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Rosaleen Gilmore


Japan is one of those places that draws you back to it. Once you’ve been to Japan, there’s always more of it that you want to explore. There are many different aspects of Japan that call to you. Japanese people tend to be incredibly kind and helpful, especially when you are lost or confused or struggling with the language. Japanese history is deep, rich, and intriguing. Japanese food is delicious and surprisingly inexpensive. But I think my favourite part is the varied natural environments of Japan. There are magnificent snow-capped mountains all up-and-down the islands of Japan. There are rocky, wind-swept coastlines, and serene sandy inlets. There are forests of deep green jungle plants and enormous trees. There are trickling streams and roaring waterfalls. All of these things and more about Japan draw you in and keep calling you back.


For me, Sapporo is the perfect mix of city and nature. Being in Hokkaido, you are never far away from some of the best natural scenery in Japan; but Sapporo still has everything that you would want from a city. And Waya is perfectly situated to access all of the best things Hokkaido has to offer. Waya is a wonderful guesthouse, but what really makes it special is the people. I met so many wonderful people in Waya, several of whom I still keep in touch with regularly. Everyone is friendly, and the public spaces are perfectly set up to help people meet each other. I spent two months in Japan, and I think the best part of my trip was the people I met, and most of them I met in Waya.


After spending two months in Japan, I spent another two months in South Korea before coming home for the holidays. Next I will be heading to Australia and New Zealand for a bit. But I look forward to spending more time in Japan and in Waya in the future. It really is a wonderful place.