Patrick Janelle always thought of Japan as a place of the future: flashing lights, massive intersections, in-your-face technology. Now, having been there, he sees it more as a destination of contrasts. “There’s a quietness there that I appreciated, and a deep respect for heritage,” says Janelle, who spent nine days in Japan, splitting his time among Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto on one of Travel + Leisure’s editor-curated trips, bookable with the high-end outfitter Black Tomato. Among his favorite experiences: a stay at the luxe Aman Tokyo, a sushi-making class near Tsukiji Market, and visits to Kyoto’s historic temples. “The temples are a total feast for the eyes. I went to Ryoan-ji just before closing, and wandered around the gardens by myself, which was incredible.”
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