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Japan

Kansai, Japan Itinerary! Exploring Osaka, Nara and Mie using the Kintetsu Railway Pass!

Let’s chase the cherry blossoms of Kansai!

Kansai or Western Japan is an area that includes Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Mie.

In spring, the region transforms into this beautiful destination filled with a sea of cherry blossom trees awash with all shades of pink.

Besides cherry blossom viewing, our itinerary also included other attractions in each city we passed by. We skipped Kyoto for this trip, mainly because we’ve been there several times, but if you haven’t been to Kyoto, I strongly suggest you add it to your itinerary.

Here’s how you can make the most of your Kansai Pass and save money on your travel budget.

Cherry Blossom Kansai Series:

• Kansai, Japan Itinerary! Exploring Osaka, Nara & Mie using the Kintetsu Railway Pass!
• Visit The Best Cherry Blossom Spot in Japan! (Mt. Yoshino & Nara Park Itinerary)
• Nabano No Sato: Flower Park and Winter Illumination Guide!

Watch Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Sakura Season in Kansai (Vlog)

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Japan

Visit The Best Cherry Blossom Spot in Japan! (Mt. Yoshino & Nara Park Itinerary)

Nara is my favorite place to chase Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Here, parks, gardens, temples, and shrines are filled with this iconic image of a sea of cherry trees!

Nara is also home to Mt. Yoshino where 30,000 cherry blossom trees of different varieties are planted alongside the slope of the mountain, earning its title as Japan’s best cherry blossom spot.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s my quick guide for a day trip to Nara.

Cherry Blossom Kansai Series:

• Kansai, Japan Itinerary! Exploring Osaka, Nara & Mie using the Kintetsu Railway Pass!
• Visit The Best Cherry Blossom Spot in Japan! (Mt. Yoshino & Nara Park Itinerary)
• Nabano No Sato: Flower Park and Winter Illumination Guide!

Watch Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Sakura Season in Kansai (Vlog)

Read more

Japan

Nabano No Sato: Flower Park and Winter Illumination Guide!

Japan has one of the most dazzling light displays, transforming their garden and cities into dazzling dreamlands adorned with thousands of colorful lights and  larger-than-life cosmic illuminations.

But did you know that a place near the city of Nagoya holds the biggest illumination display in all of Japan?

Nabano No Sato is a botanical garden plus theme park located in the Mie Prefecture. People from all over the world flock to this garden to witness the variety of vegetation and the fields of gorgeous flowers! But what everybody’s excited about is when, come nighttime, the 8 million LED bulbs light up and transform the gardens into a twinkling wonderland complete with magical light tunnels and animated light shows.

Nabano No Sato
駒江漆畑-270 長島町 Kuwana, Mie 511-1144, Japan
Opening hours: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Website: www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp

Cherry Blossom Kansai Series:

• Kansai, Japan Itinerary! Exploring Osaka, Nara & Mie using the Kintetsu Railway Pass!
• Visit The Best Cherry Blossom Spot in Japan! (Mt. Yoshino & Nara Park Itinerary)
• Nabano No Sato: Flower Park and Winter Illumination Guide!

Watch Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Sakura Season in Kansai (Vlog)

Read more

#Travel, Japan

NAGANO, JAPAN: Top 10 Things To Do!

nagano1

If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo, you might want to make a side trip to one of Japan’s best kept secrets!

Nagano Prefecture, besides having the most accessible snow resort in Japan, is surrounded by sought after attractions like the famed 400-year-old Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple and the cute wild snow monkeys!

Here are 10 reasons why Nagano is worth checking out.

NAGANO SERIES:
• MATSUMOTO CITY GUIDE: TOP 10 ACTIVITIES!
• MATSUMOTO CASTLE: Guide & Tips for Tourists!
• SUWA, NAGANO: Guide to Nagano’s Lakeside City!
• Zenkoji: Guide To Nagano’s 1400-Year-Old Temple!
• NAGANO, JAPAN: Top 10 Things To Do!

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#Travel, Japan

Zenkoji: Guide To Nagano’s 1,400-Year-Old Temple!

Nagano

The Japanese have long been told to visit Zenkoji Temple at least once in their lifetime. The 1,400-year-old temple is one of Japan’s most important pilgrimage sites since the 7th century and is regarded as a National Treasure.

 

NAGANO SERIES:
• MATSUMOTO CITY GUIDE: TOP 10 ACTIVITIES!
• MATSUMOTO CASTLE: Guide & Tips for Tourists!
• SUWA, NAGANO: Guide to Nagano’s Lakeside City!
• Zenkoji: Guide To Nagano’s 1400-Year-Old Temple!
• NAGANO, JAPAN: Top 10 Things To Do!

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#Travel, Japan

SUWA, NAGANO: Guide to Nagano’s Lakeside City!

This is the lake from Kimi no Na wa!

While the lake is fictional in the movie, it is based on Lake Suwa, a body of water in the central region of Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Lake Suwa, located in the middle of the city, is one of Japan’s most famous lakes. It is known for its hot springs (onsen) and the spectacular Suwa Fireworks Festival where 40,000 fireworks take off, enchanting tourists every summer.

The Suwa area is also known as the “Switzerland of the East”, home to many watchmakers, glassmakers, music box and other precision manufacturers.

Here’s our sample 1-day itinerary of Suwa City.

 

NAGANO SERIES:
• MATSUMOTO CITY GUIDE: TOP 10 ACTIVITIES!
• MATSUMOTO CASTLE: Guide & Tips for Tourists!
• SUWA, NAGANO: Guide to Nagano’s Lakeside City!
• Zenkoji: Guide To Nagano’s 1400-Year-Old Temple!
• NAGANO, JAPAN: Top 10 Things To Do!
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#Travel, Japan

MATSUMOTO CITY GUIDE: TOP 10 ACTIVITIES!

Matsumoto is famed as one of Japan’s great sightseeing spots!

It’s Nagano Prefecture’s second largest city, home to the oldest and most beautiful castle in Japan and a gateway to the Japan Alps that’s known for its winter activities and hot springs.

Here are the top 10 activities we recommend to complete your Matsumoto City visit…

NAGANO SERIES:
• MATSUMOTO CITY GUIDE: TOP 10 ACTIVITIES!
• MATSUMOTO CASTLE: Guide & Tips for Tourists!
• SUWA, NAGANO: Guide to Nagano’s Lakeside City!
• Zenkoji: Guide To Nagano’s 1400-Year-Old Temple!
• NAGANO, JAPAN: Top 10 Things To Do!
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#Philippines, #Travel, Japan

MATSUMOTO CASTLE: Guide & Tips for Tourists!

Nagano

It’s Japan’s oldest castle!

Matsumoto Castle is one of the five castles designated as National Treasures of Japan. It’s over 400 years old, making it the oldest castle donjon remaining in the country.  Unlike many palaces in Japan, its original structure was, fortunately, not bombed during WWII. That’s why it was able to keep most of its original wooden donjons and walls intact.

It is nicknamed as the “crow castle” for its contrasting color of black and white. It’s currently my favorite castle in Japan because I find it exceedingly rare to find a Japanese castle so well preserved in its original state.

It’s my second time visiting the famed attraction and here are some tips that I wished I knew on my first visit…

Matsumoto Castle Entrance: 
4-1 Marunochi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano
Saturday (8:30 AM ~ 5:0 PM)
Sunday (8:30 AM ~ 5:0 PM)
Weekdays (8:30 AM ~ 5:0 PM)
Entrance: Adult: 610 YEN
Children: 300 YEN
6 years old or under: Free
Phone: (0263) 32-2902

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#Travel

Machu Picchu to Patagonia: A Latin American Journey

Top Places to Travel in 2019 Series

We started my hubby’s 40th birthday trip in Peru. It was a long way to get to from the Philippines given that we first flew to Los Angeles (16 hrs) then stayed a few days before flying to Peru (10 hours).

Since this was our first time going to South America, I decided to go through an agency that was more familiar with this continent. I contacted A2A Safaris who are specialists not just in South African safaris but also Latin American tours. My husband said he would set aside his OCD on planning trips and would sit back and just enjoy the pisco sours!

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#Hotels, #Travel, Food, Japan

Nikko Japan via Tobu Railways (Travel Guide)

Top Places to Travel in 2019 Series


Nikko is one of the more beautiful places we have visited in Japan. Famous for its heritage sites and breathtaking mountains, it is also known for the many onsens built around the hot springs that dot the area.

About a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo, Nikko is the perfect destination for travelers who want to see a more rural side of Japan.

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