Chamber News & Views: Japan was fascinating, more great trips on the horizon

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I’ve just returned from Japan where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, softening the harsher lines of the many modern buildings in the major cities. Seems my timing was just right — for once!

As I do with all my journeys, I enjoyed learning the culture and meeting the people — though, I must admit, I am not a fan of sushi or anything raw, and I don’t like using chopsticks! And, for a not very big island, we sure hit a lot of weather: snow, rain, wind, sun.

The Japanese are very fastidious. Everyone was sweeping their corner of the world and not a scrap of graffiti in sight. No fear of using the toilets here! There were flower pots and flower boxes everywhere to soften the concrete jungles in the major cities. The cabs had lace affixed on the arms and headrests to keep the interiors in pristine condition. In fact, as I look back, I did not see any old cars at all. Everything is new and bright.

Be advised, though, the Japanese do not seem to like to speak English and signage is a challenge unless you can read Japanese, so it’s good to tour the country with a guide.

Though the whole country was interesting, it was Hiroshima that captured my attention. We’ve heard so much of the dropping of the atom bomb on this city by the Americans and the various museums and sites were sobering to say the least. As you walk around this city, you feel truly you are on a sacred site.

I was glad to be able to see Japan — another scratch off my travel bucket list! I’m staying in my own country for the remainder of the year. My next big city visit is to New York the end of May and then in October, I take that awesome foodie tour of Virginia. I hope you’ll join me on the Virginia tour.

The 2019 Collette Vacations and Mayflower Tours brochures are coming in and what an interesting lineup we have for you thus far for next year: Egypt, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Britain and Ireland, Switzerland and several European long-boat river cruises, including a unique river cruise in Eastern Europe, not often seen on cruise itineraries.

We’ll be touring our own beautiful United States as well featuring one of our most popular tours to all those heritage cities of the East where our country began: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Gettysburg and more. And, this year, we’ve thrown in South Dakota to visit Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. Collette professionals will do the driving and planning, and all you need to do is sit back and relax and do the sightseeing!

This is only the beginning of our travel offerings. As the tour operators release more tours, we’ll be considering them and sending you the notices. And, if you don’t like — or have been there; done that — any of the tours we offer, well, come into the Chamber office at 1900 S. Carson St. and peruse the “travel wish books!” We can send you anywhere Collette or Mayflower is offering a tour!

Be sure to sign up for the free Chamber Travel Club to receive all notices. And, be sure to RSVP for the next Chamber Travel Club meeting featuring Collette Travel on May 1. There will be two sessions: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Call 775-882-1565. The meetings are informative, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Marilyn Foster is 89 years old and can outpace many of the younger travelers and always has a trip or two planned in advance.


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