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Audley specialist Alexandra


Japan Specialist

My interest in travel was first piqued at a very young age, when I went on a family trip to Australia. Since then, I have been lucky enough to travel to many countries all over the world and have spent time living in Hong Kong and the USA. From the bustling streets of New York to the serene lakes of Italy, I have always been enamored by experiencing new cultures and travelling to different places.

To experience the cultural differences of Japan is initially what drew me there — however, I became captivated by much more than this. The cuisine, the scenic beauty, the technological innovation and the warm hospitality on display are all elements that have contributed to Japan being my favourite country to travel to and learn about.

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Audley specialist Alexandra

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Q&A with Alexandra

Jiufen in Taiwan

What is your most vivid travel moment?

My most vivid travel moment is most certainly an enchanting trip to Jiufen in Taiwan. Lantern-lit alleyways meander through this mountain town, revealing an amazing sight of ancient tea houses clinging to the cliffs. The glow of traditional red lanterns casts a warm hue over the streets, where I sampled many culinary delights and bought trinkets to take home. I was so surprised when I wandered out of the smaller streets and was faced with a stunning view of the sunset over the sea.

Maiko or apprentice geisha in the streets of Gion, Kyoto

Which book, film or artwork captures Japan the most?

The novel 'Memoirs of a Geisha' was one of the things that initially drew me to finding out more about Japan, and specifically, the historical geisha culture. From reading it and then being lucky enough to see three maiko in Kyoto, it's safe to say that the book encapsulates the essence of geisha culture and provides a compelling gateway to understanding that complexities and beauty of Japan.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Your best piece of travel advice?

Don't be afraid to go off the beaten path. Some of my best travel experiences, especially in Japan, have happened when I have deviated from the traditional tourist routes. For example, in Kyoto there is a very popular tourist destination called Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Although this is an incredibly beautiful location, it's so busy. Whilst on a recent trip to Kyoto, we stumbled upon a temple called Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple, which was so serene and had its own bamboo grove which we then had to ourselves, which was amazing.