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Getaway to Nara, Japan

Nara, located in the Kansai region of Japan, was formerly known as Heijo andin 710 was established as Japan’s first permanent capital. The capital was moved in 784, in large part due to the growing power and ambition of the many Buddhist monasteries located there. The historical treasures of the area remain, however, including some […]

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Getaway to Awaji Island

Whether Japan’s Kansai region is your primary destination, or an add-on while visiting the rest of the country, planning for a getaway to Awaji Island rates high on my recommendation list. Folklore says that Awaji Island is the birthplace of Japan, created when the gods Izanagi and Izanami mixed up the sea with a spear. […]

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Hotel Review: Yokohama Royal Park Hotel

Yokohama Royal Park Hotel

Yokohama Royal Park Hotel Address:  2-2-1-3 Minatomirai, Nishi-Ku, Yokohama, Japan Value Luxury Rating:  Features:  The Yokohama Royal Park Hotel is situated in the Minato Mirai 21 area, a cosmopolitan development area of Yokohama which combines a variety if sights and attractions, including an amusement park and the Cosmo 21 Ferris Wheel, shopping, over 200 restaurants, museums, theaters […]

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Yoshida Udon: A Meal Fit for Mt. Fuji

Mt Fuji, Japan

It was hot and filling, and best of all – it wasn’t fish! I slurped up that bowl of Yoshida Udon like there was no tomorrow. I had been in Japan for a couple of days and had been treated to gourmet meals aplenty. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were beautiful works of art, masterpieces of […]

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Postcard from Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji at dawn

In the pre-dawn glow, Mt Fuji peeks through the clouds. It’s waiting for me.

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Sayonara: I’m Off to Japan

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be taking to the skies and heading back to Japan. My first trip to Japan was in October when I was privileged to be a passenger on ANA’s inaugural flight of the Dreamliner (Boeing 787). I spent a week in Tokyo, enjoying some organized tours as well as enjoying a little independent […]

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Tokyo: 12 Things I Didn’t Know Until I Got There

Yanaka Cemetery, Tokyo

I love researching travel.  I love reading guide books, checking out travel blogs, looking at photos on Pinterest, and pretty much everything about the process of learning about a destination.  From the massaging of flight schedules to selecting accommodations and tours, from reading restaurant reviews and learning about food trends to learning about which sights […]

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Postcard: From the Wedding

wedding party in Tokyo

In my touring around Tokyo, I was fortunate to happen upon a number of traditional weddings, giving me an opportunity to learn more about the customs and traditions involved.  In this post-wedding reception, a helpful mom assists with her daughter’s wedding kimono.

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Postcard from the Air: ANA Dreamliner at 40,000 Feet

Interior ANA Dreamliner

I flew from Seattle to Tokyo on ANA’s inaugural Dreamliner flight.  There was plenty of mood lighting, during boarding as well as this peaceful post-dinner evening lighting.  This aircraft, and ANA’s business class service, has me spoiled about luxury flying.  See more pictures in my Tokyo flickr stream.

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I’m Going to Tokyo #ANASEA

ANA 787 in flight

Yes, I’m going to Tokyo and I’m very excited about it. But I jumped to the end of the story before telling you about how this came to be, why it’s important to me, and how you can help make sure my trip is everything I want it to be.  So let’s rewind just a […]

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A Dozen Gardens From Around the World

Since the flowers in my garden are not terribly impressive yet - things will be in full color in another few weeks - I turned to some of my blogger friends to get a take on some of their favorite gardens around the world. I selected a dozen of them, one for each month of the year, and hope you can work a visit into one of them during your next vacation.

The days are getting longer, and with flowers blooming in the yard along with a few peeks of the sun […]

Celebrate World Wildlife Day

Today, March 3rd, is UN World Wildlife Day. The UN General Assembly made this proclamation four years ago as a […]

Sail off on a Viking Homelands Cruise

I know that lots of you still haven’t made your big vacation plans for the year. Last year I took […]

A Complicated Update of My World Map

On my most recent trip to China, I also visited Macao and Hong Kong. Politically, both of these destinations are […]