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Why I've Been Dreaming of Japan for 20 Years, But Still Haven't Gone


Circa 2001, I decided to set a goal to teach English abroad in Japan. I went through the TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) program. It was relatively easy. Some in-person classes, some online English proficiency studying and tests.

Long-and-short, my life circumstances changed and teaching abroad just took a backburner. After a few years and more life changes, I decided to give on teaching abroad, but still wanted to travel to Japan just for fun. Turns out travelling to Japan from the Canadian prairies is prohibitively expensive (I've seen one-way flights as high as $4000!!). Over the years, despite scrimping and saving a bit here and there, basically every other expense has taken priority over travelling to Japan. One can buy a whole lot of not travelling to Japan for the cost of travelling to Japan for a couple weeks.

Now here we are, in 2024. Tourism in Japan has changed a fair bit, particularly in the last year. The yen has tanked and the floodgates are open. It definitely feels like today is, in some ways, the worst time - yet, the best time - in history to go.

That said, I'm not going to hold my breath and wait for it to get worse. Japan still fascinates me and holds so many incredible experiences. I will make it there.