Gearing Up for Nippon 2007

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It's early March and already Worldcon is absorbing a noticeable amount of my time. We've decided on staying at the Yokohama Heiwa Plaza Hotel, which won the final decision over the Hotel Camelot Japan by having a laundromat on the premises. (Incidentally, the Hotel Camelot's claim to fame is its large and varied selection of restaurants. Yes, you do dine well in Camelot...) But you can't book a double room there through Nippon 2007's official travel agency, so I'm checking the hotel's Web site every day to see if they've opened up Internet reservations for that weekend yet.

Then there's the Tokyo Disneyland part of the trip, which is purely hypothetical at the moment as it depends on the next profit participation check, assuming there's a profit participation check at all, but that hasn't stopped me constructing elaborate hypothetical park-touring plans just in case.

Meanwhile, I continue to make good progress through the Rosetta Stone Japanese Level I/II set. I'm ready to recommend Rosetta Stone to anyone. The only notable flaw I've encountered is that the speaking exercise is highly erratic in how it grades you-- sometimes it's hypersensitive, and sometimes you can say the wrong words and still be rated near-perfect. Whether you're a linguistics weenie like me looking for a refresher course, or a total beginner, I can't say enough good things about it.

So, having gone into type-A trip-planning mode already, I've come across an interesting variety of cultural tips beyond the basics, which I'd like to share with other Worldcon attendees, or any of you who might be going to Japan someday...

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