International

Rocking their yukata in our Arashiyama ryokan

6 tips to rock a Ryokan with kids

The former imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto is a tranquil alternative to the frenetic pace and energy of Tokyo. While the sprawling metropolis does boast all the mod cons and signature flashiness that one expects from a Japanese city, Kyoto is also heaven for history nuts. Especially small samurai obsessed ones. Home to almost a quarter of […] Read more…

Japanese Macaque at Arashiyama’s Iwatayama Monkey Park

Starstruck at Arashiyama’s Iwatayama Monkey Park

It feels a little like we’ve entered a movie set. Mystically pretty mountain landscapes form a backdrop to an emerald green river, broken only by the Togetsukyo “Moon Crossing” Bridge. A timber boat punts along the river. This is Arashiyama, a zen-like tourist haven in the western outskirts of Kyoto. Ancient temples, otherworldly bamboo groves […] Read more…

Kyoto with kids - Samurai Kembu Theater

The way of the wee warrior – Kyoto with kids

Bushidō! No, it is not slang for cow poo. It is the moral code of the Samurai. You see, Japan’s samurai class wasn’t just some Tyler Durdenless Fight Club with razer-sharp Katanas. In fact, the way of the samurai was more about morality and doing the right thing than it was about biffo. Today, though Japanese ethics are […] Read more…

Under the spell of Osaka and Okonomiyaki

It’s most iconic structure may be a 16th-century shogunate castle that sets Raffles samurai senses tingling, but Osaka is probably better known for its high tech architecture, street eats and many, many stars… Michelin stars, that is. Japan’s undisputed gastronomic capital, it is said that the people of Osaka spend more money on food than on anything else. In fact, the […] Read more…

Hello Kitty Pork Buns and Hello Kitty's Cupcake Dream at Universal Studios, Osaka

Hangin’ with Hello Kitty in Japan

Sugarpuff has a bit of thing for Hello Kitty. And by “bit” I actually mean the kid loves that prissy puss with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns! Needless to say in Japan, the birthplace of the famed feline, my girl is in Hello Kitty heaven. When I say feline I must do so with a […] Read more…

Meoto Iwa (the wedded rocks) in Futami, Ise Shima

On the ninja trail in Ise Shima

This post is all about Mie, Mie, Mie. Japan’s Mie Prefecture that is. Or, more specifically, the pretty bayside region of Ise-Shima. Home to Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine, Ise-Shima isn’t as big on the international tourist radar as it is with locals in search of spa retreats, pearls, and enlightenment. But the Eats Worlds are seeking […] Read more…

Holiday Inn Baruna Bali

Wet and wild at Holiday Inn Baruna Bali

It is somewhat of an understatement to say that both Raffles and Sugarpuff love the water. Whether it’s in the sea, in a pool or falling from the sky, my little Pisceans certainly live up to their pesce astrological personas, which is a touch ironic given that I think astrology is such a crock. So […] Read more…

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