One step closer to the Empire’s borders

I’ve been planning a trip to the Land of Sakura, Sushi and Exorbitant Prices for a very long time, but all of my efforts would have come to naught if I failed to clear the first major hurdle: securing a visa.

Japan has visa exemption arrangements for over 60 countries and territories, but my corner of the world isn’t one of them. So unlike residents of, say, the U.S. or the U.K., the rest of humanity has to march up to the local Japanese Embassy and beg their Lordships for a Magic Ticket that will let them through Immigration without being manhandled back onto the first plane out. It’s not a difficult process, but putting together the dossier of documents required for a visa can be very time consuming, and there’s never any guarantee that your passport will return bearing the coveted sticker with the fancy paulownia hologram.

Fortunately, I just obtained my Magic Ticket, and I can finally start firming up my arrangements. I’ve still got a full two months before my planned departure date, but since I’m travelling during one of Japan’s peak tourist seasons I intend to finish bookings within the next week or so (lest I run out of reasonably priced accommodation options).

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