What’s your current favorite destination? Japan has been my favourite country for years and still is. I have been there two times so far.
What made you want to visit Japan? I find Japan very unique: on one hand, the most technologically advanced country on the planet and on the other hand one of the most traditional ones! Tradition is the cornerstone of the Japanese culture. And one of the best places to observe that is Kyoto, the old capital of Japan (and my favourite place).
Japan is a country of contrasts in many aspects of life. In addition to the cultural side, what attracts me to Japan is the constant creation of beauty. The country itself is beautiful and the people are not only preserving the natural beauty but they always try to enhance it. And here I am talking about the famous Japanese gardens, the Sakura (cherry trees), the autumn foliage, the onsens (thermal baths) and so much more. To top it all up add the food! Now tell me if you don’t want to visit Japan 😉
Tell me a fun fact or little-known tidbit. At peak hour, you see railway staff workers shoving people in the trains to help close the doors! And although you are pressed like sardines inside the train, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable somehow…
What was the best and worst part? The best part must have been the politeness and the respect people are showing to one another. Although sometimes, it can be regarded as extreme (i.e. a shop owner accompanying you outside and bowing to you even after you left the shop) I prefer this to the sometimes extremely rude western society
The worst for me was the traffic and the sheer number of people. For example, the first time attempted to cross Shibuya (the busiest intersection in the world) I didn’t manage, as I was on the wrong side and the wave of people took me with it! And everywhere you go is crowded.
What 3 things would you tell other travelers to know before they go?
1. Inform yourself about the basic etiquette (especially the “don’t”s). Japanese people will always tolerate the foreigners because they expect we don’t know the rules, but they will appreciate you 10 times more if you show you do.
2. Check if there is an important festival when you go. It can be very beautiful but also extremely crowded and a lot more expensive to go at these times.
3. If you are planning to visit more than 2 places to buy a JR pass. Trains are very expensive in Japan and the JR passes are only offered to foreigners. The passes should be bought before you arrive in Japan.
**Many people would be interested in going to Japan, but they are afraid it might be too expensive. It is not. It just requires a bit of planning. For example, you can have an extremely delicious meal for 6-7 Eur. Yes, you can also pay 100Eur in certain places if you choose to try that but it all depends on you. Japan can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. And I believe this is true for every country.
BIO: I am a passionate traveller and photographer and since 2015 also a blogger. Travel has been my first passion since forever I guess, and only when I started doing it extensively, along came the photography as well.
Until recently, my professional life can be resumed in 2 words: corporate & finance. But…. Towards the end of 2014 I left my job and my life as I knew it for the past 11 years in Belgium, took a sabbatical and moved back to Romania (my home country). During my sabbatical, I travelled solo for almost 5 months throughout SE Asia and Japan.
This experience was one of the best in my life and is, in fact, the reason for starting my blog. I want my blog to be both an inspiration as well as a guide for people. And for that, I am not only writing about places but I am also adding loads of photos. I really do think that photos give people a better feel about a place that I could express myself in words. On top of that, I also create specific galleries related to traveling such as People and cultures of the world, Women in Asia, Faces of children around the world, Sunsets& sunrises, Artistic photography and so on!