The Mistakes I Made on My First Trip to Japan

How a Would-Be Ingénue Learns Not to Overpack

Rebecca Copeland
Japonica Publication
7 min readJun 7, 2022

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Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Overheated, overdressed, and definitely over the idea of traveling with my parents, I plopped down on my suitcase right there on the platform of Ueno Station in Tokyo, Japan.

My suitcase was a bright red hard vinyl rectangle. It was part of a matching set that I’d gotten when I…

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Rebecca Copeland
Japonica Publication

Author of The Kimono Tattoo, a mystery set in Kyoto, I am a professor of Japanese literature, writer, and translator.