Favorites of Japan, From a Traveler Who’s Been There 43 times!
We asked Marian Goldberg, a travel pro who has traveled to Japan — yes, 43 times, to tell us about some of her favorite memories of that island nation.
Marian worked at the Japan National Tourism Organization and is one of this country’s foremost Japanese experts, so we focused on special aspects of the country, from the popular to the unusual, and from calming to exciting.
We learn about Shinto shrines, and the pleasures of visiting and staying in Buddhist retreats. There’s “forest bathing” which has nothing to do with water, and bathing in hot springs, which very much does.
We delight in the beauty of gardens and cherry blossoms, light-up festivals and strolls through bamboo forests, and ancient cedar forests on a sub-tropical island off Japan’s southern coast. And also shrines of the Shoguns.
Marian tells of astounding views of Mt. Fuji from a skywalk outside of Tokyo, which also offers zip lines, huge swings and rock climbing.
We discuss tea ceremonies at a tea house with a geisha, in a town known for green tea. And we chat about one of the oldest pilgrimages in the world, passing by 88 temples set in valleys below towering mountains, and along the coast, where pilgrims can dress in traditional white robes, and take up to two months to complete the route.
Snow monkeys look like old men in a hot springs. And hiking trails between Kyoto and Tokyo are classic and popular. Marian tells of skiing from a traditional village near Nagano, where mists surround you,
If this all makes you thirsty for sake, Marian takes us to a brewery with a 23rd generation brewer, and sake on tap. And she ends with her favorite memory of all her many trips to Japan. Just talking with her is quite a trip indeed.
About Marian Goldberg
Marian Goldberg was the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Public Relations Manager for the Americas for 11 years (1997 to 2008).
She has traveled to Japan 43 times and is one of America’s foremost media and marketing authorities on travel to Japan. She also does personal Japan Travel Planning for individuals.
She has been quoted in the New York Times about Japan seven times: http://query.nytimes.com/search/travel?query=%22Marian+Goldberg%22+Japan+travel&x=0&y=0 as well as in USAToday https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2019/09/24/olympics-2020-tokyo-summer- travel-guide/2355577001/ about the Olympics, and Forbes.com about Japan travel post Covid-19: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2020/05/22/coronavirus-travel-deal-japan-subsidize-trip/#47bedb1214f7. She is a regular presenter on Japan at the New York Times Travel Show.
Since leaving JNTO, Marian has consulted for numerous Japanese tourism related businesses and organizations. She was the US representative for Kyoto City from 2012 to 2014 and has been part of the team representing Tokyo in the US Market (2015-2017) and Tobu Railway Group (2018-2020) and Tokyu Hotels (2019 to present).
Marian holds a Master of Science degree in Travel Marketing Management and has taught travel and tourism at New York University’s Tisch School of Hospitality and numerous community colleges. She has been the Asia Correspondent for Jax Fax Travel Marketing Magazine since 2008 (http://www.jaxfaxmagazine.com/contributing-writers/). Prior to joining JNTO, she was a researcher and then producer at The Travel Channel.