Just back from... Japan!

Personal travel expert Joanne shares three personal highlights form her recent trip to Japan with specialists Inside Japan Tours.

1. The Tokyo Skytree

The Tokyo Skytree, a skyscraping broadcasting tower in Japan’s electric capital city, is the tallest tower in the world*. Standing at 634 metres high it towers over the city (excuse the pun) and the observations decks at 350 and 450m provide staggering birds eye views of Tokyo. The name Skytree, which invokes the magical landscapes of legendary Japanese animators Studio Ghibli, was actually chosen by the people of Tokyo in a public vote.
*The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, the distinction being that towers are built for some other purpose than inhabitation.

2. Stay in a Ryokan

For Joanne, a stay in a ryokan is an absolute must on any trip to Japan. Known as ryokans, these traditional Japanese inns are the best way to experience Japanese hospitality at its finest. Step back in time as you enjoy a host of Japanese traditions, from tea ceremonies to dining and sleeping on futons, all with exceptional service throughout. In the countryside, ryokans are often located by hot springs, where you can bathe surrounded by the tranquillity of nature. Hoshinoya Tokyo is a relaxing ryokan retreat right in the heart of the city, where natural hot springs are replaced by an exquisite spa and traditional Japanese bath house experience.

3. Fushimi Iari Taishi Shrine

Kyoto, Japan’s ‘home of artists’ is also home to some of the most impressive temples and shrines in all of the country. Joanne’s favourite was the Shinto Fushimi Iari Taishi shrine. Famous for the 10,000+ vermillion tori gates that straddle a 4km path up the mountain, it’s no wonder that this visually striking shrine is reportedly the most photographed sight on Instagram. The shrine is free to enter and Joanne recommends leaving plenty of time to explore – put it at the end of your day’s itinerary as the shrine has no closing time and you’ll be able to soak it all in as the sun goes down.

This is just a small taste of Joanne’s incredible experiences in Japan, to find out more give Joanne a call on 0191 272 6035 or send an email to and she’ll be happy to give you more of her personal recommendations.

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