This beautiful country has long been on my bucket list and while the chance to travel here with Getaway has popped up, people have always fought for it and so I’ve always missed out, but it’s ok, I’ll get there eventually!
I’m almost annoyed by the amount of people who come back from here saying “oh my gosh, it’s amazing!” and something else I find annoying about this place is that there are so many levels and layers to it that are extraordinary… Whether it’s seeing the cherry blossoms, going to Tokyo and getting into the technology and fashion, whether it’s skiing in Japan – there are so many different levels to enjoy, I just can’t pick one!
So I had a chat with Adam Burke, Journey Designer for Asia at Scenic, to gain some insight…
Adam, when is the best time of the year to visit Japan?
Japan is on everyone’s bucket list at the moment and most people know of it, have been there or know someone who has recently gone. Cherry blossom season is the most popular time of the year to visit Japan, it’s just beautiful. Visit between late-April to early-May to see them in full bloom. It’s so magical walking down a blossom-lined path in Ueno Park, seeing petals falling down into the river, the whole scene is magical.
For those into skiing, I’ve heard there is powder snow like no other? Where is the best place to ski?
Sapporo. You can ski on powder snow every day.
Japan was the place to go for technology in 70s and 80s but now the rest of the world has caught up, is it still a good place to get your tech fix?
Of course! And we’ve built that into our itineraries. Clients love visiting the Toyota and Mazda factories. But we have a good balance on our tours so it’s not one-sided. You’ll experience the technology, the history, culture and food – dinner with the Geisha is a favourite.
Tell us more about the Geisha…
The Geisha tradition is considered to be the strongest in Kyoto and we have a function here where we have dinner with Geisha. Through interpreters and guides, they go through the whole process and we experience the ceremonies, taste the food, learn about the culture and why they became a Geisha.
Are people interested in visiting places like Hiroshima for the history?
Definitely, people like to go and reflect on the past history of WWII. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a beautiful and tranquil place to visit and reflect.
I love sushi, teppanyaki, sashimi – all things Japanese food! Tell us about the food…
One of the main reasons people love travelling is to experience the food. We always include must see and try regional specialities for this reason. For example, we taste the traditional Hiroshima pancake called “okonomiyaki”, it’s a savoury dish that is more like an omelette than a pancake and is made from okonomiyaki flour, eggs, mixed meats and topped with a variety of condiments.
It’s really nice to also get involved in the ceremonies involving food and drink, for example, we get dressed up in kimonos and go to a bento tea ceremony and also do cooking classes which are a lot of fun.
To discover more about Scenic’s Asia tours, visit www.scenic.com.au