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We have some pretty good talent on the ground in Japan in our Nagoya office and leading tours around the country.One of our new tour leaders is Bostonian, Jen Snow. I would give you a little of Jen’s Japan background, but I will let her tell you herself.
Hello readers! My name is Jen, and I’m a new Tour Leader here at IJT. A little about myself – I first came to Japan during university through a study abroad program based in Kyoto, which is still my favourite city in the country, and one that I appreciate more and more each time I visit.
Not only can you appreciate the best of traditional culture in Kyoto, but as a college town, it is still a youthful and contemporary city – yet more laid back than the hustle-and-bustle atmosphere of Tokyo (although Tokyo is fun too for that very reason!).
Dragon stairs at Eikan-do Temple – one of my favourite temples in Kyoto
In fact, along with discovering new aspects of temples and shrines and taking excursions to Nara to visit the adorable deer, sometimes my favourite things to do in Kyoto are searching for good deals in the shopping arcades and relaxing with friends along the riverbank that runs near the centre of town.
Deer grazing in front of an art museum in Nara
I decided to continue pursuing my interest in Japanese culture in graduate school, where I received Masters degree in East Asian studies with a focus on Japanese cultural studies. As part of my degree, I participated in an intensive Japanese language and home stay program in Hakodate, Hokkaido, famous as the second city opened to the West in the 19th century and a great place to experience the fusion of Japanese and Western architecture that emerged in the late 19thcentury.
Following the disasters in Tohoku, I was eager to help my second-home in any way that I could, having volunteered in disaster areas in my own country quite a few times, and after completing my Masters , I went to the affected are to stay as a long-term volunteer at It’s Not Just Mud. I was inspired by locals who worked so diligently to rebuild their lives in the face of such devastating events and came to appreciate the natural beauty of the Northern Japanese countryside.
Like all our tour leaders, Jen is obviously passionate about Japan which comes across when you speak to her. Jen is keen to introduce the magic of Japan and the culture to anyone on her tour.