Ever since my first post on Jamaipanese.com it has been a goal of mine to someday visit Japan. It’s been almost four years now since I began blogging here and various plans to visit Japan have been postponed or have failed for numerous reasons. It is the beginning of a new year, with a lot of new possibilities and opportunities, although this plan has been shared with and refined by input of friends, family and some of my pals in the blogosphere it’s time to officially announce the launch of “Operation Visit Japan” a few weeks before I begin my fifth year of blogging about my interest in Japan.
What is Operation Visit Japan?
Operation Visit Japan is a well thought out medium term plan to put everything in place for a 3-4 week visit Japan. Unlike many other Japan enthusiasts or J-Bloggers it is not easy for me to just hop on a plane to the land of the rising sun. I am not saying that everyone who visit, live or work in Japan found it a simple task to get there as I have known a few people who have worked hard to visit Japan for work, school or even vacation. Operation Visit Japan for me is also a process, a test and a personal challenge. I want something and it isn’t helping to just hope and wait indefinitely so I prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve that goal. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, or in this case the first dollar.
Details of Operation Visit Japan
Tokyo is about 13000 kilometers away from Kingston and with no direct flight I’d have to make at least one connection which would make the journey over a day long. So how would I get from the capital of Jamaica to the capital of Japan? How would I afford all the costs associated with the trip? and How long with Operation Visit Japan take? I have done some extensive research and I have decided that the most important parts in this operation is getting to and from Japan, staying in Japan and getting around while I am in Japan, this translates to airfare, lodgings and railpass. So I have decided to focus on these three primary expenses and base Operation Visit Japan around them. Operation visit Japan will run for 15 months from January 2010 to March 2011 and the window for my planned visit to Japan sometime between June and August 2011, ideally just after the rainy season.
Google Map of Downtown Kingston including the Airport
Lets Crunch the Numbers
At today’s prices a ticket from Kingston to Tokyo via New York should cost an estimated us$1400 if booked at least a month in advance. Super Cheap accommodation at a hostel or very basic hotel should be around $800 for 20 nights. A 14 day Japan Rail Pass which would allow me to ride most of the trains in Japan for free costs about $500. So my estimate for airfare, lodgings and railpass is $2700. I am bearing in mind costs such as visa fees, spending money, food and other expenses not to mention fluctuating currencies which I mentioned in my $1 JMD = $1 JPY post but as I stated earlier I believe that once those 3 major expenses are covered my moral and excitement will be so high everything else will fall into place, but just in case it doesn’t I am prepared to sell internal organs, limbs or body parts that are doubled up such as a testicle, an eyeball and a thumb.
So how will Operation Visit Japan be funded?
I am employed on a government plantation working for very little but giving thanks I am employed none-the-less, plus I have been inspired by an old Jamaican proverb – “one one cwoco full baaskit” which means no matter how difficult a task is it can be done through discipline, dedication and perseverance. When I did the math really It was kinda simple, if I saved us$100 from my monthly salary for 15 months I’d have $1500 which is my ticket to Japan and if while saving that from my pay check I continued blogging purposefully using the earnings from 2009 as a guideline I am sure I can earn $1200 from advertising revenue on Jamaipanese.com from January 2010 to March 2011 as it is this same advertising revenue that bought me anime figures like Seravee Gundam, Heavy Arms Kai, Chibi Gundam Astray Gold frame and Yoko Littner not to mention an Otaku Encyclopedia and various other books and trinkets over the years! So what if I now saved most of that revenue up? That would be enough money for basic accommodation in Japan and a 14 day railpass!
Google Map of Tokyo including the Airport
You are Awesome
If you read this far you are awesome and I welcome your feedback via a comment or through my contact page. If you were attacked by this text heavy post and just scanned through but still made it this far you are still awesome and I also welcome your feedback. Operation visit Japan begins now, first of many monthly reports will be live in a couple days as soon as I finalize some issues with my bank.