June 2018 - Vikingess Voyages

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tokyo Trains: 5 Tips to Survive Your Daily Commute

9:57:00 PM

A messy glimpse into a regular day's commute in Tokyo
Photo: Anette

Eight years ago, when I had decided to study in Japan, I sat down and made a list of the universities I wanted to study at. Although I had many different criteria on my list, the most important to me was that the university wasn't located in Tokyo. Why, you ask? Well, that's simple: too big, too noisy, and...Packed trains
. Little did I know that a few years later I would make this city my home, and in turn have to face my fears of the packed Tokyo trains on a daily basis. Throughout the years I've learned a thing or two about commuting in Tokyo, and I hope that the tips below can be of help to you too!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Having Coffee with a Monk: The Temple-Themed Tera Cafe in Daikanyama

10:07:00 PM



A Buddhist altar inside the Tera Cafe
Photo: Anette

Right on Tokyo's posh Komazawa Street between Daikanyama and Ebisu district you can find Tera Cafe, a cafe/restaurant that is themed after a Buddhist temple, or tera (寺) in Japanese. At first glance, this might seem like a regular cafe, but you'll soon notice that there's more to it than meets the eye. This chic temple-themed cafe seems to be the place to go for instance if you want to combine a healthy meal with a consultation session with a Buddhist monk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tokyo Festivals: Hydrangea in bloom at the Hakusan Shrine (白山あじさい祭り)

6:20:00 PM
Hydrangea in bloom at the Hakusan Shrine
Photo: Anette

Summer is peak season for festivals here in Japan, and those of you who stop by Tokyo in June might just be in time for festivals related to the hydrangea flower, known in Japanese as Ajisai (紫陽花). You can find various flower festivals held throughout the year in various places in the country, with the most popular ones being related to the cherry blossom, sakura. But other flowers like the hydrangea are also becoming increasingly popular, and just last week I went to check out the festival held at the Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo's Bunkyo-ku area.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Osaka & Kyoto Hotel Special: Grand Opening Hotels 2018

11:19:00 PM

While the Japanese government just has introduced a new law to reduce the number of apartments rented out through sites like AirBnB, so-called "minpaku", the number of hotels that are welcoming foreigners continues to increase with the steadily growing number of tourists visiting Japan. Just like last year I've made a list of newly opening hotels in Osaka and Kyoto (you can also check out the list for grand new 2018 Tokyo hotels here) for those interested in trying out some of the shiny new hotels while in town.




Area: Minami


Welcome to Osaka's world of neon lights! The southern ("minami ") part of Osaka offers endless options for nightlife, entertainment, and shopping. Shinsaibashi, Namba, and Dotonbori are all popular choices for visitors to this side of town. Although it can be rather congested, the area offers anything from low to mid-range items, so if you are looking for unique gifts to bring back home this place will definitely not disappoint you. Just watch out for large groups of Chinese tourists shopping like there's no tomorrow. 



Opening: Jan 2018


Address:2 Chome-9-15 Minamisenba, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0081
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/KWnscsVPrBy

Closest Station: 
● Shinsaibashi Station 心斎橋駅 (Midosuji Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線, The Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line・長堀鶴見緑地線線)
● Yotsubashi Station 四ツ橋駅 (Yotsubashi Line 地下鉄四つ橋線)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Number of Rooms: 100

Recommendation Points:
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2962076




Opening: Jan 2018


Address:2 Chome-10 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0086
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/EJYeTSXJTKm

Closest Station: 
● Shinsaibashi Station 心斎橋駅 (The Midosuji Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線, The Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line・長堀鶴見緑地線線)
● Yotsubashi Station 四ツ橋駅 (Yotsubashi Line 地下鉄四つ橋線)

Check-in: 14:00
Check-Out: 12:00

Number of Rooms: 186

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2962076




Opening: March 2018


Address:1 Chome-5-24 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0086
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/g7u8UPEvuy12

Closest Station: 
● Yotsubashi Station 四ツ橋駅 (Yotsubashi Line 地下鉄四つ橋線)

Check-in: 14:00
Check-Out: 12:00

Number of Rooms: 110

Recommendation Points:
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=104270




Opening: April 2018

Hotel Oriental Express Osaka Shinsaibashi
ホテルオリエンタルエクスプレス大阪心斎橋


Address:3-2-13 Minami-senba,Chuo-ku,Osaka, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan, 542-0081
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/Lf4dgptgzaF2

Closest Station: 
● Shinsaibashi Station 心斎橋駅 (The Midosuji Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線, The Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line・長堀鶴見緑地線線) 

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Number of Rooms: 120





Opening: May 2018


Address:556-0005 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa-ku Nipponbashi 5-8-25, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/pgrgqMdDe8T2

Closest Stations:
● Ebisu-cho Station 胡町駅 (Sakaisuji Line 地下鉄堺筋線) - 2 minutes walk
● Namba Station なんば駅 (Nankai Main Line - 南海本線) - 10 minutes walk from the south entrance gate

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Recommendation Points: 
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=1620320




Opening: February 2018


Bon Hostel 
ボン ホステル


Address:556-0012 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa-ku Shikitsuhigashi 3-1-3, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/FkG4qRWacg92

Closest Stations:
● Imamiyaebisu Station 今宮戎駅 (Nankai Main Line - 南海本線) - 1-minute walk
● Namba Station なんば駅 ( Nankai Main Line - 南海本線) - 10-minute walk

Check-in: 16:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Recommendation Points:
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda


Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4066663




Area: Central Osaka


Central Osaka consists of the neighborhoods Yodobashi, Honmachi, and Kitahama. Although there isn't a lot to do in this area it is a convenient base for exploring other parts of town. The area is known for its reasonable accommodation prices, and as it mainly is an office district you can also find a large variety of good options for dining out.



Opening: April 2018


Address:541-0043 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo-ku Koraibashi 2-4-10, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/H5bSSMyEEV42

Closest Station: 
● Yodobashi Station 淀屋橋駅 (Midosuji Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線)
● Kitahama Station 北浜駅 (Keihan Electric Railway, Sakaisuji Line - 京阪電鉄 地下鉄堺筋線)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Number of Rooms: 244

Recommendation Points:
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability: https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3008799





Opening: April 2018


Address:541-0046 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo-ku Hiranomachi 1-6-6, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/nu46Xn2G2kM2

Closest Station: 
● Kitahama Station 北浜駅 (Keihan Electric Railway, Sakaisuji Line - 京阪電鉄 地下鉄堺筋線)

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Number of Rooms: 116

Recommendation Points:
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability: https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2990780




Opening: May 2018


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

Closest Stations:
● Honmachi Station (本町駅) - 3 minutes walk

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4656519





Area: Kita / Umeda


Umeda is known as one of Osaka's main hubs, and some of the city's biggest shopping malls and companies can be found here, along with a wide range of restaurants and bars. With a direct train to Kyoto and Shin-Osaka's Shinkansen bullet train just a few stops away, Umeda also provides a perfect base camp for exploring other parts of Japan.




Opening: June 2018


Address:3 Chome-1-1 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-0001
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/MNrPcUhZY8R2

Closest Station: 
● Umeda Station 梅田駅 (Midosuji Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線)
● Osaka Station 大阪駅

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Number of Rooms: 400

Recommendation Points: 
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=2865504





Opening: May 2018

★★


Address:553-0003 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Fukushima-ku Fukushima 6-16-6, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/cyMv7giGegr

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations: 
● Osaka Station 大阪駅 (JR京都線・JR神戸線) - 10 min walk
● Fukushima Station 福島駅 (JR大阪環状線) - 7 min walk

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4408028




Opening: August 2018




Address:530-0002 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita-ku Sonezakishinchi 1-13, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/2Lh4H85vq592

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations:
● JR Osaka Station 大阪駅 - 5 min walk
● Kitashinchi Station 北新地駅 (JR Tozai Line - JR東西線) - 1 min walk
● Umeda Station 梅田駅 (Midosuji Subway Line - 地下鉄御堂筋線) - 5 min walk
● Nishi-Umeda Station 西梅田駅 (Tanimachi Subway Line - 谷町線) - 5 min walk

Recommendation Points: 
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3733356




Area: Osaka Bay


Most known as an entertainment area, Osaka Bay is the base of Universal Studios Japan, an American-style theme park that is home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If that isn't enough for you, you can also find the Tempozan Harbor Village, which includes a giant Ferris wheel, the Osaka Aquarium, a LEGOLAND Discovery Center (not to be mistaken with the Legoland in Nagoya) and a shopping and dining complex.



Opening: July 2018


Address:6-1-16 Shimaya, Konohana-ku, Osaka 554-0024 Japan

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations:
JR Universal City Station ユニバーサルシティ駅 (JR Sakurajima Line - 桜島線) - 2 minutes walk

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4145734



Area: Kyoto


Last but not least, Osaka's neighbor city Kyoto. The ancient Japanese capital has endless adventures to offer (I lived here myself for two years, but still feel I couldn't experience more than a fraction of the city), and if you want to get the most out of the city it might be a good idea to base your stay here. Truly a gem of a city, this metropolis will make you feel like you're visiting a small village with its small and charming houses. 



Opening: March 2018


Address:604-8214 Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku, Shinmachi-dori, Nishikikoji-agaru, Mukadeya-cho 387, Japan

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations:
Karasuma Station 烏丸駅 (Hankyu Kyoto Main Line - 阪急京都線) - 5 min walk
Shijo Station 四条駅 (Karasuma Line - 地下鉄烏丸線) - 5 min walk

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3016464




Opening: April 2018


Address:〒600-8092 Kyoto, 239-1, Shinmeicho, Shimogyo-ku
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/DyJjTzWndTE2

Check-in: 13:00
Check-Out: 12:00

Closest Stations:
● Karasuma Station 烏丸駅 (Hankyu Kyoto Main Line - 阪急京都線) - 3 min walk
● Shijo Station 四条駅 (Karasuma Line - 地下鉄烏丸線) - 5 min walk

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4605020




Opening: May 2018


Address:604-0867 Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku, Joshinyokocho 186, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/fPrHK7rzCAB2

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 10:00

Closest Stations:
Marutamachi Station 丸太町 (Karasuma Line - 地下鉄烏丸線) - 2 min walk

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4467546




Opening: May 2018


Address:〒604-8031 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Daikokuchō (Kawaramachidōri), 59-1
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/ejRmeeNxpXS2

Check-in: 15:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations:
Kawaramachi Station 川原町駅 (Hankyu Kyoto Line - 阪急京都線) - 3 min walk
Sanjo Station 三条駅 (Keihan Main Line - 京阪本線) - 3 min walk

Recommendation Points: 
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Other New Group Properties opening in Kyoto 2018:
Hotel Resol Kyoto Shijo Muromachi (ホテルリソル京都 四条室町) - Opening in August
Hotel Resol Trinity Kyoto Oike Fuyacho (ホテルリソルトリニティ京都 御池麩屋町) - Opening in October

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=4415553




Opening: June 2018


Address:604-8031 Kyoto, Kyoto, Chuo-ku Kawaramachi Sanjo Sagaru Daikokucho 59-1, Japan
Google Map:https://goo.gl/maps/F8nEHVa949s

Check-in: 14:00
Check-Out: 11:00

Closest Stations:
JR Kyoto Station JR京都駅八条東口 (Hankyu Kyoto Line - 阪急京都線) - 3 min walk

Recommendation Points: 
10% discount available for travelers registered on Agoda

Check Room Availability:https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?pcs=1&cid=1732488&hid=3624790



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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Japan Theme Cafes: The Beauty and the Beast Cafe & Restaurant in Yokohama

11:10:00 AM


Beauty & the Beast: A cake elegantly decorated with strawberries 
Photo: Anette

In Japan, you can find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars that specialize in a certain theme. It can be anything from greenhouse cafes and rabbit cafes to Moomin and penguin bars. With the recent popularity of Disney’s movie, the newest addition to this "theme cafe" trend is a newly opened Beauty and the Beast cafe/restaurant that you can visit in Yokohama called... *surprise, surprise*... Beauty&the Beast Cafe & Restaurant (美女と野獣のカフェ&レストラン).

About Me

Adventures ofAnette


A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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