Cuba or Japan in The Autumn. Which Would You Choose?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by TimVermont, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    If you could choose between the Project Basho trip to Japan in September, or the Steve Anchell workshop trip to Havana in November, which would you choose and why? Particularly interested in hearing from APUGers who've been to Cuba within the last twenty-four months. Thanks!
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Having been only to Japan, I can say that it would be beautiful in the autumn. Then again, how often do you get a chance to go to Cuba?
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    It all depends on exactly which part of each country. Having grown up in Japan for earlier part of my life, I can tell you the difference in climate, culture, and scenary is quite a bit. If you compare the south most and north most part, the dialect is such that they are pretty much different language. (especially if you talk to older generations)

    I've never been to Cuba so I don't know about that one.
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you go to Cuba you won't need as much warm clothing so you can pack more film.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I would choose Cuba because it is likely to change quite a bit in the future compared with Japan.


    Steve.
     
  6. onnect17

    onnect17 Member

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    In the future? :blink:
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Cuba with Steve Anchell would be very interesting, I'm very tempted.

    Japan, the East has no allure :D

    Great medical training & services in Cuba and that's first hand from being treated by a Cuban doctor. They may not have the finances available in the US etc but they put their skills & training to better use. In my case teh doctor had learnt Acupuncture in China, 10 minutes treatment has alleviated years of suffering - except for the doctor who has to work abroad for months on end to support his family in Cuba.

    Ian
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Totally go with Cuba. A buddy of mine spent two weeks there recently with his MF system and has some incredible images because most of the infrastructure is stuck in the 1950's (when the U.S. put on the blockade). This being said, the people and culture is truly one of a kind right now and given that tourism is only going to increase there in the next years--Obama has already made gestures about lowering the ban on U.S. good--it could be just a matter of time before it turns into another Jamaica (watch the documentary Life & Debt).

    That's my $.02
     
  9. onnect17

    onnect17 Member

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    Tim,
    I do not know much about Japan but I know a little about Cuba. If you are seriously considering a visit to the island just sent me a PM. I'm located in the Boston area and is not a problem for me to get close to Vermont and share a cup of coffee.
     
  10. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Go for Cuba. You can pick up Spanish language skills faster than you can learn Japanese.You show Vermont as a location. Aren't there some special hoops you have to jump through to go to Cuba on a US Passport? That would be the only difficult thing I could think of.
     
  11. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Fly into Cancun, bribe the airport ticket agent to grant you access under a Mexican psuedonym and your in.

    Piece of cake!
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    From what I understand, you can get to Cuba from Canada or Mexico if your point of origin is the US. I would love to go to Cuba but I'll pass until it's legal - if caught, I'd face loss of my job, and prosecution and hefty fines.
     
  13. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Although I live in Japan, and have never been to Cuba, I too would go with Cuba. I agree with the others that it's probably going to change quite a bit in the future. Japan will continue to be the concrete jungle it is (yes, there are oases of beauty, but not many). September is still typhoon season and it will be incredibly hot and humid.
     
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  15. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Go to Cuba before hordes of Americans come and flood it with advertising billboards, McDonalds and fat loud tourists shouting at the locals.

    Which is a slightly sharper way of agreeing with what an earlier poster said -- Cuba is likely to change a lot over the next 5 years. Japan is...well, Japan. Great, and fascinating but not Cuba.
     
  16. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I would go to Japan. In the USA they seem to think Cuba is so exotic because they don't go there... but everybody else goes there. In eastern Canada it's a very popular spot and I know people who have been half a dozen times in the last few years.

    I just looked up a flight... you can fly Toronto to Havana and stay for 7 days. Flight, pickup at the airport and hotel. It was under $400. I guess that's why everyone goes there.

    I plan to go myself.... I'm just waiting for my next batch of test cameras from Sony and I'm out the door. To me Japan would be more exotic.... but too costly if I'm just testing cameras.

    -Rob
     
  17. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I'd go with Cuba. I know Steve personally and he's a great guy. A bit intense at times but a great guy. I also have a thing for Latin America sites. I've visited Mexico several times and how knows maybe retire somewhere south.
     
  18. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I say you can always go to Japan, and it will be Japan. Cuba OTO may change dramatically, or your ability to visit it may be even further curtailed by the government. (Don't get me started on the "land of the free", except, unless, but...).

    Or Cuba may become suddenly "open" to the US. Given our close proximity it won't take long for us to wreck it.
     
  19. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    I'd go to Japan. I find it's rich history and such to be very interesting. I don't see what fascinates people about Cuba, I think that a lot of the excitement over it is that we aren't allowed to go. Going to Cuba seems almost exploitive to me. I do appreciate it's historical significance but it's kinda of like "hey! there's a place where everyone is poor and it's like it's 1952 because of an oppressive quasi-monarchal government is in place. Let's go take pictures of them." Buy Steve McCurry's excellent book on the subject and read it on your flight to Japan.
     
  20. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    JB, "land of the free" how could I forget.
    -rob
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have queried this before but are Americans really banned from visiting Cuba or are you just persuaded not to?


    Steve.
     
  22. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I am seriously thinking of going as well as one of my students.

    We have sent several messages to Steve and he has been very responsive and forth coming.
     
  23. onnect17

    onnect17 Member

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    Steve,
    The US government could not care less if you want to visit the island as long as you do not spend more than $100 a day.
    And this is for everybody entertaining the idea of a trip to Cuba. If you think you know anything about Cuba just spending a week in La Habana, you are misguided. It's like a UK citizen visiting Bronx, NY and picturing the rest of US like it.
    I know of two cases (few years back). US citizens spending some time in jail and paying five figures fines for being "smart" ignoring treasury department regulations, one of them from California and of course, both wealthy guys. I doubt they will go after a broke student.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Are these treasury regulations actually laws then or just guidance?

    Also I find it difficult to understand how you can break the law of one country whilst you are in a different country in this respect. It seems very strange to me.

    And how would the treasury know how much you spent there if you only took cash?

    If my country tried to restrict my freedom to visit another country I think it would make me more determined to go!


    Steve.
     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Conversely in the UK, we tend to think that Americans only think of London when England is mentioned.

    (I know that's a gross generalisation and doesn't apply to the intelligent people here!).


    Steve.
     
  26. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I was once advised that if I went to Cuba and subsequently wanted to visit the US that it would be a good idea to replace my passport before traveling to the US. Mind you this was over 15 years ago.