Are you culturally curious? Consider Japan! 🗾

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! Do you consider yourself culturally curious? If you love to learn about and experience places where the locals have cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences that are different from your own, you may consider yourself culturally curious. 

Many people who travel internationally fall into this camp and prioritize having a variety of authentic travel experiences in their itinerary. If you’re a parent, inspiring your children to become culturally curious can be achieved by taking them abroad and immersing them in cultures different from their own. I did this with my two sons and as young adults, they are very culturally curious with a passion for travel.

Speaking of cultural curiosity, last week I highlighted 4 trending destinations in Asia for 2024. This week, I cover Japan, an Asian country that’s  perennial favorite that offers so much for travelers like you. The format of this newsletter is a bit different from others; you’ll see a link to short videos as well as longer documentaries highlighting some of Japan’s cultural and culinary traditions.

Interest piqued? Read on for Japanese travel scoop….

Culture+Culinary – A Fascinating Combination

The culture and culinary traditions of Japan are unique and historic. The link below highlights some of the most fascinating:

• Japanese Buddhist Statues

• This Japanese Tea Master Has Been Hosting Ceremonies for Decades

• 17th-century Zen rock garden

• History of the samurai and the role of their myth in Japanese national identity.

• How to Eat Sushi and a Guide to Sushi and Sake:

💎Hidden Gem Tip: Your Japan itinerary can be land or sea based (I will help you sort through the options). Whichever you choose, be sure to book months in advance. Cherry blossom also known as Sakura season’s peak time is considered to be mid to late March but actually varies where you are in the country.  So if the spring is when you hope to visit Japan, you’ll need to book at least 6 months in advance as it’s popular for tourists and locals – thousands of people turn up to take in the pastel blooms.

Interested in Learning More About Japan?

You can read more about Japan’s offerings to travelers in my newsletter found here:

If you like a good read, consider the book Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata which is about a woman in her thirties who works in a convenience store and faces challenges meeting societal expectations to conform instead of following her own path in life.

If you have two weeks and love the idea of an expedition style cruise paired with a professional photographer, there’s an incredible itinerary (pictured) that explores Japan’s coast and offers extensions to Tokyo and Kyoto. Daily shore excursions will allow you to experience Japan on an in depth basis while unpacking once. 

If you only have one week or so, reach out to me for other options.  

Inspired? Reach out to me now to get your questions answered and begin the planning process.

Wishing you amazing travel adventures,


NEW Section: Travel News You Can Use

💎 Hidden Gem Tip:  FAQ – Should I travel after a destination goes through a catastrophic event (ex. earthquakes, wildfires)?

In 2023, Morocco, Turkey, and Maui, Hawaii experienced natural disasters from which they are rebounding.  As a traveler, it’s natural to be concerned about planning trips to these destinations and wondering what the experience might be like.  

A key value of working with a well-informed and connected travel advisor like me is we have local contacts and vetted intel to share with you.  Armed with that information, you can base your decision on facts and not random internet searches.  

Also, a critical part of the destination’s rebound is bringing back tourism.  Your dollars will support locals who desperately need their jobs and livelihoods as well as an eventual return to normalcy.


About Hidden Gem Travel Consulting

Hidden Gem Travel Consulting was founded by Susan Wilson.  After decades of traveling the world and working for Fortune 50 companies and global nonprofits, she opened her own travel business which is affiliated with Virtuoso – the leading global network of agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel.

Through her deep network and signature consultative process, she designs customized travel itineraries that elevate your escape and speak to what will wow everyone on the trip.

It’s a new way to travel – a vacation that allows you to feel the full vibrancy of the destination while giving you access to perks, amenities, and experiences that are “ungoogleable.”

Enriching. Experiential. Effortless. Hidden Gem Travel Consulting is your trusted travel advisor.

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Much like wealth advisors manage investment portfolios, Wanderlist Advisors manage an equally important asset – our leisure time. Wanderlist marries “Netflix-style” technology with the deep expertise of a travel advisor.  Wanderlist helps families live a life filled with anticipation and special memories.

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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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