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Travel Agent’s Japan Fam TripMay 27, 2009 By: Joe Pike
Before we began covering the Yokoso! Japan Travel Mart in Yokohama, Japan, Travel Agent had the privilege of taking part in the Hokuriku & Chubu fam trip, which took us to the lesser-known destinations of Japan including Kanazawa, Tateyama, Toyama, Shirakawago and Takayama. Never heard of these? Well, Travel Agent is here to teach you. We’ll take you through our four-day trip with hopes that you will pitch these Japanese gems to your clients.
Day One of Travel Agent’s Hokuriku & Chubu Fam Trip in Japan
The first day of our trip took us to the Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous floral nurseries in all of Japan. We hopped on a quick two-hour flight from the Haneda Airport and arrived at the Komatsu Airport. After a quick bus ride, we took a tour.
The best way I can describe it is like walking through a real life painting. I am not much of a flower guru so I’m not sure exactly what species I was looking at, but I can tell you the colors were something out of a Pink Floyd video. There were purples and pinks all over the place, and streams pretty much every inch of the way. The air was so crisp you felt like you had all the oxygen you needed to walk through the garden 10 times without losing your breath. The beauty about most tours we went on, including this one, was that they were just long enough to get your fix and none of them dragged on. A tour of the garden would take you about an hour or so.
Next, we toured the old Higashi Kuruwa, a high-class, eastern pleasure quarter where the geishas used to perform many Japanese fine arts. We saw several tea houses, or “Ochaya,” where the geishas used to live. Now, these houses, along with othera we saw, will look very similar to the first-time, inexperienced Japan traveler like myself, but the different history that each one offers evokes a different emotion.
We wrapped up the first day by visiting the old Samurai district and checked out a few historic houses where these tough warriors once lived. It was a surreal experience to be in the same building where some of the baddest warriors alive slept. I won’t be able to watch The Last Samurai again without thinking of these magical houses. Keep visiting as we will take you through the rest of trip. Teaser: The second day when we toured the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route was one of the best days of my life.