Konichiwa! Next destination: Japan.
A country renowned for it’s culture, combining both tradition and modernity in art and rituals of calligraphy, distinctive gardens, tea ceremonies and immaculate self-care.
Our very own Eye of Horus Cosmetics Founder, Holly, recently visited Madarao with her family to explore its majestic mountains covered in beautiful winter snow and experience Japan’s unique culture and traditions that have been long-preserved.
Read on for insight into her amazing experience, the highlights of this incredible place and how the fine balance of old and new leave her wanting to go back for more.
I was fortunate enough to travel to the mountains of Japan for our first international family holiday and Banksy's first overseas trip (at just over one year old!). My Aunty bought an old chalet a few years ago in Madarao, Japan, and her family have been renovating it and at last, we made a visit. We travelled in the peak of their winter which was a vast and welcome change from the hot summer in Australia.
Japan is a fascinating country, some of my favourite things were their heated toilet seats, the remarkable scenery, their rituals and customs, amazing ramen, stunning onsens, unique architecture and just about anything you can imagine being sold in vending machines! Some interesting things about the culture was the way they managed their waste and the systems they had in place.
I was also fascinated by discovering more about their customs and in particular their ancient beauty rituals and how self-love and self-care is an essential part of their custom.
Despite what seemed like overuse of plastic used on everything including vegetables and fruit in the supermarket, I realised how advanced their recycling structure is. In our lodge, we could use the communal kitchen and had to be fully inducted into the recycling process.
All waste must go out in clear bags with your name on it. A plastic soda bottle, for example, had to have the label removed the cap and ring removed, the bottle crushed and each component had to go into a separate bag. Once at the recycling depot, if the waste was mixed, you would be called up personally and would have to go to the depot and repack responsibly. This was one interesting way to train ‘how to recycle’ so everyone was accountable for their waste.
Naturally inspired by the ancient rituals and wisdom of the past I was so excited for my first onsen experience. The girls and I took a day off skiing and we took a bus to an open-air, natural onsen on the top of the mountains overlooking the snow-filled valley. The Japanese hot springs are created by volcanic activity and the water of the onsen is mineral-rich and thought to possess healing qualities to the body and spirit. It was an incredible way to relax, regenerate and spend quality time with each other. The process before and after the onsen is very particular and there are rules around how to onsen. I loved the idea of this ancient culture carrying their traditions through and making them still so relevant today.
Overall, our Japan adventure was incredible. The Japanese people are known to be truly patient, respectful and polite. I feel we can learn a lot from them and some of their traditions. On our final days staying in the stunning ski village of Myoko, our little boy Banks walked for the first time which made it even more special. It will always remain a favourite place for us.
FAVOURITE EYE OF HORUS PRODUCT TO TRAVEL WITH?
Hands down our multi-award-winning Goddess Mascara
. It is the perfect travel companion that never lets you down. The natural wax-based formula resists water and wintery conditions and it stays put without smudging or running. I even slept in it on our long haul flight. It's easy to use and remove. There’s a reason why it remains our hero product.
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telling us where and we will aim to bring you an insider feature on that destination soon!