Is there a special place, be it a town, city or a country, that you just LOVE?

You’ve been once and you simply cannot wait to go back. Or perhaps you’ve been more than once, and you find yourself going back there as if you’ve left your heart there. For me, that place is Japan. I’m not Japanese and I don’t have any loved ones there, yet in my limited travelling lifetime, I’ve been there four times.

I’m drawn to everything about the country – its polite and hardworking people, the intrinsic blend between traditional and ultra-modern, the serenity, the kawaii, and of course, the food.

So, I am dedicating this special edition post to my one & only. It will be predominantly a photo journal of my last expedition there,  with brief captions (no detailed reviews, keeping it short & sweet). If you would like to know any details from this post or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I promise to respond.

 

This was taken at cocktail hour on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The view pretty much speaks for itself.
We started the trip in Tokyo..this was taken at cocktail hour on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The view pretty much speaks for itself.
The Peak Bar was our watering hole for the evening, where we took advantage of "Twilight Time". For a couple of hours in the early evening, you get to enjoy delicious cocktails and canapes and pretend you live on cloud 9...
The Peak Bar was our watering hole for the evening, where we took advantage of “Twilight Time”. For a couple of hours in the early evening, you get to enjoy delicious cocktails and canapes and pretend you live on cloud 9…
Next up, we couldn't come to Japan without seeing stunning Kyoto...I mean, just look at that luscious greenery, mirror-like pond reflections and the stillness of the crane.
Next up, we couldn’t come to Japan without seeing stunning Kyoto…I mean, just look at that luscious greenery, mirror-like pond reflections and the stillness of the crane. Zen is Life.
When life gives you lemons...you use them in a cream-stuffed crepe! Fun fact: you can do this with any fruits, as demonstrated here!
When life gives you lemons…you use them in a cream-stuffed crepe! Fun fact: you can do this with any fruits, as demonstrated here!
On this trip, we visited a very special place - Shirakawa-go. It is a UNESCO heritage-listed village located in Gifu, surrounded by mountain range and greens. We managed to score a homestay in one of the original Gassho-Zukuri houses in Shirakawa and this was a dream come true for me. It was as if I had stepped back in time, into a magical Japanese fairytale.
On this trip, we visited a very special place – Shirakawa-go. It is a UNESCO heritage-listed village located in Gifu, surrounded by mountain range and greens. We managed to score a homestay in one of the original Gassho-Zukuri houses in Shirakawa and this was a dream come true for me. It was as if I had stepped back in time, into a magical Japanese fairytale.
...and this was the charming farmhouse we had the privilege of staying at. As you can see, it is quite big, so you will probably end up sharing this homestay with other visiting strangers, which I can assure you only adds to the experience.
…and this was the charming farmhouse we had the privilege of staying at. As you can see, it is quite big, so you will probably end up sharing this homestay with other visiting strangers, which I can assure you only adds to the experience.
One of the many cool things about staying at the farmhouse, is that the owner will usually make you breakfast and dinner. This was the sumptuous breakfast that was made for us; everything is freshly picked and locally sourced, made with tender loving care. We ate every single thing on the tray.
One of the many cool things about staying at the farmhouse, is that the owner will usually make you breakfast and dinner. This was the sumptuous breakfast that was made for us; everything is freshly picked and locally sourced, made with tender loving care. We ate every single thing on the tray.
A special shout-out to the best beef I have ever tasted in my life. Hida Beef is special to Takayama, Gifu and honestly I could probably write a full length thesis on how incredible this beef tasted when cooked right. But I won't. You just need to fly to Japan and eat it for yourself.
A special shout-out to the best beef I have ever tasted in my life. Hida Beef is special to Takayama, Gifu and honestly, I could probably write a full-length thesis on how incredible this beef tasted when cooked right. But I won’t. You just need to fly to Japan and eat it for yourself.
Our last stop was Lake Kawaguchi, also known as Fuji Five Lakes. It is one of the two very popular spots to see Mt. Fuji. We stayed at Rakuyu, a ryokan that had jaw-dropping views from our room. One of the most beautiful places on earth.
Our last stop was Lake Kawaguchi, also known as Fuji Five Lakes. It is one of the two very popular spots to see Mt. Fuji. We stayed at Rakuyu, a ryokan that had jaw-dropping views from our room. One of the most beautiful places on earth.

So, there you have it! A quick snapshot of our travels in Japan. And I’m already itching to return. Am I done at four? Heck, no!

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