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…

Winter Lavender, Hokkaido Japan

What to do in “Lavender Country” in winter? Smell the lavender! Tomita Farms is spectacular at the height of summer lavender season with seas of the purple flowers swaying with the wind. In the thick of winter with the barren treescape when snow covers the fields outside and the meandering mountain slopes beyond… …there remains…

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…

Furano Tour, Winter Edition

Do you know your CQ (Cheese Intelligence)? 🧀 At Furano Cheese Factory, you can take an electronic quiz to find out! 😂 Hokkaido’s yummy dairy comes in different forms here. Squid ink cheese among many flavours 🧀 , creamy milk🥛 , milk pumpkin cheese or corn ice cream 🍦 . My favourite this visit is…

Surprise at Ningle Terrace, Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

The original weather forecast didn’t include snow; snow started melting early February instead of mid-March. Still, since “setting sail” for Sapporo, how we wished the Lord would let it snow. As if on cue after setting foot at the Ningle Terrace parking lot, we were suddenly startled by a sweet snow surprise… …❄️which set the…

Doglsedding in Hokkaido

Our Plan B (Panakip Butas) activity turned out to be our best Hokkaido experience! I had the day’s itinerary planned out but was informed that our main destination, the ropeway to Hokkaido’s tallest mountain located in Daisetsuzan National Park,  Mount Asahidake, might be closed. We would hire a car to take us on a six-hour…

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…

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….

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…

Pizza Is Love

Because now everyday is Valentine’s Day, a pizza date at the corner sans traffic gives me joy. In my blinder years I might have minded but I am starting to learn to be grateful for what’s there and not grumble about what’s not, be content in every situation, not insist on my own way and…

You. Are. Loved.

Kapatid, Kaibigan, Kabayan, YOU❤️ARE❤️LOVED. Unconditionally. Completely. Eternally. Lavishly. Here. Now. Always. . “for God so lo*V*ed….V YOU that he g*A*ve…..A his one and on*L*y…….L begott*E*n………………..E so*N*………………………..N tha*T*……………………….T if you believe *I*n him,..I you shall *N*ot perish…N but have *E*ternal life…E John 3:16 NIV. . . You are His Valentine! Happy Valentine’s Day! . . #happy…