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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
Welcome to the 2019 Taiwan Lantern Festival! Be amazed by larger-than-life lantern displays, by thousands of visually spectacular lantern creations over more than 38 hectares of land and 200 hectares of water.
Every year, the Taiwan International Lantern Festival rotates among different hosting cities within the country, with this year’s festival being held in Pingtung County, Southern Taiwan. This notable year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual celebration with thousands of crowds gathering to see the fireworks ceremony and stunning light-up creations open to the public from February 19-March 3, 2019 for free.
To make things a little different, the local government chose the “Giant Tuna“—a symbol of wealth and the leading produce of Ping Tung—as the main lantern, breaking the norm of using the Chinese zodiac as the theme image, although the pig will still be a prevalent lantern motif throughout the festival.
The Galapagos are located 973 km (605 mi) from South America, and the flights only operate early in the day, which means it is essential for travelers to spend at least one day in Ecuador before and after their visit. Travelers can choose from Quito and Guayaquil. We stayed in Guayaquil, a coastal city, before our travels to the Galapagos. It’s a small city, but there are still things worth exploring.
The Galapagos Islands is well-known for its animals that brought us to the world we live in today. Charles Darwin’s study of its animals led to his theory of natural selection, but did he ever imagine that people would travel from all over the globe just to see the land he walked on to make these discoveries?
Today, there are several ships and boats that take travelers for a glimpse of the Galapagos islands, whether it’s for the tortoises, the sea lions or the blue-footed boobies. For this trip, we took the National Geographic Endeavor II.
National Geographic has partnered with Lindblad Expeditions, and together, they give curious adventurers the chance to explore wonderful locations such as the Galapagos. They not only give travelers these amazing opportunities, but they also create itineraries for different levels of activities while educating their passengers and helping the environment all at the same time.
National Geographic Expeditions
1145 17th St NW
Washington DC 20036
The Galapagos is a magical place where those wishing to visit must educate themselves in all things Galapagos. We explored the Galapagos with National Geographic aboard one of their cruises on the Endeavor II.
On this cruise, there were many educated people who knew a lot about the Galapagos as well as trained photographers who were available to teach us their ways.
The ship moves quickly throughout the Galapagos, moving passengers from one island to the next with minimal difficulty.
Here is our travel guide to the 10-day National Geographic Galapagos Tours Lindblad Expedition: