By: Stephanie Andrews
After an incredibly beautiful trip to Italy last year, my husband and best friends and I began planning our next trip for 2017. It didn’t take much deliberating: we decided on Japan. We each have our own reasons for wanting to go, but for me it’s very personal. Japanese focus on simplicity, orderly and functional design, and attention to detail are values and aesthetics that I truly appreciate. And considering I grew up with Hello Kitty, love eating sushi out of Bento boxes, and created a Japanese modern garden in my backyard, I guess you could say Japan has always seemed magical to me.
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo features bountiful cherry blossoms, beautiful bridges, and rolling hills and paths. Formerly a castle ground of the Emperor, it’s now a national treasure for all to experience.
I am drawn to many forms of Buddhism. The Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa waterfall and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters.
Did you know that Japan has the largest number of architects per capita? Most people in Japan that can afford to buy a house build a new one rather that buying something pre-owned, so they build their custom dream homes without regard to resale. This tiny home has everything so well organized; it’s the epitome of efficiency and minimalism.
If you’re looking for historical Japanese art from the masters, try the Tokyo National Museum. I would love to learn the technique behind those iconic brush strokes and create some Japanese inspired art from my travels.
Obviously you can’t talk about Japan without mentioning sushi. Just look at that beautiful food! And getting to experience the real thing in Japan is sure to be a priceless experience.
Know of any hidden treasures in Japan? Must-see attractions? Comment and let me know!