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March 21, 2007 08:50 AM

A New Direction

GIMHAE, SOUTH KOREA - I've been waiting all this time for a new passport so that I could go back to China; Beijing specifically, in order to get on the Trans-Siberian train to Moscow. Now that everything is in order and I'm once again free to travel wherever I like. I've set my eyes on a different destination.

The lure of Japan is proving too strong for me to resist. It started a few weeks ago when I watched, and supremely enjoyed the film, Lost In Translation. The other big pull is that it's only a three hour ferry ride from where I am now - I know, Japan is technically in the wrong direction, but I'll probably never be this close again.

So tomorrow morning I'll be shouldering my packs once again for a week (or two) exploring Japan. My plans beyond Japan involve me catching the two-day ferry from Osaka to Shanghai in China - Giant city I missed on my first trip North through China from Vietnam. A Russian tourist visa is meant to be easiest get in Shanghai than in Beijing. From Shanghai it's a short 12-hour train ride back to Beijing where I should be able to finally board the Trans-Siberian train; the one that will propel me across the rest of Asia to the doorstep of Europe.

These plans, of course, are fragile at best. For now I'll find comfort in the fact that I have a passport, I have a ferry ticket and I have a 7-day rail pass good for anywhere in Japan.

Near Tokyo, I plan to also meet up with Caroline, a travelling buddy from my Central American days, and one time guest writer on this very website is living in Nagoya.

I leave tomorrow morning. First stop the Southern city of Fukuoka on the island of Kyūshū. My mind is already filled with Bullet Trains, Sushi, Cellphones and Samarai.

I'll miss Korea. I was very lucky to have a brother here to stay with while I waited out the entire passport bit. I'm headed out in a few minutes for my last night out. I'll have to buy him a drink.

Comments


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I don't recall you buying me a drink last night.

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