Subject: Re: Japan
Hi Jim, If she's adventurous, she'll have a ball, even on her own!

Japan is, despite the language, a very easy place in which to travel. The transportation system - even into the smallest of places is incredibly efficient and signage (espec. in the big cities) is well done. Where there are no English signs - your daughter will always find someone to ask for help (whether they speak English or sign language)!

One of my favourite things when anywhere in Japan is just to walk the backstreets and 'drink in' the atmosphere. There are small temples and shrines spotted throughout every neighbourhood that somehow manage to screen out the hustle and bustle of the city around them (no matter how small). There are still street sellers shouting out their wares in some of the older parts of cities and the parks often have impromptu entertainment on the weekends. Since she's going to be in the south, she should be hitting the beginnig of sakura (cherry blossom) time and that's really special - she'll see people streaming out to have picnics under the trees just to celebrate their beauty (and drink a little beer and sake!).

The atomic bomb museum in Nagasaki is something not to be missed. I believe that the facts are presented well and it is quite well balanced. It's very sobering.

Now she only needs something for her friend. I'd also take a few little gifts - just in case she meets someone who helps her or...... you never know... They don't have to be big (perhaps something specific to where she lives, a pin or the like) but it/they should be nicely packaged.

I'm sure she'll love it.

Best regards, Judy