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Archive for the ‘japan’

Missing the Beautiful Autumn of Kyoto 0

Posted on January 27, 2010 by dorisch

This morning, as I was staring at a photo taken during my trip to Kyoto in 2008, I found myself missing the beautiful autumn. Has it been that long that I visited Kyoto?

I can now understand why thousands of travelers flock to Kyoto during autumn, foreigners and locals. The leaves were golden and there was so much energy and life released from the vibrant colours of the maple leaves. They were simply awesome. I marvelled at the creation of the Almighty! The culture in Kyoto is rich with any traditional architecture echoing this beauty. Though I only spent a few days in Kyoto and Osaka, I had fond memories of this lovely city.

I have the habit of checking out travel and life insurance quote before my travel holiday. This is on top of those tedious search on best accommodation deals in the destination city I am planning to travel to. I have no plans for any vacation yet to date but I know it will be happening soon.

Hoping for Cheaper Accommodation Rates in Japan 0

Posted on July 04, 2009 by dorisch

During my vacation to Japan last year, I was impressed by the culture and diversity among the Japanese. This is one busy city that is full of life and I can never get bored a single minute. But it was seriously hard to get cheap accommodation rates unless you planned to stay in hostel and shared accommodation. But when traveling as a family with children, this could be a real challenge.

For the shopper, there is much to behold and enjoy. You can find from luxury labels to quirky stuff. The Japanese appreciates details and the fine things of life. Green shopping seemed to be the ‘in thing’ in many countries and Japan is not excluded. Navigating around the train stations was probably the most interesting challenge but it was fun.

The only thing I’m hoping for is that there are cheaper accommodation rates in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto the next time I plan my visit. This would mean I could have more for my shopping expenses and be too conscious on what I spent on!

Shopping In Hong Kong and Finding Best Accommodation Deals 0

Posted on July 03, 2009 by dorisch

I’ve been checking for cheap airfares and best accommodation deals for Hong Kong. A few friends are heading for this shopping city end of the year and I’m hoping that I can bring my son to Hong Kong Disneyland too.

Hong Kong is one of the greatest shopping centers of the world. Due to its status as a free port, tourists traveling to China and Hong Kong can find the best deals anywhere in the world. Hong Kong hosts a lot of different items from all over the world. For me, Nathan Road in Kowloon is a popular Hong Kong shopping street that is known for its various boutiques that are popular to night shoppers. In The Nathan Road, your most valuable asset is your money and your ability to haggle. If you win, you can find the greatest deals. But if you lose, you will find yourself with overpriced pieces. In this street, the haggling is part of the shopping experience that is hard to replace.

What I missed last year was the Stanley Market, which is also known for the excitement and local charm. Home to the best Chinese artworks and souvenirs, you can find lots of Mao items that you can take home. This experience is literally a drive to the jungle. If haggling is the unique experience in Nathan, then the journey is the featured experience here.

Best to the best accommodation deals in Hong Kong, you can search hotels and compare prices first before making any reservation. For me, I’m hoping to find a nice hotel with good exercise equipment so that I can work out to shed those pounds during our vacation.

search best accommodation deals to kyoto 0

Posted on March 06, 2009 by dorisch

If you happen to travel to Kyoto, make sure you don’t leave this cultural city until you visit Gion.

When I was in Gion last December, I enjoyed walking into the local gift and accessory stores. You can expect to find lots of cultural and local stuff and much to my delight, there were alot of beauty buys as well. I bought a handmade gift card and some beauty accessories from this famous cosmetics store known as Yojiya. It’s not hard to find Yojiya cos this is the only cosmetics store that is packed with women (and men!).

It is easy to fall in love with Kyoto during autumn and I hope to visit this cultural place again in spring next time. Looking for cheap accommodation rates in Kyoto? Search right here for your best accommodation deals:

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shopping in kyoto and osaka 0

Posted on January 01, 2009 by dorisch

Hotels Combined

In the last few weeks, my little boy had been telling me how much he wanted to be back in Japan again! I find myself liking kyoto and osaka a little more than tokyo. Tokyo can be very crowded in certain places and though kyoto isn’t that big in terms of land space, it is a very pretty city.

Shopping in kyoto and osaka is just as great. You can find a wide array of cultural and most modern stuff all in one place! From shopping for sexy lingerie to japanese silk to the latest electronic gadgets, you can count on a wide choice of styles and designs in kyoto and osaka. Let me just warn you that if you are geared to shop in any japan city, make sure you bring enough cash and put on good walk shoes. Be expected to shop for hours in the busy malls and be ready for the tight crowds during the weekends.

Take a trip to kyoto and osaka, you won’t be disappointed.

a very brief trip report to Tokyo and Osaka 0

Posted on November 27, 2008 by dorisch

After two days in a japanese ryokan, we are finally in Osaka city. Our second day was spent in Nara and Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori. Osaka is a great city that is easy to get around and navigate compared to Tokyo. Apart from teenagers who wear funny t shirts and funky stuff, you can expect to see the trendy and well dressed Japanese packing the streets in the city.

We stayed at the Swissotel Nankai Namba which is well situated near the malls and above the Namba train station. It took a little while before we got familiar with the train lines and surroundings. We have two more nights before moving back to Tokyo and then to HOng Kong.

I won’t be able to post our trip in details since I have a preschooler to entertain at this hour. In brief, I am enjoy winter in Japan and I am thankful to God for this trip.

travel light in tokyo 0

Posted on November 23, 2008 by dorisch

Did I tell you that I’m in tokyo? This is our third day in tokyo and my, this place is  amazing! We walked so much and sat in the train so much but I think I’m getting better each time!

First of all, I must tell you that if you are planning to come to tokyo and you are not planning to join any tour – do your research properly. Tokyo is not a difficult place to get around but it isn’t as easy as some other countries like europe and australia or even singapore. The main barrier is the language and you really need to do your travel research to ensure a smooth and happy vacation!

If possible, get a good and light luggage as you will be planning transferring from train to train, subway to subway. Within each train line, there are many steps to climb in some stations so a light luggage can make things easier.

Since this is only our third day, I will be posting more when I find time. For now, I gotta go to bed as we are taking an early train to Hakone tomorrow… I can’t wait to visit Hakone Ginyu – it better be good!

can’t wait to experience the shinkansen bullet train in japan 0

Posted on September 20, 2008 by dorisch

My little boy can’t wait to experience the speed of a Shinkansen bullet train in Tokyo and all over Japan. If you haven’t seen or sat in one, here’s a video for your viewing:

searching for good kyoto accommodations for november 0

Posted on September 18, 2008 by dorisch
Who has the best hotel deals?

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I have been spending the last few days looking for hotels in Kyoto during our November family travel but somehow I can’t seem to find any rooms! It’s hard to believe that so many popular hotels (even the big chains) are all fully booked during the last week of november – unbelievable.

Plus, the hotel rates in Kyoto during November are categorized as ‘peak’ due to the autumn color foliage which will be a sight to behold. I used to think that as long as you have the budget, you can buy anything you like, whether it’s best diet pills or the best located hotel accommodation, or even the best looking shoes but we know that it’s not true. Sometimes, money can’t buy what you desire and in my case, I can’t seem to get a nice hotel during that November time period – Looks like I have to keep on searching!

Find the best deal, compare prices and make a smart accommodation booking for your Kyoto trip!

my japanese ryokan research began 0

Posted on September 12, 2008 by dorisch

I’ve been trying to squeeze time into my schedule for our family vacation to Tokyo. Due to the language barrier in most Japanese websites, it’s been a little challenging planning our itinerary. Unlike most of our family vacation trips, planning a trip to Japan requires more research in the forums since travelers’ reviews posted in English would help heaps!

(picture courtesy of

Navigating around Tokyo is easy but finding an affordable, nice, cosy, comfortable, luxurious ryokan can be confusing. Since most travelers would spend a few days in Tokyo and Disney Tokyo, it’s usually a day trip to Mt Fuji or Hakone. But if you take time to do your research in Trip Advisor (which happens to be my favourite travelers’ review website), you will find many free and easy travelers who trek outside Tokyo.

After all that research, I’ve found a liking in several luxurious ryokans. In Japan, ryokans (japanese guesthouses) are divided several styles which determine the pricing during your ryokan stay:

  • Category D: 7,000-10,000 yen per guest
  • Category C: 10,000-15,000 yen per guest
  • Category B: 15,000-20,000 yen per guest
  • Category A: 20,000-30,000 yen per guest
  • Category A+: 30,000-50,000 yen per guest
  • Category A++: 50,000-70,000 yen per guest
  • Category A+++: 70,000 yen and up per guest

The best place to understand what a ryokan is, the pricing, the style, ryokan etiquette, ryokan dining options and the different cultural explanations is to check out

I’ll be posting my ryokan research for our family vacation to Tokyo in the next few posts.

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