If you know where to go, travel can be an inspiring and enlightening experience. There are some places on this earth that are so different to anything the Western world has ever known, both culturally and visually, that we are forced to open our minds. Forced to step beyond the safety of our comfort zones. Right now, there is one such place that is appearing time and time again in articles like this one, as more people discover its charms and endeavor to spread the word. That place is Japan. And should you believe the hype? Most definitely.
Take a journey through Japan and you are entering a world of unique – and often bizarre – trends, ancient traditions, stunning natural landscapes and futuristic cities. It’s a place that illuminates the differences between East and West and allows us to explore how history has the power to sculpt a culture so far removed from our own.
Kyoto, once the reigning capital of Japan, is perhaps the perfect representation of Japan as a whole. It’s a city that presents us with a seamless blend of old and new, as traditional values stubbornly seep through the cracks of modern urbanity. In Kyoto, one can wander through golden pavilions that have been standing for centuries. From there, one can contemplate a 1000 year history under the iconic curved roof of an ancient temple. Further, when walking around town one can even spot Geishas hurrying to their next secret appointment. Quintessential Japan at its very best; a visit to this spectacular island shouldn’t begin anywhere else.
But really, how can we, with only the written word as a tool, do justice to a country as spectacular as Japan? Nothing can truly prepare you for a trip that has the power to change your very being. All we can do is urge you to experience it for yourself, and hope that you, the reader, will trust us when we say that all of those that have been lucky enough to step foot in the Land of the Rising Sun before you, have returned inspired, enamored, changed. Now, it’s your turn.