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Final tweaks to walk-to-art Japan, plus Tokyo and Kyoto discoveries

Hitsuji bakery, in Kyoto, Japan

Hitsuji bakery, in Kyoto, Japan

Japan tours

17 January 2024

Hello, it's been a while! Happy 2024.

In November 2023, a trip to Japan that had been scheduled for 2020 resumed, and I was able to complete the final tweaks to walk-to-art's Seto Inland Sea islands tour.

This trip was just as wonderful as the last. I spent more time in Tokyo and Kyoto discovering great eateries, specialised bakeries and coffee shops. One memorable place was Hitsuji, a small bakery dedicated to natural yeast doughnuts. I'm not a big fan of doughnuts, however, these were incredible, so light and delicate. I was in the line for close to 1.5 hours, but in heaven as soon as I took a bite!

Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji, in Kyoto, Japan

Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji, in Kyoto, Japan

Whilst in Tokyo, I stayed at Hanare a small boutique hotel (guesthouse) in the area of Yanaka – such a special experience. The attention to detail, personalised tour, notes left at breakfast, all contributed to a lovely stay. The area was fabulous and creative.

If you are familiar with the great café CIBI in Collingwood, Melbourne, you will love the fact that their sister café is located in Yanaka. A creative village with no high-rise buildings, small bars and eateries, it is worth a look in next time you are in town.

Travelling in early November the temperature was perfect walking weather. It wasn't until I ventured up north to a group of hot springs located in Towada-Hachimantai National Park that I needed the padded jacket as the snow started to fall. I visited Nyuto Onsen Village and stayed at Ganiba Onsen in the middle of a primeval beech forest. Bathing at night in the forest whist the snow fell was surreal and beautiful, an experience that I always remember!

Towada-Hachimantai National Park

Towada-Hachimantai National Park, in Japan

After many years in the making, I am thrilled to announce that walk-to-art Japan is now curated and scheduled for October 2024. The tour will focus on the art islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima. and the group will reside at Uno Hotel, Tamano-shi, for 4 nights.

Next to the hotel is the open air onsen, Setouchi Onsen Tamanoyu. A favourite place of mine, and a chance to bathe under the stars. I will only be taking 8 adults and bookings are now open!