Another Quick Update!

Hi everyone! I’m still around, and wanted to post a quick update.

I can’t believe that it’s already been a year (almost 13 months actually) since what was certainly my best trip to Japan to date. I have no plans to return to Japan in the immediate future for a few reasons, particularly because my US Passport will be up for renewal very soon…. but I will go back one day! I will not stop enjoying the wonderful land of the rising sun, its culture, and its people.

Time permitting, I hope to continue with more posts soon. I still wish to continue with my Welcome to Japan series that I had recently started with my blog post on Narita Airport.

If you have any questions about Japan travel, I am more than willing to help out… just drop me a line.

Thanks again for supporting this page, and for following my blog and my travels!

Thanks for visiting!

It’s been a while… again… since I posted anything here, so I just wanted to say hello again and thank everyone for their support of this page. I’ve also finished a backlog of questions to be answered from the last few weeks. A lot of foreigners are visiting a wonderful country these days – maybe because there are fewer worries there than the rest of the world.

I would like to share with everyone the possibility that I will make a return trip to Japan next year, either in the spring or in December, providing I have enough resources and my journey through life doesn’t take a detour.

This would be my fourth trip to Japan – having gone in 2004, 2008 and 2013, I think the time has come for another experience. This time I will want to try and travel from Tokyo to Kyoto by local trains, in order to experience a Japan that I’ve always whizzed through while looking out the window of a bullet train.

Of course this is all speculation and nothing is set in stone yet. I’ll be sure to keep you all informed as to what I will do! I also invite you to visit my Facebook page for more updates as well.

Please keep sending your questions… except about Immigration. I would like to reiterate my stance, as outlined in the disclaimer, that I do not wish to answer immigration questions. During these last few weeks I have received questions that are immigration-related. Please note that such questions will be ignored. Thanks for your understanding!

Watch the Japanology Plus show on NHK World

For those of you who have the NHK World channel I highly recommend this week’s Japanology Plus show, hosted by Peter Barakan, about the building of the Seikan Tunnel. If you don’t have NHK World you can watch it online… There are only a few more chances to watch it today (Feb. 5).

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/japanologyplus/

The Seikan Tunnel links northern Honshu with the island of Hokkaido. Train services began in 1988; bullet trains will start running through the tunnel next year.

Price War leads to cheap airfare to Japan for the fall

After searching more airfares today, it appears that a Price War is yielding cheaper-than-usual airfare for immediate travel to Japan in September, October and November. If you’ve thought of visiting Japan and haven’t had the chance, or you are desperate for the return trip, then you should seriously take these airfares into consideration… and don’t waste time purchasing the tickets!

The price war essentially focuses around flights operated by American Airlines and United Airlines from the hub and focus cities of their competitors. Many of these flights will require connections somewhere in the US.

American Airlines has hubs in New York – JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami, with added hubs from the acquisition of US Airways in Philadelphia, Charlotte and Phoenix. United’s hubs are in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare (shared with United), Houston, Denver and San Francisco.

United has sale fares from American Airlines hubs: As low as $940 round/trip from Dallas, $942 r/t from Los Angeles (nonstop on their 787) and even $940 r/t from Miami! From US Airways hubs, $940 r/t from Philadelphia, $939 r/t from Charlotte.  Delta Air Lines also has matched the $942 fare from Los Angeles.

Conversely, American Airlines sale fares are from the United hubs: $943 round/trip from Newark, $943 r/t from Washington Dulles AND National, $942 r/t from Houston, $943 r/t from Denver. 

All of these fares require purchase no later than September 3 for travel in the fall on most Sundays through Thursdays until early December. The exception is the Delta airfare from Los Angeles, which has to be purchased by August 25.

Airline Sale Fares from Newark, Washington and Los Angeles to Tokyo for Fall 2014

9/3/14 – These fares have expired.

Sale Fares from US to Japan for Fall Travel

I’m writing this post today to make readers aware of great discounts for travel to Japan during Fall 2014. It’s possible that these airlines need to fill some seats, so if you would like to visit the land of the rising sun, even 2 weeks from when I write this, the time to act is now!

NEW YORK TO TOKYO (from Newark) and WASHINGTON TO TOKYO (from Dulles)

American Airlines has sale fares from both Newark Airport near New York, and Dulles Airport near Washington DC, to Tokyo Narita via connections in their US hubs for travel through early December starting as low as $943 round-trip. Travel must take place Monday through Thursday and you must return within 90 days or by December 24.

LOS ANGELES TO TOKYO

United Airlines has put their nonstop service from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita – on a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner – on sale recently, and now it looks like Delta has joined the price war. For most departures through early December flights on either airline – both nonstop – can be had for as low as $929 round-trip.

Good luck on booking these, and enjoy your trip to Japan!

Coming Soon: Jose in Japan – Version 2!

Just a quick note that I am starting to redo my Jose in Japan videos from my trip a few years ago. Unlike the previous videos that were removed from YouTube due to copyright issues, these videos will have no “questionable material”… just my video footage and some modern-day commentary by yours truly. This will once again be a slow process, which may take a few months to fully finish (I will be away from my main computer for 7 weeks during the summer). Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how things go!
Oh, and I really need to write a few more articles. So I’ll try to do that soon too! ^_^

“Jose in Japan” videos are coming down

Just a quick message: I am sorry to announce that due to multiple Japanese ownership claims that are spreading across my YouTube videos like wildfire, I have no choice but to delete ALL of my Jose in Japan videos. I might re-upload the videos in the future, but for now there’s nothing I can do with YouTube now threatening to delete my account. All of this after the videos have been up without problems for… 3 or 4 years?

Japan giving away 10,000 free air tickets

It was recently announced that the Japan Tourism Agency intends to offer free air travel to tourists visiting Japan next year as a way to stimulate tourism and the economy. This plan is included in their annual budget which must be approved by the Japanese Government (Diet).

Multiple news sources, in reporting this story, note that tourism levels in Japan have dropped sharply since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the northern Tohoku region – but I suspect the strength of the Japanese Yen also has something to do with it (now at 76.80 to the US dollar).

Under the plan, which may begin as early as April of next year – which is when new fiscal years typically begin in Japan – prospective tourists will be asked to fill out an application, indicating what parts of Japan they would like to visit. Passport ID numbers would be required as part of the application process. The tourism agency will select 10,000 entries after background checks are conducted to ensure that tourists will not enter and stay in the country illegally. These 10,000 lucky people will have their round-trip airfare paid for in full, while being responsible for all other costs (food, lodging, transportation, etc)… they will also be asked to write a report about their trip which will be published online. The tourism agency is hoping that tourists spreading the word about their Japan trip through social media (Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, etc) will stimulate more travel in the country.

I would keep an eye on the websites of the Japan Tourism Agency (http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/) and the Japan National Tourist Organization (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/) to see if and when the application process will begin. Once again, the Diet will need to approve the tourism agency’s budget before this process can begin.

I won’t lie… I definitely will be one of the many people submitting their applications for a free airplane ticket to the land of the rising sun. You have been warned.