A lot of countries are very beautiful and rich in culture, but Japan offers culture and natural beauty, which is very diverse within its own borders. We spent a year traveling through the entire country and were blown away by how different each region was.
This Face the Current Travel Feature is published in Issue 24 / July-August 2019 Edition. Order PRINT here, SUBSCRIBE to digital membership for unlimited access, or continue reading this article below.
FtC: What do you find unique about traveling in Japan compared to other countries?
Sarah and Eric: A lot of countries are very beautiful and rich in culture, but Japan offers culture and natural beauty, which is very diverse within its own borders. We spent a year traveling through the entire country and were blown away by how different each region was.
There’s also this politeness and genuine friendliness we felt as we traveled around. People are generally happy to see you and very happy to chat and get to know you. It’s a place we’ve made many friends along our travels.
FtC: What are your top 3 summer and top 3 fall destinations you’d highly recommend experiencing, and what do you love about these places?
Sarah and Eric: Our favorite destinations to travel in summer are Hokkaido (Japan), Okinawa (Japan) and Siem Reap (Cambodia).
Typically, Hokkaido is associated with winter wonderland scenes and frequented by skiers and snowboarders in search of some of the world’s best powder. But during the summer months the island sees flowers of all colors bloom and nature really comes alive. It’s a place full of incredible natural scenes, which is still relatively untouched compared to the rest of Japan.
Okinawa is right on the other end of Japan, down south. This is a tried and true summer destination with its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.
Siem Reap is our third favorite summer destination despite the heat. To be honest, temperatures are quite similar throughout the year so it’s not such a huge difference, but in the summer months there is much less tourists, which means cheaper prices and less crowds to deal with.
For our favorite fall destinations, these would be Tohoku (Japan), Guilin (China), Zhangjiajie (China). Tohoku makes our list as the entire region is full of incredible viewing spots for the famous Japanese fall foliage. Guilin and Zhangjiajie both consist of many beautiful mountain landscapes, which means there are also many great hikes – perfect for the cooler fall season.
FtC: What is your favorite thing about blogging and sharing your travel insights with others?
Sarah and Eric: We started blogging as a way to document our travels so that our parents could keep up to date with what we were up to. Eventually, what happened was that we were receiving messages from people telling us they had felt inspired to travel to these destinations themselves. It’s a really humbling feeling to know we were able to provide a little inspiration for others to get out and explore. One of our more recent articles was on our road trip through Hokkaido, which we went through everything one would need to know if they were thinking of going themselves.
FtC: You’ve traveled to major cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Budapest, and also deep into nature. What’s your take on city or nature- how do they compare for you?
Sarah and Eric: We hope this doesn’t sound like a cop out answer, but the truth is we love them both. They both offer experiences, which the other probably couldn’t – so we see them as two types of travel, which compliment one another. Very often you’ll find us lost in nature one trip and then lost in the city the next.
FtC: How do you utilize the create expression of photography to capture and convey travel experiences, stories, and culture?
Sarah and Eric: Photography is a really powerful way to tell a story and it’s one, which isn’t restrained by the barriers of language. Similar to blogging, our passion with photography began as just a way to document our memories for us to look back on, but we now never travel without our cameras. On most of our trips, we have one or two shots planned before going, this way we can plan the best times (usually sunrise or sunset) to be at those locations. The rest of the trip we like to keep it fairly free so that we can enjoy and be present in those travel moments.