One place you can’t miss visiting in France is the Louvre, and trust me when I say that this trip needs a whole lot of preparation. The Louvre is massive! It houses more than 50 thousand art works… FIFTY THOUSAND! You definitely can’t see everything in one go so I took it upon myself to list down my top ten must see in the museum (and no, the Mona Lisa is not one of them).
Let’s get started! Continue reading “Top Ten Louvre Artworks”
It was the fourth day of our European adventure when we decided to visit the illustrious home of Marie Antoinette, the Palace of Versailles. After being in awe of the sheer size of Château de Chantilly, I was definitely expecting Versailles to be as majestic. It did not disappoint!
We arrived just in time to beat the lunch crowd, and decided to eat at a random restaurant near the palace. Got lucky and found a nice bistro that offered a huge lunch portion for cheap. You definitely have to eat beforehand because you need all the calories you can get for walking! There are some food concessionaires at the palace grounds but it’s way overpriced. Continue reading “A step into Marie Antoinette’s home!”
While I don’t blame you for filling your luggage with miniature Eiffel Towers or the delicate Ladurée macarons, don’t discount this list of Parisian mementos. They are a little expensive but will be wonderful gifts for special people in your life. Continue reading “Not Your Ordinary Souvenirs”
With aching feet and empty bellies, pushing your way past the throng through the extremely busy streets of Shinjuku may seem like a daunting task. A task David and I were willing to go through for the miniscule chance of getting a seat at Zoetrope, the legendary whiskey bar featured in various travel magazines and blogs.
Like most exciting things in Japan, this whiskey bar is stashed away on the third floor of a nondescript building serviced by an old, squeaky elevator. We arrived two hours before opening time and decided to get a bite to eat at the adjacent izakaya, Mifune. Continue reading “Got a free night in Shinjuku?”
Known as the mecca for all things geek and electronic-related, Akihabara boasts of various video game arcades, electronic stores, manga book shops and themed restaurants. While all tourists charge straight into the heart of the city, Kanda Myojin shrine located 15 minutes away from Akihabara station is not something you should miss.
If you work in the tech industry, you can grab your talisman here! While they have the ordinary luck pouches, the real gem is the sticker you can buy for blessing your electronic devices against bad luck.
Continue reading “Akihabara: Electric Town”
I remember reading The Little Prince for a book report in third grade. I did not appreciate the story in the beginning, mostly because I felt like it was trying to tell me life lessons with allegoric interactions between the characters. They were hard concepts to grasp as a kid. As I got older, I finally understood the subtle nuances of the story, from what each of the characters represented to what their conversations actually mean.
When I found out that there was a museum dedicated to Saint-Exupéry and his beloved story, I knew I had to visit. It was easy to find as it’s located next to other popular museums in Hakone. From the bus stop, it’s only a five minute walk to the Little Prince Museum. As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by an ornate European gate with a subtle “Le Petit Prince” flag. Continue reading “The Little Prince Museum”
Warning: Photo Heavy Post
Kawagoe is a small town located in Saitama prefecture. They are famous for their period buildings, candy lane and sweet potatoes! Our day in Kawagoe started with lunch at the famous unagi restaurant, Ogakiku. It’s currently the #1 restaurant in Kawagoe according to Tripadvisor. I thought it was the perfect place for David to try his first unagi dish. The restaurant itself was quiet. Most of their patrons are locals who seem to know the staff by name. I believe we were the only tourists there which was surprising because everyone talks about this restaurant!
The meal offerings were scarce but we did come so that David could try the unagi so it was alright. I’m not a huge fan of eel so I opted to try their teriyaki chicken served with a seafood soup and soboro donburi (ground chicken rice bowl). All I can say is that it was amazing! The chicken was tender and the sauce really comes through. When I saw how big the soboro donburi was, I was hesitant as it was huge! I did manage to finish the bowl so I can’t complain. It was that good! Continue reading “Back to Edo”
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan located in the south of Tokyo. People flock here for the amazing Chinese food, theme park and date activities. David and I originally planned to go there because I wanted to see Cai Guo-Qiang’s There and Back Again exhibit in the Yokohama Art Museum. Since it was a bit far from Tokyo, we decided to stay there for a whole day instead of traveling to a different place. One of the things I wanted to visit was the Cup Noodle Museum as I’ve heard so many good things about it. Continue reading “Got Noodles?”
Waking up to dreary skies, we desperately wanted to lay in bed and cuddle the whole day. It was the day after David arrived in Tokyo, and he was completely exhausted. However, with the limited time, we didn’t want to deviate from our itinerary and miss out on key places to visit in Japan. So early Monday morning, we were up and ready to go to the seaside city of Kamakura.
Warning: Photo-heavy Post
Despite being averse to self-portraits, David looks handsome in each one. Here he was waiting in Ikebukuro for the Shonan-Shinjuku line train to Kamakura. After which, we took bus 23 heading to Hokokuji temple. As soon as we got off the bus, I pulled out my phone to look at Google maps. I recall asking him why the other tourists were going the opposite direction. I was smugly thinking they were going to get lost. Little did I know, it would be me making the mistake leading us to a totally different temple! Continue reading “Daibutsu, Green Tea & Music Boxes”
No matter how much you plan your trip, it doesn’t always go the way you want to. David’s two week vacation in Tokyo has been riddled with shoddy weather and closed attractions. Our trip to Hakone was actually a spur of the moment incident. We were originally going to Nikko but recently found out that the temple we were going to visit was under renovation. It’s a good thing there are a lot of great places in Japan that can be reached by the train in two hours or less.
My mom suggested going to Hakone for the onsen (Japanese hot spring). As I have also never been, I thought it would be a great experience for both of us! We found Hakone Yuryo and called ahead for a private onsen reservation. It was a little bit pricey but worth it for the privacy. Usually, people with tattoos are not allowed in an onsen. Not that we have any ourselves but for those who have, a private onsen may be the solution!
We took the Odakyu Limited Express Romance Car early in the morning in Shinjuku and arrived at 10. There was a free shuttle bus from the station that took us directly to the onsen. However, we decided to walk around a bit since our reservation was not until 11. Continue reading “Onsen Experience”