JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Blue Sky Guesthouse
The Kumano Kodo

Conveniently located in Hongu, one of the main spots along The Kumano Kodo path, this simple ‘minshuku’ (Japanese style B&B) is our favourite place to stay while visiting the region to walk this ancient pilgrimage route. The gracious owner, Naoya-san, speaks good English and goes to great lengths to create a homely and friendly atmosphere in typical ‘omotenashi’ (excellent Japanese hospitality) fashion, ensuring you always feel welcome here.

While Blue Sky Guesthouse may not be as luxurious as the other hotels that you'll most likely be indulging in throughout your tour of Japan, it delivers exactly what it says on the tin: it’s spotlessly clean and includes everything you need for a comfortable night or two.

The interiors are simple yet effective, staying true to traditional Japanese design with their woven tatami-mats and roll-out ‘futons’. Each room comes with a private, well-designed bathroom – a rare treat in a Japanese B&B – and an atmospheric forest view, which lends a strong sense of place.

This charming property’s central position in Hongu makes it an ideal base for exploring the Kii Peninsula, following in the footsteps of ‘samurai’ along the revered hiking route and soaking your aching muscles in the nearby ‘onsen’ (hot springs) within the UNESCO-protected town of Yunomine. The sacred Hongu Taisha shrine is easily reachable from here (approximately just a 15 minute walk away) and the scenic routes to the other two famous Shinto shrines (Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha) make for a challenging but rewarding hike, or a picturesque drive through the mythical mountainous terrain.

We recommend adding in overnight stops at Mount Koya, the holy Buddhist alpine basin, or Osaka, the buzzy city famed for its neon-lit nightlife, before or after staying here as they lie only a few hours away by bullet train and would make for a well-rounded tour of this fascinating country.

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I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India

From our Instagram

🇮🇳Reminiscent of a French village, with its bright Mediterranean architecture and flower-laden balconies, it’s no surprise that #Pondicherry (or #Pondi) is nicknamed the ‘Indian Côte d’Azur’ 🇫🇷
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Attracting three million tourists every year, the #tokyotower has quickly become Tokyo's international symbol since its opening in 1958. 🗼
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If you'd like to see this Eiffel Tower-inspired structure for yourself, speak to one of our specialists today!
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'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever' 🙏
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Today, 2nd October 2019, marks 150 years of celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed in India as a national holiday, where ceremonies and tributes are conducted across the nation.
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If you would like to celebrate this special time of year in India, do get in touch and let us help you plan a trip for 2020. 🇮🇳
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A team of Ampersander's have officially landed in #Rajasthan. First stop, the Capital - #Jaipur 💗
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Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
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For more inspiration and to follow the teams journey through the Golden Triangle, keep an eye over on our Instagram stories and get in touch if you want to begin your trip!
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One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
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Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
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Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
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Welcome to the gateway to #Asia! #Singapore is the perfect stop over destination 🇸🇬
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A colourful city packed full of contrast and a variety of ethnic districts ready to be explored!
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#LittleIndia, originally a division of colonial Singapore. Today a vibrant district with a mix of Hindu and Chinese Temples and The House of Tan Teng Niah - one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the Indian enclave
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If you'd like a taste of #India and #Singapore on your way to #Asia, get in touch to start planning your multicultural trip!
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#SriLanka has just been awarded the title of #WorldsBestIsland by @travelandleisure 🇱🇰
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We couldn’t be happier that this spirited country is getting the recognition it deserves!
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Travel with us to get under the skin of this spectacular country 
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Today marks #InternationalTigerDay & we couldn’t be happier that #India’s wild tiger population now touches almost 3,000! 🐅🐅🐅
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If you’d like to catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures during a tailor-made tour with us, then please get in touch!
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📸 @wildmanrouse
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A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
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Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
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