A Celebratory holiday!
Family trips. Adventures with friends. Revisiting cities full of memories. Celebrating big achievements.
We have guests from Japan, and all over the world who visit our city for various reasons!
Our guests this summer, Bob-san and Claire-san, traveled all the way from the U.K. and stayed in our Akane-an machiya house to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary! All of us at Machiya Residence Inn would like to give a big congratulations to the couple. おめでとうございます！(omedetou gozaimasu)
Starting in Tokyo, their time in Japan was spent visiting Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Mt. Koya, Osaka, and more.
After their worldwide holiday in Japan, they headed towards Singapore to continue their celebrations.
I stopped by their house in the morning (the day of their 30th wedding anniversary!) before they started their day to have a little chat about their experience in Kyoto and Japan so far.
Why did you choose Japan as a holiday destination to celebrate your wedding anniversary?
Claire-san: Our daughter, really.
Bob-san: She’s travelled all over the world. She spent time in Australia working… she spent ten days [in Japan] ….flew in from Australia, met a friend from the U.K., and said it was a lovely place to go to. It was in our Top 5 or 10 [places to visit] anyways.
C: Our itinerary was based mostly on what she suggested we do. She had experienced it, and she was saying [Japan] was probably in her Top 5 countries — she really loved it so much. It’s such a different experience, as well.
Was Japan different than what you had expected?
B: Better, really.
C: Yeah, better. I mean, culturally, socially. We keep saying to a couple of the guides that we have had that it’s so different, but impressively so… in a good way. It’s been interesting, actually. We love home [the U.K.], but you just really notice a difference.
B: It’s a low-risk holiday. As in, you go to other places and you aren’t quite so sure how you feel. But here, we don’t feel at risk at all. The shops, restaurants, things like that — they’re all good. It’s quite foreigner-friendly, and you can get on with what you are doing. Here, you aren’t treated differently.
C: Yeah, and we’ve used the subway on our own, we used the buses, you do feel really safe. Of course we don’t speak Japanese, and not a lot of Japanese speak English, but it hasn’t been a problem. Everyone is very friendly.
Where have you been so far?
C: We went to Gion to try to catch a glimpse of the maiko girls.
B: We went to the food market [Nishiki Market] and we saw some food that was quite interesting…. Sparrows, and baby octopuses stuffed with quails eggs.
C: On sticks! But we like to try different things, and we are influenced by our children as they always like to try new things.
B: It would be easy to stay in a hotel. And you can default back to everyone doing everything for you, but here [the machiya house] is quite nice. It’s quite useful, and quite tranquil. We haven’t even thought about turning on the television at all. It is humble, back to basics –and I’m getting used to sitting on the floor [tatami flooring] now!
I can also do work here. When I do work, I sit in the entrance area [where there is seating and a table] and look out the window, and listen to what is going on outside — although I don’t know what they are saying!
C: And it’s all authentic. The doors, the [tatami] mats… and we went to the castle [Nijo Castle; 5 minute walk from Akane-an]. I really enjoyed that. And the Golden palace [Kinkakuji Temple].
B: I wouldn’t have any hesitation to come back again from a holiday point of view.
C: I’ll be sad to leave. I’ll obviously be happy to see my family again, but it has been a good experience. It has gone by so quickly, and so many different experiences.
We hope to welcome back Bob-san, Claire-san, and their entire family to Japan in the future!
Thank you again to the couple for being such wonderful guests to host, and another huge congratulations on their 30th wedding anniversary! We hope that you had a memorable experience in Japan, and wonderful and relaxing celebratory holiday.