2016 - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kusatsu Onsen: A visit to the Sainokawara Park & Open-Air Rotenburo Bath

3:12:00 PM
About 10 minutes walk from the Yubatake in the center of Kusatsu you can find one of Japan's largest outdoor hot springs; the Sainokawara Rotenburo (西の河原露天風呂). This outdoor hot spring bath (rotenburo) is situated in the middle of the Sainokawara Park, so a big part of experiencing the onsen is actually to stroll through the park and enjoy the nature on your way there.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

[Hotel Review] Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan (草津温泉日新館)

12:05:00 AM
Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan is a small family ryokan with only 12 rooms situated one minutes walk away from the yubatake (湯畑) in the center of Kusatsu. Nisshinkan is the oldest ryokan in Kusatsu, and was built more than 300 years ago in the Edo period. Right next to the ryokan you can find one of the 3 free public baths in Kusatsu. During my recent trip to Kusatsu I had the pleasure of spending a night at the ryokan, and below is some of my pictures and thoughts about the stay.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Kusatsu Onsen: A Guide to Kusatsu's Free Hot Springs

8:35:00 PM
The center of Kusatsu Onsen - Yubatake
Kusatsu Onsen is, as the name suggests, a hot spring resort area known for its many hot springs - onsen. Here you can find a wide range of small bathhouses open to the public. The temperature of these baths vary from almost lukewarm to boiling hot, and one of the pleasures of visiting this area is to walk around to different bathhouses and test them all. But going from bathhouse to bathhouse can be an expensive experience, as most of the bathhouses charge an entry fee of around 500 yen. There are also some bathhouses that can be entered for free but most of them are only available for Kusatsu citizens, so in this blogpost I'll introduce 3 bathhouses in Kusatsu Onsen that any visitor can enter free of charge

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Weekend in Kusatsu Onsen: A Yumomi Experience (湯もみ体験)

12:36:00 PM
Kusatsu Onsen is situated in Gunma, a prefecture to the north of Tokyo and Saitama. Kusatsu is one of Japan's most famous onsen resorts, and tourists travel from near and far to experience the healing hot springs of Kusatsu. 
The hot spring water in the center of In Kusatsu can hold up to around 90°C, which is way too hot to bathe in. When the locals were looking for a way to cool down the water without diluting it they came up with the yumomi (湯もみ) technique, a word which literarily means to rub the water. The practice is still kept alive in some places, and during a recent trip to Kusatsu we went to Netsu no Yu in the center of the village to check out their yumomi performance.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Gunma: A Snowy Weekend in Kusatsu Onsen *Video*

10:18:00 PM
Last weekend I went on a trip with friends to Kusatsu Onsen, a famous hot spring resort in Gunma prefecture. We had a great time in Kusatsu, and got to try out various cultural experiences.

I'll be back with more posts with pictures from Kusatsu but in the meantime, here is a video from our weekend trip:

*update* full blogpost from the yumomi here

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

Basic information

  • Yumomi Experience (湯もみ体験) at Netsu no Yu (熱乃湯)
  • ・Access: Situated right by the Yubatake (hot water field) in the very center of Kusatsu
  • ・Entrance fee: 600 yen/person (550 yen if you have a coupon)
  • ・Opening Hours: ●Morning: 9:30, 10:00, 10:30 ●Afternoon: 3:30分, 4:00, 4:30(a total of 6 times a day)
  • ・Homepage: http://www.kusatsu-onsen.ne.jp/netsunoyu/ (Japanese only)

Related blogposts

Recommended Hotels in Kusatsu

Kusatsu Onsen Daitokan
Kusatsu Onsen Daitokan
Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan
Kusatsu Onsen Nisshinkan
★★★  → review 
Ryokan Naraya
Ryokan Naraya
Yubatake Souan Hotel
Yubatake Souan Hotel

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Yokohama: Christmas Market at the Red Brick Warehouse

11:21:00 PM
The Christmas season is upon us again, and even in Japan the cities are decorated for the season. In Japan Christmas is seen as a dating season more than anything else, and it is certainly a great chance to enjoy a romantic date with your love. During a recent visit to Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, my darling and I payed a visit to the Red Brick Warehouse where the German-style Christmas market helped getting us in the mood for Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Yokohama: Autumn Views at Sankeien Garden (三渓園)

5:35:00 PM
The Sankeien Garden is a traditional Japanese garden located in Yokohama's Naka Ward. The garden, which opened in 1906, was the creation of a wealthy businessman who used the space of the garden to reconstruct seventeen historical buildings brought from other cities such as Kyoto and Kamakura. Some areas of the garden are closed to the public during most of the year, but for a short period during the autumn you are permitted to enter these areas and enjoy the sight of the historical buildings here alongside with the autumn foliage.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chiba: Winter Illumination at the Country Farm Tokyo German Village

10:14:00 PM

Just a couple of hours drive from Tokyo you can find the Tokyo German Village, an theme park that is inspired by.. You guessed it right; Germany of course. Don’t let the name of the park fool you though; this park is not really situated in Tokyo but on the Boso Peninsula, more precisely in a place called Sodegaura in Chiba. For those who didn't know, Chiba is Tokyo’s neighbouring prefecture to the east, and believe it or not this is also the prefecture where you can find Tokyo Disney Land...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sightseeing in Bagan: Tanaka and Sunset Hunting at the World Heritage Pagodas

9:57:00 PM

During our stay in Myanmar we spent a couple of days in the ancient city of Bagan, famous for its more than 2200 pagodas spread out on the wide plain. Climbing some of the ancient pagodas could sometimes make us feel like we were in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie, but at the same time this destination was definitely the most touristy on our trip.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lodging in Tokyo: 10 Fancy Budget Hotels for an Unforgettable Stay

10:01:00 PM

Tokyo is a city of innovation, and this is also reflected in the metropolis' variation of accommodation alternatives. In recent years there has been a surge in the number of modern and creative types of accommodations you can find both in and in the vicinity of Tokyo, and to make an overview of the alternatives out there I have taken the time to list up 10 fancy Tokyo budget hotels below. I have also added two additional short lists with hostels outside of Tokyo and a list of honorable mentions.
If you want to make all parts of your trip to Japan an unforgettable vacation, make sure to choose to stay at a place that will be an experience in itself!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Day Trips from Bagan: A visit to Mt. Popa and Taung Kalat

11:00:00 PM

About 50 km southeast of Bagan you can find the holy Mt. Popa, which is both an inactive volcano and Myanmar (formerly Burm)'s most important pilgrimage site for believers of the 37 Burmese Nat-spirits. Although the name Mt. Popa is more well-known many of the people who travel to the volcano actually come to visit the Taung Kalat (pedestal hill), a 657 meter tall volcano plug where you can find the Popa Taungkalat Monastery.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

One day at Inle Lake: Indein Village and the Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda

1:05:00 PM

As a part of our visit to Inle Lake we went on a day trip around the lake to see various parts of the local life style culture, a trip that included among others a stop at a lotus weaving factory and the Jumping Cat Monastery. After our short stop at the monastery our boat driver took us through a long and narrow creek to Indein village. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

One day at Inle Lake: The Jumping Cat Monastery - Nga Phe Kyaung

11:08:00 PM
The Nga Phe Kyaung monastery is both the biggest and oldest monastery in Inle Lake. Among tourists it is still known as the "jumping cat monastery" - a name it got because of the cats living there, who had been trained by the monks to jump through little hoops. You can see a simple YouTube clip that demonstrates the practice below:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

One day at Inle Lake: Lotus weaving of Inle Lake - Khit Sunn Yin

10:42:00 PM
Inle Lake is often featured on lists of Myanmar (formerly Burma)'s top places to visit with its floating gardens, wooden villages on stilts, and local fishermen catching fish with cone shaped bamboo while they row with their legs. This charming lake was the end destination for our 3-day trekking tour from Kalaw, and we had the pleasure to spend a couple of days by the lake. We stayed the night at the beautiful Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort, and on our second day the hotel arranged transport for us with a local boat taxi to go around the lake to see a bit of what it had to offer. The first stop of our trip was the Khit Sunn Yin Lotus, Silk and Cotton Hand Weaving Centre where we were going to see the unique lotus weaving of Inle Lake.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

[Hotel Review] Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake

9:25:00 PM
Water bungalows on Inle Lake
After having participated in a 3-day trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake it was time to spend some relaxing time at the Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort, one of the few hotels located directly on the Inle Lake. Our guide from the trekking tour had already arranged transportation to the hotel, so at the shore of the lake we said our goodbyes and were taken by a small lake boat to the hotel where we were greeted by the hotel's staff.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Myanmar: Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake

4:33:00 PM
Villagers on their way home
We arrived early in the morning in the town of Kalaw with the night bus from Yagon. Our plan was to book a tour with a local guide and go for a three day two night trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake right after arrival in Kalaw. However, as you already might know the busses in Myanmar (Burma) often arrive way ahead of schedule, and in our case with a predicted 7 am arrival time we actually ended up stranded in the middle of the dark Pyi Taung Su road at 3:30 am. To our great surprise we discovered an open restaurant/bar where the locals were watching a Barcelona soccer game and ended up killing time there until the morning (the place even had free WiFi!) 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

[October only] Autumn Time Sale – Up to 50% discount on Tokyo & Yokohama hotels

11:50:00 PM
Planning a trip to Tokyo this autumn? If you are looking for some good deals on hotels in Tokyo and/or Yokohama you can check out the following deals from hotel booking site Agoda. Be aware that the offers are only available for bookings done before October 21st! 

This time sale has come to an end. For the newest updates about time sales click here

Booking period: 14th October – 21st October
Stay Period: 14th October – 31st December

50% Discount:

Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia-gai

Hotel Page Here: https://www.agoda.com/mitsui-garden-hotel-shiodome-italia-gai/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?cid=1732488

Hotel Allamanda Aoyama Tokyo
(ホテル アラマンダ青山)

Hotel Page Here: https://www.agoda.com/hotel-allamanda-aoyama-tokyo/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?cid=1732488

40% Discount:

Hotel Monterey Hanzomon 
(ホテルモントレ半蔵門 )

Hotel Page Here:

Hotel Monterey Akasaka 

Hotel Page Here:

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Hamamatsucho Daimon 
(相鉄フレッサイン 浜松町大門)

Hotel Page Here: https://www.agoda.com/sotetsu-fresa-inn-hamamatsucho-daimon/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?cid=1732488

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo-Toyocho 
(相鉄フレッサイン 東京東陽町駅前)

Hotel Page Here:

35% Discount:

Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort 
(東京ベイ舞浜ホテル クラブリゾート)

Hotel Page Here:

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Kyobashi 
(相鉄フレッサイン 東京京橋)

Hotel Page Here:

30% Disount:

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba 
(グランドニッコー東京台場 )

Hotel Page Here:

Celestine Hotel 
(セレスティン ホテル)

Hotel Page Here:

25% Discount:

Sakura Fleur Aoyama Hotel
(サクラ フルール 青山 ホテル )

Hotel Page Here:

23% Discount:

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Yokohama Sakuragicho 
(相鉄フレッサイン 横浜桜木町)

Hotel Page Here:

20% Discount:

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo Hotel 
( プリンス パークタワー東京 )

Hotel Page Here:

Hotel New Otani Tokyo The Main 
(ホテルニューオータニ東京 メイン )

Hotel Page Here:

Hotel Associa Shin-Yokohama 
(ホテルアソシア新横浜 )

Hotel Page Here:

Hotel Wing International Shinjuku 
(ホテルウィングインターナショナル新宿 )

Hotel Page Here:

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Ginza 

Hotel Page Here:

Shinjuku Granbell Hotel 

Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo 

Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower 
(ホテルニューオータニ東京 ガーデンタワー)

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza 

Hotel Sunroute Ginza 
(ホテルサンルート銀座 )

Hikari House Tokyo 

Hotel Page Here:

Toshi Center Hotel 

Hotel Page Here:

Kichijoji Dai-ichi Hotel 

Hotel Page Here:

10% Discount:

New Otani Inn Yokohama Hotel 

Hotel Page Here:

Hotel Francs 
(ホテル フランクス )

Hotel Page Here:

Related blogposts

Recommended Hotels in Tokyo

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
Hotel Asia Center of Japan
Hotel Asia Center of Japan
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"!
・Read more →

Recent Posts


Random Posts