Another perk of being in the military, in Japan. We have our own travel agency on base called ITT - Information, Tickets & Tours, check out them on on the Yokota Services website to see a sampling of the cool trips they offer.
Tours for a given month typically go on sale the second Saturday of the preceding month, so Feb tours went on sale this past Saturday. There are lots of popular tours in Jan and Feb and the two we wanted to take always sell out, so I decided to be at the ITT office when they opened at 10:00a on Saturday. I was expecting a long line, so I got there at 9:30, but no one was there! I was really surprised! I just sat in my van reading until other people finally started showing up, I ended up being # 4 in line.
When the doors opened at 10:00, there were about 40 people in line. It ITT staff had hot coffee and donuts for people to enjoy while they waited, I guess the 1st day of sales are usually pretty busy! I happy to report that I was able to book both tours and was out the door in 18 minutes! When I left, the huge lobby was crammed full of people! I was fully prepared to spend several hours of my Saturday waiting to book these tours! Kudos to the ITT staff!
So, where are we going?
On Feb 7 we'll be taking the kids on a bus tour to the Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the snow monkeys (Japanese macaques), they are wild monkeys that come to the park to warm up in the natural hot springs. And as a bonus, for being members of the Club on the base, we had a $10 off coupon, and got a 10% members' discount! That brought the price of the trip from $138 (already really reasonable) to $114, for all 5 of us!
The next day, Feb 8, Otis and I are taking another bus tour to the Ryogoku Kokugikan to watch the Grand Sumo Tournament, well, one day of it at least.
We had to cram both trips into one weekend because both tours are only available in Jan & Feb, and that weekend was the only one we had free. We only have one more winter left in Japan and I didn't want to risk waiting until next year for either trip, who knows what will be going on next January or February? So, it'll be a long, tiring weekend but I'm so excited and I know we'll all have a great time!