Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time to settle in for the winter and plan for next year

Sakura season has gone...

Thank you to everyone who joined my sakura tours this year. On the Classic Sakura tour, the blossoms were particularly beautiful around the alpine town of Yudanaka (pictured right). This is where we stopped to see the snow monkeys too. As always though, I enjoy heading north from Tokyo into the quiet rural areas on my Tohoku Sakura tour, where the cherry blossoms around Hirosaki castle were outstanding, but very cold!

as have the fresh greens!

My customers always laugh at me when I tell them that visiting Japan in May is a great time for seeing fresh greens - but it is! In Japan, we have a special word for the green leaves that appear on the trees with the warming weather - 'shinryoku' - fresh greens... Anyway, this year, we had spectacular weather for my City Lights & Alpine Trails tour, so the fresh greens were particularly beautiful! Here we were finally getting down from the Dakesawa climb at Kamikochi (pictured right).

Plans for 2017

I'm currently looking at my calendar for 2017. My line up of tours for next year will be similar to 2016, but hold on for details. Due to popular demand, I'm going to offer two departures in Oct and Nov for my Spirit of Japan walking tour that takes in two ancient routes: the Kumanokodo (pictured right) and the Nakasendo. I also have to squeeze in a few private tours, so it's going to be a busy year. I'm going to release dates and prices for tours in the next month or two, so look out for my next post.

Time to rug up!

Returning to Sydney for winter is always a shock. Why does it feel so cold here when it isn't so cold? I think I'll take a short detour for the tropical islands of Okinawa ... for research.

And lastly - a cat

Atlas is always happy to help unpack.