Adventures of Anette
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Chengdu: The Wenshu Yuan Monastery and Tea House

11:04:00 PM

Buddhazen Hotel
On the inside of the Wenshu Yuan Monastery 
Photo: Anette

With a history stretching back more than 1000 years, the Wenshu Yuan Monastery (文殊院) is known as the best preserved ancient monastery in Chengdu. It also boasts of being Chengdu's largest temple complex, and if you're looking for things to do while visiting the capital of the Chinese Sichuan province you can easily spend a few hours here. During a recent layover in Chengdu my darling and I spent the night at BuddhaZen Hotel, and with only 2-3 minutes walk away from the monastery it was a natural place for us to spend the day.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Chengdu: Getting the Zen Vibe at Buddhazen Hotel [Hotel Review]

6:02:00 PM

Buddhazen Hotel
A Buddha statue in the hotel courtyard
Photo: Anette

The capital of the Chinese Sichuan province, Chengdu, is a city that boasts not only of hovering skyscrapers but also of century-old temples and a small-townish atmosphere. If you're planning to stay in Chengdu and want accommodation that reflects the laidback atmosphere of the city, the Buddhazen Hotel will not disappoint. Located only a couple of minutes from a Buddhist monastery, the beautiful courtyard inside the hotel will make you feel like you're experiencing a temple stay, but with all the comfort and convenience of a modern hotel at your fingertip. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chengdu: A visit to the World’s First Mabo Tofu Restaurant - Chen Ma Po Dou Fu (陈麻婆豆腐老店)

11:30:00 PM
Above: The entrance to Chen Ma Po Dou Fu 
The spicy dish Mabo Tofu (or Ma Po Dou Fu) is an all-time favorite you can enjoy in many restaurants across Asia, including Japan where I'm based. But did you know that if you find yourself in the Chinese city of Chengdu (成都) in the province Sichuan (四川) you can visit the restaurant where this dish originally originated from?

With the literary meaning "pockmarked granny's tofu" this dish emerged some time in the latter part of the Qing Dynasty (around 1874) when the wife of the owner of this restaurant (then known as Chen Xingsheng Eating House - 陳興盛飯舖) used whatever she had on hand to serve cheap meals to local workers. Her distinguished appearance with pockmarks on her face such led to the name of this dish, and later on the name of the restaurant also was changed to include the name of her now famous dish (now 陈麻婆豆腐老店).

Although the number of Chen Ma Po Dou Fu restaurants have increased (you can even find one of a chain restaurant in Tokyo), the original pockmarked granny's restaurant is still up and running in Chengdu .
Above: The entrance to Chin Mapo Tofu 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Working in Japan: My experience as a hotel consultant

10:30:00 PM
Above: Art from Wise Owl Hostels Tokyo
It has already been over three years since I started my career in Japan as a consultant for an online hotel booking platform on a quest to make Japan more accessible for foreign visitors. So far it has been a very valuable experience for me, and along with gradually increasing my sales- and consultation skills I've had the chance to improve my business Japanese, learn more about Japan and travel around Kanto through my work. In this post I've summarized part of my work, in case others out there might be interested in taking a similar career path.
Above: At one of my partner hotels.
Above: Night view from Yokohama Royal Park Hotel
Above: Yokohama by night

The job:
As a hotel consultant (market manager) you are in charge of a portfolio of hotels in your own designated area. You keep in touch with hotel representatives (managers etc) on a daily basis to help them improve their sales through our site. This can be done by for instance keeping them updated about our campaigns / making sure they give us the same rates & room types as our competitors / retrieve their newest photos etc to keep their content up to notch or just generally give them advice about area trends using our database and information we've gathered from other hotels. 
Above: A paper crane at the bed of Hotel Okura
The main part of the job is office work, because as you can imagine it takes a lot of time keeping in touch with such a large number of hotel partners. A lot of the communication with the hotel representatives are thus done by phone. But we also are free to structure our days as we'd like and can plan business trips to visit our hotel partners directly to discuss their sales. As I'm mainly in charge of Yokohama I've had the chance to visit the harbor city 2-3 times a month, and I've also had the chance to travel around on business trips to partner hotels in among others Saitama, Izu, Hakone and areas within Tokyo.
Above: My main responsibility is to look after client hotels in Yokohama
Above: The Yokohama Cosmo Clock 21 up close

Requirements:
As a hotel consultant one usually has to be able to communicate in the local language. In my case, most of my hotel partners only have Japanese-speaking representatives, so except for our internal emails that are mostly written in English (since our head office is situated abroad) my work is conducted 100% in Japanese. As you probably know one would have to use business Japanese when communicating with clients, so polite language (keigo) is a must. There are a lot of set phrases needed just for making a simple phone call (see also: Working in Japan: The basics of Japanese business phone calls), so unless you have some previous working experience in Japan it might be tough to enter. For lower positions where most of the work is internal it might be possible to get a job without this sort of experience, but for consultants, it is crucial with some previous background in the field.
Above: Hello there tiny capsule! Japan has accommodations for any taste, here at Do-c Ebisu

What I love about my job
We are getting closer to the Tokyo Olympics of 2020 and inbound tourism is without a doubt a buzzword in Japan these days. A lot of interesting new hotels and hostels are opening their doors to foreign tourists, and through my work, I get to be at the forefront of whats happening within the Japanese travel industry.
Above: From when I tried a night at Tokyo's first robot hotel
Above: Lunch at one of my partner hotels
Because I'm a foreigner I also have a certain authority when talking with the hotels about inbound trends, as they usually only rely on Japanese sources for their information. And as I'm working in an international company it is also relatively more laid-back than most Japanese companies; I can for instance usually go home when the day is done without having to work much overtime. Since I love to travel, my work is also to an extent my hobby, so in a sense, I'm lucky I get paid for both traveling around and practicing my Japanese. There is a lot going on in the industry, and is without a doubt a job that can be recommended for anyone who likes fast-paced and challenging environments!
Above: A visit to the traditional Japanese ryokan hotel Jizo Matsuya in Nagano

Are you interested in working as a hotel consultant in Japan (or somewhere else for that sake)? Feel free to let me if you have any questions about the job or how to apply, and thanks for reading!
-Anette

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Japan’s First Street Workout Gym - Kamui Park

11:10:00 AM
During a recent trip to Osaka, I had the chance to stop by Japan's one and only street workout gym called Kamui Park. This gym was opened just a couple of months ago by a friend from college, Kamui, who had been working out in local parks for some years before he decided to take the chance and open up Japan’s first street workout gym.

Monday, April 16, 2018

[Hotel Review] The Next Step to Explore Asakusa - Hotel Amanek Asakusa Azumabashi (ホテル アマネク 浅草吾妻橋)

11:22:00 PM

Above: Tokyo Sky Tree as seen from the hotel bedroom
Spring is the season for new beginnings, from everything to new fiscal years to the start of new semesters. It is also a season for newly opening hotels, and last week I went to check out a new hotel called Amanek that is scheduled to open its doors to tourists from April 18th 2018.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Oiran Cherry Blossom Festival Report: Tsubame Sakura Festival - Oiran Dochu (つばめ桜祭り)

6:56:00 PM

The cherry blossom period is one of the best time of the years to visit Japan. Not only can you enjoy the marvelous sight of the thousands of flowers in bloom, but the temperature is also perfect (Japanese summer can be extremely hot and humid). If you want to combine the sakura season with a traditional Japanese festival featuring an Oiran Dochu parade you even have the chance to do this after the last sakura in Tokyo has fallen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tokyo Hotel Special: Brand New Tokyo Hotels 2018

10:45:00 PM
Japan hit another tourist record in 2017 with no less than 28,7 million foreign visitors taking the trip to the once so secluded island nation. With the government's target of 40 million visitors by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the hotel industry sure doesn't let the opportunity go to waste, and just like in the past years there's a large number of hotels scheduled to open their doors to foreign visitors in Tokyo 2018. So what are you waiting for? The hotels are definitely waiting... To welcome you with their world-class omotenashi service.


Area: Asakusa

Opening: Autumn 2017

★★★


Address:9-3 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 131-0045
Home Page:https://onetokyo.com/en/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/LYfQAwteAmA2

Access: 
A 3-minute walk from Oshiage Station (Keisei Line / Toei Asakusa Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tobu Line).

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Recommendation Points: Funky hotel designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates with a rooftop garden and a spectacular view of the Tokyo Skytree. All rooms come equipped with a "handy" smartphone you can use for free during your stay, and Chromecast is available in every guest room. Great location only a few min walk from the Skytree and the Oshiage station.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2089426




Area: Shinjuku


Opening: Autumn 2017

★★★

Address:4-1 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 160-0013
Home Page:http://nippon-seinenkan.or.jp/en/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/u2eBH4HZHFx

Access: 
・Tokyo Metro Ginza Line G03 Gaien Mae Sta. Exit 3 … 5 minutes
・Toei Oedo Line E25 Kokuritsu Kyogijo Sta. Exit A2 … 10 minutes
・JR Chuo・Sobu Line (local) Sendagaya Sta. … 12 minutes
・JR Chuo・Sobu Line (local) Shinanomachi Sta. … 12 minutes

Check-in: 14:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Recommendation Points: A centrally located hotel with relatively large rooms. Here you can find both large conference rooms and a grand hall, perfect for both smaller and larger events.

Check Room Availability: https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2282122




Area: Ginza


Opening: Spring 2018

★★★


Address:3-7 Kyobashi,Chuo-ku,Tokyo, JAPAN 104-0031
Home Page:https://www.intergatehotels.jp/en/tokyo_kyobashi/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/xGPtkp3TnAB2

Access:
・Kyobashi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.(1min. walk from Exit 1)
・Takaracho Station on the Toei Asakusa Line. (1min. walk from Exit A4)
・Ginza-itchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line. (5min. walk from Exit 7 )
・JR Tokyo station. (10min. walk from Yaesu South Exit)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Recommendation Points: Located just a block away from Ginza's main street, perfect for shopping. ★10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3016463



Opening: Spring 2018

★★★


Address:〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chūō, Ginza, 7-12-9 Ginza
Home Page:https://www.m-inn.com/musse/ginza/english/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/xGPtkp3TnAB2

Access:
・JR Shinbashi Station Ginza Exit / About 6 minutes on foot.
・Subway Ginza Station A3 Exit / About 6 minutes on foot.
・Subway Higashi-ginza Station A1 Exit / About 6 minutes on foot.
・About 70-80 minutes from Narita International Airport to Tokyo Station and about 4 minutes from Tokyo Station to JR Shimbashi Station on the JR Yamanote Line.
・About 30-40 minutes from Haneda Airport to Higashi-ginza Station.

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Recommendation Points: Close to the upscale shopping district Ginza. Also within 10 min walk from the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2822654



Opening: Autumn 2018

★★★★
Hotel Keihan Tsukiji Ginza Grande 
(ホテル京阪 築地銀座 グランデ)


Address:3-5-4, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 1040045 agoda
Home Page:http://tsukijiginza.hotelkeihan.co.jp/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/Gj9Xga9B3SK2

Access:
・2 minutes away from the Tsukiji Station (築地駅) on the Hibiya Line (日比谷線)
・3 minutes away from the Shintomicho Station (新富町駅) on the Yurakucho Line (有楽町)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Recommendation Points: Situated in Tsukiji this is a good option for visitors planning on an early morning trip to the Tsukiji fish market.

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3587181




Area: Akasaka


Opening: Spring 2018

★★



Address:3-23-16, Nishishinbashi, Shinbashi
Home Page:https://www.nexusdoor.jp/ja/
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/NwqP9jE7VYB2

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Access: 
・1 minute on foot from Toei Subway Mita Line Onarimon Station A5 exit.
・About 15 minutes on foot from JR Line Shinbashi Station Karasumori Exit.
・About 15 minutes on foot from JR Line · Tokyo Monorail Hamamatsucho Station.
・About 13 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Toranomon Station.
・About 13 minutes on foot from Kamiyacho station on Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.
・About 40 minutes by taxi from Haneda Airport.
・Approximately 25 minutes from Haneda airport by taxi to Daimon station and 13 minutes on foot from Daimon station.

Recommendation Points: Hotel offers a wide range of services for staying guests. Those who stay at this hotel can enjoy Apple TV with unlimited viewing, a free Handy smartphone that can be used during the stay (also provides free international calls),  and 2 giga WiFi for swift internet. Guests can also enjoy a club lounge free of charge that serves free drinks, baked bread and cereal, and even can be used as a meeting space if you're on business.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4167892




Opening: Spring 2018




Address:3 Chome-12-5 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/NWFTbzsj57U2

Access:
・1 minute from the Akasaka Station (赤坂駅)
・5 minutes away from the Akasaka Mitsuke Station (赤坂見附駅)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Recommendation Points: Situated in the heart of the posh neighborhood Akasaka you've got the best of Tokyo's nightlife on your fingertip.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2559217




Opening: Spring 2018





Address:3 Chome-12-5 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/NWFTbzsj57U2

Check-in: 14:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Access:
・1 minute from the Akasaka Station (赤坂駅)
・5 minutes away from the Akasaka Mitsuke Station (赤坂見附駅)

Recommendation Points: Situated in the heart of the posh neighborhood Akasaka you've got the best of Tokyo's nightlife on your fingertip.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2908762



Area: Tokyo Station


Opening: Spring 2018



Address:3-11-15 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda., Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, 101-0054
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/vB2tUonEHUA2

Check-in: 
13:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Access: 
・3 minutes from Takebashi Station
・12 minutes from Kanda Station
・22 minutes from Tokyo Station

Recommendation Points: Nine Hours is a popular capsule hotel chain that already attracts a large number of foreign guests to their futuristic capsules in for instance Shinjuku (Nine Hours Shinjuku-North), Akasaka (Nine Hours Akasaka) and Narita (Nine hours Narita Airport Hotel). Their new hotel Nine Hours Takebashi follows their recipe for success with low prices, good location, and minimalist interior.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3582702




Opening: Spring 2018





Address:8-1 Kanda-Konyacho, Chiyoda, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, 101-0035
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/Ww3BHvJvj7z

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Access:
・4 Minutes walk from the JR Kanda Station (神田駅)'s south exit on the Yamanote Line (山手線)
・5 minutes from exit 1 on the Kanda Station (metero) on the Ginza Line (銀座線) 5分
・6 minutes walk from Exit 4 of the Kodemmacho Station (小伝馬町駅) on the Hibiya Line (日比谷線)
・5 minutes walk from Exit 8 of the Shimbashi Station (新日本橋駅) on the JR Chuo Soubu Line (総武線)

Recommendation Points: Sotetsu Fresa Inn is a popular Japanese chain with the word Fresa being made up of FResh, Sense & Amenity. With a great location, only 4 minutes walk from Kanda station this is a central and safe choice for travelers looking to explore Tokyo.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3008798



Opening: Autumn 2017



Address:1-1-7 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Koto, Tokyo, Japan, 135-0024
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/mqtWdZGuoop

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Access:
・10 minutes walk from Exit 4 of the SuitenguMae Station (水天宮前駅) on the Hanzomon Line (半蔵門線)
・10 minutes walk from Exit A3 of the Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station (清澄白河駅) on the Hanzomon  (半蔵門線) & Oedo Line

Recommendation Points: The property has a river-view terrace available outside the building with a magnificent view of the Kiyosumi-Shirakawa river. With fun events held at the property throughout the year you can ensure a relaxing and fun stay in Tokyo as a guest at Lyuro.
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=1637453



  Chain


Opening: Throughout the year

APA Hotel (アパホテル)


Recommendation Points: APA Hotel is known for providing hotels with close access to public transportation, so if you're looking for good access this is definitely a safe choice. On the other hand, their rooms are among the smallest available in Tokyo. Here is the list of their new hotels of 2018:

APA Hotel Hatchobori Shintomicho - アパホテル〈八丁堀 新富町〉
② APA Hotel Nihombashi Bakurocho-Ekikita アパホテル〈日本橋 馬喰町駅前〉
APA Hotel & Resort Nishishinjuku-Gochome-Eki Towerアパホテル&リゾート〈西新宿五丁目駅タワー〉
APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae - アパホテル〈浅草駅前〉
⑤ APA Hotel Nihombashi Bakurocho-Ekikita - アパホテル〈日本橋 馬喰横山駅前〉
⑥ APA Hotel Kanda Ekimae - アパホテル〈神田駅前〉


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Sunday, March 25, 2018

[Hotel Review] The Center of Osaka Nightlife - Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba

11:08:00 PM

Candeo Hotels Osaka Namba is a new and modern 4-star hotel that opened up its doors to guests on July 15th, 2017. Situated right next to the popular areas NambaShinsaibashi, and Dotonbori you literarily have the streets of Osaka at your fingertips. We recently spent a night at the hotel, and I've added some photos and information about the hotel in this post.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sakura Season in Japan: A visit to Enoshima (江ノ島)

11:25:00 PM
Above: Mt. Fuji seen from Enoshima
Spring has finally arrived here in Japan, and one of the most characteristic parts of the Japanese spring is the blooming of the cherry blossom trees sakura. As a part of a small sakura sightseeing trip last week to Shonan we stopped by the famous island Enoshima where we also got a glimpse of the Japanese symbol. The timing of the sakura season changes depending on the area you visit (sakura forecast for 2018 here), and early March was perfect for seeing the beautiful flowers by the Oide River. We did see some sakura on Enoshima as well, but if you're considering to visit Enoshima for the sakura season you might want to include a stop by the Oide River to your itenary.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette


The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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