5 unique reasons to visit Kobe, Japan

Kobe has long been one of my favourite Japanese cities. When I lived in nearby Osaka, it was a place I regularly took overseas visitors for a day trip, because it was such a good contrast to Osaka and Nara. Back then, it was only six years after the 1995 earthquake, but this had the effect of … [Read More...]

New Year’s Eve Travels – Episode 38 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

The end of 2016 is fast approaching and on this episode of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast I thought it was a good time to talk about travelling at New Year's - as well as thinking about our travel resolutions for the year ahead. It's the first episode to feature Kim-Ling of Travel-Ling - I met … [Read More...]

The secret of Sakai City: off the beaten path in Kansai, Japan

One day soon it'll be a normal thing to suggest visiting Sakai City when you're passing through Osaka, but I'm getting in early to tell you: go to Sakai! Back when I lived in Osaka, I knew Sakai … [Read More...]

Christmas Travels – Episode 37 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Christmas is coming: are you ready? That phrase has run around in my head for decades after I saw it on a bumper sticker as a child! In any case, it's not long until Christmas and I thought this was a … [Read More...]

7 things I desperately love about Osaka

My love affair with Osaka, Japan's "other" city, stretches back fifteen years already. As a 25-year-old I headed to Japan to teach English with my then boyfriend. The company which hired us only … [Read More...]

Reasons to Love Japan – Episode 36 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I've been writing about my love for Japan ever since I began this blog 11 and a half years ago, but the fact is, I had lost sight of just HOW MUCH I love it! Thirteen years after I left Osaka, I … [Read More...]

15 years of Universal Studios Japan (and 15 years since I moved to Osaka)

Fifteen years ago this year, I moved to Japan. Also fifteen years ago this year, just a couple of months before my arrival in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan opened. What a brilliant coincidence, I … [Read More...]

Making Friends Through Travel – Episode 35 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Some people travel to see the sights; some to eat the food. I like doing both of these too, but one of my favourite things to do while I'm travelling is to make new friends. And that's what Episode 35 … [Read More...]

Travel and Stereotypes – Episode 34 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

The topic of stereotypes is an endlessly fascinating one for me. When I was an ESL teacher, especially here in Perth when I would have a class full of different nationalities, it was so interesting to … [Read More...]