Notes Before a Second Trip to Japan

This is it. Tomorrow morning, I embark on my second trip to Japan. For the next week, I’ll explore Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Compared to Tokyo, I expect similarities but a much different experience. Primarily, I will be open to experiment with unfamiliar foods. At the top of my list is takoyaki, which is a ball-shaped Japanese snack. It’s typically filled with octopus. There’s also kushikatsu, which is basically fried food on a skewer. But I will also try okonomiyaki, which is a pancake made with a variety of ingredients.

As next month marks a year since I started to study Japanese, I’m anxious to practice in country. Which is why the overall goal for this trip is to speak Japanese only. That includes ordering food, asking for directions, or buying train tickets. There are a few areas where I’ll need to be careful, such as security, immigration and customs. But otherwise, I feel confident in my speaking ability. Reading, however, will be somewhat limited when it comes to kanji characters. So, I may need to translate from time to time.

Wish me luck.