Story by James Pera
No two journeys are the same, or so says Luxury Gold guest James Pera. He shares how his return to Japan 50 years on compares to his original experience.
The last time I saw Mt. Fuji, I was flying into Japan for a three-day stopover on my way to Vietnam. I had a window seat and the best view of the mountain, which looked exactly like the pictures, covered in snow and surrounded by blossoms.
Fast forward 50 years and I was once again reunited with this inspiring country. This time on a guided journey led by our Traveling Concierge, who had all the qualities you’d want in somebody guiding you in a foreign land.
Our journey saw us traveling on the superefficient bullet trains, exploring the country’s pristine local parks and relaxing in luxurious hotels. But most of all, I cannot applaud our Traveling Concierge enough as she introduced us to her country and its people.
As a veteran of the Vietnam war and a scholar of World War II, one of the most poignant experiences of my life was visiting the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima and meeting a survivor of the 1945 atomic bomb, something special that Luxury Gold had arranged.
I listened to this woman, as she told us about her experience – what she saw, what she lived through, and the victims she knew. Although a world away and a lifetime apart, I felt a real sense of connection with the people, who were just ordinary folks living their everyday lives.
Age has a way of mellowing you out and allowing you to look at history through a different lens. While Japan impressed me the first time, my older and wiser self found a second visit had a big human impact on me.
My only wish was that this journey was longer. With so much history and culture, amazing food and mix of both tradition and modernity, I will certainly be returning to Japan soon.