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You didn’t think we’d be ones to stay away would you? After last time? Not a chance. That’s right, Lloyd and I are packing our backs once again, and venturing back to Japan for round two of the “Japan Diaries”.
If you’re not familiar with the 2016 ‘Japan Diaries’, you can find out how the adventure panned out in blog posts and vlogs galore here [LINK]. If you remember our journey well, you’ll know that we focused our journey from East (Tokyo) to Central (Kyoto), with all of the bits in between. For 2018, we’re focusing our efforts on discovering the West.
I can finally reveal our finalised itineray for you right here, today! It took a while, but we got there!
DEPARTS: OCT 2018
a. Flight to Osaka for one night stay.
b. In the morning, we take the bus to Tokushima via Awaji Island.
c. Explore Tokushima for a two night stay.
d. The following morning we will pick up our hire car. From Tokushima we will drive to beautiful Iya Valley, where we will stay in traditional lodgings for one night.
e. The following morning we have time to explore Iya valley a little, until we drive onward to Matsuyama. We will then have the day to explore the area with a two night stay.
f. Following the second night in Matsuyama, it’s time to drop off the car, and take the hydrofoil boat to Hiroshima for a two night stay, and explore (TO RABBIT ISLAND!!!!).
g. From Hiroshima following our stay, we then take our old friend, the bullet train, to Kyoto for three glorious nights (We just had to return!). Here we will stay in a beautiful town house, and in the afternoon we will get to experience Calligraphy at the Women's Association! During our days back in Kyoto we will no doubt revisit some old favourite areas, as well as track down some new. There are so many temples that we missed last time, and we MUST go back to our favourite Ramen house in Gion (honestly, I’m getting pretty emotional thinking about all this right now).
h. After our days in Kyoto, we will then take a familiar journey across to Tokyo for another revisit (we just couldn’t leave him out!!!) for three nights in Shinjuku. This time I have to remember to go to the ‘Robot Café’!!
i. Day 16 – Fly home, and plan the next visit.
It goes without saying that Lloyd and I are already desperately counting the days until next October, even as October 2017 hasn’t even begun! The speed of these years though is terrifying, and the build up to such a beautiful thing is half the fun.
I can’t wait to explore the more rural side of Japan in this latest trip, as well as retrace old steps and retry old memories. It’s perfection to me, and I know it means a whole lot to Lloyd too.
I don’t know what it is about Japan that has such a strong hold over me, personally. I do think it comes from growing up with a dad who absorbed the culture through Kendo, which in turn developed my own interest in the etiquette and culture therein, and through the county’s lifestyle and art. It subliminally stuck with me from an early age, and everything I learned from dad, books, and the internet is so vastly true.
The fluidity of the transport network, the way that things like cooking and other general chores are not seen as a convenience or a rush, but as an art and something to savour. The passion for tradition and cultural preservation. The hospitality, and the unashamed vibrancy, expression, and quirk.
Of course Japan won’t ever be without menace or struggle, it’s everywhere in the world, but it’s a country I can honestly say that I feel at my most safe in! I had very similar feelings from my time spend in Beijing also, but Japan is the next level.
What country have you been to which resonates this kind of feeling toward its culture and personality? I’d love to read your experiences!
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