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 finally got to return, and I was reminded of all the reasons I love Japan, and everything was even better … [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 think, that USJ would bring me back to Japan in this special year! Magic at Universal Studios … [Read more...]

5 reasons I’m crazy-excited about returning to Japan

Have you ever spent time in a country, and then daydreamed for years and years about returning? That's me and Japan. Japan is easily one of my most favourite places in the world. I lived in Osaka and Nara for two years, teaching English in a tiny language school next to the train station in … [Read more...]

What I miss most about Japan

I moved house this week, which caused me to look through a whole lot of boxes of journals, souvenirs and photo albums. (I'm a little bit of a hoarder.) Being homesick for Japan A huge proportion of these things were from the two years I spent living in Japan. Japanese things are just so … [Read more...]

Sentimental memories of Japan, and Halfway Home by Christine Mari Inzer

A book about Japan? A really cute book with drawings and comics about Japan, drawn by a teenager? I am totally in! As soon as I heard about Halfway Home: Drawing My Way Through Japan by Christine Mari Inzer, I knew I'd love it and would be reminiscing about my own time in Japan - two of the most … [Read more...]

Five destinations I’d like to revisit

Some travellers like to check places off a list and never return. I actually love returning to places that I've been before: it's interesting to see what has changed, to compare it to my memories, to catch up with people I met there. I also love visiting brand new places, of course - that's how … [Read more...]

On climbing Mt Fuji and being both under-prepared and under-skilled in the local language

My two-year stay in Japan saw me based in Osaka and Nara, rather than the more common Tokyo area, and that meant the magnificent Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) was not quite round the corner. But it was so often present in discussions and very early on I decided that I wanted to climb it before I left Japan. … [Read more...]

25 things to do in Japan – my personal favourites!

  Two years in Japan meant I have a long, long list of stuff I recommend when people ask me what to do there. I came up with a very long list recently but I have whittled it down to 25 things to do in Japan. **AirBnb accommodation in Japan can be much more affordable than hotels - click … [Read more...]

Your coldest ever travel experience …

Aussies are obsessed with talking about weather. Perth people like me are obsessed about complaining about the cold, mostly because it is rarely cold here (never below freezing) and partly because we really feel the cold because we have no idea about heating our houses properly or wearing the right … [Read more...]

Picture pirouette: The Kobe Luminarie is very pretty!

There are so many fond memories I have from my time in Japan that it will take me the next ten years to finish blogging about them. One fantastic event which I highly recommend is the Kobe Luminarie. Held in December (it pretty much coincides with Christmas, but kind of has nothing to do with it … [Read more...]