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Kristina at the Itsukushima Jinja Tori Gate, Miyajima, Japan


Japan Specialist

My heritage includes, being of both Japanese and American descent, which has influenced my cultural identity and perspectives. This dual background has contributed to my early exposure to international travel which has fostered a deep-rooted love for exploring new destinations and experiencing different ways of life. I vividly remember embarking on my first solo international trip at the tender age of seven, an unforgettable experience that instilled in me a sense of independence, adaptability, and curiosity about the world.

With my extensive personal travel experiences and cultural insights, I'm driven to help others discover the wonders of travel and curate unforgettable journeys for Audley's clientele. As a travel sales specialist for Japan, I’m eager to utilize my cross-cultural background to create tailor-made itineraries that cater to each traveler's unique preferences and interests.

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Audley Travel Specialist Kristina

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Q&A with Kristina

Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima

What’s the best local dish you’ve tasted?

Okonomiyaki, it’s a Japanese savory pancake that typically contains a variety of ingredients such as shredded cabbage, meat, and other toppings. The name okonomiyaki means ‘grilled as you like it,’ reflecting the dish's customizable nature. There are regional variations in ingredients and styles across Japan. The most notable variations come from Hiroshima and Osaka, and it’s been long debated which is better. Personally, I think Hiroshima is the best.

Okunoin Cemetery in Mount Koya

What’s your most vivid travel moment?

Staying with the monks in Mount Koya provided a serene and spiritually enriching experience to me. The tranquil surroundings of ancient temples and the rhythmic chants during morning prayers offered a sense of peace. Engaging in traditional Buddhist rituals and partaking in shojin ryori, the monks' vegetarian cuisine, deepened this cultural immersion. The simplicity of the accommodations and the opportunity for meditation amidst nature contributed to a profound retreat, fostering self-reflection and a connection with the spiritual traditions of Japan.

Visit to the Potala Palace, Lhasa

Where would you love to travel next?

I’ve always wanted to travel to Tibet and explore the ancient monasteries located within this Himalayan region. Tibet is often referred to as the ‘Roof of the World’ and sometimes described as the ‘closest place to heaven’ due to its high-altitude landscapes, pristine beauty, and the spiritual significance associated with Tibetan Buddhism. I've always associated tranquility and spiritual significance to this region and would like to immerse myself in the distinct Tibetan way of life.