2014 - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, December 19, 2014

15 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

10:53:00 PM
Recently things have been very busy at work and I haven't had the chance to do much at all outside of the working place. This of course means that the little time that is left becomes extremely important, but as you know there are plenty of distractions in our daily life that keep us from being productive in terms of finishing the things we actually need to get done. I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with this dilemma, and this is why I wanted to share this neat little photographic that hopefully can help you if you also are faced with the temptation to procrastinate. With that said, enjoy your weekend!

Picture Credit: 9gag

Sunday, December 7, 2014

紅葉 Red-Leaf Season in Kyoto 2014!

11:19:00 AM
Kyoto is a popular destination for tourists from domestic and abroad all year around, but the number of visitors to Japan's former capital is especially high during the country's two "viewing" seasons: the Hanami (花見)-season (around April) and the Koyo (紅葉/red leaf)-season. 

This year Yuma and I went to Kyoto to meet up with old friends and go visit some 懐かしい places from our student days. Since our visit was limited to one day only we didn't get to see too much unfortunately, but here are some of my pictures from the trip:
The road to Heian Jingu
The Maruyama Koen park in Gion

Two girls in kimono buying ice cream
The only negative thing about visiting Kyoto during the Koyo-season is that you might find yourself literarily stuck in the crowd of Japanese tourists. Especially if you go during the weekend, like we did (working in Japan doesn't leave you that many options when it comes to available days). We tried to visit Kiyomizudera, but in the end we just gave up because there was simply too many people. So my number of koyo-photos was quite limited.
The road to Kiyomizudera
A store where you can make your own ceramics close to Kiyomizudera
Lately I haven't had a lot of time to writing my blog, and this post also is quite lacking in information. Sorry about that.. There are however web pages dedicated to helping you find the best koyo-spots in Kyoto, so if you're planning on visiting the city you can get some inspiration there! In addition I have some koyo-posts from previous years that might be worth checking out (or so I hope at least).

Related blogposts

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave me a comment or question below!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hair modeling in Tokyo: Charman Hair Salon

8:33:00 PM

A little while ago I had the chance to do some modeling for the hair salon Charman in Daikanyama.! I just got the pictures from the shoot from my hair stylist Aco-san this week, and here are a couple of them:

Charman's mission statement:

“SHAMAN” - the guide leads your way out to
“CHARMAN” - to inspire and bring out your “Charm”.
Named after the spirit inside us.
Our missions are
to help you find your style to be yourself,
to help you bring out your charm and aura,
and to help you brighten your life and your future.
We will listen to your concerns and understand your desires,
and propose the hair style that matches to you.
Styles do not stay the same, styles change over time.
This is why we are here to offer you a relaxing atmosphere and
build a long-lasting relationship with you.
We hope to spend a precious moment together and create a trusting friendship with each one of you.
We hope we can help you find a fascinating future.
We truly hope so.

                  Yuichi ENZAKI
Inside the hair salon (picture borrowed from Charman's home page)

Charman also offer other services in addition to haircuts. You can check out their prices on the list below:
By the entrance to the hair salon (picture borrowed from Charman's home page)

● Cut ¥6400〜

● Color ¥8000〜

● Cut & Perm ¥13500〜

● Treatment ¥4000〜

● Head Spa ¥3500〜

● Hair & Make up ¥5600〜

● Yukata ¥3000〜

If you're looking for a nice and oshare (fashionable) hair salon in Tokyo to change your hair style or perhaps to do some modeling you might want to check out their homepage. The hair salon is situated in Dairiyama, which is located on the Tokkyu Toyoko line, only one station away from Shibuya. Good luck!

東京都渋谷区恵比寿西1-34-26 代官山Nビル B1

Related blogposts:
Hair Salon

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tokyo Cafes: Meiji 100% Chocolate Cafe

3:37:00 PM
Tokyo has a wide range of exotic cafes for people who like to have their regular cup of coffee in a slightly different environment. For people who prefer to drink chocolate, or just want to enjoy a chocolate dessert along with their coffee, it might be a good alternative to visit Meiji's 100%Chocolate Cafe located in Kyobashi.
Meiji is Japan's largest chocolate manufacturer, and the company opened their first Chocolate Cafe in Kyobashi in 2004 in the same building as their headquarters. The chocolate cafe was designed by the Tokyo-based Wonderwall, a firm that also has designed Uniqlo's huge store in Ginza. A characteristic of the Chocolate Cafe is the wooden ceiling that looks like a gigantic chocolate bar.
Good company
The cafe has all types of chocolate desserts and drinks, and I have added a couple of pictures of the things we ordered below. The place is not surprisingly quite popular so you might have to wait in line in order to get a seat. We ended up by a small counter by the window, as all the tables were taken.
A chocolate sponge cake with some fruit

Close up photo
Chocolate Tiramisu Waffle

You can also buy chocolate to bring with you home, or give to a friend as a gift: By the counter, they sell 56 different varieties of chocolate squares in small colorful packages. In addition to plain chocolates made by Meiji's original receipt from1926 and chocolate made by cocoa beans from a wide range of countries, there is also a range of unique chocolates for the more adventurous tasters out there. Some examples of the exotic varieties you can buy are chocolate with azuki (red bean), basil, yomogi (Japanese mugwort), goma (sesame seeds), ginger, red chili, jasmine, cheese, and maccha (Japanese green tea) flavor.
Chocolate Cafe

Meiji's Chocolate Cafe is located only 5 minutes away from Tokyo Station by foot. The cafe stays open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during weekdays, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m on weekends.

〒104-0031 東京都中央区京橋2丁目4−16
Kyobashi 2-4-16, Meiji Seika Honsha Bldg 1F.

Related blog posts

Recommended Hotels in Tokyo

Robot Hotel - Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay
Henn na Hotel
★★★★ → review
Centurion Classic Akasaka
The Centurion Classic Akasaka
 → review
Hundred Stay Tokyo Shinjuku
Hundred Stay
 → review
Kaisu Hostel
Kaisu Hostel


This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sightseeing in Saitama: The Kawagoe Festival (川越祭り)

1:34:00 PM
The parade featuring Kawagoe's Time Bell Tower in the background
Kawagoe city in Saitama prefecture is a good alternative if you're looking for an historical place to visit for a day trip from Tokyo.
The city is known under the nickname "Little Edo" (小江戸 Koedo) and has even been referred to by CNN as the 'most Japanese' destination of all. The reason for the nickname is the influence that came through the financial and cultural ties the city held to the Japanese capital Edo (the former name for Tokyo) back in the 17th to 19th centuries and the architecture left from this period.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thoughts on the Malala Nobel Peace Prize

12:13:00 PM
As a girl growing up in a developed country I often took my opportunity to go to school for granted. Although I had periods where I studied really hard there were also times when I unfortunately got influenced by the attitude of other classmates who were just "too cool for school". As many of you also might have experienced, being a hard-working student didn't really equal to popularity or admiration among the other kids.

I guess it was after I started traveling abroad that I truly began to realize how lucky I was that I could get a proper education. Without having an education I would never have got to experience all the things I have to this date, which includes being a student and even a full-time employee in a foreign country. And this is just the beginning.

But there are so many girls out there who never get the chance to have the education they deserve. This year's Nobel Peace Prize is a reminder to all of us of the importance that girls (and boys) everywhere get the chance to learn and to grow, that they get the key to follow their own dreams. I believe education is the key not only to build a brighter future for individuals, but also for the society as a whole.

Malala is the youngest person ever to receive the Peace Prize, and she is truly an inspiration to all of us. She reminds us not only why education is worth fighting for, but to those of us who already have the privilege to get educated it is a reminder about how lucky we are to be able to go to school without having to fear for our lives.

To wrap it up, here are some of my favorite Malala quotes:
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” 
“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow." Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”  
“I raise my voice not so that i can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard”  

Malala shares the prize with the Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. Together the two laureates take a strong stance in the "struggle against the suppression of children and young people", to quote the Nobel Committee. You can read more about this year's Peace Prize here

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Visit Yokohama: Entertainment Gourmet City

7:33:00 PM
Yokohama's Minato Mirai
The city of Yokohama has been collaborating with Rakuten Travel to create a Yokohama 特集 (feature) to promote Yokohama abroad! The result is a number of good hotel deals in the Yokohama area, and you can find both hotel deals and additional tourist information on this page.

Yokohama Chinatown
From the page:
"Yokohama is a prominent city in eastern Japan and Japan's most populous municipality, boasting rich economic development second only to Tokyo. Yokohama is easily accessible in about a 30-minute train ride from Tokyo or via Shinkansen from Osaka, Kyoto, or Kobe to Shin-Yokohama Station. A convenient direct bus to Yokohama from Haneda Airport is also available.

 One of Japan's leading port cities, Yokohama is full of noteworthy experiences, from the city's somewhat mysterious and exotic atmosphere, evident of Yokohama's unique history, to a multitude of culinary points of interest. It is a city where to say that everything started here would be no exaggeration.

Wide, open, and free--and yet cozy and intimate at the same time--no matter when you visit, there is a profound and characteristic comfortableness in Yokohama which cannot be easily found in neighbouring Tokyo. An elegance both old and new pervades every pore of the city, where it is easy to get caught up in moments of bliss and tranquillity.

Lose track of time in a cozy cafe or enjoy refined cuisine along with scenic views; there is a seemingly endless list of places to explore and discover. Furthermore, the essence of Yokohama style can be found concentrated in retro-modern shopping districts that have remained unchanged through the times.

Visit Yokohama and treat both your heart and your taste buds with a special deliciousness that exists nowhere else."

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below

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Recommended Hotels in Yokohama

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
Hotel Yokohama Garden
Hotel New Grand
New Grand
Hotel Associa Shin Yokohama
Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama
Yokohama Royal Park Hotel
Yokohama Royal Park Hotel

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

50 Fictional Destinations You Can Actually Visit

9:51:00 PM
In recent years it has become increasingly popular to visit destinations that have been introduced through different media such as dramas and movies. The following info-graphic shows 50 inspirational destinations that have been introduced through famous fictional stories (I've actually written about Norway and the Disney film Frozen here).! Perhaps this infographic can help you discover a destination for your next adventure?

                                   Thanks to Just The Flight for the infographic!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Norway - A Time-Lapse Adventure

11:24:00 PM
If there's one thing Norway is known for (besides salmon) it must be beautiful nature. I recently stumbled across this video showing some of the amazing landscape that Norway has to offer, and decided to share it here on my blog. Details about the movie can be found below!

Please watch in HD with good speakers for the optimal experience. 
You can watch it in 4K here: youtube.com/watch?v=Scxs7L0vhZ4

This is a time-lapse video resulting from a 15,000 km (almost 10,000 miles) long road trip and tens of thousands of images taken along the way over the last 5 months. The journey has covered all of Norway’s 19 counties, from the far south to the Russian border in the Northeast.
The aim of this 5 minute short film is to show the variety of Norway, everything from the deep fjords in the Southwest, to the moon landscape in the North, the Aurora Borealis (Nothern Lights) and the settlements and cities around the country, both in summer and wintertime. The video shows some of the most scenic places in Norway, such as Lofoten, Senja, Helgelandskysten, Geirangerfjorden, Nærøyfjorden and Preikestolen.
If you are interested in reading the tales, seeing behind-the-scenes photos from the journey and a map of the route driven, head over to rustadmedia.com
The soundtrack is custom-made for this film by the very talented fellow Norwegian Jogeir Daae Mæland.
You can buy the song on iTunes: bit.ly/1pCQSLd
Listen to more of his music here: soundcloud.com/j-daae-maeland
All the locations in the video is to be found at rustadmedia.com/locations
The project is supported with gear from Syrp syrp.co.nz
Special thanks to:
Ole Rustad - for great DIY gear
Jogeir Daae Mæland - for the soundtrack and critics along the way
Sunniva Husby Høyning - for, as always, being my most honest and best critic.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Summer in Tokyo: Ultra Japan at Tokyo Odaiba!

2:35:00 PM
The outdoor electronic music festival Ultra had its first edition in Miami in 1999, but has since gained enormous popularity and spread all over the world to countries like Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, South Africa, and Croatia. This year it was time for the first Ultra Japan held at Odaiba Ultra Park in Tokyo.
Norwegian, Japanese and Brazilian flag @ Ultra Japan
I had gotten myself a ticket along with a group of friends for the first day of the festival, and we met up at Odaiba all psyched up and ready for a whole day of partying already before noon. It seemed that a lot of people had gone out of their way to come up with fancy dress ideas and coordinated outfits, so there was a lot of interesting things to see.. We (especially Yuma and I), on the other hand, hadn't prepared that much.. Just brought some flags to represent our respective countries x)
Shaken-san ready with lemon essence..
Some of our friends were more prepared though. The picture above shows Shaken-san in a neon green Full Moon Party-T-shirt ready with a bottle of lemon essence. It wasn't of course not allowed to bring alcohol into the venture so we started the party on the lawn in front of the entrance to the main stage. Since the event was held from 10 am - 9 pm we had a lot of time, and it was quite alright to chill out on the lawn in the nice weather. Odaiba is also famous for its huge Gundam statue, which we happened to pass by a couple of times during the day.
Ultra Japan was held in Odaiba where you also can see a huge Gundam statue
At the lawn in front of the entrance to the main stage
Although it was nice to be able to go inside the venture during the evening I have to say that the first part of the day it was probably just as nice (perhaps even nicer) to stay outside on the lawn where it was less crowded and easier to talk with others. It was also kind of amusing to look at the people time to time walking by in really weird costumes.

Already quite a lot of ppl and it's only 2 pm or so
Slightly crowded in front of the stage....
The main stage
We were basically free to go out of and reenter the venue as often as we wanted thanks to the wristbands we got when we registered in the morning. So we did come and go a couple of times during the event (had to take some breaks at the lawn). Yuma and I tried to make it to the front of the stage one time during the afternoon, but it was simply too crowded. We did make it almost to the front of the main stage once though, but it was of course not a particularly comfortable experience haha.. Maybe I'm starting to get too old for these sort of things (or maybe it's just that I get more than enough crowdedness on the train every day when I commute to work here in Tokyo). 
The main stage not too far ahead
Gathered at Ultra Japan
Another group picture outside the venture
At sunset
One thing I noticed during the evening was that the guy who presented the different DJs seemed a bit confused about the Japanese audience. He tried to make the crowd respond by saying things like "Tokyo, make some noice", "VIPs, let me hear you", "You are the best audience ever" etc etc, but the crowd was as quiet as a funeral. It was kind of amusing actually.. In the end all the guy could think of was "You guys are.. incredible.." (He probably was thinking something like "Why the hell are these people so f*ing quiet!!! I've never experienced a crowd like this in my entire life!"). The poor guy did his best to pump up the crowd, but he probably didn't know that it is common sense for people in Japan to listen quietly when official authorities etc make announcements. So the crowd probably didn't really know how to respond to him.. It was quite interesting to note these cultural differences.
A lively crowd, except during the announcements between the performances
Brazil @ Ultra Japan

Anyway, we had a lot of fun, especially during the last hour when a lot of people decided to leave the venue and we finally had some space to move around! I'm not sure if we'll get the chance to participate in Ultra Japan next year or not, but it was definitely cool that we had the chance to participate in the first Ultra Japan ever.

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Recommended Hotels in Tokyo

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
Bunka Hostel Tokyo
Bunka Hostel
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi-Ningyocho
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi
Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu Hotel
Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu Hotel

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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