asking for trouble

Planning for Japan 2016 – 4 Months to Go

japan 2016

A few people said they’d like to know more about how I organise for a Japan trip so I’m sharing updates about what I’ve been doing. Read all the posts here. You can also read my Tokyo Shopping Guide online and buy my Japan zines.

What have I been doing since the last update?

Booked my flights + hotel!
I booked my main flights and hotel at the weekend – eeek! I’ll be going for Design Festa in mid-May and staying for 3 weeks! I’ve booked an apart-hotel (basic but a bit bigger than a hotel room with a kitchenette) near Tokyo station as a base for the whole trip and will plan some side trips to fit in with a week long Japan rail pass. I really want this trip to be less hectic and more like living there with downtime to write and draw instead of rushing about constantly.

One super-annoying update is that Virgin Atlantic are stopping their Japan flights at the end of January so I wasn’t able to use my air miles – so disappointing! I’m flying ANA/British Airways instead but I have a trip to the US in early planning so will keep saving and use them then.

Working on my itinerary
My spreadsheet of ideas is pretty long, but there’s still more stuff to add that’s in guidebooks and saved links and blog posts, as well as my own guides. I’ve started pulling those out to make a mega guide that I can publish for everyone to use before I cut out the stuff I can’t possibly manage this trip.

Daily Dr Moku
I’ve started doing the Hiragana & Katakana tests again to brush up on my character recognition. I really recommend these apps (read my review) and they’ve been updated with some great new features so you can test yourself without any hints and also learn all the modified characters. It’s still awesome when I figure out a kawaii character or flavour or brand name from memory.

Business trip research
HMRC are not entirely helpful about whether I can do this as a business trip or not. It all seems very vague and comes down to whether they accept my proof if they decide to check on it. I’m not sure the tax savings would be worth the hassle of being audited! Either way, I have lots of time to decide so I will keep researching. If you have any personal experience, do get in touch!

I’m taking requests!

Since I’m writing another book, I’m planning to do things that might be interesting or helpful for future visitors. Please let me know if there’s anything you’ve wondered about or been too scared to try. A few possibilities on my list so far include hiring a bike, going to the cinema (yes, it would be in Japanese but things like the Pokemon movies are incomprehensible in English too), going swimming, sending a parcel home and visiting a bunny cafe. I’d also love to do a craft or art workshop or meet up with fellow creatives or kawaii fans so let me know if you have any ideas.

I’ve also discovered that about 5 people I know are also going to Japan this Spring so would love to hear how your planning is going and if there’s anything you want me to cover in the next post.



Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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