First off... Before the con? Not so much anymore. Too close to Obon, which apparently (when it's not in July) is August 16th. So the weekends on both sides? Busy. Expensive to travel. Not good. So much for the Rakuten Eagles -- I'll just get copies of the fight songs and memorize those or something. For singing in karaoke, obviously. Whenever I get around to it. And have money to blow on CDs. Next month. I am truly a loyal fan.
But... I want to climb Fuji in August, since stuff starts shutting down in September. Plus, the whole "Tuesday to Thursday" for travel day things means I kinda have to come early, anyway, otherwise I won't be there before the con starts. So, we're looking at a Aug 23rd departure (Aug 24th arrival). But I still want to get a JR pass and go somewhere, which means something like a Sep 11th return (not exactly an auspicious day, but). Which is a little long, getting a bit close to three weeks -- but if I got a JR pass, I'd want to take advantage of the whole time, and it's expensive to travel on actual weekend days. Hmm. But... Assuming I don't cut a day off the ends or something and pay an extra couple hundred or so for a ticket, here's a possible plan:
23 Aug - Depart Denver.
24 Aug - Arrive Narita, go to Tokyo (no reason to stay in Narita this time).
25 Aug - Find something interesting to do in Tokyo, stay in Tokyo that night.
26 Aug - Wander in the general direction of Fuji-Yoshida. Stay in Fuji-Yoshida.
27 Aug - Start walking up Fuji-san. Look for huts. Get lost. Stay in Hut. Something like that.
28 Aug - Ah, dawn. Wake up. Appreciate the sun from the summit. Walk down Fuji-san. Wander to Yokohama.
29 Aug - WorldCon starts. Hang out until the end, Sep 3rd. Party. Drink. See various things around Yokohama, but mostly try to stay inside where there's AC.
04 Sep - Fly to Matsushima on shinkansen with JR Pass. Take about three hours to get there from Tokyo, but won't be able to get the pass at Tokyo-eki until about 10AM. Still, if the weather's good, and it's not too crowded, could ride the boat around the islands and such in the afternoon. It'd be nice. Stay in Sendai that night.
05 Sep - Fly to Tazawako on shinkansen, hike around. Continue onward to Akita for hotel.
06 Sep - Wander back to Kakunodate, hike around. Stay in Akita that night.
07 Sep - Scenic train ride along northern Touhoku coast to Aomori (it's apparently the best stretch for nice scenery). Continue to Hokkaidou (probably Hakodate).
08 Sep - Wander up to Sapporo, wander around that part of Hokkaidou for a couple days.
10 Sep - Train back to Tokyo -- long stretch of shinkansen, long stretch on non-shinkansen. If I start in Sapporo, probably take 10-12 hours total, so will eat the whole day.
11 Sep - Kill time in Tokyo, until I go to Narita, and depart.
11 Sep - Arrive in Denver. Possibly, if the plane isn't broken this time, before I leave.
Of course, the whole week after the con is pretty much open to change on the spot, pending weather. So anything could happen with a JR Pass. Akita early, shinkansen back to Matsushima (only about three hours away)...
So... Anyone want to come with? Probably for the post-con stuff, mostly, as I do highly recommend Matsushima, and if anyone wanted to come to Hokkaidou (or even just bits of Akita-ken)... Trust me, you can see the best parts of Tokyo in three, four days on the outside. And it'll be hot and nasty there anyway. I promise to be a mediocre tour-guide.