I swear, this isn’t a scam. Japan is thinking of giving away 10,000 round trip tickets to boost its tourism.
In fact, it’s a like a dream come true. You’re telling me that Japan will give me a FREE round trip ticket to come and check out the country just for telling the people in the blogosphere how awesome Japan is?
If you’re new here, take a look at the banner above this post. Go on. We already love Japan. See that? We’re shoo-ins for this promo. Take a look at some of our other blog posts. We all deserve to go because of our collective appreciation of Japan; I’ll argue, though, that I should be the one to go because I’m the one who found it and is currently writing about it (sorry guys… finder’s keepers, yo!)
Let’s look at what the rep said: “We’re looking for highly influential blogger types, and others who can spread the word…”. Ok, so we’re not HIGHLY influential (yet), but we have a platform that we regularly spout info about Japanese culture and media from (yes, we talk about other things, but we have to switch it up from time to time, right? Keeps things interesting). Not to mention the purpose of this entire website is to inform people about our awesome production that is entirely fueled by Japanese animation and video game music (obligatory plug for site n00bs: Nov. 5th, 2011, San Luis Obispo, CA, our show will rock your socks off!). The feedback we’ve gotten from our performances has been extremely positive, so I think we qualify for AT LEAST influential, if not HIGHLY. After Nov. 5th though… watch out, we might make that jump to HIGHLY… and the page views will come rolling in (hint, hint Japan).
Also required is a detailed itinerary of what one would do in Japan if they were chosen. Right now, I can’t even focus long enough to thoroughly do that because I just heard JAPAN IS GIVING FREE ROUND TRIP TICKETS TO VISIT THEIR COUNTRY. It’s almost the equivalent of… actually, there is no equivalent because I’ve never heard of a country doing this. Ever. It’s just awesome. If I were forced to say something right now, I’d tell you that I’d definitely hit up Akihabara. I’m a gamer, and a large selection of my game repository comes from Japanese developers, so it’s only fitting that I hit up what’s basically the mecca of gaming in the East and try to not blow all my money on vintage systems and memorabilia.
I don’t know the specifications of the round trip (5 days? A week? Two weeks?) but I would tell you that I would definitely take advantage of every possible second I was there. And there would be extensive documenting of everything I did, by photo, video, and/or tweet (or combination thereof). Another thing I can tell you is that I would definitely eat, and possibly annoy my Facebook friends by posting picture after picture of every meal I would eat (because that’s the only time you might be excused from continually posting pictures of food: vacation). There’s a place I’ve heard of called “Alcatraz” in Shibuya, which is a mental hospital-themed restaurant. There’s nothing like that in California to my knowledge, and we HAVE the place where they took the name from! A definite must-visit.
And then there’s the history. Japan has thousands of years of history preserved in beautiful temples and monuments throughout the country. Photos I’ve seen that capture the beauty of said places are relaxing in their own right; imagining what the tranquility would be when I’m actually there is beyond me. Japan, I don’t know what you’ve heard about us over here, but we’re stressed the hell out. A trip to your country so I could visit places like Kiyomizudera would probably chill me out for the remainder of the whole year, and provide a much-needed break in the madness.
So yeah, I’m basically a poster child for your tourism experiment, Japan. I’m highly interested, familiar with the culture and looking to discover more, and in need of a vacation. I’m ready to go. Although you mentioned that applications start in April (if you actually approve the whole thing, which I think you will now that everyone in the world is talking about it), maybe this blog post could be considered “early admission” like colleges have… you know, just so you’re aware that I want to go ASAP. I look forward to receiving my ticket in the mail, guys.
All photos in this blog post were taken by the amazing and spectacular photographer Rob Sheridan, who has clearly gone to Japan and captured it beautifully.