Showing posts from November, 2014

Hokkaido trip preperation 8: Planned places that didn't make it

(I should rename this series since I'm not just heading to Hokkaido only.) I have mentioned earlier in this series that I have dropped the Hakone section due to accommodation and cost issues, but there are other places that I have considered that did not make it to the planning stage that Hakdate did. While I do want to visit other countries, nothing seems to come to mind. As for within Japan, I did thought of (from west to east) Himeji, Nagoya, Nara, Niigata, Fukushima, Sendai, and Aomori. However, I found this to be too much to plan around, or I just couldn't see any place of interest in there. In any case, it's kind of too late to change my current plans without incurring cancellation charges. Flights are the most costly ones to cancel or change as those are paid in full instead of as a deposit.

Hokkaido trip preperation 7: Bringing a computer along

A laptop. Deciding to bring it is tricky because it adds weight to my travelling bag and being one additional valuable item to worry about, but yet there are things that I can't do with alternative choices. Here are my choices: Smartphone – Use it for all my internet needs, including using Wi-Fi. This is what I had done on my travels so far, and even used it to book a flight from Venice to London Gatwick. Screen is too small for things that are not optimised. Mobile data roaming overseas is expensive, and getting mobile data of that country is troublesome. Tablet PC – I don't have one and, depending on the operating system it runs on (Windows RT vs iOS / Android) and the hardware features it has, it's could as well just be a smartphone with a larger screen. It does likely to have something called USB On-The-Go (OTG), but I don't want to carry an extra cable or adaptor. Also, I can't do any quick and productive writing with on-screen keyboards. Hostel PCs – This

Hokkaido trip preperation 6: Revisions to plans

As part of any planning, there would be changes to plans. Additions to it, and of course, removal of some. I mentioned on twitter and part 2 of this series that I would be adding places to visit between Tokyo and Hakodate. These are Osaka and Hiroshima, with side trips from these two cities. I know that I have visited Osaka before, but since I was based in Kyoto, an hour to get between Kyoto and Osaka, and with many places in Kyoto planned, it's difficult to add places in Osaka to visit that, in retrospect, there were more places in Osaka (and a viewing area in Kobe) that I did not visit, so being based in Osaka this time, and staying there longer, would give me more room. (The real reason for duration being to fill up most of the gap.) There may be a chance that I would visit Kyoto again, but only for the Fushimi Inari shrine and Ginkakuji. Both of which I had visited before on previous visit, but I did not "exit" properly for one because I found myself lost from go