It's our new intern, Saeeda's (United States) first week at Heartland JAPAN! 🇺🇸🇯🇵You can find a bit more about her below:
Why did you want to come to Japan? "As I was finishing my second year of college, I wanted to do some traveling but also wanted to work for the summer. Being an intern for Heartland JAPAN is the perfect combination of travel and gaining the real world business experience that I was looking for. One thing that was important for me was having an internship where I could make a difference and help the company move in a positive direction, while creating an unforgettable experience for others. Coming from America I am excited about this experience due to the vast differences in culture and tradition Japan has to offer." What are you looking forward to doing while you're in Japan? "I am excited to see what amazing experiences Japan has to offer. During my time here I would like to visit some hot springs! I heard that they are very relaxing, but I have never done such a thing before. One thing that I am very excited to visit are various Buddhist temples. I took a Buddhism class in school and would like to visit different temples throughout Japan." If you have any questions for Saeeda, please comment below! #HeartlandJPN#Travel#Japan#Explore#UnseenJapan#AuthenticJapan#RuralJapan#UnknownJapan
For an insight into our Tsuwano and Hagi-Okan Walk, have a read of this review from Charmian, who joined us in April! "My husband and I had an incredible week on a private tour in May. From the booking process to the end of the tour, we cannot recommend this trip highly enough.
Being lucky enough to have private tours of soy sauce factories, sake producers, blacksmiths and being able to meet with the owners, executives and their families enabled us to have incredibly informative discussions an gave us great insight and understanding into the effect of depopulation on rural Japan and the desire these passionate people have to revitalise their region.
Being greeted with a bunch of home grown flowers in the colours of the Japanese flag by the mother of our bright and breezy local guide Naoko before heading out on her grandfather’s fishing boat, followed by abalone and other fish on an open fire shows the thoughtfulness and consideration of these beautiful locals. The food was incredible, the passion and gentleness of the people, their willingness to share their time and culture, the tea ceremonies, the onsens, the temples, shrines, pagodas, camellia forest, kagura performance.
Our NEW Kawagoe “Little Edo” Walking Tour is a two day one night trip allowing participants to enjoy the historic town of Kawagoe both by day and by night. Take a trip back in time and explore the well preserved Edo period streets while wearing kimono. Participate in a traditional ceremony, watch a geisha performance while dining on sushi, and relax with Zen meditation. This trip is packed full of culturally immersive activities.
At the end of last month, Mandy (@uncover_japan), in collaboration with Heartland JAPAN, led an excursion around the Ningyocho and Nihombashi neighbourhoods of Tokyo. The tour attendees enjoyed exploring a former doll town, seeing Japan's first coins and eating ningyo-yaki, little freshly baked sweets filled with red bean paste! For more information on upcoming excursions and to book a spot, check out our website (see link in profile). #HeartlandJPN#Travel#Japan#Explore#UnseenJapan#AuthenticJapan#RuralJapan#UnknownJapan
BREAKING: Heartland JAPAN has just launched a host of new and exciting tours! Over the next few weeks, we would like to introduce each of them to you. Today, we will be focusing on our Nakasendo Kiso Valley Trail tour. This is a 6 day 5 night trip tracing the historic Nakasendo Trail that was once used by samurai to travel between the old capital Kyoto, to the new and present capital, Tokyo. Trek through one of the most challenging parts of the Nakasendo Trail, the Torii Pass; explore preserved post towns such as Nakatsugawa; learn the art of brewing sake; watch a Kabuki performance by local dance troupes; and visit Matsumoto Castle, also know as 'Crow Castle' for its unusual black exterior
Meet our new intern, Martina, who arrived from the UK last week!
What brought you to Japan? "As I am approaching my last year at University, I decided that this would be the perfect time to travel across the world to Japan - a country that is almost the complete opposite to England. Being Italian and having grown up in London - one the most multi-cultural cities in the world - I have learnt to appreciate the differences between cultures in a way that has inspired me to want to seek more, which is why I decided to intern at Heartland JAPAN." What do you hope to do while you are here? "Not only will I be able to experience Japan as a tourist but I will immerse myself in the culture and work here, too - the best of both worlds! I am looking forward to gaining experience in the field of tourism, business and media here." #HeartlandJPN#Travel#Japan#Explore#UnseenJapan#AuthenticJapan#RuralJapan#UnknownJapan
2 1752 July, 2019
Toriii gates in Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto, Japan.
Although June in Japan means the rainy season, it also means hydrangea season! In collaboration with Heartland JAPAN, Mandy from @uncover_japan took nine tour participants to Hondo-ji Temple, just a 45 minute train journey out of central Tokyo, for their annual hydrangea display. As well as seeing the beautiful multicoloured flowers, participants also enjoyed a stop at a local produce market and lunch at the highly recommended kaiseki restaurant, Modan Ichi No Ito. Luckily, the weather held up and Mandy even added a bonus detour on the way back into Tokyo to Kita-Ayase Shobunuma Park for their iris garden! #HeartlandJPN#Travel#Japan#Explore#UnseenJapan#AuthenticJapan#RuralJapan#UnknownJapan
Meet our new intern, Joris, from Italy! 🇮🇹 What brought you to Japan? "I recently finished my exams and decided to move to Tokyo for a period. It isn't exactly a short trip. I crossed half the world and ended up in Japan. I didn't know what to expect from this country since I've mostly only heard stories from my family who have been to Japan many times. I've seen pictures of it, but when you're here, it gives you a different perspective. You can feel the culture first-hand. This is what I love about travelling; it is all about feelings and what countries can make you sense." Why did you choose to intern at Heartland JAPAN? "I am trying to see as much of the world as possible, and at the beginning, I always took a lot of pictures. Then I started to realise that photographs can't, most of the time, explain entirely the mixture of sensations that a particular landscape or moment gives you. Being an Intern at Heartland JAPAN gives me the chance to live daily within Japanese culture." What was your first impression of Japan? "One aspect that I find emblematic of the Japanese culture is when I take the metro in the morning. It seems superficial, but I think that seeing how people behave in the same situation in different nations can tell you a lot about them. Here, you can notice how everyone tries to fit in the train even if there is no space and the rest of the people inside accept this. To me, it represents how efficient and the same time respectful Japanese are." #HeartlandJPN#Travel#Japan#Explore#UnseenJapan#AuthenticJapan#RuralJapan#UnknownJapan
0 10020 June, 2019
The Fushimi Inari shrine foxes usually flank on the altar or in front of the main sanctuary. They are the messengers of the god Inari, the Japanese kami of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success.
We are excited to announce that we will be launching a range of new products in the next few weeks! From a six day Nakasendo tour to a variety of short trips in close vicinity to Tokyo, including Mt Fuji, Mt Minobu, Kawagoe and Kamakura. You can expect off the beaten track trails, one of a kind cultural experiences, breathtaking landscapes and much more. So, stay tuned!
Ready for a week full of exciting adventures? For those of you who have been following along for a while, you may remember when we first shared some of @ippei.janine's favorite off-the-beaten-path family adventures in Japan. This week, we're back with some more of their top Tokyo day trips and offbeat explorations in this beautiful country! "By visiting off-the-beaten-path spots in Japan, families can get a sense of how the country and the people truly are. Popular tourist destinations are set up primarily as that, and it's difficult to people to feel the soul of the place. By bypassing these popular tourist spots, families can enjoy the subtleties Japan does so well at, which gives the place deeper meaning, and a more memorable experience," Janine says.⠀
Have any of you visited Japan with your family? If so, did you have the chance to explore any lesser-known destinations? Share with us in the comments! #gowithnugget ⠀
23 72328 January, 2019
Looking for a place that offers stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural opportunities and a unique history? @ippei.janine suggests planning a visit to Japan's Sado Island. The island lies just off the coast of Niigata Prefecture and is a great spot for water activities (snorkeling, fishing and kayaking are all popular options) and for getting your seafood fix! Janine highly recommends taking a short boat tour around the island as well, saying "it was a novelty part of our trip that our daughter loved. These local ladies paddle the barrel for you and each has a glass bottom so that you can see all the edible seaweed!"⠀
Want even more tips on planning an adventure to Sado Island? Head to @ippei.janine's website below and click on "Sado Island" to learn more about this beautiful place! 👇
If you're looking to visit a unique beach destination while in Japan, @ippei.janine recommends checking out Okinoerabu Island. This remote spot is known for its idyllic white sand beaches, impressive underground cave system and large population of sea turtles. Janine says that the secluded beaches of Okinoerabu are also great for wild camping and offer tons of great snorkeling opportunities just off of the coast.⠀
For those of you who have been to Japan with kids, what are some other beach destinations that you would recommend for families? Tell us in the comments below! #gowithnugget ⠀
📷: @ippei.janine ⠀
47 1,18830 January, 2019
Is Okinawa on your Japan itinerary? If so, you may want to consider planning an overnight getaway to Kume Island to enjoy the island's undeveloped beaches, beautiful coral sand cay and more. @ippei.janine says one of the highlights from their visit to Kume Island was exploring some of the local caves: "We took our lights and hiked through a pitch black cave system and ended up here. This sacred cave system was an important entombment site and we saw a lot of ancient remains from many centuries ago. Our daughter is pretty scared of dark places, and creepy crawly insects. We showed her how to make it an adventure by giving her her own flashlight to use and hunt for the weird (not dangerous!) insects that live in this cave."⠀
Want to learn more about @ippei.janine's trip to Kume Island? Head to the page below and click on "Kume Island" to read more! #gowithnugget ⠀
We're brainstorming a list of off-the-beaten-path destinations that are great for families and need your help! Are there any lesser-known places you've visited with kids and would recommend to other parents? Or any out of the ordinary spots that you're interested in learning more about? Let us know in the comments! #gowithnugget ⠀