Many visitors to the Snow Monkeys in Japan often come in on a tour bus and leave the same day, but if you have the time, you’ll get so much out of staying a night or two in the nearby traditional town of Shibu Onsen!
Situated about 35km from Nagano, the small town of Shibu Onsen sits in the Japanese Alps next to the slightly larger town of Yudanaka. It is full of wooden ryokans (traditional inns), onsens (hot baths) and like other onsen towns, many roam the streets in hotel-supplied yukata (light kimono) and geta (wooden sandals).
Continue reading “Shibu Onsen – Hot Baths & Snow Monkeys”
There’s just something magical about seeing a flurry of vivid, silk kimonos breezing through the streets of Gion in Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto.
The click-clack of wooden geta (sandals) on cobblestones and the tinkling bells from kanzashi (hair decorations) accompany the young women, the geishas of Kyoto, that are carrying on one of Japan’s most celebrated traditions.
In this article I’ll give all the tips on the best places to see geishas, including when, where and how to see them, along with a few etiquette rules regarding the geishas in Kyoto.
Continue reading “Where To See Geishas in Kyoto”
I’ve been lucky enough to fly business class on Qantas a few times using frequent flyer points but on a recent trip to Japan, I decided to try Scoot Airline’s Biz Class, basically because I really hate long-haul air travel!
Continue reading “Budget Business: Flying Scoot’s Biz Class”
Before my first trip to Japan in 2009, I watched the movie Lost in Translation, it was probably responsible for me actually booking the trip. The cinematography was intoxicating but there was one scene that I just really, really wanted to experience in person. When the main character Charlotte goes off exploring Kyoto, she comes across this really quiet shrine and witnesses a traditional Japanese wedding procession. The bride was wearing a giant white hood and a white, silk kimono and looked completely ethereal. I needed to see this in person but I didn’t know how.
Continue reading “How to See Part of a Traditional Japanese Wedding”
Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love Japan. It’s definitely my favourite country to visit overseas and I will happily gush superlatives about the land of temples and tech to anyone who will listen. Continue reading “Why You Need To Go To Japan!”
Did you know there is a town of gnomes living in the West Australian bush? They have little gnome schools, gnome buses, gnome community groups and tiny little gnome houses. You can even bring new citizens to the gnome town.
If someone told me the population of Gnomesville was over 5,000, I’d say, ‘yeah, that sounds about right!’
Upon first entering Gnomesville you may feel your inner child squeal with glee. You might come across an Elvis gnome, Gnomi Campbell, a bikini-clad gnome sunbathing or a downright rude gnome bending over with his pants down showing his freckle! But the further you walk into Gnomesville, the more gnomes you see, or rather the more eyes you feel staring back at you. I just couldn’t ignore the slightly creepy feeling the more I explored.
Continue reading “Gnomesville: The Little Gnome Town in the West Australian Bush”
Western Australia has a number of pink lakes, caused by a combination of high salinity and salt-loving algae that create that hot pink water.
Continue reading “Where To See Western Australia’s Pink Lakes”
It took a while to find, which was more a reflection of my inability to read a map than its hidden location, but the rise of stone stairs to a carved wooden door would indicate that I’d finally found the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum.
Continue reading “Mt Fuji’s Hidden Kimono Museum”
A little video from my recent road trip through Western Australia’s wildflower country in the mid-west, just four hours north of Perth!
Continue reading “Video: Western Australia’s Wildflower Country”
Whether you have one day or several weeks, there are plenty of diverse, self-drive wildflower routes to explore in Western Australia. This wildflower road trip includes some other interesting places along the way and explores the heart of wildflower country in the mid-west.
One of the greatest wildflower displays in the world happens each year in WA, as a wave of northerly blooms descend from June onwards, heading south as the weather warms into spring and early summer. There are lots of different regions to explore either by tour or on a self-drive roadtrip.
Read my 2020 Wildflower Report to see where the wildflowers are blooming in wildflower country.
Continue reading “West Australian Wildflower Road Trip”