If there’s one country I’ve had on my wishlist for as long as I can remember, it’s Japan. So what better time to visit than on my honeymoon? We prepared our plan over a year in advance and from the start, we knew that we wanted to be as busy as possible and experience as much Japanese culture as possible.
If you read my travel blogs regularly, you know that I love to fit in a maximum of activities! Good job my new husband is the same as me in that regard.
We travelled around as much as possible in three weeks, going to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Himeji, Naoshima, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Nagano, Jigokudani, Yudanaka, Hakone, Kamakura and finally, Tokyo.
Throughout our trip, we visited temples, museums, castles and parks, but my favourite moments were when we were able to interact with the locals and learn as much as possible about traditions and daily life.
We tried painting on silk and were able to see firsthand just how delicate and skilled kimono artists need to be; we attempted our own woodblock printing; we were spectators at a sumo wrestling tournament, but one of my favourite experiences was a geisha/samurai afternoon.
My husband and I were made over in traditional Japanese outfits and as a maiko (apprentice geisha), I also had my makeup and hair done, complete with wig pieces and chalk white face. It felt incredible to be dressed so beautifully and to walk around the cherry blossom-filled city like that. I drew a lot of attention, but it was all positive and I can’t count how many people stopped me for photos! To top it off, we spent the evening with a geisha and maiko entertaining us and were able to talk to them about their life and how geishas exist in contemporary Japan.
It was truly an incredible trip, made even sweeter by the fact that it was my honeymoon and I was sharing every moment with the love of my life.
Spring was the perfect time to go and I highly recommend this season: the spectacle of the cherry blossom was breathtaking. When we returned, the London blossom was out at least, so we had a beautiful reminder of our travels.