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But one question has always nagged at me: Why do so many Japanese want to learn English?If you are going to go all the way to Japan and investing in the time and cost of the trip, I suggest you learn a bit about using a camera and getting some equipment to capture the sights of your journey.

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But the Japanese destination is one of the nation's most popular tourism spots -- drawing such international celebrity guests as the late John Lennon and proving there's so much more to the archipelago than Tokyo and Kyoto.Just a couple hours from the nation's capital city, Hakone is located in south-western Kanagawa.Yet it can feel like a world away from the craziness of Tokyo.It also can feel like it's stuck in another time -- the past.I taught English in Japan for about a half year in 2010 on Shikoku, and, again, to a few students to make extra cash over 20 while living there and freelance writing.

Getting a job teaching at eikaiwa -- or English conversation -- schools is still unreasonably easy, even decades after the nation's bubble days.The qualifications for the job are few -- so few they would nearly ensure low pay or long-term unemployment in the States.All you need, in general, is to come from an English speaking country, have no criminal record and hold a four-year college degree in any subject.The Hakone Open-Air Museum in southwestern Kanagawa boasts some 300 works by Picasso and other greats such as Rodin, Bourdelle, Miro and Henry Moore.There are also temporary shows and an area of kids.Gay and lesbian tourists to Japan are unlikely to face discrimination, and there are many signs the nation is becoming more open to the idea of people being openly gay.