Incredible Ise

In May, during Golden Week, I decided to explore Ise. I’d been to the area once before during my first few months in Japan to visit the newly opened Amanemu (read about that here), but I didn’t really leave the hotel to investigate the area. This time I returned with intrepid travels as my goal,…

Old Kyoto

Arriving into Kyoto station you’d be forgiven for thinking that this ancient capital was perhaps not so well preserved. The station building; a towering structure of glass and steel surrounded by neon signs of karaoke bars, shops and the illuminations of the Kyoto Tower, an antenae-like symbol jutting from the city’s skyline.  Don’t get me…

Hiking Mount Hiei

Many people come to Kyoto and expect an old, traditional city; ancient temples bursting forth from behind tiny, winding streets lined with wooden machiya. To an extent this is true, a city with one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sites in the entire globe, it’s any Japanophile’s Mecca when it comes to an era-immemorial…

Yunohana Onsen

I love onsen. It’s maybe one of my favourite aspects of Japanese culture. So naturally, for our wedding anniversary this year, I decided to book my husband and I in for some much needed onsen indulgence at Sumiya Kiho-an, a dreamy ryokan in the mountains to the west of Kyoto. We headed to Sumiya, first…

River Top Dining at Kibune

Like something from a fairytale, Kibune – in the north of Kyoto – has a magical feel. Maybe it’s the warming, yellow glow that seeps through the trees or the closeness to nature that you feel wandering past the pretty river. There’s definitely something in the air that for me at least, transported me to…

Amazing Amanemu

The Japanese know where it’s at when it comes to relaxation. Onsen (Japanese hot spring) hotels are similar to our spas in the UK, but better. Think hot pools of healing water surrounded by zen gardens and the smell of incense. Even then you’re not close to imagining how amazing the real deal is. Trust…

Girljin in Japan

So, here I am. Living in Japan. A ‘gaijin’ (that’s a foreigner to you and I native English speakers). Some people think it’s a rude term but actually it just means foreigner. Obviously it can be said in a slightly less polite way, as anything can really, but on the whole it’s neither derogatory or…