Japan has utterly captured my heart. After just one visit, I have boldly declared that Japan is my favourite country in the world, and I can't wait to return and explore more.
Those of you who have had the pleasure of visiting will surely agree with me about why this country is so charming - the lovely and super polite Japanese people, the amazing quality food, the immaculate attention to detail in every aspect of their culture, and the natural beauty of the landscape - both urban and wild.
I was curious to visit the famed Snow Monkeys, so one afternoon after a hard day of snowboarding through knee-deep powder, I jumped on a tour bus.
The monkeys were interesting, but the highlight of this little excursion for me was the walk to where the monkeys bathe. It takes roughly 30mins to walk through the snowy alpine forest, and despite the other tourists around me, I felt at peace within this forest.
On the return walk back to the bus, I was alone for the walk, and was overjoyed to see the late afternoon sunlight slanting through the trees. Seeing one side of the tree trunks bathed in this golden light was an incredible contrast to the shaded side - snow embedded in the textured bark of the tree.
I'll never forget that forest, and I'm glad I was there at the right moment to see this beautiful golden light.