There is a great deal of planning that goes into booking a vacation in a foreign country. Passports have to be taken care of, flights have to be scheduled, and accommodations have to be arranged for when the flight arrives.

Also, it is important that some entertaining sites have been chosen ahead of time that would be nice to visit. By doing this, it will make the trip much easier to manage and much more enjoyable. Vacationing in a foreign country can be a great experience for family and friends, but it is important that travel arrangements, accommodations, and entertainment options are researched thoroughly before going.Japan is where the vacation will take place, but before that can happen, some travel arrangements will have to be made.

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Before departing from home, every person must have a passport. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries (“U.S. Department of State”). Acceptance facilities include courts, post offices, and some public libraries.

There are also 13 regional passport agencies which require appointments. According to the U.S. Department of State: To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of 6,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.The closest place in Indiana to obtain a passport would be the Indiana Main Post Office on South 7th Street.

Passport acceptance hours are from 9 am – 2 pm. Now that the passport has been taken care of, its time to find a flight and hotel. Most places will have round trip air fare and the cost of the hotel as a package deal, which is the best way to go. It will cost less doing it this way then booking the flight and hotel separately. In General Tours Japan travel guide produced by the United States Tour Operators Association, there are different package deals to choose from. I chose a fully-escorted tour for nine days, two of which will be spend traveling to and from Japan. The problem is, the flight to Japan is leaving from New York, so another flight must be purchased from Indiana to New York.

No flights were available from Indiana to New York City, so I selected Pittsburgh to New York City instead. The price is $292 round trip on United Airlines. During the trip, there will be four stops from Tokyo to Hakone to Kyoto to Osaka. The price for this is $2,599 which includes round trip airfare and also the cost of the four different hotels that will be visited over the course of the week. This also includes a daily breakfast at the hotel restaurant. The trip is scheduled for April 2nd – 10th which is the heart of the spring season in Japan. Early April is a great time to visit Japan because it is cherry-blossom season there.

A wave of pink and white blossoms travel across the island from the southern tip of the country to the north (“Tokyo 3”). “Tokyo – where the blooms typically appear from late March to early April provides ample viewing opportunities, with thousands of cherry trees” (“Tokyo 3”). This will create a beautiful atmosphere for the trip, especially because three of the seven days will be spent in Tokyo.A great feature of Japan is the experience you will receive in their western-style hotels, which is equivalent to the United States.

Japan is known for having great customer service and staff. “The staff at the hotels are able to speak English to their guests and provide excellent facilities” (“Yokoso Japan”). Among western-style hotel options in Japan are: deluxe, business, or capsule (“Yokoso Japan”). The deluxe hotels will be the ones selected for the trip, because the staff members are trained to speak English. Deluxe hotels also include swimming pools, interpreters, and shopping malls (“Yokoso Japan”). Throughout the trip, the sites and events attended are all scheduled ahead of time through your guide.

This is a great feature because the tour guide can show some great cultural sites as well as shops and theaters and great restaurants. During the first stop in Tokyo, the tour guide will show the Imperial Palace Plaza as well as the Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest in the city. After leaving Tokyo, Mt. Fuji is the next stop. There will be a station for views and photo opportunities. Also during the trip, some of Japan’s finest temples and shrines will be visited in Kyoto and Osaka.

Not only will these great sites be explored, but there will also be a day to spend however you would like. This will be spent in Tokyo, “one of the most dynamic and changeable cities of all time” (Cybriwsky 1).All factors must be accounted for in order for your vacation to go smoothly.

Passports, travel arrangements, and accommodations must all be taken care of. If research is done in these areas and effort is put into finding the best prices, the trip to Japan will be very enjoyable.

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