Taking the Slow Train: Catch-22
As I've mentioned, Lisa and I are buying 21-day JR rail passes (the "green car" passes to boot, entitling us to use first class where available) for our trip to Japan, which as it happens will be exactly 21 days long. (Arriving Japan August 28, leaving September 17, and yes, that's local time in Japan.) Because we were able to save money on the hotel reservation during the con itself (compared to what we were prepared to pay), I thought perhaps we might splurge on something else, specifically the Twilight Express
overnight sleeper train from Osaka to Sapporo. In particular, that train has a single "Royal Suite" at the rear of the train that looks spectacular. And such information as I could find about it suggested that the sleeper surcharge (our rail passes covering the transportation charge), while expensive, was not impossibly so.( But Just Try to Book The Trip!Collapse )
We bit the bullet and told them to go ahead and try to make the booking anyway. But instead of paying around $500, it's probably going to be closer to $1700 if it happens in the best-case scenario. (It will cost less if they can't get the Royal and we go down to a smaller compartment.) That's painful. I keep telling myself, "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," but it still hurts.
We won't know if we got anything until around August 10-12, and since a bunch of other plans have to be worked around that trip, it leaves about four days of the trip in limbo. I don't like leaving things unplanned.
We're also thinking of taking a sleeper from Saporro back to Tokyo, but in that case, we're going to take a chance on a compartment of any sort being available for September 13 or 14 when we get our JR passes on August 28. In this case, we should able to actually use our rail passes and only pay the sleeper surcharge.
If we can't get the overnight train, we'll have to take an extra hotel night somewhere and travel during the day. I'm sure we'll manage, but I hate leaving loose ends in my planning. Current Mood: worried