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Tamatha visiting Magome, Japan

Tamatha, Japan & South America Specialist

I first went to Japan from 2006 to 2008 with the JET Program, teaching English to high schoolers. I fell in love with the profession and went back to the States to get an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) before moving to Tokyo in 2011. I taught English at a university there until 2016, focusing on international studies. In my free time, I wrote about travel in Japan for local publications including "Tokyo Weekender" and edited a chapter of the 2017 Rough Guides guidebook to Japan.

I've also spent a year living in Chile and Colombia as an English teacher and travelled extensively throughout South America. Some of my favourite spots are Colombia's coffee region, Easter Island, and Fitz Roy in Argentina.

When I'm not thinking about travel, I enjoy running, scuba diving, drinking coffee, and spending time with my two kids (note the coffee).

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Audley Travel specialist Tamatha

Start planning your tailor-made trip with Tamatha

Our country specialist Tamatha was superb, especially since she had visited many of the areas we wished to see and experience.

Charles Rawling and his partner in Vietnam

Charles Rawlings traveled to Japan for 9 days in September 2019, organized by Tamatha F

My partner has a special affinity for Japan but had never visited so we decided to explore some off the beaten path ideas for her birthday. I had worked with Audley before, and was impressed by their service, so decided to seek their help in designing our Japan trip. Our adventures would include catching our own Uni, hunting for heteromorphic ammonites in Hokkaido, and experiencing an authentic tea ceremony. Our country specialist Tamatha was superb, especially since she had visited many of the areas we wished to see and experience. Our experience couldn't have been better.
Russian Orthodox Church, Hakodate

I recommend visiting - Hakodate, Japan

The port city of Hakodate on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island is off the beaten track but becoming more popular now that the Shinkansen (bullet train) connects it with Tokyo.

Hakodate was one of the first Japanese ports to open to international trade and it has interesting connections to Russia as well as impressive seafood. You can even catch your own squid at the morning market. After exploring the historical parts of Hakodate I'd recommend seeing the view from Mount Hakodate by night (get there early to beat the crowds), or heading north to Onuma Quasi National Park, renting a bike and cycling your way around the lake.

The Ryokan Kurashiki, Kurashiki

I recommend staying at - The Ryokan Kurashiki, Japan

First Class

Kurashiki reminds me of a quiet neighborhood in Kyoto. Specifically, its historic Bikan Quarter is home to lovely craft shops, traditional buildings and a verdant canal. The Ryokan Kurashiki is adjacent to this canal, the perfect spot for exploring the winding streets of Kurashiki on foot. Compared to other ryokan in Japan, this one is quite special in terms of service and cuisine. There's a reason why so many celebrities have stayed here. I loved escaping to my spacious room after a multi-course dinner and soaking in the private on-site bath.

I'll never forget when…

Cruising down the Sumida River aboard a yakatabune (a traditional Japanese boat) is a quintessential Tokyo experience. Along with a meal and drinks, you get impressive views of the city and an incredibly social experience. On my last night in Tokyo I took a cruise but was disappointed the boat's karaoke system wasn't in use. By the end of the night I persuaded the host to let me have a go and I sang the one Japanese song I knew. I got an enthusiastic reaction from the other passengers and it felt so good to feel part of a community where boundaries are often broken down through music

Photos of Tamatha

  • Tamatha relaxing next to the 'Yellow Pumpkin' artwork in Naoshima Tamatha relaxing next to the 'Yellow Pumpkin' artwork in Naoshima
  • Tamatha in the Atacama Desert, Chile Tamatha in the Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Tamatha in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter Tamatha in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
  • Tamatha on Easter Island, Chile Tamatha on Easter Island, Chile
  • Tamatha in front of Fitz Roy in Patagonia, Argentina/Chile border Tamatha in front of Fitz Roy in Patagonia, Argentina/Chile border
  • Tamatha at the Korakuen Garden in Okayama Tamatha at the Korakuen Garden in Okayama
  • Tamatha making an edible zen garden in Osaka Tamatha making an edible zen garden in Osaka
  • Tamatha in Arashiyama, Japan Tamatha in Arashiyama, Japan
  • Tamatha in Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo, Japan Tamatha in Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo, Japan
  • Tamatha outside Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan Tamatha outside Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan
  • Tamatha on Miyajima Island, Japan Tamatha on Miyajima Island, Japan