Travel blog by Lisa, Interior Architect: Japan

31. July 2023

Interior Architect Lisa and her husband travelled to Japan early this summer. They explored six destinations and returned with rucksacks (and a sketch book) full of memories. Find out more about the highlights of Lisa’s trip.

Early this summer I spent three weeks travelling through Japan with my husband. The route was ambitious for the length of the trip, with six different destinations in just over two weeks. But I wanted to see as much as possible: I had been dreaming about going for a long time. I’ve been interested in Japan, especially its art, manga comics, anime films and food ever since I my teenage years. I was finally able to experience the island myself!

Originally my partner and I wanted to go to Japan just before covid. We hardly knew each other back then, but we were sure that it would be an unforgettable trip, whether our relationship worked out or not... now we are married and the trip to Japan ended up becoming our honeymoon.

We gathered a variety of different impressions along the way. We captured many of them on camera, snapping roughly 1,500 photos in three weeks. I always have a sketchbook with me whenever I travel where I process my impressions. I had it with me in Japan as well.

In this blog I’m recounting our trip to Japan for you. You’ll find my personal highlights at the end. Enjoy taking your thoughts on a journey to Asia!


  • Number of nights: 3
  • In a word: lively
  • What I’d do differently next time: Try out more street food stalls instead of restaurants


  • Number of nights: 4
  • In a word: enchanting
  • What I’d do differently next time: Avoid travelling there during peak cherry blossom season 

Magome Pass

  • Number of nights: 2
  • In a word: mystical
  • What I’d do differently next time: Hike more slowly to perceive the trail more mindfully, and take more breaks


  • Number of nights: 2
  • In a word: familial
  • What I’d do differently next time: Stay longer and explore more of the surrounding area 

Isawa Onsen

  • Number of nights: 1
  • In a word: calming
  • What I’d do differently next time: The town is called what it is for a reason... it is known for its many onsen, or hot springs. If I went back, I’d make sure to experience an onsen at sunrise. 


  • Number of nights: 3
  • In a word: contrasts
  • What I’d do differently next time: Go bar-hopping under the elevated metro tracks 


Osaka: A taste experience
The tuna sashimi at the fish market will linger in my memory. The dedication with which food is prepared to perfection is equally as impressive as the taste of the result. 

Kyoto: A cherry blossom festival in a temple
In Kyoto we enjoyed a picnic under cherry trees in a temple complex, tasted our way through small dishes from surrounding stalls, and let ourselves be infected by the lively mood. A vibrant place of community!

Magome Pass: Hospitality
As we hiked through forests and along mystical stone paths to Magome Pass, we found a small cabin where a man was giving out tea for free. Preparing tea for hikers was his daily task and clearly filled him with satisfaction.  

Nagiso: Kampai! (Cheers!)
We sat on a rice farmer’s balcony while we tasted his self-brewed beer and listened to his story – about how he left Tokyo to return to his roots in Nagiso. 

Isawa Onsen: Friendly streaks of colour 
I enjoyed a peaceful morning in the garden of the place where we were staying in Isawa Onsen, admiring the reflections on the water’s surface and watching the bright fish zipping about in the water. Wherever I sat in the garden, the koi always swam along behind me. 

Tokyo: Fish in all variations
When we visited Tokyo Tower, koinobori, or carp-shaped windsocks that symbolise the family, blew above our heads in a playful flow of colours! Another scaled highlight also came from there: I enjoyed a warm waffle with red bean paste shaped like a fish at a street food stall. 

In general I love all the delightful little bowls and shapes that Japanese delicacies come in. They are always designed with such attention to detail and so beautifully prepared. The eyes definitely eat along with the belly here!

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