It was Monday morning, and I was enjoying a long overdue cup of tea with Annabel Candy, a British expat friend I had met years ago when she had submitted her travel blog
to our Expat Women blog directory
“You scored a trip to Japan?” I asked in amazement, impressed that someone, somewhere, had again found Annabel’s travel blog and offered her an incredible trip.
The next morning, I woke to an unexpected email from New York... “Andrea, would you fancy a trip to Kyoto, Japan, courtesy of the Kyoto Tourism Council
? There is one place left on this month’s trip and Annabel suggested that you meet the criteria [of 10,000+ readers] and might like to join us?”
“Would my son like to be an astronaut and my daughter a singing star?” I pondered, rhetorically. “Of course I want to join you!” I busted to exclaim.
Meeting in Kyoto
Three weeks later, after having enjoyed a wonderful trip over on Korean Air
, I was standing in the gorgeous Kyoto Hotel Okura
foyer, being introduced to my travel-writing peers. In addition to the talented freelancers in our crew who could boast credits in big-name publications the world over, we were joined by the super-stylish editorial director of Hombre magazine (United States); an illustrator for Condé Nast Traveller (Italy); the publisher of Weekends for Two and a stable of other travel guides (Australia); the founder of DINE Magazine (Canada); the editor in chief of Leader Chic (France); a representative from the Association of Russian Travel Journalists (Russia); and one-time Oprah guest, travel expert Marybeth Bond.
I was still pinching myself.
My Kyoto Top 10
With only three days in Kyoto, we literally only scratched the surface of this beautiful former-capital of Japan. Nevertheless, here are my top ten highlights, which I hope will inspire you to consider visiting this exquisite city.