Japan

Kyoto - The Heart of Japan

There it was again. A streak of colour and a scurry in the tiny alleyway up ahead. I crept forward, treading lightly past wooden facades and unmarked doors, careful not to knock the red lanterns that cast an atmospheric glow across the cobbled path. A sharp turn to the left, and there she is: a geisha.  A quick glance over her shoulder, her white made-up face contrasting with the elaborate design of her kimono - and she's gone.

While we all know that geishas' inherent beauty, grace and charm have been admired for centuries, the same could be said of Kyoto. Like waiting for a glimpse of a shy nocturnal creature, you can wait all day for the city to reveal its secrets, and just as you're about to give up in favour of fast food and a night at karaoke, Kyoto's discrete world will reveal itself. Read more about Kyoto - The Heart of Japan

Take Quiet Time Out in Tokyo

Tokyo: one of the world’s largest cities. It’s big, buzzy and loud. But the Japanese capital isn’t all frantic-paced living and cramming on to impossibly packed subway trains. There are blissful pockets of peace and tranquillity too. From discovering the intricacies of a traditional tea ceremony to zazen meditation and dining experiences that last all afternoon, here are five ways to find calm in Tokyo. Read more about Take Quiet Time Out in Tokyo

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Go Off The Beaten Piste This Winter Season

With the winter ski season coming, the craving for that soft white powdery piste is starting to kick in, and you might be thinking, where should I go? With so many options where can you go to get this year's fix  of adrenaline rush and the feeling of that fresh scripts wintery wind in your face as you ski down chosen run: blue, red or black. For this season we want you to set your sights beyond Val d’Isere, because we have a list of some weird and wonderful mountains from which to hurl yourself. Read more about Go Off The Beaten Piste This Winter Season

Visit Fukuoka via Japan's Golden Route

Fukuoka has been rated as one of the most liveable cities in the world, which also makes it a great place to visit. It is also said to be the oldest city in Japan. However, it is probably best known for its yatai or street food stalls, which serve yakitori chicken, oden hot pots and tonkotsu ramen.  The food served is both delicious and affordable and the cuisine is a reflection of the history of this cosmopolitan city on the north coast of Kyushu, the closest of Japan’s four main islands to the Asian mainland. Read more about Visit Fukuoka via Japan's Golden Route

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Take a Walking Break

KUMANO KODO ANCIENT TRAIL (Japan)
This Unesco-approved network of trails leads deep into the heart of the Kii Mountains, southeast of Kyoto. Numerous tracks criss-cross these cedar-scented, waterfall-laced mountains dotted with shrines and temples; you can trek a section in a few days or complete the whole pilgrimage as Kyoto’s ancient emperors did, in roughly six weeks.

Duration: From one night to six weeks.

Level: Easy/moderate. Paths are well-maintained and shady, and you’re never far from help. Read more about Take a Walking Break

Experience Japanese Entertainment, Art and Craft

A long with Mount Fuji, the traditional geisha with their white painted faces, elaborate kimonos, bright red lipstick and black shiny hair piled up in a chignon are one of the most iconic images of Japan.

Kyoto, the former capital, which is home to an impressive 17 World Cultural Heritage Sites, including the Nijo Castle and the Kiyomizu Temple, boasts a long tradition of geisha district in Japan. Read more about Experience Japanese Entertainment, Art and Craft

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