living minutes from Tokunoshima’s major port, I drink in first-class views of the surf on my daily commute, but trundling north soaked me in our magnificent mountains.

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Happy Island: arriving in Japan

Happy Island: arriving in Japan

The time difference between Washington, D.C. and Japan is twice as long as with South Africa – but the flight here took half the time! The advantages of crossing the pole rather than the equator, I surmise.

My employment with JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) commenced at the end of October 2021, when my plane touched down in Tokyo. Too much is happening for me to neglect my adventures here while chronicling my intercontinental tour, so I’ll alternate updates.

After some harrowing airport travails earlier this summer, I entrusted myself with relief to the capable Japanese bureaucracy.

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