Japan’s Peaceful Onsen Village in Lake Toya, Hokkaido

Lake Toya is in proximity to Noboribetsu, "the valley of Hell", in the most northern island of Japan, Hokkaido.  Lake Toya is a surprisingly nice little town to spend a night or two in. The main sight is the caldera lake, which has Nakajima Island in the middle, home to the Lake Forest Museum, reachable … Continue reading Japan’s Peaceful Onsen Village in Lake Toya, Hokkaido

Land of the Rising Sun – How Did I End Up in Japan?

How did you end up in Japan?   I've loved Japan since I was a little girl. My father is an art and comic fan, so every year we would take a family vacation to San Diego to attend the International Comic Con. My father would buy and trade art there. One day, he heard of … Continue reading Land of the Rising Sun – How Did I End Up in Japan?

Uluwatu Temple and Kacek Dance – Day 3 Bali

The next morning in Bali we had three things planned: a nice breakfast, a relaxing beach, and Uluwatu Temple with a Kacek dance. The Kacek dance was recommended by our local Indonesian host, and we’re glad we went!   Breakfast: We went to Made's Warung based off good reviews I read online. They do dinner shows here … Continue reading Uluwatu Temple and Kacek Dance – Day 3 Bali

Bali’s Monkey Forest in Ubud – Day 2

As vacations go, we woke up when nature naturally woke us. Our couchsurfing host was nice enough to entrust us with her house and key, so we were free to explore on our own schedule while she was at work. "Where should we go for breakfast, and what should we do today?" the golden words of vacation … Continue reading Bali’s Monkey Forest in Ubud – Day 2

Getting Scammed in Bali

** The Currency Exchange Scam ** After breakfast, we went down the street to exchange our money. I had been keeping an eye out for the rates all day, and I was shocked when I saw the highest rate yet, 132.4 rupiah for 1 yen. (Hooked!) Usually they were about 125 or 127 rupiah to 1 yen. … Continue reading Getting Scammed in Bali

Arriving in Bali, Indonesia

Last minute flight  to Bali: Tokyo ->Bangkok Bangkok -> Denpasar (Bali) Total flight time ~10 hours Cost ~$600 usd 1usd = ~13,000 idr (rupiah) One day, while eating dinner with a couchsurfing friend in Tokyo, I asked him, "What are your next travel plans?" to which he replied, "Next month, I'm visiting Singapore and Indonesia". I … Continue reading Arriving in Bali, Indonesia

A time not to miss in Japan ~ The beauty of Sakura

“The Japanese are crazy about Cherry Blossoms,” I heard it hundreds of times, it seemed like. “OK, so they’re really pretty. Yeah, pink flowers, I get it…” but I didn’t get it. My English student who worked in California once told me, “California was good, but for me..I didn’t really like it… The years went … Continue reading A time not to miss in Japan ~ The beauty of Sakura