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Amanda embarked on a mission of self-study of Japanese aged just 12, devouring every song, movie, and phrase book she could get her hands on. She moved to Seattle to study Japanese Linguistics at the University of Washington D.C. Diploma in hand and desperate to escape the Seattle weather, she moved home to New England and washed ashore on the beaches of Nantucket where she spent three years working in the island's hospitality industry. Eventually island fever set in and she moved back to the mainland to work for Marriott International. On any given trip to Japan, Amanda can be found dancing up a storm at pop concerts or frequenting a neighborhood "izakaya" restaurant in search of local libations and delicious food. She enjoys aimlessly wandering the streets of Tokyo and finding new places to explore.She was thrilled to join the Audley team as a Japan Specialist and delights in helping clients discover a country that she thinks of as a second home.

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Amanda MacKenzie

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I'll never forget when…

Even though I have almost two years of experience on the ground in Japan under my belt, I never visited the Japanese Alps until my most recent trip. It was the middle of January and there was snow in the forecast, but that didn't stop me and my travel partner from setting out to try and walk the Nakasendo Highway from Magome to Tsumago! We walked for about five minutes before realizing that the entire path through the mountains was covered in solid ice and we were in over our heads. There were still a couple of hours before we lost the light so we set out to explore the town instead. We barely saw another soul, as we were the only ones crazy enough to be traveling there in the middle of winter. As we made our way back to the bus stop, we were rewarded with magnificent views of the sunset over the mountains -- a fantastic photo opportunity! I look forward to going back when the weather is more cooperative but seeing Magome in the quiet of winter was an experience that will stay with me for a long time.

Photos of Amanda

Amanda at the Heian Shrine in Kyoto Amanda at the Heian Shrine in Kyoto
Amanda at Hika Folk Village in Takayama Amanda at Hika Folk Village in Takayama
Amanda in Miyajima Amanda in Miyajima
Amanda in Narai Amanda in Narai
Amanda in Tokyo at Disney Amanda in Tokyo at Disney

Photos taken by Amanda

The postal town of Magome The postal town of Magome
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park, Kyoto Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park, Kyoto