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Leslie Wharton

I am a Travel Consultant with InsideJapan Tours, a company based in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. I live to travel and so far I've been to Japan, Thailand, England, Scotland, and South Africa. Japan was the first foreign country I ever visited, and it will always be first in my heart.

Traveling for me is about trying all the famous foods a country has to offer, and Japan has a lot to offer in that regard!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I lived in Kyushu for six years, so I'm very partial to it. Unlike much of the rest of Japan it doesn't have any extensive train system, and most stations are going to be along the coast, so it's the perfect place to rent a car and drive around to experience incredible nature. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I took Japanese on a whim in college and immediately fell in love with the culture. My first study abroad was just a month-long trip to Kobe and I never looked back!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My friend and I back-packed around Japan for three weeks while we were in college and we were able to see so many amazing places. The most surprising though was when we made it all the way to Rebun Island off the coast of Hokkaido. There's a hostel there named after the Momoiwa (Peach Mountain) on the island and the staff there put on nightly shows where they perform comedic plays for everyone staying at the hostel, and then teach them the hostel's theme song, which they rewrite every year.

When it's time to depart the island, all the staff and many of the travelers staying there escort you to the port and then perform the theme song again in front of everyone as the ferry pulls away. I've never met people like that in Japan anywhere else, and I recommend everyone check it out!"

Featured trips & expertise

Izu Peninsula
Places Most People Miss (But Shouldn't) in Japan

Most visitors to Japan hit up Kyoto's temples, Tokyo's shopping streets, and Osaka's food scene—but there's much more to this country than what you'll find in its cities. Soak in natural hot springs, hike through primeval forest, and spot wildlife on a pristine chain of islands with these under-the-radar suggestions.

Brilliant momiji maple at Nanzenji, Kyoto in late November
Best Time To Visit Japan

Japan is famous for its Spring cherry blossoms and its changing colors in Autumn, but there are beautiful places to see in every season. Japan stretches from subtropical southern extremes to the northern reaches just across from Siberia, so with a little planning, you can find the right place to explore any time of year.