Hokuriku, Japan: My Next Trip

Hokuriku, Japan: My next destination!
Hokuriku, Japan: My next destination!

When I was only 21 years old, I had a fantastic opportunity that I jumped on.  I was working for Transitions Abroad, a print magazine based in Amherst, and it was 1980. I was trying to sell advertising to Japan Airlines, but after a failed pitch I got a nice ask–‘we don’t want to buy any ads, but would you like to visit Japan?’

This was the stone age–there was no email, no www, no iphones–nothing. This was when I used an IBM Selectric typewriter as editor of a weekly newspaper. But boy was I excited to get that invitation, and to go to Japan.  I remember a few things about my visit–we went to a baseball game, and we went to a park in Tokyo where local men and women all dressed up like greasers and 1950s girls. It was hilarious.

Fast forward to 2016. I’ve been wanting to return to Japan since that fateful trip began my career as a travel writer, and have never been able to secure an invitation. Last Saturday I got invited on a trip there!  Then on Monday, I got a second invitation to a different region of Japan. So with the better dates of the second invitation, it’s settled. I’ll fly to Tokyo on September 30 and visit Hokuriku, a region northwest of Tokyo.

We will visit temples in small villages, some Buddhist monasteries, and museums. I am sure it will be dazzling and totally different from anything here. It’s the other side of the world, for God’s sake. I can’t wait!