Hidden Nature Trail in Tokyo

Dogs do it, ducks do it, even little kids do it, let’s do it, let’s nature walk! If like me, you are trying to resist the temptation to shop, Todoroki Valley is a great healthy alternative activity (at least an hour or half a day if you like to linger) on a relatively easy-to-tread one-kilometer nature…

Secret Tea House in Omotesando, Tokyo

When you cross the threshold behind the flower shop facade, you cross over to the secret world of the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House. These await you…. The outdoors indoors… a short yummy menu (handsome Frenchman not included) using vegetables, herbs, and flowers… beauty on the walls, tables, and food… The beautiful ambience is almost…

Yay Sakura, Yaezakura at Hama-rikyu Gardens

The multi-layered late-blooming variety of cherry blossom at Hamarikyu Garden is stronger and comes in a vibrant pink! Yay for late bloomers! If you are one, may the Yaezakura encourage you in this growing stage to be patient as you wait for your perfect time to bloom! 🌸😍🌸 7 Fun Facts About the Hama-rikyu Gardens:…

Hokkaido Historical Village Winter (Kaitaku No Mura)

Hokkaidō Kaitaku no Mura is one of the best places to visit near Sapporo where you can get a feel of old Japan, Meiji and Taisho periods through a beautiful nature walk.  I first visited here last summer with glorious flowers embellishing the path and a trolley train traversing the main road. I still feel…

Snowmobile Snowcapade, Furano Hokkaido

Snowmobile Tips: *Dress appropriately. They say there is no such thing as “too cold weather,” only “wrong clothing.” *Right handle = accelerate . *Left handle = brakes *Stay 100 meters away from other snowmobilers *Oops, did I say turn on the engine? Patrice and I on the snowmobile. I overcame my fear of driving it…

Snowshoeing at White Koala, Furano Hokkaido

Benefits of Snowshoeing: Nature Therapy Fitness Forest bathing Detox 2 things made Snowshoeing easier on my 2nd try: 1-Choose a snowshoe not too big 2-Use walking sticks (with snow basket) Biru-san, our snow forest guide, said: *use waterproof winter jacket & pants *waterproof winter boots only *mind the Left and Right snowshoe. *put boot far…

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama: How To Day Trip from Osaka

A winter trip to Shirakawa-go is like traveling inside a snow-globe. Designated in 1995 as UNESCO World Heritage Site in Japan, the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are known for their traditional farmhouses in the architectural style of gasshō-zukuri (合掌造り), meaning “praying hands” referring to the likeness of the steep thatched roof shape to Buddhist monks…

Winter Gear Packing List for a Tropical Girl at Shirakawa-go

Since I’m sensitive to cold even in tropical Manila and want to avoid headaches from wobbly temperature changes, it was a puzzle to prepare for a winter trip. If you opened this post, you’re probably in the same pickle… so just for you, I’m sharing my list on what worked for me in Shirakawa-go winter wonderland….

Kenroku-en Gardens, Kanazawa, Japan

Considered one of The Three Great Gardens of Japan, Kenroku-en  (meaning “having six factors”) was thus named for having the six attributes that comprise the perfect garden landscape: antiquity, artifice, magnificent views, spaciousness,  tranquility, and waterways. The spectrum of flowering trees allows the garden to be beautiful throughout all four seasons. In the spring, plum…

Feed the Birds: George C. Reifel Sanctuary

Situated next to Westham Island’s flat marshlands and farms, the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia provides food and rest for millions of migrating birds. Originally, the farms and fishing communities in this area along the Fraser River were safeguarded with dikes. Other areas in further islands were not reinforced with dikes…

VanDusen Gardens Winter Illumination

What’s nice about Vancouver is that most places are only about twenty minutes away from one another. We had a spare half hour before our event for the evening so the beloved asked me what was the place I wanted to visit? I had seen  Vandusen in its autumn glory; I wanted to see it…

Rainbow Park, Alta Lake (Whistler Part 4)

Do you want to know how Whistler came to be a popular weekend resort? It involved a dream, a chat, and this stunning lake full of trout. Around 1911, Alex and Myrtle Philip left Maine for British Columbia. Alex came to manage the Horseshoe Bar & Grill in Gastown, Vancouver. In the spring that year,…

Lost Lake (Whistler Part 3)

Lost Lake used to be Whistler’s longtime nudist beach naturally enclosed with a border of luxuriant evergreen trees. Since lodging structures have been built around this secluded lake, it has become a lively picnic park in the summer and part of the municipal park’s cross-country skiing trail in the winter. From Whistler Village, you can…

Whistler Village and Food (Whistler Part 2)

What can you find in a “remote” village in the wilderness? You’d be surprised! Since the 1990’s, Whistler has always garnered top votes among North American resorts for alpine skiing.  It gained further global recognition when it hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics which The Village icons, stores, and memorabilia will give you nostalgic reminders of. This village…

The Road to Whistler, B.C. (Whistler Part 1)

“The journey is equal to the destination,” Brent declared about our trip to Whistler as he drove the tour shuttle from downtown Vancouver onwards on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.  With a 7am pickup, it would have been nice to nap all the way but Brent’s compelling, juicy narration kept me awake.  He talked about the history…