Our three day stay in Tokyo was short for such a big city but we had other places in Japan to explore such as Kyoto, Koyasan, and Osaka. To get a little local taste of Tokyo in such a short time we enlisted the help of a Tokyo resident to give us a local’s guide to Tokyo the capital city of Japan via Tokyo Free Guide. In a packed half day we visited districts off the beaten path such as Shimokitazawa, Nippori, and Yanaka.
Golden Gai is in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo known for its nightlife and brilliant little bars to drink in.
Surrounded by skyscrapers and bright lights, Golden Gai (Golden District) is a small area of alleyways packed full of tiny bars in little old buildings. This place has character and you’ll find yourself wondering around the intriguing area for a while before even stepping into a bar for a drink.
A Guide to Food in Japan
Sushi is of course one of Japan’s most famous exports. For lovers of fish, sushi is a beautiful way to enjoy the fresh delicate flavours that only seafood can provide. I love fish and I love sushi, but what if you don’t like fish or sushi? Japanese food has something to offer everyone, pretty much all of which is tasty, some a bit weird, but you’ll be sure to enjoy an amazing adventure of food in Japan.
Japanese food is probably the most palatable of all Asian foods to the west. Simple fresh flavours seasoned with salt and sugar to boost umami. Japanese food is perhaps the Italian cuisine of the Far East in terms of highlighting the flavours of the natural ingredients rather than overpowering them with herbs and spices (although you’ll probably find a bottle of 7 flavour chilli powder – Shichimi containing chilli, sansho, orange peel, black sesame, white sesame, hemp, ginger, and nori) on most restaurant tables for those after a healthy spicy kick).
Japan is a wonderful place to have a food adventure and experience amazing tastes and flavours. Here are some great food options to try in Japan other than sushi.
Cherry Blossom season in Japan is upon us for 2016. Cities further towards the south such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are already experiencing first blooms of the beautiful Sakura tree and it will be time to have fun at Hanami outdoor parties enjoying the views of the Cherry Blossom trees in Japan.
Magic of the Cherry Blossom Trees in Japan
Whilst Cherry Blossoms live across the northern hemisphere including the USA and Europe, the Sakura is probably not as appreciated anywhere as much as in Japan. Last year we were lucky enough to see our first Cherry Blossom tree right outside our hotel which was on the edge of the lovely Ueno Park in Tokyo. Seeing it at night for the first time under the lights only highlighted the natural and beautiful brightness of the Cherry Blossom.
During the day tonnes of people were taking selfies in front of the trees whether they were tourists or locals. The Sakuras in Japan brought genuine joy and happiness to people everyday which you could see with the big wide smiles and eyes gazing at this beautiful example of nature. No wonder the Sakura is the national flower of Japan.
We love travel, we love music, and we love festivals. What better excuse to go abroad than to see your favourite artists and enjoy some music festival fun in a beautiful foreign country.
Listed in date order, here’s our round up of some of the best music festivals around the world in 2016 that are a little unique and/or set in stunning scenery.
Spain | Primavera | 1st – 5th June
Located in Barcelona pretty much on the coast, Primavera always has a great line up featuring established superstars such as Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Air, Animal Collective, Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, plus many up and coming artists.
USA | Governors Ball | 3rd – 5th June
This smaller US festival is so cool, it might be too cool for school, but another great line up this year including The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, Haim, De La Soul, Jamie XX, Eagles of Death Metal and more gets all the hip kids to Randall’s Island, NYC.
Depending on who you speak to, there are around 200 countries in the world, some say 196 if you aren’t China and include Taiwan. I’m a few behind Sacha having not visited anywhere in Australasia and there are definitely more countries to visit compared to the number of countries already visited. The number of countries is a bit of a misnomer given that the larger countries have so many different cultures within them, but now I’m starting to sound like a sore loser.
So what lessons have been learnt on these travels so far? We list 10 travel hacks and travel tips that make our travels so much easier.
Steve has visited 32 states (16.3%)
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