Japan, China and South-East Asia Specialist
Inspired by the novels of David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami, David moved to Japan ten years ago and taught English in Tokyo. On his return to the U.K. he became a travel specialist and has been back to Japan several times to take in remote mountain vistas, cherry blossom, autumn leaves and the beautiful beaches of the southernmost Okinawa islands. His most recent trip took him to the eastern wilds of the northernmost island, Hokkaido, with its pristine snowy landscapes and famous dancing red cranes in February. He also recently spent several months exploring South-East Asia.
In his spare time David enjoys creative writing, reading and exploring London by bicycle. He is still regularly studying the Japanese language, and is always happy to provide any phrases that people may find useful when travelling there.
Off the beaten track, it’s possible to have a whole temple, scenic vista or even small town almost to oneself. David found himself exploring the small town of Tsuwano on foot one morning, passing streams of koi carp and even a Christian church in the old samurai quarters. The way leads to Takodani Inari shrine with its hundred red ‘torii’ gates and robed shrine maidens, then a cable car goes up to a forested trail and castle ruins. It is only two hours by train from Hiroshima, and well worth the journey for those seeking quintessential Japan without the crowds.
It goes without saying that David is a big fan of ryokan and minshuku (traditional spa hotels and guesthouses). These unique and characterful properties are dotted throughout Japan and it’s hard to pick just one, but Takefue in central Kyushu springs to mind. Relaxing in their outdoor hot spring baths hidden in the heart of a bamboo forest, watching leaves slowly fall and float on the water – that was a moment which perfectly captured the beauty and soul of Japan.
Make use of Japan’s excellent ‘takyubin’ luggage-forwarding service. It is a cost-effective and completely reliable way to travel light at least some of the time. Your luggage is forwarded from hotel to hotel overnight between most locations, and there is a same-day option between Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone. David can advise and arrange this in advance when you travel with TransIndus.