Friday, September 4, 2015
Tickets for the Imperial Villas... check...
Planning for the Japan trip started several months ago. Lol! Friends who know me know how excited I can be when it comes to certain things.
There's a reason for it though. Since I don't know when I'll be able to visit the place again, I want to make as many good memories as possible. So that means booking tickets to museums, tours, trains, planes, and so on way in advance. It also means checking some websites almost every day because I'm waiting for slots in a tour to open.
Singapore has a term for this character - "kiasu." For Filipinos, I think the term would be "atat" or the casual version is "atatinin."
Being kiasu or atatinin has its pros and cons. I'd like to think that I am kiasu/atatinin when the situation calls for it.
For example, if I didn't keep on checking the Scavi Tour website almost everyday, PG Boy and I would have never been able to get slots in the tour. I mean, who know when I'll be able to visit the Vatican again? And who knows if an opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Peter and the Necropolis under the St. Peter's Basilica will come up again, right?
Something similar is happening for the upcoming Tokyo and Kyoto tour. I am kiasu and atatinin to be able to get slots for certain tours. Hehe!
In particular, these are tickets for the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and... drumroll please... Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and Katsura Imperial Villa (both in Kyoto).
Yeah, I already I had an idea about the popular places such as the Kinkakuji, the Kiyomizudera, and Fushimi Inari Shrine, to name a few.
But the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and the Katsura Imperial Villa... I have to thank a Japanese guy I had coffee with a few months ago. Hehe!
As early as June, I was checking the Japan's Imperial Household Agency website to check whether slots for the days I will be in Kyoto have opened up.
It was in the first week of July when the October schedule finally became available on the website. I wasted no time in making reservations. Haha! I immediately got a reply for the Kyoto Imperial Palace possibly because there are more slots for the palace. For the Shugakuin Imperial Villa and the Katsura Imperial Villa, I had to wait a day for the reply. There was a drawing of lots to see if one can get slot in the tour.
The day after I filed my application, I received the good news that I got slots for the dates and schedules I applied for. Yay! I have no idea how far Shugakuin is from Katsura but I will find a way! I must find a way! Haha!
For the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the tour slots only opened a few days ago. Thankfully, I've been checking every day so I was able to easily secure a slot for a guided tour.
There is one more place I want to visit in Kyoto. I think it is the trickiest of them all because the fee is quite expensive and the application to visit requires sending a letter. Let's see. Maybe I'll reserve it for my next trip to Japan! Haha! That's me being very optimistic that I will fall in love with Japan and IN Japan and that I will visit again soon after my first trip. Haha!