A Japanese winter unlike the others

Japan snow mountain lake

We sent Aussie photographer and influencer Melissa Findley to experience the lesser known Prefectures of Japan (Fukushima, Gunma and Ishikawa). She has returned with amazing experiences to share with you!

Written by Melissa Findley:

As an Australian, when you think of a trip to Japan, your mind instantly travels to iconic locations like Mount Fuji, the colourful lights and chaotic movement of Tokyo City, the snow monkeys in Nagano, the Shinto shrines in Kyoto and Nara Park with its enchanting herd of deer. If you happen to visit during shoulder season, the famous sakura blooming in spring or the fiery colours of autumn will overwhelm your senses in the most magical way imaginable.

However, that is not the Japan I have recently experienced.

This last week was a week full of rich and unexpected adventures with JNTO as we ventured to Fukushima, Gunma and Ishikawa; the lesser-known prefectures of Japan.


When I travelled to Japan back in 2015, with one of my nearest and dearest friends, we were treated to a true Lost In Translation-like experience. This included staying at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, sake at the New York Bar, late night Karaoke Kan in Shibuya and staying awake to watch the Tokyo sky burn pink as the sun rose on the new day. It was one of those trips, which at the time, I didn’t realise how significant it would be to our friendship and subsequently, my love for Japan. I’d been dying to get back ever since.

To me, Japan is one of those countries that I could return to and explore over and over, yet feel like I’ve barely brushed the surface. It both intimidates me creatively, and exponentially excites me culturally. My senses feel alive in Japan and I find peace …continue reading