Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Now's the time!

So, you've always wanted to go to Japan, but couldn't dig up the moola? Have you wanted to start a blog, but couldn't think of anything to say (brainfart, anyone)?

Well, now might be the time to do both. The Japan Tourism Agency has announced plans to give away free round-trip airfare in an advertising campaign to draw back tourists who are, what with the East Japan quake & tsunami, nuclear meltdown and generally crappy economy, staying away in droves. The only catch, and it's an easy one, is that you have to be willing to write a review of your trip and post it online. Precedence will be given to bloggers who have more than 12 followers (damn, I can't get tickets... oh, yeah... I already live here...). And if you head to west Japan, you have no worries about glow-in-the-dark foods, either.

You'll still have to pay your in-country expenses, but cutting out that nasty international fare (doesn't look so bad, until they add in the $500 fuel surcharge!) certainly makes it easier. If you stay at cheaper ryokan (inns) or minshuku (like a samurai B&B), you could probably get by for $100+/night hotel for a couple; it's about half that if you look for hostels. Food can be cheap or expensive, but a general rule of thumb is that if you can't read the price on the menu (ie, it isn't in Arabic numerals), you can't afford to eat there.

And if you are the sister or brother, niece or nephew of someone who lives convenient to Himeji, Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto (hmm, hmm, hmmm!), you don't need to shell out for the hotel, either.

So if you have a yen to visit Japan ;-) , read this ABC News blog, and keep your ears open.

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