Map of Japan and Korea

As I’ve been thinking more about my potential return trip to Japan and Korea it’s occurred to me that there may be some upside if I end up having to postpone the trip to next year. As any of you who have traveled around will know, Japan and Korea, like other nations, periodically have to do renovation and restoration work to their most prominent cultural and historical sites. Places such as the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto are having work done on them and some of their structures are covered-over at the moment. Visitors are still allowed at many of the sites being restored but it’s kind of a bummer to not be able to see everything.

Tokyo Meiji Shrine
Outside the Meiji Shrine central complex (2017)
Kyoto Kiyomizudera Temple
The main hall of Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto (2017)

Traveling in 2020 rather than 2019 would mean that I’d have the benefit of more of the restoration projects being finished. Japan is also hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020, so if I traveled there in the late summer or autumn I might be able to take advantage of renovations being made in anticipation of the flood of tourists that accompany the Olympic Games. As much as I want to return to Japan and Korea this year it might not be such as bad thing if I have to delay the journey. Of course, if I had the time and money I’d just visit Japan and Korea in both 2019 and 2020, and possibly every year afterwards.

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