i was telling you last monday that i applied for a life-changing job. i found out i am one of the 1,897 people (!!) who are going to be half crazy nervous/half insanely excited until the 15th of august, when the short list will be released.

this is a private initiative (powered by a kanazawa-based travel agency, the real japan) trying to get people to realize that post-11.03.2011 japan is safe for traveling (personally, i don’t think there is any other place in the world where a city full of sky scrapers would have survived a 9.0 earthquake intact. so, in case i get to live through another big shake, i’d prefer to be there). apart from the actual catastrophes, the country’s industries had to lose as a result of the mass cancellations that followed that day: tourism income alone is said to have decreased by 73% in march, as compared to the previous year.

so, a handful of people in the industry decided to try to make a change by enabling a blogger to travel to all 47 prefectures of japan and to report to the world during the trip. the itinerary will even include tropical okinawa and on the last day, which is also, not by chance, christmas day, the blogger will get the chance to be santa claus for the children in the tsunami-affected area of tohoku. i expect that’s going to be a heart-warming moment (i admit: i have been mobbed by happy kids before in my life so i kinda know how it goes! :))

for a detailed presentation of the project, watch this video:

for more details on this wonderful initiative, click here! you will find, among others: the prerequisites for the applicants, the 101-day itinerary, the team in charge of the project, etc as well as the wonderful support offered by stars and mortals alike.

the point of the entire effort is to change people’s minds for the better so that perhaps they will decide to visit japan. even if i will not be on that list, i still intend to go on helping out this inspiring group of people because i see this as an opportunity to make the world a better place.

you can help, too: just share this post, follow the adventures of the travel blogger and consider perhaps visiting the land of the rising sun one day! arigatou gozaimasu!