It has been impossible to escape the intense media attention that the “Coronavirus” has attracted over the past few weeks and of course our thoughts are with those affected by the hopefully temporary situation, particularly in the Far East.
Those who are booked to travel in the near future should seek the most recent advice from The Foreign Office and the World Health Organisation and to stay in touch with your Tour Operator and Travel Agent.
Booking with an agency such as Eagle Travel ensures your holiday is protected under the ATOL scheme, and should your travel plans need to change for a reason such as this, you have a team of experienced travel professionals to guide you through your options.
Currently many travellers are choosing to postpone rather than cancel their trips to the region.
The Far East, particularly Japan, has seen a huge spike in tourism in recent years. With interest garnered from the hugely successful Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic Games happening this summer, more people are intrigued by Japan than ever before.
Popularity has grown so much that many tours and itineraries are sold out into 2021, and therefore as a destination it is essential that you plan ahead to ensure you get the most out of your visit, by which time we are hopeful that the current headlines are nothing but a distant memory.
With iconic sights including Mount Fuji, intoxicating cities such as Tokyo and the world-famous cherry blossoms, Japan has long been on the bucket lists of many curious travellers.
However, for those who wish to delve deeper into this curious and somewhat secretive nation, the ‘Path to Happiness’ is a trip itinerary with a twist.
As well as a focus on what you can experience, this 13-night tour has been carefully curated to focus on what you can learn.
Japan is packed to the rafters with concepts that, though ancient, seem refreshing and insightful in the West. Some of those concepts are creeping into our vocabulary, while others remain fascinatingly foreign.
The ‘Path to Happiness’ self-guided adventure aims to give you a deep cultural insight, getting you beneath the surface and showing you a side of Japan usually unavailable to visitors – whether it’s your first visit or your tenth.
On your journey you’ll be introduced to such invigorating notions as Onkochishin, or ‘finding new wisdom in old ways’, peeling back the layers of Tokyo, and walking through the backstreets of the traditional Yanaka district before delving into the neon of Shibuya.
You’ll learn about Wabisabi, or ‘the acceptance of imperfections’, through a Kintsugi class – repairing ceramics with gold to highlight the beauty that lies in faults and flaws.
And of course, your trip to Japan will be influenced by all the wonderful individuals you strike up a new Kizuna with, the bond that connects people.
You’ll have intimate, meaningful encounters, like staying with a family at a rural Kyoto farmhouse surrounded by rice paddies and mountains or have the chance to meditate with a temple priest in Kyoto.
It’s a stunning chance to relax and embrace Japanese culture and the changes you’ll feel in yourself.
While we’re on the subject of relaxing, there’s also Hadaka no tsukiai, or ‘naked communion’ – and no, it’s not quite what it sounds like.
The traditional onsen or ‘hot spring bath’ is very much a part of being Japanese, and on this trip you’ll experience it at a traditional Ryokan guest house on the Izu Peninsula, along with the wonderful concept of Omotenashi: ‘Japanese hospitality’.
All of this and much more has been threaded together throughout this itinerary, which includes all your accommodation, your transport across Japan, your breakfast every day, a number of meals and a broad range of cultural experiences to enjoy.
You’ll visit Tokyo and Kyoto, travel through the Japanese Alps, walk the Nakasendo Way, and stay in rural Ayabe – and that’s just the beginning.
Who knows what you’ll discover on the Path to Happiness trip? Perhaps you’ll discover your ikigai: your reason for being.
This tour and many others are tailormade by our partners at Inside Japan Tours.
We have worked with them for several years and they have in depth and extensive experience in planning tours to “The Land of the Rising Sun”.
Give us a call to discuss your plans; we can source self-guided and escorted tours to suit all pockets and tastes, and protect you financially with the reassurance of our own ATOL licence should anything unforeseen happen.
Our Worldwide Travel Consultant Sheena has also travelled to Japan, and you can read all about her experiences on a more traditional tour at our website.
Eagle Travel are an award-winning travel agency based at 11 Goldington Road, Bedford, and are proud to be a local, independent business, established since 1991.
Specialising in package and tailor-made travel, Worldwide ocean and river cruises, escorted tours, wildlife safaris and luxury travel, their knowledgeable and award-winning team will be happy to provide you with a competitive quote for your next travel adventure.
11 Goldington Road, Bedford MK40 3JY
Monday to Friday 09.00am – 5.30pm
Appointments available upon request – Ample free parking at rear
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