Oshogatsu: the Beginning of a New Year

Hello, 2018! This was the first time since I moved to Tokyo that I have stayed in Japan over the winter break. It was so nice to spend time just catching up with friends, relaxing and getting up without an alarm, rather than packing suitcases and catching planes. Another great thing is that I was…

To Market, to Market

There’s less than one week till Christmas! I hope everyone is ready… presents bought and wrapped, Christmas tree up, ugly Christmas sweater (that you secretly love) waiting to be worn! Isn’t it just the best time of the year? One of things I love about celebrating Christmas in the northern hemisphere are the Christmas markets.…

Spectacular Colours in Kyoto

Kyoto is incredible any time of the year. No two visits are ever the same, and there are endless places to explore. With its World Heritage temples and shrines, geisha district, traditional foods and ancient history, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular cities in the world. Even for Japanese people, no place…

Journey to the Soul of Japan

Two thousand years ago, the emperor of Japan sent his daughter on a mission. She was to find a new home for a sacred mirror, one of three items that had been passed down from their ancestor, Amaterasu, the sun goddess and the creator of ancient Japan. The mirror was worshipped as though it was…

Iya Valley

Vine Bridges of the Iya Valley

Has there ever been a place you’ve dreamed of going to for years? You’ve seen it in pictures, you’ve read about it, you’ve heard about it from other travellers… but you just haven’t been able to get there yourself. Maybe you and your travel buddies just couldn’t align your schedules. Maybe you were waiting for…

Oasis in Omotesando

A while back, I heard about this really intriguing concept cafe in Omotesando. It was a cafe inside a flower shop, but it wasn’t just a few tables thrown in amongst buckets of cut flowers. It went a step further and I was eager to see it for myself. As soon as I laid eyes…

Japan’s Beautiful Canal Town

After around 4 hours and multiple train changes, I had arrived at Okayama, the self-proclaimed Land of Sunshine, and the official home of the folktale character Momotaro (a boy who is born out of a giant peach found floating down a river). From Okayama Station, I then hopped on a local train and made my…

Le Petit Prince in Hakone

Hakone is home to a very bizarre mixture of things. To most Japanese, it is known as an onsen town. The many hot springs in the area are thanks to the volcano complex, Mt Hakone. You can even go up to the crater where you’ll find black onsen-boiled eggs that add 7 years onto your life!…