Graduation and travel plan- Prologue
Seoul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
It was just three months after I got my Ph.D. As I was supposed to start working in New haven 4 months after graduation, basically I needed to do something else to celebrate my graduation. I want to give myself a small gift by travelling. The candidate city was Shanghai/Hangzhou/Suzhou (Southern China)/Hong Kong-Macau (Just for changing mood)/Osaka-Kyoto (Kansai Japan)/and finally Sydney. Though 4 months are long time, I now only had a month left, and I did not have much time just for travelling, rather I need a short excursion. Looking around all the time in the bookstore digging up travel books, surfing internet to get infos, and finally looking at newspaper tourist packages, I narrowed down to Shanghai or Osaka. Shanghai was my dream since I have been in grad school, which I have never made it because of going to the other places. Osaka could be quite plain trip, with my very basic Japanese, at least I can eat what I want, and perhaps can see traditional features of Japan in Kyoto, while Shanghai is more dynamic and sort of gourmet trip and wonder of Hangzhou was attractive, and wanted to see the old 1930 quarter of Shanghai.
Searched about 1 month from late October, a decisive email from a Japanese friend arrived in early November. He said he can guide me while I am in Osaka and Kyoto for 3 days. Not to mention about this suggestion, I was so excited to meet him since we haven't met each other for six months. And the last time we met was in New haven, US about an year ago. Again this time, Shanghai gave its place to Osaka, promising that it would be Shanghai if I make a trip to the far east asia. I decided to go to Japan, and the estimated flight is only 1 hr 40 min, perhaps one of the closest foreign cities from Seoul by flight, can only be matched by Beijing (1 hr 30 min- 2hr). Tokyo takes 2 hr 30 min - 3 hr to go, and takes 2 hr or so when back, so Osaka might be much closer from Seoul. No need to adjust watch, no jetlag, light packing, whole vacation, and especially the big Japanese holidays on the last week of November attracted me quite a bit. Finally, my friend told me everything is ready, and I was ready to head for the airport.