I LOVE WALKING AND ART. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND JAPAN IN JANUARY? I HAVE A RARE 14 DAYS OFF FROM MY DARLING TEENAGERS. I. TURPIE, FOOTSCRAY VIC
Although Japan experiences severe cold in January, that shouldn't have too much impact on the art side of your wish list, since most of the major galleries and cultural attractions are located in cities. Walking in Japan's rural areas is a little more difficult at that time of the year, but one location that satisfies both wants is Naoshima http://benesse-artsite.jp/en/ [benesse-artsite.jp], an island in the Seto Inland Sea known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. This region has a mild, Mediterranean climate, and even in January you can expect daytime temperatures of about 20 degrees.
The nearby island of Shikoku is the site of the famous Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail, also known as the "88 Sacred Temples of Shikoku", and this could be an option for a more intensive walk. Total length is 1200 kilometres, but Oku Japan https://www.okujapan.com[okujapan.com] has a number of options for short self-guided, inn-to-inn walks, allowing you to sample the temples along the way. You can also do it by tour bus, and Viator www.viator.com [viator.com] has several options.
Traditional-minded pilgrims still walk the entire route, travelling clockwise and wearing a distinctive costume of white trousers and shirt and conical straw hat, although I suggest something warmer at that time of the year.
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