This was the entire reason we stopped in Hiroshima but nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to experience. As we turned the corner adjacent to the Peace Park Memorial we were greeted with a grizzly scene that set the mood for our visit:
This building, formerly the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall but now known as the A-Bomb Dome, was the only one left standing near the epicenter of the first of
Being the animal lover that I am, Nara-koen was definitely one of the most entertaining parks that we visited in our Japan travels. It’s a park in the Nara Prefecture, which is home to some of the most noteworthy religious icons as well as hundreds of wild deer.
But not just any deer…the elusive Sika stag!
And not just “barely catch a glimpse” wild… they walk up to you!
It was a perfect mix of culture
The Hiroshima Carps! The city’s beloved professional baseball team just happened to be playing the night we arrived and to our further delight, the stadium just happened to be a 10 minute walk from our hostel! Game on!
So we headed off with the hordes of Carpheads (just made that up) toward the field donning a pair of plastic bats hung around our neck (thanks to our hostel staff) meant for clapping together to cheer the
So as we continued down the uber-touristy path set for us by Japan-Guide.com (which is a phenomenal site for a first-time Japan visitor – and whose suggested itinerary I followed almost to a T…) we headed south of Kyoto to the mountain town of Koyasan where we had booked a once-in-a-lifetime, one-night-only, tell-your-grankids-esque stay in a Buddhist temple with a bunch of real life monks! Woo!
Hopefully you’re as excited as I was. If not, then
It’s 4PM and I’m sitting at the same common room table at Singapore’s The Hive Hostel where I was found 7 hours ago. The weather was beautiful today – hot, but beautiful – and we decided to let today go without doing anything one would normally attribute to travel.
Yet what I did today – which was sit, read Harry Potter and drink coffee – is vitally important to sustaining a trip of this length.
For our travels in Japan we opted to do the Japan Railpass. This 14 day pass gave us complete freedom to explore the country as we pleased. We paid one price for the pass (prices dependent upon the number of days you are looking to travel) and were given access to train routes all over the country as well as smaller trains and metro systems within each city.
If you are looking to travel throughout the
Chris and I boarded our flight to Tokyo knowing little about what to expect when we landed in Japan. The extent of our research for the trip was a Japan Guide website and Will Ferguson’s book, “Hitching Rides with Buddha” (which turned out to be extremely entertaining, might I add).
The book mentioned Karaoke as being a unique (belligerent) must-do, but I thought nothing of it as I have never been a proponent for karaoke. In
See what a did with the title there? It’s scuba and adven…
Alright I’ll stop.
One of the ‘pillars’ we set for this trip (i.e. activities we were okay spending what would normally be an uncomfortable amount of money on) was to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Being the scuba enthusiasts we are (with a grand combined total of 9 dives under our belt) we thought doing a 4-day liveaboard trip that would more than triple
After spending the majority of our time exploring Australia’s more tourist-oriented spots we decided it was time to mix things up a little bit. As anyone who has traveled for more than a week will know – museums, gardens and ‘can’t miss’ spots lose their luster rather quickly having been immersed in them for long enough.
Fortunately for long-term travelers there’s a really cool option to get out of the mainstream called HelpX. It’s a program
In Australia, there’s an unwritten rule which states that, “anyone who visits shall not leave the country without holding a koala”.
Seems fair enough-
And so (spoiler alert) we had to abide by these unwritten laws of the land.
(How damn cute is that koala?!)
Chris and I were extremely lucky to have seen Australian wildlife in its natural habitat in Tower Hill. There is a certain awe that comes with seeing any animal in the