As usual, the winter months in Canada aren’t known for being jam packed with photographic activity for me. The two weeks in Japan were also a tough act to follow, so I wasn’t overly anxious about producing more photos during the quiet winter months.
After five days in the Kansai region, it was time to go ride the shinkansen back out east to the Kanto plains. As I mentioned in the previous post, we were a little worn out from the extreme hiking in Kyoto. Tokyo would be last place we would drag out suitcases to, which have gotten progressively heavier as the days went on and receipts piled up. But before that, it was time to pay a brief visit to the port city of Yokohama.
Two years after the ill-fated trip of 2020, Japan finally opened its borders to foreign tourists in October of 2022. The news seemingly came out of nowhere, but because we had held onto our vacation time out of sheer stubborn belief, we were able to book the tickets for a two-week trip at the end of November. The air fare was about four times the price of the bargain-bin tickets we originally snagged at the onset of the pandemic, but the exchange rate was at its best in over a decade for us Canadians, which helped a lot in balancing the books. Even that wasn’t the case, I don’t think it would’ve mattered, because we were thirsty after two years of waiting.
Being among the first wave of foreign tourists to crash onto its shores, facets of covid-era life were definitely still present. Masks use was nearly ubiquitous among the locals, and the sight of clear plastic barriers were everywhere. I’ll touch on this subject in the next post about the trip, but needless to say, the circumstances were rather unique, and it was during these unusual times when we embarked on our third trip to Japan. Here are some highlights and thoughts about our time there.
It’s finally happened — the first post-covid summer! Of course it’s still around in spades, but finally society as a whole has agreed to give up, and that’s good enough by me.