Nerdtour 2016: Counting down the hours to launch…

dc_sakura-001Getting close now, and I’m trying to get everything set up before I leave.  Laundry, packing, re-packing due to forgetting something, re-re-packing due to everything I want to take not fitting, etc.  At least I finished my taxes, and managed to get some pictures of this year’s cherry blossoms downtown.  Checking the weather at Chicago where I lay over for a couple of hours, and the long-range forecast for Tokyo and vicinity for next week.

Two things I plan to do to make this trip a bit easier than the ones before, one of them I’d been planning for some time, and one came out of the blue since I had no idea they even had them.  One, a service that nearly all hotels provide or at least cooperate with shipping companies to provide, is called “takkyubin”, which is a baggage-forwarding service.  If you’re hotel-hopping like I plan to, it’s great because you can turn in your suitcase at the hotel or nearby convenience store or delivery office, and for a small fee they’ll send it off to your next destination, usually delivered by the next day.  This saves having to lug the whole mess around, trying to find space on the train or subway car.  They can send it to the airport as well, which sounds horrible to us paranoid Americans, but in Japan it’s completely safe.  In fact, the main delivery company Yamamoto, has as their logo a mother cat carrying a kitten!

The other nice surprise I found is that there are at least a half-dozen companies in Japan that will rent 4G LTE wi-fi hotspots to tourists!  I was worried about trying not to use too much of the hotels’ bandwith, or trying to find a public wi-fi spot that wasn’t crowded.  This is exactly what I’m renting from T-Mobile to use here, I’ve been able to get great speeds with wide access, and according to the Japanese sites, their companies provide hi-speed hot-spots that work all over the country!  The rates are reasonable, too, the one place I’m looking at will rent the box for about $90 total for the two weeks, which even though it’s twice what I’m paying here, it’s JAPAN!

At any rate, blogging will be sparse between now and when I land in Narita, but I’ll try to keep this blog up-to-date!

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