Jo's interest in travel started from an early age on trips with her family, and it was firmly cemented by her own adventures to India, South America and Southeast Asia. Although she started her working life as a lawyer, her passion for travel meant she decided to look at moving into the travel industry and she was very happy to find Audley.
Her first trip to Japan was on honeymoon where she fell in love with the contrast between its ultra-modern cities, tranquil gardens and temples, and its cuisine. Jo has since returned to Japan to discover more of its fascinating culture and eat more of the delicious food.
As an English Literature graduate and lifelong bookworm, Jo has continued to explore Japan through literature, and is always very happy to share recommendations. She is also a keen runner and hopes to combine this with future travel plans, with the ultimate goal of running the Tokyo marathon.
I'll never forget when…
One of the iconic images of Japan is the geisha. In reality, their elite status and closed world mean that seeing them is quite rare, and often that sighting can come with the downside of a flock of tourists jostling for a photograph.
On my last trip to Japan with Audley I was fortunate to have a tour of the geisha districts of Kyoto with Peter Macintosh, an internationally respected geisha expert and photographer. While everyone knows about the Gion, Peter first took us to a lesser-known district. After a little wait on the empty street, a door opened and a maiko, a trainee geisha, appeared. She began walking towards us with the distinctive and elegant geisha shuffle that takes many years to perfect, before stopping in the doorway opposite where we stood. I stood there completely mesmerised, and as she entered the teahouse, she flashed us a smile and gave us a little wave, and then she was gone.