Ahh… Summer! I missed you, my dear dear friend. I’ve looked forward to your visit for several reasons: of course, the SUN – the SUN!!! If that wasn’t enough, there’s also my trip to Japan and my wedding anniversary. Alas, one wasn’t to be…*sigh*, but the other is TOTALLY ON.
JAPAN: Postponed! *sob* It wasn’t meant to be this year. Actually, it was my decision. Otherwise, I’d be there right now, in fact. Thing is – after the horrific tsunami and subsequent nuclear explosion, the U.S. issued a travel alert to avoid travel to Japan. This was back in May. Frankly, the radiation threat scared me — I’m a mom and can’t take the chance that I’d get cancer. Also, part of my trip would’ve been a home stay and I just didn’t feel right about burdening a Japanese family, who had other things to worry about. The U.S. travel alert says it’s safe now, outside a 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
So – in the spirit of traveling to Japan NEXT YEAR, I’ve compiled 10 interesting facts and figures about Japan:
- Japan has vending machines that dispense BEER;
- Literacy rate is about 100% — ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!!;
- A musk melon (like a cantaloupe) can sell for about 31,473 yen (that’s $300.00!);
- About 70% of Japan consists of mountains and there’s about 200 volcanoes;
- Japan consists of over 6,800 islands;
- The unemployment rate is less than 4%;
- Has the highest proportion of elderly in the world: 21%;
- Central Tokyo has a population of 12 MILLION people — the Greater Tokyo Area is about 35 million;
- Japan is slightly smaller in land mass than California;
- The most popular pizza topping in Japan is squid, followed by mayonnaise, corn and seaweed.
So, Japan wasn’t to be — YET. I look forward to next year, minus the pizza toppings. Squid? Oh boy! But, the good news is that I have new summer plans.
Here are just ten fascinating facts and figures about the Sin City, Las Vegas:
- There’s more than 15,000 MILES of neon tubing in the Strip and Downtown;
- The neon cowboy (Vegas Vic over Fremont street) is the world’s largest mechanical sign;
- There’s an average of 315 weddings PER DAY;
- Marriage license costs $35;
- It has one of the highest divorce rates in the U.S.;
- Average cost for filing divorce papers is $450;
- There’s about 200,000 slot machines;
- Of the 20 biggest hotels in the U.S. – 17 of them are in Vegas;
- About 37 MILLION people visit each year;
- 1,700 licensed gambling places.
I’ve been researching what to see, where to go and what to do. In a word: overwhelming! There’s retail therapy, hotel hopping, strolling the 13-block Strip, eating at fabulous restaurants, taking in a spectacular show, or two, and soaking up the pulsating nightlife scene. *sigh* So many places to go, people to see! Viva Las Vegas and all that!
If you have any tips for our Vegas trip, please POST them. I’d greatly appreciate it!