Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wishing my fellow travellers well for my upcoming Sakura tours of 2014

How to enjoy Sakura Hanami in Japan

When I think of hanami, I think of the start of each school year in April that I had as a youth in Japan. So for me, hanami is a time to open my mind to new ideas with the warming weather. The best way to enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Japan is to have a picnic party with friends under the cherry trees to welcome in the season. Having a hanami party among Japanese people with the blossoms floating around would surely become an experience you'd never forget... But there are some must-have items to properly enjoy a hanami party, which you can pick up at a 100 yen store: a picnic sheet, a pack of kairo (disposable iron powdered body warmers - yes it's true!), plastic glasses, a bottle opener, and your favourite booze! You can get food for your hanami party at the basement of any department store. They make beautiful bento-boxes full of seasonal treats that are cut and packed with tender loving care, including takenoko

Takenoko - What I look forward to eating in Spring
Fresh takenoko (bamboo shoots) arrives on kitchen tables throughout Japan at this time of the year. It tastes good grilled, boiled or steamed and has a distinctive woody texture and fragrance that always reminds me of Spring. It's like a best supporting actress for any main dish, and I recommend that if you're in Japan for early Spring that you give it a try.

This pic was taken last year at Okouchi Villa in Arashiyama near Kyoto. It has some of my Autumn travellers wearing jackets to match the season! It was a great trip. This year, my Autumn Colours tour in late November provides some unique insights into the culture and nature of Japan. It includes a visit of the Benesee Art Site of Naoshima. It's a truly tranquil and picturesque spot situated on three islands of the Inland Sea, where you can reflect on art in nature on your own terms. My tour also has four gentle day walks under a golden leaf backdrop, so why don't you join me?

2014 Tour Update

Here's a pic of me on the Kumano Kodo last year when when I was researching my Spirit of Japan tour. The Kii Peninsula is such a special place. Anyway, I'm leaving Sydney for Japan on Thursday to meet my fellow travellers for my Sakura tours. I'm really looking forward it. Although you've missed my Sakura tours this year, it's not too late to book yourself on one of my Spring Green or Autumn tours.