Back in 2017, a friend of mine moved out to Japan to teach English. Ever since then, I’ve been itching to visit. I already knew what an incredible place it was, but the photos she shares function as a constant reminder.
Japan is full of natural beauty and natural wonders, from the most spectacular sights like Mount Fuji, the cherry blossoms, Nachi Falls, and many more secretive beauties in between.
Of course there’s many amazing man-made structures too, from Japan’s unique and contemporary architecture, to its incredible Buddhist temples and shrines. My friend tells me that Kyoto is the place to go if you want to experience Japan’s ancient culture. Once the capital of Japan, it apparently boasts not only classical Buddhist temples and shrines, but also imperial palaces, breathtaking gardens and traditional wooden houses.
Kyoto is also famous for formal traditions such as Kaiseki dining, a multi-course dinner of precise and incredible dishes. Food is, of course, another huge draw to the country. I love Japanese cuisine, and I’ve been told on multiple occasions that it's even more delicious in Japan, which is hardly surprising. More randomly, I’ve been told that they have a really great selection of Kit Kat flavours in Japan, which I’m also completely down for.
A visit to the Ghibli museum in Mitaka is definitely another must whilst in Japan, but I feel as though that one requires no further explanation.
As lockdown comes to an end and normality starts to resume, it's strange to think about the next time I might explore somewhere that isn't England.
Thankfully I didn't have any exotic getaways planned this summer, but there's plenty of places I can think of that I'd love to visit. With talks of an all-inclusive trip to Greece with my best friend and an Irish adventure to visit my grandad, it's safe to say my hopes for post-pandemic travel are tentatively waiting in the wings.
While no faraway flights were booked for the next few months, a family trip to Scotland in August may still be on the cards. After realising the last country I officially visited was Scotland when I stayed with a friend in Edinburgh last September, it would seem fitting for the the chilly Northern tip of the UK to bookend what has been a crazy couple of months.
Despite not yet knowing where my next flight will take me, one thing is certain: as we venture back out into the world beyond our borders, never will I feel so grateful to travel.