News from the road – Japan – April 2024

Our ‘Discover Japan’ group has just had a wonderful tour of the Land of the Rising Sun. We were so fortunate that Mother Nature played ball and everywhere we went were cherry blossoms, all in full bloom. Magnificent pink clouds on hillsides, edging canals, in school grounds, front yards, roadsides, fields, city streets and riverbanks. We tried our hand at traditional arts and crafts, rice paper making and gold leaf decorating which left the group in silent intense concentration working on their artwork to take home. A slightly noisier scene at our lively Taiko drumming lesson!

A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Shirakawa-go took us on a spectacular drive through a narrow winding round through the mountainous environment and glacial rivers. The drive is punctuated by tunnel after tunnel after tunnel in this mountainous terrain. The longest 11 km long and many over 1 kilometre.

We visited Naoshima Island, Japan’s art island in the Seto Inland Sea. Three galleries were built so they blend into the landscape. Chichu Art Museum is largely underground.  All three display some fabulous art works plus wonderful outdoor sculptures. We saw two sets of bride and groom having their photos taken in these settings. Another ferry trip took us to Miyajima Island to visit the stunning Itsukushima Shrine and the floating Torii gate.

It was a treat to experience traditional Japanese culture with a stay in a Ryokan and opportunities to partake in Onsen baths. The food in Japan is really spectacular, especially the incredible attention to detail in the presentation and we enjoyed many Japanese feasts and unique food experiences.

We enjoyed the hospitality of the Japanese people and of course, we marvelled at the efficiency and speed of the Shinkansen bullet train. Best of all, a great group of like-minded travellers who really enjoyed each other’s company and camaraderie made this a great tour.

We love Japan and will be running this tour again in 2025 so pop us a note if you would like to be on the interest list and we will send you an itinerary as soon as it’s ready.