Japan on my mind
Japan seems to be the destination of choice of many once international leisure travel is allowed and deemed safe.
With so many beautiful cities and scenic places to visit in Japan, it is difficult to pick which destination to visit first. Last year alone, I traveled to Japan for a record of seven trips covering several cities. I discovered the beauty and serenity of Hokkaido when I traveled there for winter and summer. Hokkaido Tracks’ president Simon Robinson hosted our family to visit Niseko during summer, when golf and other activities are possible.
Demely Britania, international head of sales and marketing for Hokkaido Tracks, arranged this wonderful trip for us to check out several property listings and rental offerings of Hokkaido Tracks. A trusted organization with nearly 20 years of experience, Hokkaido Tracks delivers upscale lifestyle and experiences through its luxury homes and commercial projects. For details, check out its website at Hokkaidotracks.com.
Health and wellness
No trip to Japan is complete without a relaxing dip in an onsen. Onsen refers to natural hot springs, which are common in Japan owing to its volcanic nature. An onsen could also refer to the bathing facilities and traditional inns situated around a hot spring. With health and wellness becoming a top priority nowadays, enjoying an onsen experience is worth the trip.
Japan offers around 2,300 onsen, many of them included in a ryokan (traditional inns). No matter what region you’re traveling to, you’ll be able to find one where you can relax and unwind. For our Christmas holiday, we were so lucky to find a ryoken in Kyoto that allows guests with tattoos into the onsen.
There are so many famous and iconic landmarks in Japan. Two of my top favorites are Kinkakuji Temple and Himeji Castle, a.k.a. White Egret Castle. Founded in 1397, Kinkakuji Temple, the golden temple, has been the symbol of Kyoto for hundreds of years. Himeji Castle meanwhile is the only Japanese castle which is designated as a Unesco World Heritage site. The castle is highly praised for its design and construction method. The castle has undergone a major renovation in 2015, and now it appears with an even better new look.
A trip to Japan should also include shopping! Famous for the unique fashion style of the people in town, Shimokitazawa is a neighborhood that offers a great shopping experience, as it has many stores carrying vintage and second-hand clothing, cute interior goods and antiques. Shimokitazawa, also known as Shimokita, also offers plenty of theaters, galleries, live houses, comfortable cafés and izakaya bars. For those looking for something unique, this is a must-visit place in Tokyo.
While waiting to visit Japan, you can support local shopping in the meantime. Driven by its advocacy to preserve and promote the local textile industry, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council continues to provide platforms for local weavers to showcase their work to more people.
This year, in keeping with the times, the Likhang HABI Market Fair is going online for the first time at Shophabifair.com from Oct. 21 to 27. The annual trade fair used to be held at the Glorietta Activity Center. A pioneer in artisan fairs and local textile advocacy, the Likhang HABI Online Market Fair will showcase sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle products from over 30 merchants representing various weaving communities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
HABI chairperson Maribel Ongpin shared that one of their main goals at HABI is to make sure that our traditional textiles will still be a part of our modern lifestyle as we transition to the new normal. HABI also continues its long-term commitment and advocacy of reviving the use of pure Philippine cotton, a fiber that is very much a part of the Filipino culture.
For more information on Likhang HABI Online Market Fair, the series of webinars, and other HABI advocacies, please visit Habitextilecouncil.ph or follow Facebook.com/HabiThePhilTextileCouncil and its Instagram @habifair.
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