I bit into my immaculately presented crepe from Takeshita Dori’s popular Marion Crepes and looked around in delighted amazement. Harajuku, Japan’s pop culture mecca and the capital of all things kawaii, from cat-shaped doughnuts to the head-turning outfits of the famous Harajuku girls, bursts with electric energy. It was hard to believe that just a few hours ago I was sitting on tatami matt of a centuries old temple, knees to the floor, sipping matcha to the soft sound of sozu.
It’s moments like this, somewhere between dreams and reality, that encapsulate the spirit of Japan. From the head-spinning maze of neon-drenched streets of Tokyo to the centuries old temples in Kyoto, Japan effortlessly blends ancient traditions with its ultra modern identity, making it a fascinating country to visit.
With the spring fast approaching and sakura blossoms ready to turn the whole country a shade of pink, there hasn’t been a more perfect time to plan your Japanese adventure. If you want to explore the electric mix of the old and the new first hand and don’t mind spending extra on a tailor-made trip, you need to look into The Luxury Holiday Company’s latest Highlights of Japan experience.
The 11-day journey focuses on the tread between the ancient customs and Japan’s ultra-modernity. From getting lost amongst Tokyo’s technicolour bustle to scenic railways rides across Japanese countryside and exploring Kyoto’s imperial culture, the trip is bound to leave your head spinning and your heart full. Add the extra-luxe extras, like the airport chauffeur service and airline lounge access, and you may just find yourself heading to Japan on the next available flight! Part of theWexas Travel Group, The Luxury Holiday Company has an impressive 210 years of combined tailor-made travel experience which means you’d most certainly be in good hands.
One of the highlights of my trip to Japan three years ago was a visit to Hakone. Blissfully peaceful and perched at the foot of Mount Fuji, boasting some of the most stunning views in the country, the area’s famous for its hot springs, or onsens, and traditional ryokan inns. There are a few things more magical and zen-like than indulging in an onsen soak and falling asleep in a tatami-lined ryokan to the sound of cicadas singing outside. You’ll be pleased to know that The Luxury Holiday Company‘s itinerary includes a visit to Hakone which means you won’t miss out on this quintessentially Japanese experience if you decide to put yourself in their trusty hands. To add an extra bit of magic to your stay, go on a morning sakura stroll to admire the cherry blossoms or, better yet, head to Fuji Motosuko Resort for Shibazakura Festival – a stunning display of thousands of pink shibazakura flowers blossoming at the foot of Mount Fuji, transforming the area into a fairytale-like oasis. The sight is particularly beautiful on a clear sunny day whe the snow-capped silhouette of Mnt Fuji becomes fully visible.
This year’s Shibazakura Festival will run from 15th April to 28 May.
Your journey with The Luxury Holiday Company won’t end at admiring sakura blossoms – from discovering Kyoto’s imperial culture and getting lost amongst its charming narrow streets to temple hopping in Nara, you’ll be in for an adventure! For more information and rates, visit their website.
Constantly reinventing itself while staying true to its traditions, Japan is a country like no other – here, delightful surprises await on every corner, be it a stunning scenery that will grab you by the heart or a random act of kindness by a complete stranger, something I’ve experienced many times during my journey through Japan. One thing for sure – each experience will leave you craving for more, and you’ll leave bewitched by the beauty and wonder around you.
This post is sponsored, however, all opinions are my own.