"Yet a country renowned for its breakneck hurtle into modernity still retains corners where life is unhurried, where artisans create delicate bonito flakes by hand, where Kaiseki feasts must be savoured over hours, and where soaking in a hot onsen is de rigueur at the end of a day’s hike on Walk Japan’s Izu Geo Trail."
A delight of walking is to observe the same, familiar scenery comple⋯⋯tely transform in different seasons. The summertime landscape in Aizu is lush and green. Yet when those green mountains are blanketed in snow, and start to look more like an ink painting than real life, we found a whole new way to enjoy Aizu through the winter season. Although the temperature outside drops, the people remain just as warm and welcoming. Summer dishes are swapped for winter warmers, kotatsu heated tables are fired up to keep the feet cozy and a dip in the onsen gives the whole body warmth for the evenings. And so will soon release both a Summer/Autumn tour and also a unique Winter tour of Aizu. We will keep you posted with details when the tours are available to book on https://walkjapan.com/ See the photo comments for details from the most recent research trip for our new winter tour.
Walking seems to be one of the few pleasures amid lockdowns and rest⋯⋯rictions around the world. And what a pleasure walking really is. Here in Japan, some Tour Leaders made the most of their chances to walk and hike their favourite locations, catching up with old acquaintances before Japan's major cities were brought under their second 'state of emergency' restrictions. Tour Leaders share a collection of beautiful pictures from their personal travels and hope that we can all continue to enjoy walking wherever and whenever possible.
Whilst some charged into the year of the Ox with enthusiasm, others ⋯⋯dragged their hoofs and would have preferred to chew grass on the sidelines for a while longer. Saying farewell to the year of the rat, 2020, people in Japan welcome in the New Year with cards, statues and images depicting the Chinese Zodiac for 2021; the Metal Ox. We see these symbols all around the country in homes, temples and even businesses - but what does the Ox really symbolise for Japan? The Japan Times presents interesting stories, history and culture of the Ox, and looks at the characteristics of the Ox for the year ahead. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/…/2021-ye…/