Translated as "budget travel", or can I use the term "backpacking"?
Ever done one? Honestly its not really enjoy doing it especially if you can’t sleep without a fluffy bed, bantal busuk or any of your sleeping utensils. I’ve always wanted to experience once, just to know how it feel to force yourself to feel comfortable and enjoy the trip.
So, in the end of winter in 2010, I planned a trip of about 1054km across Japan. Yep. From the northern island of Hokkaido, all the way to Tokyo - by train. And if you think it is still comfortable enough, we are only permitted to use local train: which mean you have to change trains to get to the next city, which is pretty exhausting.
It is called the “18 kippu” or, the full name, “seishun 18 kippu (青春18切符)” which could be translated as “tickets for the 18 year old youth (??)” Its actually a promotion by the Japan Railway(JR) for people who didn’t have much money but strong enough to withstand long-distance travel - which is commonly the youth. Therefore it is name as such, although your grandfather of 65 year old are also eligible to buy and use it.
It is actually a trip I planned for Zaidi and pijot : the two master students who came for 4 months to Hokkaido University for their research. During the final month of their stay here, we decided to go to Disneysea, which is in Tokyo, by using the “18 kippu”.
|Our first stop: Aomori station|
The trip took us almost 22hours to get to Utsunomiya station from Sapporo. Utsunomiya is about 2hours from Tokyo where we stayed at our friend's house.
|Some random statue at Fukushima station|
We realize that people in Aomori speaks in a louder voice compared to our beloved Sapporo. We were quite shock that their train is merrier with people talk to each other. Whereas in Sapporo people tend to behave in trains and lower their voices when they speak.
|Mito having problem with his ticket at Tokyo|
And the other thing that we realized during the trip, or at least I realized, that, their girls aren't as cute as in Sapporo's. :P