Toby's first experience of Japan was when he started off his gap year by taking a job during the harvest on a remote rice farm in Kyushu. After three months he continued on through Honshu, taking in the highlights of Kansai and Kanto, before arriving in Hakuba for the winter ski-season. The fabulous contradictions endemic in Japanese culture between city and countryside, old and new, fascinated him, constantly surprising him and drawing him deeper in.
That initial experience always stuck with him so he was delighted to be given the chance to return to Japan with Audley, to continue exploring. These trips have taken him all over central Honshu and most recently to the northern Island of Hokkaido. Here he explored the most remote parts of this spectacular island by hire car, enjoying the beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife and sensational food.
I'll never forget when…
One of my most memorable experiences in Japan has to be whilst I was living in Kyushu. After a few months in the country I found myself in Dazaifu, a small town just outside of Fukuoka. Here I found the beautifully peaceful moss gardens of Komyozen-ji, where I spent the day relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.