We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.
Please note: this prize draw is now closed.
This month the Silver Travel Book Club — proudly sponsored by Travelsphere — is reading The Only Gaijin in the Village: A Year Living in Rural Japan by Ian Maloney.
Told with self-deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen. A light-hearted read that’s guaranteed to make you laugh and perfect for fans of Bill Bryson.
In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney and his Japanese wife, Minori, moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village.
Even after more than a decade living in Japan and learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age – and they have two things in abundance: time and curiosity. Iain’s attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening and DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours and wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes and earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes and bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain’s garden.
It’s not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.
Japan: Land of the Rising Sun
There are few places on Earth where the contrast between traditional and modern is quite so marked as in Japan. Traditional and contemporary collide on Travelsphere’s incredible journey across Japan from the bright lights of modern Tokyo to the traditional cities of Kyoto and Takayama; this country is full of opposites. Take a ride on the iconic bullet train, see the incredible views of Mount Fuji and uncover the poignant history of Hiroshima.
Explore Japanese cuisine with a Japanese sushi-making demonstration. Sushi is one of the most popular dishes among Japanese and the most famous Japanese dish outside the country. Learn how to make this iconic dish at a sushi-making demonstration followed by a delicious tasting.
Head to Daio Wasabi Farm to see how Japanese horseradish is grown. From specially designed walking trails you can explore several fields where the wasabi plants grow. Why not round off your visit with a wasabi-flavoured ice cream?
Sit back and relax as you enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride through Arashiyama’s bamboo forest. The sight and sound of the towering vivid green stalks swaying gently and rustling in the wind will last long in the memory.
Make your way to Hakone the gateway to Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, and the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful and a cable-car ride over the Owakudani Valley offers spectacular views of mountains, sulphur hot springs and crystal-clear Lake Ashi.
With all these experiences and more, Japan promises to be an adventure you won’t forget.
To find out, call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800412 5678 and visit Travelsphere.
How to win a copy of
The Only Gaijin in the Village: A Year Living in Rural Japan by Iain Maloney
Are you intrigued by the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’? Comment below to tell us why you would like to visit Japan or if you’ve been, what made it so special.
A winner will be chosen at random in early September 2023.
The competition closes on 31 August 2023.
Read more about all our Silver Travel Book Club reads.