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One Week in Tokyo

Experiencing Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, a melting pot of old and new, tradition and business, temples and neon lights, was one of the primary reasons why we travelled to Japan. When we were looking at accommodation (two months in advance) we almost cut down our days in the city due to the high prices and lack of availability. But we stuck to our plan of spending a week there and booked a small, cute and modern private apartment conveniently located by the largest JR station. We used credit card reward points to offset the price and justified it due to the fact that our trip was nearing it’s end and we were running short on places to splurge. Continue reading

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Takayama: More Food & More Temples

En route from Kanazawa to Tokyo, we stopped in Takayama, a city in the mountainous Hida region of Japan. According to Japan-guide, Takayama “now ranks as one of the prime candidates among travelers wishing to add a rural element into their itineraries.” I had a desire to see as many cities as possible in Japan – something very different than the relatively slow-paced travel style we had become accustomed to. But here we were, a year and a half into travelling and breaking almost every rule we had. We had a jam-packed schedule in Japan with day trips and one-nighters; we booked things in advance (although not far enough); bought an unlimited two-week rail pass and even slept in dorm beds. One thing we should have done was research cities in advance because WiFi was (shockingly) incredibly limited in Japan. Continue reading

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Kanazawa: The Gold Leaf City

After visiting Hiroshima, one of the most devastated cities from WWII, we headed to Kanazawa, a city that managed to escape any damage during WWII. Kanazawa, a castle town founded in the late 1500s, also boasts escaping any significant damage from natural disasters and while it used to be a powerful and strategic city, it never fully industrialized. Consequently, it is one of the few Japanese cities where many of its buildings are still original and is home to many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts. Continue reading

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A Day of Food in Ljubljana

I have always wanted to do a food tour. I’ve heard so much about them from friends and fellow travellers expressing what a great way they are to experience a new city/country. We looked into it in Venice but it was insanely expensive. So, the next day we scheduled a food tour through old town Ljubljana with “ljubljananjam.” The company is a one-woman show; Iva was enthusiastic and energetic, she clearly loves her job as much as she loved food. Continue reading

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Modena: The Truth and Tradition of Balsamic Vinegar

For such a small and relatively unknown Italian city, Modena has many things to be proud of. It is a city full of traditions famous world-wide from opera to engines to cuisine, although often not attributed to the city of Modena. The hometown of Enzo Ferrari, Modena, is where balsamic vinegar originated with production documented as early as 1046. It was a family tradition, making balsamic vinegar in the attic of your house – enough to use yourself and give as small gifts at Christmas to those families who didn’t have the tradition. Continue reading