A solo traveller’s first trip to Japan on the Tokaido Trail

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Nan Merritt’s long-awaited solo traveller trip to Japan was everything she hoped it would be (and perhaps a little bit more…)

First time to Japan on the Tokaido Trail

Ladies dressed in kimono in Japan

As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to go to Japan. I finally made it at age 65 and I was not disappointed! As a matter of fact, I was overwhelmed when I went on the Tokaido Trail small group tour. Through Tyler Palma’s (our tour leader) deep knowledge of Japan, our group was able to experience several places that weren’t on the usual tourist trail.

There were about ten of us in the group. Initially, I was concerned about being on a group tour as a solo traveller. I needn’t have worried though, we became a very congenial group and enjoyed one another’s company over many delicious dinners. As a matter of fact, I became such good friends with a couple on the tour that a few years later we took InsideAsia’s Indochina Encompassed tour together!


Eihei-ji Soto Zen Temple
Eihei-ji Soto Zen Temple

You can see that my photos from Japan are intimate in nature; they focus mostly on the details rather than reflecting the grandeur of the temples and gardens. There are a few reasons for this; I was so overawed by the beauty and “Japan-ness” everywhere we went, it all seemed dreamlike to me. I think you’d use the term gobsmacked! And while the people we met were very nice but reserved, it didn’t seem mannerly to stick a camera in their face. Also, my little camera was not really up to taking any meaningful “big picture” shots.

Make a wish, write it on the back of the Fox at this Shinto Temple

Next tour!

I continue to be impressed by how organised and informative InsideJapan are and have just signed on to the Hidden Japan small group tour for May 2018. Can’t wait!

Join the Tokaido Trail small group tour to have an unforgettable experience, like Nan, on the Golden Route.

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