After two months of silence: I’m finally back on U.S. soil.
After suffering through China’s excruciating internet (wow, did it get WAAAY worse in the last two years, and hats off to fellow expats still suffering through it), I am finally able to wordpress and Google photos freely (and thus update this little blog).
I traveled extensively for six weeks throughout China and Japan–and believe me, I have A LOT to write about. I’m very excited to get some posts out in the upcoming days and weeks. It was great to be a nomad traveler again, donning a backpack and whizzing from place to place for days on end.
Chances are, most travelers never heard of Nagano. Some people know it as that place in Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics–but other than that, Nagano, unfortunately, still remains widely unknown.
Nagano is one of Japan’s larger prefectures located in the Shinshu region directly west of Tokyo (about a one hour bullet train ride away). It is one of the most mountainous regions in Japan and is known for its snow, great peaks and amazing forests.
Nagano is special to me, because it’s the first place I ever went to in Japan. I did a one month study abroad program here, and it was nothing less than magical. The mountains, the food, and most of all the kind hearts of the people in the countryside are what made me fall in love with this place–and convinced me to come back.
Winter is Coming
November whizzed by in the blink of an eye, and it’s already the third day of December. It may be a little too late to talk about fall foliage in Japan, but after seeing all the amazing fall photos posted by my friends in Japan on Facebook, I just had to get in on the action.
I’d also like to mention that seeing fall foliage in Japan was, quite frankly, one of the highlights of my life. There are some things that are best done in Japan, such as eating fresh sushi or viewing cherry blossoms, and I have to say seeing the fall leaves should rank at the top of that list.