Hot Springs in Aotearoa

Japan has her “Onsens“, New Zealand has her “Hot Springs”. While they are both not quite the same in terms of ambiance and feel, they are nevertheless both a brilliant experience in terms of geothermal activities at their best, beneficial to human health, both body and soul. Waiariki Pools, Ngawha Springs Ngawha Springs has two hot pool complexes next to each other. Between them are several unfiltered pools of varying temperatures. They are very basic, very natural, providing a gentle adventure in the mineral-rich spring water with therapeutic benefits without much in the way of fancy extras. Waiwera Thermal Mineral […]

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Where do Kiwi Birds go ???

New Zealand is probably very much “in love” with the word ‘Kiwi’ to such an extent that almost everything that is iconic in NZ has part and parcel of this word. Starting with … “Kiwiana” referring to any particular items of popular culture unique to NZ (like the All Blacks, the Haka dance, etc), the citizens and residents here are commonly called Kiwis, the national golden-colored fruit with green or yellow flesh is also called Kiwi-fruits. And last but the least, the cute little flightless birds that once was on the the brink of extinction, is also called the Kiwi […]

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The Ultimate Seasonal Guide to Hokkaido in Autumn

For many of us, Hokkaido is the inspiring winter destination. The Sapporo Snow Festival is the major visitor highlight as the island transforms into a white winter wonderland. But this northern Japanese island is equally beautiful throughout the rest of the year. Spring cherry blossoms and autumn foliage create two of Japan’s most inspiring landscapes, filling the panoramas with a kaleidoscope of colours. During the summer, endless national parks and a mild climate help to make Hokkaido an outdoor playground, plus the Sapporo Summer Festival is a universal attraction. With so much on offer in Hokkaido, choosing the time of […]

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How to see Mount Fuji at its Best

Mount Fuji, the tallest and most iconic landmark in Japan that is held in the highest respect and sanctity by Japanese, is a mountain known for its renown beauty. Rising almost 3776 metres above sea level, it projects its different unique personalities in all four seasons from different viewing vantage points, making it one of the most sought-after photographic-points and tourist attractions where everyone hopes to be able to catch sight of the pure essence of this majestic mountain standing tall in front of them and holding them in awe. Of course as we all know, Mount Fuji’s splendor can […]

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8 to 10 Days Travelling Itinerary to Osaka / Kyoto / Nara

Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara cities are all located within close proximity to each other (within an hour train ride) and well-connected by the Japan railway network, so a single point accommodation in Osaka is actually sufficient as a base to start from for visiting attractions located in the other 3 nearby cities. Looking back on my travels where I had 5 and 1/2 days spent in this 4 cities, my family and I took up 2 different accommodations during this period, not so much that it was essential, rather it was to let us experience the difference between a AirBnB […]

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World Heritage Sites (UNESCO) at Kyoto

Steeped in Japanese history, Kyoto is Japan’s 7th largest city in population, but home to about 25% of Japan’s national treasures, shrines, temples … It is also recognized by UNESCO World Heritage for 17 sites within and around Kyoto for surviving monuments and architectures of Japanese Garden concept (except Nijo-jo) that had a profound effect on the rest of the world from the 19th century onwards! From 794 to 1868, Kyoto was also the ancient Capital city and the Emperor’s residence. Even today, it is probably one of the few cities preserving the ancient art and traditions from Geisha schooling, Tea […]

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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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