5 things to see and do in Hiroshima …

…besides visiting the Atomic Bomb Memorial Park and Museum, that is. But let’s skip the obvious and focus on a couple of less familiar sights and experiences that Hiroshima offers. See Mazda cars roll off the production line Even if you are not a huge car buff the Mazda museum is worth a visit. It…

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Thatched roof houses of Shirakawa-go

I love traditional Japanese guesthouses. They are the perfect combination of rustic, simple and unusual to appear exotic. Combined with genuine hospitality of their owners, fabulous home-cooked meals and ubiquitous hot baths they make for a most enjoyable stay. So, it comes a no surprise that a stay at one of the thatched roof houses…

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Magome – Tsumago hike: A side of Japan I never knew existed

Japan surprised me in many ways. But the most unexpected was the part of the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago. It is the place to experience rural Japan that seems to be worlds apart from its sprawling cities. The 8 km hike up in the hills of Kiso Valley balanced my image of this…

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Do’s and Don’ts of New Orleans Jazz Fest for Beginners

New Orleans Jazz Fest is the equivalent of Mardi Gras for music lovers. To avoid some of the common faux pas of a first-time visitor, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to observe.

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My imaginary New Zealand job that I am cut out for

All it took was a job vacancy offer for a “Social Media / Digital Expert” that I found on Facebook to send my mind wandering. It wasn’t just any job, mind you, it was an open position at Euro Campers, a New Zealand camper rental company based close to Christchurch. I started imagining myself joining the…

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My year 2017 in pictures

Facebook keeps reminding me how great my 2017 was: According to Zuckerberg’s algorithms I made X new friends, earned Y likes, wows and hahas and gained a couple of “biggest fans”. But what does this really say about the last twelve months? Not much, as it turns out. Apart from the fact that I posted…

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Toilets and trains make me want to go back to Japan

The train is seven minutes late. Halfway through a 70 km distance, that is. In Japan something like this only happens after a typhoon wreaked havoc across half a country. Back home it’s a normal part of my morning commute that throws me into an unexpected state of reverse cultural shock right on the first…

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Japan in rain: 5 tips for surviving even the worst of weather

The weather forecast didn’t look good: Constant rain for the first five days of our trip to Japan with a chance of a typhoon brewing up later on. Of course, my hubbs thought that I was exaggerating and that no weather outlook could ever be as bad as I can conjure it up in my…

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The hidden European gem I don’t want you to know about

Overcrowded tourist attractions are fending off people like flies. Local people are leaving their favourite haunts to hordes of travellers in search of authenticity, best selfie spots and cheap souvenirs. What was once hospitality is slowly turning to hostility towards visitors from all over the world. This seems to be the hottest topic of this…

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Milford Sound Road – a Tourist Deathtrap?

“Gateway to Fiordland becoming a deathtrap for tourist drivers”. The article on a New Zealand online news site immediately caught my attention. Of course I wanted to find out how exposed to risk we were just a couple of months back without even knowing it. “Along with its reputation as being one of the most…

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