Vikingess Voyages

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Takamiya Ryokan Miyamaso - A 300-year old Zao Onsen ryokan with a miraculous spring 霊泉を守り続ける老舗旅館「深山荘高見屋」

8:54:00 PM

【Location: Yamagata Prefecture - Zao Onsen 場所:山形県蔵王温泉】

 Takamiya Ryokan Miyamaso was founded in 1716, and the main building is an elegant wooden Japanese-style structure of 3 floors and with more than 100 years of age.

 You can enjoy not only the quaint old-fashioned atmosphere at the ryokan but also the delicious cuisine and the soothing hot springs in the building. The hot water flows from the hot springs into the bathtub using the natural differences in height. It has a cloudy white color and a strong sulfur smell.

Zao Onsen is said to have been founded 1900 years ago, and most of Zao's hot springs are strong acid sulfur hot springs. Strong acid sulfur hot springs have a softening and a detoxifying effect on the keratin. It is believed to be good for skin diseases, and that it can not only heal cuts but also improve frail health.

Extra: The Warabi no Sato Museum
This museum is a part of the Takamiya ryokan group, and they even have their own museum where artifacts from the inn are on display. It is a museum where even the buildings are worth looking at. The entire buildings have been relocated from inside and outside Miyagi prefecture.
童の里 美術館
他の美術館と異なる点は建物もご覧いただきたい美術館です 県内外から建物全部を移築してきたものであり、展示品は深山荘高見屋が昔お客さまに使っていたものです。

 Check out the full video:

Sunday, April 4, 2021

【Ryokan Meguri】New channel! Please check it out!

5:01:00 PM

Hi there! Anette here. How are you?
It has been quite a strange year, hasn't it?

 At the time I'm writing this, it has already been more than a year since Japan got its first case of Covid-19. For me, 2020 also marked the 10th year since moving from Norway to Japan. This blog was initiated back in 2010 to record some of my adventures, and it has been updated regularly since then, but due to career changes and various other commitments I haven't been able to keep up with the blog since 2019. 

Although I've been enjoying documenting my various adventures abroad and in Japan, one challenge for me has been that I have too many interests and I've felt that the blog has lacked a specific focus. At the outstart of my career in Japan, I spent 5 years working in the online travel industry, and during this period I was fortunate to visit both hotels and ryokans in various parts of Japan. I even wrote quite a few blog posts about the topic. Most visitors to Japan see places like Kinkakuji and Sensouji, but a lot fewer take the trip to the next level and experience authentic Japanese ryokan hotels. Some might feel that the experience is too far from the ordinary, and some are reluctant to show off their nature's suite in the presence of complete strangers at the onsen baths. But some estimate that Japan has over 38,000 ryokans, and you can find that there are greater variations than you initially might believe. 

My mission is to document some of these unique ryokans, to make sure that you can find one that suits your visit, by categorizing them by things like area, season, budget, and theme. Example of some categories might be: 

- Historical shinise ryokans 
- Ryokans to enjoy the Cherry Blossom 
- Ryokans to see fireflies 
- Ryokans where swimwear is allowed 
- Ryokans for Solo Travelers 
- Temple Stay Experiences 
- Ryokans with a private onsen bath 

 I've just started this next chapter of my Japan adventures.
Please check out the below links and follow me to stay updated!

Ryokan Meguri Homepage
Ryokan Meguri YouTube
Ryokan Meguri Instagram

Saturday, April 13, 2019

All you need to know about the Tokyo Robot Cafe "Henn na Cafe"

9:09:00 PM
Mr. Robot Barista ready to pour some coffee. Kamae! 
Photo: Anette

Tokyo is known as a place where you can find both the newest of the newest and the weirdest of the weirdest. A couple of years ago I wrote about Tokyo's first Robot Hotel with the fitting name "Henn na Hotel" which literally means "strange hotel". And yes, the people who are behind this up-and-coming hotel chain are the same as the owners of this cafe, going by the name "Henn na Cafe", which in other words means "Strange Cafe". Without further redo, here is all you need to know!

Monday, April 8, 2019

6 Reasons Why you should Visit Saitama's Moomin Valley Park

11:33:00 PM

Moomins and friends on stage at the Moomin Valley park 
Photo: Anette

Did you know that the new Moomin Valley Park opened up in Saitama on March 16th? This park is the first Moomin park situated outside of Finland and whether you're already a fan or not, it is a great opportunity to see the Moomins up close. I paid a visit to the park on a pre-opening tour, and although we were unfortunate with the weather it was a charming park that deserves a revisit on a sunny day. If you find yourself spending some time in Japan, here are six reasons why you should visit the Moomin Valley Park this year.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Gifu: 5 Things you should try in Gujo Hachiman (郡上八幡)

1:51:00 PM
A charming shop in Gujo Hachiman
Photo: Anette

Gujo is a small town in Gifu prefecture, an area most known for the historical city of Takayama and the Unesco-listed village Shirakawa-go. I recently visited Gujo Hachiman for the Gujo Odori festival, but there are many other things this little town has to offer for interested visitors. If you're looking for activities you can do while in Gujo Hachiman you can check out five of my recommendations in this post!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

How to become a Fukumusume (Shrine Maiden) - Imamiya Ebisu, Osaka

10:03:00 PM
Back when I was a student in Kyoto I had the chance to participate in the popular festival "Toka Ebisu" (十日戎) in Osaka as a "lucky girl" - fukumusume (福娘). This was a great cultural experience for me, and one of the most fun memories I have of my time as a student in Japan. Each year the Imamiya Ebisu shrine elects a total of 50 girls through the Fukumusume contest, and the lucky chosen get to work at the shrine during the 3-day long Osaka festival held on an annual basis in January, and if you are lucky you could have the chance to become one of the lucky girls of next year!

Monday, September 24, 2018

When and where to see Autumn Foliage in Japan 2018

4:10:00 PM

The five-star pagoda of Kyoto's To-ji (東寺 - East Temple)
Photo: Anette

Although most tourists are familiar with the Japanese cherry blossom period the autumn is almost just as popular among domestic travelers. The red-leaf season is known as kouyou (紅葉) in Japanese, which literarily means "red leaves". The Japanese red maple looks stunningly beautiful with its dark red colors and is a spectacle within short traveling distance whether you visit one of the bustling Japanese cities or the laidback countryside. Below you can find a chart by the Japan Rail Pass Official Vendor that shows when and where to visit:

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gifu: 7 Tips About the Gujo Odori Festival You Need To Know

11:32:00 AM
Non-stop dancing until dawn. This is the Gujo Odori.
Photo: Anette

Bon-Odori (A dance taking place during the Japanese Obon period) is a typical sight during summer in Japan, concentrating on mid-August. You can find these dances being held throughout the country, both in the bigger cities (here from Bon-Odori in Ebisu) and out on the countryside. Amongst them is the Gujo Odori taking place at Gujo Hachiman (郡上八幡) in Gifu Prefecture, known as one of Japan's three most important Obon Odoris. Every night tens of thousands of people come together to dance to the songs of ancient times, with the sound of their geta shoes clashing against the pavement and tunes of shamisen filling the air. As you get closer to dawn the sounds around you intensify, and it is as if you can feel the spirits of an age long gone. This is a Japanese Obon festival you wouldn't want to miss out on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

【Announcement】Update in Blog URL - From Adventures of Anette to Vikingess Voyages

10:17:00 AM

Some of you might already have noticed that the logo and looks of my blog has changed. And there are more changes up and coming; as of October 15th I'm planning to change the URL of this blog from to I hope the new blog name Vikingess Voyages will be easier to use, and that you'll still come back to join me for more exciting adventures in Japan and abroad.

For those of you who have been following my blog, please bookmark the new URL so that we can stay in touch.

Lots of love,

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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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