A one-month solo trip in Japan By Inès Ybarra

Inés Ybarra, is a creative director and photographer. Based in Madrid. Who has work for brands such as Loewe, Zara, Nike or Hermés. Apart from fashion, she also says to be very passionate about art, architecture, furniture and interior design.

1. What is your most unforgettable Escape?

Japan. I went there on my own for almost a month. 

2. What was the purpose of your travel?

I had just quit my job and after years of intense work, I felt I needed to be with myself.

3.With how many people did you travel?


4.Where did you stay?

Tokyo, Kyoto, Naoshima, Teshima, Kanazawa, Matsumoto, Nara etc

5.What did you most like about the trip?

The Japanese culture. I was so impressed by how in such a huge city like Tokyo, they were able to create open-air meditation places in every neighborhood, for you to be able to disconnect.

I also loved the area of Nagano, Kanazawa and Teshima

6.Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip?

When I was in Kanazawa, around May, there was a festival at night of fireflies. There were thousands of them. All over the trees. It’s one of the most impressive things I have ever seen as nowadays in Spain fireflies are such a rare sight. 

7.Your most surprising find during the trip?

How safe everything was. 

Although Japan has this reputation, it was still incredible to experience firsthand.

To be able to leave your laptop on an outside table at a restaurant, go to the bathroom, come back and see that it is still there is really insane. They are the most respectful society I have seen so far.

8.Favorite restaurant(s) or food you have tried during your trip?

I loved New Olympia (sushi) at UNO Port in Naoshima and Fuwari restaurant in Kanazawa. Both of them have the best wagyu meat I have ever tried.

9.What are the must tries of the country?

If you like architecture and art I would recommend  Naoshima and Teshima. These are two islands where a few of the best architects in the world, such as Tadao Ando, have made buildings and installations. Also, Kanazawa and the area of Nagano are great for museums. 

10.Any hidden gems you could whisper to us?

  • In Kioto, the Katsura palace.
  • Go to Matsumoto and the area of Nagano. (Car is needed, as some of the museums are far away from the train station). 
  • In Matsumoto visit the City Art Museum.
  • The Yayoi Kusama Museum and in Kanazawa all the modern art museums, the park and the old town.
  • Around April, in the city of Toyama, you can observe the firefly squid.

11.Would you go back?

Yes! If it wasn’t so far away I would love to go once a year.

12.Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with?

-If you want to get an analog camera, Japan is the place. Especially for brands such as Contax and Fujifim. 

-I was also really impressed by the vintage stores in Tokyo. 

13.Any tips that might be useful to know before going there?

-Travel with a soft bag. The trains and hotels in Japan often lack much space. So it can be wise to avoid larger hard case bags. 

-There is a train pass for tourists (JR pass online) that allows you to take trains to almost everywhere in Japan and to use some lines of the underground in the main cities of the country.

-Bring external batteries to charge your phone and other devices.

-Get a SIM card at the airport.

-Almost all the restaurants that have a 4.4 or more score in Google are worth going to! 

14.Next stop you would like to visit?

Mexico and Patagonia

15.What does traveling mean to you?

To me it means to get out of my comfort zone and a possibility to create, get inspired or simply disconnect.