From Osaka to Gion, Kyoto with Lunch

From Osaka to Kyoto, there are several travel options and the most convenient/ quickest will depend on where you are coming from in Osaka. If you have the JR Pass with unlimited train rides, from Shin-Osaka to Kyoto is a 15 minute train ride but you will need to make train changes from where you…

Memoirs of a Geisha Tour: Kyoto

 The very word “geisha” means artist, and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art. -Mameha, Memoirs of A Geisha Gion is a preserved district in Kyoto which was built in response to the food, drink, and accommodation needs of travelers who came to the Yasaka (Shinto) Shrine, designated…

Fushimi Inari

Number 1 most visited shrine in Japan by foreigners according to TripAdvisor 2014, 2015, and 2016? Fushimi Inari! It is popular among foreigners for the mountain trails that lead into Mount Inari, considered sacred in Shinto. It is known for its multitudes of brilliant red torii gates and dozens of fox statues— torii gates marking…

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…

Takayama, Japan

Dubbed as Little Kyoto of the Japanese Alps, Takayama —meaning “tall mountain”— (sometimes Hida-Takayama) in Gifu Prefecture, is an ancient feudal city known for its Edo-style preserved old town. Despite its distance from the rest of Japan, it gained prosperity during the Edo period when the city was placed under direct control of the shogunate…

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….

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…

Visitor Tips for Art in Island, Manila

Yes, I had been living under a rock for the last few years so I’m probably one of the last to come to Art in Island  but late is better than never! Speaking of rocks, here’s me on one: In case you haven’t been here either, you too can be part of the spectacularly painted 3D…

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…

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Gastown

It was quite a hike from our downtown hotel to Gastown but it was our entertainment to get a higher figure for the pedometer every day so we explored this neighborhood that’s a National Historic Site of Canada. (It has a different vibe in the daytime than the last time I came here on a…

Exploring Vancouver in Water Taxis

If you don’t mind walking for exercise, it’s easy to get around Vancouver via buses, trains, and water taxis (Aqua Bus and False Creek Ferries)! False Creek Ferries also offers sightseeing cruises. This is a fun way of exploring the city. Just bring a lightweight umbrella and shoes with good nonslip rubber soles. This is…

Mink Chocolates, Vancouver

Award-winning Mink Chocolates are preservative-free artisan chocolate bars made in small batches with Belgian chocolate. Among their many interesting flavors they have are Fountain of Youth (with blueberries and goji berries) No Grumpy (organic espresso) Open In Case Of Emergency (Kentucky Bourbon and fresh mint in chocolate ganache) PB Wannabe (almond butter and organic grape…

Cafe Crepe, Downtown Vancouver

The lines to this restaurant on Robson Street were often long whenever we passed here on the way back to our hotel so one day when there was no line, we got curious to try it. It’s quite nice inside and the open production area for the crepes whets your appetite to have some! It…

Medina Breakfast, Library District Vancouver

“Sustenance.” I love the sign that leads to Medina. Appearing on “Vancouver’s Best Breakfast” and Top Restaurants lists, Medina Cafe serves “Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, connoisseur-savvy coffee and sweet sustenance via the city’s best Belgian waffles.” [Shhh!🤫 You have to try Le Petit Belge’s waffles before you come here which is exactly what we did because the queuing…