All posts filed under: Asia

Kyoto tour: Explore Gion and Possibly see a Maiko or Geisha too

We stumbled across Kentaro’s small group Kyoto tour through Airbnb Experiences and what I loved about it – other than it being a tour about Kyoto – was that it offered a maximum of six participants. Six did you say? Yes you read right. You’re so use to seeing large group tours, 20+ participants, a flag held high and a loud hailer overhead. Which to be honest, I’m not a fan of unless I have no other option but to book such. With two spots secured by us – in addition to only two others joining – I’d highly recommend booking this tour for anyone who wants to learn what the beautiful city of Kyoto is really about. The group was of a manageable size, the tour was affordable, and I can assure you, you will have a brilliant Japanese local guide, Kentaro. Let me start by saying it is very rare that you can be guaranteed to see a true geisha (also known as a geiko in Kyoto), unless they’re not the real deal, …

Experience Meditation at Osaka Castle with Kuniatsu 清晨冥想 아침명상

After travelling for nearly two weeks across Japan, it was time to take a well-deserved break to simply reset. With a never-ending list of sightseeing at bay, we stumbled across Kuniatsu’s Airbnb Experience: morning meditation at Osaka Castle – the perfect stop to reflect and clear your thoughts at one of the most famous tourist landmarks in Osaka, Japan. With an early morning rise, we made our way towards Osaka Castle to meet Kuniatsu at 6.20am. Surrounded by stoned walls and moats, this historical castle stands out from a distance, showcasing its beautiful traditional Japanese architecture, well protected within the parks’ majestic gardens. Miraiza Osaka-Jo (a red and brown building) is our meeting spot, in-front Osaka Castle. Once a former headquarters of the Japanese Army, Miraiza Osaka-Jo is now a restored building filled with shops, cafes and restaurants, opening at 9am. From 6am however, you’ll hear the morning choir standing before it, awaiting the 6.30am exercise classes to begin. I was quite surprised at how many of the locals actually wake up and come to the park, …

Unique Stay: Book and Bed Ikebukuro, Tokyo Japan

Japan is known for its quirky accommodation and in Tokyo, Book and Bed Ikebukuro is definitely one of those accommodation experiences that is a must.  Sleep doesn’t have to be boring, this is a unique hostel stay in a bookshelf – yes, you read right, a bookshelf. Let me be upfront from the get-go.  This is not your average hotel stay – you’re provided ear plugs on arrival for a reason and there are no hotel creature comforts such as a glorified buffet breakfast or luxurious bedding. But what this stay does bring, is a unique experience to meet others alike, try accommodation that is something different, in an affordable, central Tokyo location (less than a 1-minute walk from Ikebukuro train station), plus the opportunity to flick through a book or magazine in what feels like an everyday bookshop.  Confused?  It might seem like a strange proposition at first, but overall, I did actually enjoy my stay.  The books aren’t for sale, but they are available to be perused – both English and Japanese novels, travel guide books …

Mayuko’s Little Kitchen Japanese Cooking Class in Tokyo, Japan

Mayuko won me over from the moment we started corresponding, really easy to communicate with, responsive and happy to accommodate our requests.  With over 600 positive reviews on Trip Advisor and more than 550 travellers rating her cooking school ‘Excellent’ – you cannot rate higher than ‘Excellent’ that is – I knew that Mayuko’s Little Kitchen was going to be good. Mayuko started her cooking school in 2015, opening her home to people from all around the world to experience authentic, Japanese, home-style cooking with a local. Hosting no more than a maximum of 6 people per class, this is a unique hands-on cooking experience, followed by a delicious feast with a bunch of new-found friends.  Private cooking classes are also available if preferred. Whilst you’re searching online for the right Japanese cooking school in Tokyo, be the first person to book on the date you require at Mayuko’s Little Kitchen and as an added bonus, you can choose the cooking class menu for that day.  Options include: Ramen & Gyoza (dumplings) Sushi Everyday meal in Japanese home …