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. After a total of eight months in the country he carried on to south America, and has since travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and India.
However, that initial experience always stuck with him so he was delighted to be given the chance to return to Japan with Audley, and continue exploring.
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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.