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Audley specialist Shannon


Japan Specialist

I have always loved to experience new environments, chaos, cultures and meeting the people that make each country so beautiful. Whether that be drinking tea in a home in Xian, China, visiting Hau Thao village in the unexplored North of Vietnam, or hiking the Drakensberg Mountains and breathing in the sheer size of South Africa.

Naturally, my need to explore led me to the undeniably intriguing Japan. From the gorgeous hues of pink scattering the streets during the cherry blossom season to the glistening snow covered temples of Kyoto during the winter months. It has to be one of the most breathtaking countries I have ever discovered. Japan is unlike anywhere I had been before learning about fascinating cultures, testing my palate with interesting foods and enhancing my knowledge of the history — every time I get off the plane in Japan, it's like I'm experiencing it for the first time. I love to encourage clients to experience Japan and all it has to offer for themselves.

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Audley specialist Shannon

Start planning your trip to Japan with Shannon

Q&A with Shannon

Kaiseki traditional meal

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

Japan is abundant with delicacies, artistic dishes with Japanese flair and the traditional kaiseki (eight plus extensive courses abundant with every Japanese dish possible). I do however, love the simple things — Yakitori. It's a skewer, usually lathered in soy sauce, cooked over a barbeque. It literally translates as barbequed chicken and is absolutely delicious!

Miyajima Shrine

What’s your most vivid travel moment?

The moment I stepped off the boat in Miyajima, it was like taking a leap into history with beautiful wooden shop houses, resident deer roam the island freely, and the incredible outstanding natural beauty of the Itsukushima Shrine — one of Japan’s most iconic photos. The island is adorned with stunning flora and fauna regardless of the time of year that you travel there. I always wish I had more time there to explore all the island has to offer.

Autumn colors in Kyoto

Your best piece of travel advice?

Travel with an open mind — you'll never know what you will discover. I've learnt over the years to appreciate countries I have visited if I've no preconceptions of what it will be like. Enjoy it for what it is and feel present in the moment. Advice given to me by a Zen Buddhist monk in Kyoto.