About

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Uncovering Japan, the official blog of Uncover Japan, LLC. That’s my travel “business” – I design and prepare itineraries for people coming to Japan, whether they’re here for two days, two weeks or two months. You might have found your way here via my main website or just surfed aboard by googling all things Japan-related. No matter how you got here, I hope that you’ll take the time to stay and read awhile and get to know the Japan beyond the guidebooks.

Overlooking the waterfall at Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture

Overlooking the waterfall at Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture

Both Uncover Japan, LLC and the Uncovering Japan blog are a one-woman enterprise. Who is that woman, you ask? My name is Mandy Bartok – I’m a six-year resident of Japan and an accidental – though unapologetic – Japanophile. I spent my formative years in the United States and Europe and thought my professional life would involve teaching French. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since arriving in the land of bullet trains and bento boxes, I’ve fallen head over heels in fascination with my new home. This blog and my itinerary work are merely my way of sharing some of the amazing discoveries I’ve made in this country with others.

This isn’t a personal blog, but it IS written by a person. I won’t (usually) be posting pictures of my family or my home life but I will be expressing my personal opinions. They are just that – my opinions, and mine alone. If I title a post “The Top 5 Gardens in Japan”, the gardens I pick are my personal faves. If you disagree, tell me your own opinions in a comment. Just don’t expect me to change my entry (at least until I’ve seen a place for myself! 🙂 )

I hope you enjoy these snippets of Japan. Thanks for reading!

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Want to get in touch? Feel free to drop me a line at mandy@uncoverjapantravel.com. And don’t forget to check out the Uncover Japan facebook page for fun facts, fascinating links and more beautiful photos from around Japan.

22 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks for the comment and for checking out the blog! The Kansai area has totally grown on me these past two years, even though I was originally a die-hard “Tokyo girl”. If you want something beautiful but really not that well-traveled, come down here to Kumamoto and rent a car. This prefecture has some truly magical places (and some great horsemeat. 😛 )

  1. Hey Mandy,
    Thanks for leaving a comment in my blog. I will follow you from now on. 😉
    I’m glad I met a fellow female traveller in Japan. ^___^

    Have you travelled to all regions of Japan yet or is there anything you still want to explore? 🙂

    • Hey zoomingjapan! Thanks for stopping by. I still haven’t seen most of the Tohoku region and I’ve never set foot on Shikoku either but I hope to remedy that soon! I love that there is always something new to see. I’ve had a great time following your adventures as well.

      • I totally agree. There’s always something new to explore.
        I’ve been to all 47 prefectures and over 100 castles, so some people think I’ve seen everything.
        However, my bucket list is still very long and I keep finding new things all the time. *g*

        I hope you get to go to Shikoku and Tohoku at some point. Both regions have a lot of great things to offer. ^__^

    • Thank you, Toza and Anita! I’m honored to be nominated but I generally don’t do blogger awards here on my business blog. Still, I very much appreciate the sentiment and hope to see you in Japan someday. Happy travels!

  2. Hello Mandy, We just took our 3 year old son to Anpanman Museum in Kami and found your blog entry useful before setting off. We’ve been in Kamiyama on Shikoku for 2 months now, with 1 more to go, and also spent 3 months here (and around Kyoto and Osaka) in 2013. We also have a long standing love affair with Japan and have probably traveled more extensively here than even the US (where I’m from)! Just wanted to say hello and have enjoyed your blog. (I also keep a blog of our time in Japan, but it’s mostly personal for family and friends to stay in the loop.) And that I totally get the Japan-fascination! ^_^

    • Hello Andrea, Thank you so much for your message! I love writing this blog but I don’t always get to hear about people using the entries in a practical sense. (I keep a separate family one as well – and have since we first moved here – but hardly anyone gets to see in person the things I post about there!) If you’re in Kami again, don’t miss Cafe Kohanyu, a few miles west and across the river from the Anpanman Museum. The food was delicious and they were very welcoming to my 4-year-old. How lucky to get to live in Shikoku for three months. Is it back to the US after this? Still, you can see a lot with even one month left to go. I am trying to figure out how much I can conceivably squeeze into June here in Kyushu with a kid, a few work commitments and a move to Tokyo at the beginning of July! It makes me sad to ponder leaving but at least I get one more year in one of the most amazing cities on earth.

  3. Hi Mandy. Cool Blog. I am not exactly a Japanophile, but I did live in Chiba for about 24 years (1978-2002)… married a local boy… got stuck. Right now I am back in Texas and working as a international concierge. There has been a HUGE UPSURGE of interest in going to Japan this year and, as the resident Japan-expert, all requests come to me… I will check your travel site, I may be able to swing some business your way one of these days. Keep up the great work.. OH Check out the girl-duo FEMM on YouTube.. “RiRi”, the one of the left, is my daughter!

    • Hi Libby,
      I think living in Chiba for nearly three decades definitely earns you some serious Japan “street cred”! 🙂
      Glad to hear there’s such an interest in Japan lately. I tend to talk the ear off of anyone who will listen about some of the amazing sights and experiences here, so feel free to send any requests my way!
      I checked out FEMM and as soon as I am not stuck in a hotel room with a sleeping 4-year-old, I can watch the videos with sound. 😉 What a talented daughter you have!
      Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading!

  4. Hi Mandy, I have been following your blog for a while. Like many, I have fallen for Japan and have now visited 8 times in 7 years, always short holidays.

    Good on you for doing this blog and expressing a refreshing philosophy of sharing ideas and experiences. I recently had the pleasure of shaping a friends itinerary for a short trip to Japan, a trip made in the circumstance of him being in the later stages of a battle with terminal cancer.

    And not all the places he and his partner went were on my advice, others can from the wider fraternity of Japan bloggers!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Tony. It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve enjoyed the blog, and I hope that your friend enjoyed a memorable trip to Japan. How heartbreaking that, in his circumstances, it may be his only opportunity to visit, but how fortunate to at least have had that chance and have had you helping to guide the way.

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