After our week in Rome, we started the next leg of our more shorter stays in Italy. We began by travelling north, catching the train for an hour and a half before arriving in the busy central station of Florence.Read More
Day 4 – The Villa d’Este fountains in Tivoli
After the failure of our first trip to the Villa d’Este gardens, we headed back out of the city again to the town of Tivoli. The train journey offered up a change of scenery from the built up apartments and busy streets to sprawling towns and small, rural stations the farther we traveled out. The station in Tivoli itself is quite unassuming, in fact to get to the main platform we had to literally walk across the tracks (a lot more lax on the health and safety side here).Read More
I’m finally getting around to writing about our Europe trip back in September last year. I had intended to at least start on these before 2017 began but by the time I’d recovered from the holiday we were into the busy end of the year (hello Christmas) and I just decided these posts would have to wait.
This was the longest holiday we’d ever taken, spanning a whole month across two countries with seven different destinations in total. This also made it the most anxiety inducing trip we’ve ever put together. Here we were about to travel across the world to places we’d never visited before, having limited to no knowledge of the local language, with no guides apart from ourselves to get us from one place to another. Months were spent researching and planning everything we’d need to know for this adventure so it would go as smoothly as possible (and give me some peace of mind). Thankfully, almost everything come together and we survived :P.
Our trip began flying into Rome, noting the ‘odd’ stone pine trees lining the streets and the sandy painted buildings from above. Getting out of the airport was an interesting peek into Italian cultural quirks, including seeing people walking their dogs in the airport (more on this later). After some confusion around train tickets, we finally traveled into the city and wandered the old streets to our hotel not far away where we could finally get some rest.
The final days of our trip would be spent exploring just some of the many small niche museums scattered throughout the greater Tokyo region. Most are hidden gems within more suburban areas and usually require a bit of public transport know-how and a willingness to walk a fair distance but in my experience have always been worth it.Read More
After days of searching out cherry blossoms it was time to soak in some other Tokyo destinations. The second half of our trip would be spent exploring sights that we had never visited before, located in the more suburban outlying areas of the city.
While I’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland several times, I’d never taken much interest in its sister theme park DisneySea which is the considered more adult friendly park (a lot more thrilling rides and apparently they serve alcohol on the premises). After some convincing from the boyfriend we decided to go there instead of Disneyland. While we didn’t really get to fully enjoy the park due to arriving later in the day, I’m happy that I conceded and got to experience something new.Read More
Our next few days in Tokyo would be a lot calmer with no scooting across town to visit several different sights in one day. Instead we would be just taking time to enjoy a few select destinations that we had been meaning to visit from the beginning of our trip.
We dedicated a day to visiting one of our favourite places, Akihabara, in the hopes of finding new anime figurines for our collection. This involves walking slowly through stores scanning display cabinets, digging behind boxes that completely fill the shelves and crouching down low to peer behind items in the front row, hoping to find that elusive figure you want. It’s definitely one of our mild obsessions as we would come back time and time again to check for anything new over the course of our stay.Read More
Back in March the boyfriend and I were jet setting across the ocean again for our third trip (my fourth!) to Tokyo after finding a fortunately cheap airline deal. This trip would be special compared to our previous travels as we would be arriving just as the cherry blossoms were coming into season and would able to witness the beautiful floral display first hand.
While we slowly acclimatized to the much colder weather, we spent the first few days exploring some old haunts from our last trip. The first day we explored Ikebukuro’s many shops, restaurants and manga/anime otaku stores including hitting up Sunshine City to visit the Pokémon Center MEGA TOKYO store. The next morning we bought ourselves bentos from the local train station grocery before heading out to Yoyogi Park to enjoy our breakfast while people watching. This was also where we caught our first glimpses of the cherry blossoms, just beginning to bloom along the walkway.
With the Tokyo part of our trip over (see part 1), we now had six days in Osaka filled with local sightseeing and trips to nearby areas.
Despite the rainy weather, our first day included walking along Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street as well as seeing the Tenmangu shrine and the House and Living Museum. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to Osaka Aquarium that afternoon. We spent a day in Kyoto to visit Gion and the Higashiyama District along with a train ride south to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Another day we travelled to Iga-Ueno and visited Iga Ninja Museum, a personal favourite of mine and worth the long trip out into the country. On our final free day, we went to Nara to see Todaiji Temple with the largest bronze Buddha statue and other shrines within Nara Park. Other highlights included a day at Universal Studios where we had a caricature drawn of us and the wonderful Yakiniku Rokko in Shinsaibashi with all its tasty barbecue meat.Read More
At the start of May, our wait was finally over. Last year, we had booked our flights for a second trip back to Japan, giving ourselves time to research what we wanted to see while patiently waiting as many friends and colleagues went before us. But now it was our turn to head over for a 2 week (and a bit) holiday in the land of the rising sun.
We landed in Tokyo during the evening and travelled to our hotel with excitement. Over the next 10 days, we explored new areas such as Sunshine City and Otome Road in Ikebukuro, the Sword Museum hidden in the Shinjuku suburbs as well as the Warehouse District and Candy Alley. We spent nearly a whole day in Nakano Broadway searching for figurines, saw a show at the Robot Restaurant, visited the Imperial Palace and an took a much awaited trip to the Ghibli Museum. We were also lucky enough to spend a day at the Sumo tournament and saw a evening performance of Kabuki. This was all on top of visiting some of our favourite places like Harajuku, Shibuya, Asakusa and of course Akihabara. Before we knew it our time in Tokyo was over and we had bought two extra bags filled to the brim with souvenirs. But now we had catch the shinkansen across the country to Osaka. My birthday happened to fall on the same day so as a treat we ate Disney chocolates during the ride and later that night discovered pOundhouse and had some delicious cake.Read More
With some bargin flights and a booking to Draculas, we set off to Melbourne again for the second time this year. Over the two full days we tried new foods, discovered new alleys, shopping arcades and pop-culture stores, played retro games, bought novelty items and enjoyed the free wifi when it was available. Below are some photos of our time ^_^.Read More