Top 10 Onsen Ryokens

Ryokan are Japanese style inns found throughout the country. More than just a place to sleep in, ryokan are an opportunity for one to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, incorporating elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, Japanese style onsens and local cuisine, making them popular with both Japanese and foreign tourists alike. No two ryokans are the same, and the quality of ryokans can vary dramatically. There are entry-levels basic, no-frills ryokan experience, all the way to premium exceptional ryokan experience with wonderful food, a exceptional room, a Japanese cypress bath, a view of a Japanese garden and first-class service that comes with […]

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2015 Top Onsens in Japan

Onsen in Japan has been as old as history with Dogo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture (Shikkoku) probably being the first recorded Onsen in Japan history in year 712. Throughout history from the 12th to the 17th century, the culture and practice of using an Onsen has been largely credited to Buddhism influence for the religious practice of cleansing and purifying the body. In addition, there is also the widespread recognized health benefits to be obtained from different types of Onsen. Of course, with its healing properties comes numerous myths and legends of various Onsens having miraculous properties where injured warriors […]

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10-12 Days Hokkaido Itinerary Ideas

This itinerary idea is based on my last year’s trip to Hokkaido for 11 days with my family of four. Hopefully this could also give others planning trips to Hokkaido for similar periods an idea of where to start and where to go. Starting point would usually be at Sapporo or Chitose where the international landing flights come into from all over the world. So Sapporo or Chitose would normally be the starting point of most itineraries in Hokkaido. And largely depending on the Season, and the MUST GO that one already has in mind, the time taken per place […]

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Event of the Year in Singapore: National Day Parade 2015 (SG50)

Every year on the 9th of August, Singapore celebrates her birthday to commemorate the young nation’s progress thus far. Since 50 years again when Singapore gain independence from Malaysia in 1965, the astounding progress that we have made … none has came close to us in history! This is something all Singaporeans are proud of, and something we all know cannot be taken for granted. Nevertheless, 9th August marks a day to be celebrated in style 🙂 And because this day is a day for celebration, there is lots of interesting things happening on this tiny island on this happening day! So […]

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A Winter Look at Otaru Canal

[Otaru Walking Guide] Otaru … one of my first point of visit upon reaching Sapporo, Hokkaido. There were quite a fair bit of snow on the ground around by the time we landed in Hokkaido in mid December from Singapore. But what made this place really memorable was that upon stepping out of the train station (Otaru Station), while orientating our direction to walk towards the Otaru Canal, the first snow flakes came dropping from the sky! While this was not the first time see snow flakes from the sky, nevertheless, it gives us a childish delight … like …. […]

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Krabi – A boat stop to Paradise …

When we first picked Krabi as a travelling destination, we were hoping that it would be less commercialized and developed than Phuket. Well … it was half-true anyway lol. Krabi town is pretty much laid-back and rustic but as we approach Ao Nang where the beaches are, we start to see some similarities in terms of crowd. Whilst Krabi-Ao Nang area is probably still less expensive and developed than Phuket at the moment, with the packs of tourists coming year-on-year, I suspect that it should not be long before we will seeing Krabi go the way that Phuket did …. commercialization. […]

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Noboribetsu Bear Park and more …

A visit to Noboribetsu should have the itinerary planned for at least a portion to explore and enjoy the Onsens available here, that is considered the Best in Hokkaido, and rank 4th in the whole of Japan. I feel most Asians generally have a concern about nudity that is required for Onsen. Put that thought aside, you will very soon realize it’s all in your mind that’s all. Having said that, Noboribetsu is not all just about Onsen. There are other activities too 🙂 One could drive to view the scenic crater-lake (caldera), Lake Kuttara located in the Shikotsu Toya National […]

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Noboribetsu – Hokkaido Best Onsens

White …. white …. white everywhere! That is the beauty of Winter, at least to someone like me that lives in a country that is all-year round summer, hot and humid. The only cool time is when one sets foot into an air-conditioned room or venue. We arrived at Noboribetsu station from Sapporo, and made our way to Noboribetsu Grand Hotel by cab, that took roughly 10 minutes. Yes! We have made it to the famous Hot Spring area in Hokkaido and we are so gonna spend the next 2 days enjoying the warmth of the onsens  😆 If you see […]

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Winter Trip to Sounkyo Ropeway ~ Hokkaido

Sounkyo is located in the Daisetsuzan National Park, situated in a gorge between high flanking forested cliffs. In the Spring and Autumn seasons, the views that can be seen are panoramic and colorful especially with the 2 famous waterfall here: Ginga no Taki (Milky Way Falls) and Ryusei no Taki (Shooting Star Falls)! Not to mention the onsen baths where some onsens offer fantastic views while relaxing in the hot spring water. In fact other than poor timing where I arrived in late Dec, the Ice Waterfall Festival Grounds were actually just in front of Hotel Taisetsu where my family and […]

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A Garden like No Others ~ Gardens By the Bay – Flower Dome [Part 2]

Many of us know that Gardens By the Bay doesn’t just consist of 1 dome but 2. In addition, there is also the non-domed area where we can see the Super Trees! The Super Trees reaches far into the skies at 16 stories high (~50 metre tall) … If one has the guts, there is the OCBC Skyway (~22 metres tall excluding the tree dome that is) that allows you to walk between two Super Tree at height with a panaromic view of the Garden as well. While the views are unique by the day (though hot haha…), it is […]

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