March 2018 - Vikingess Voyages

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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Japan Sakura Season: Early March Cherry Blossom Viewing in Shonan - Oide River (小出川)

10:52:00 PM
Above: Sakura flowers by the Oide River
One of the most popular seasons to visit Japan is in spring when the cherry blossoms color the Japanese landscape with its pink cape. The timing of the sakura season changes depending on the area (sakura forecast for 2018 here) and the type of sakura. If you find yourself in the Kanto area you can see the Japanese national flower already in January in Atami and in February the flowers bloom in the southern part of Izu, Kawazu.
Above: The sakura trees, seen from the road 
As a part of a small day trip to the Shonan area (south of Tokyo) I and some friends stopped by the Oide River (小出川) where they were having a small sakura festival.
Above: A sign that says Oide Sakura Festival

We were quite lucky with the timing, as most of the flowers were in full bloom. It seemed like some of the locals were enjoying flower-watching (hanami) by the river, but to be honest there wasn't that much going on there besides the little hanami.
Above: A blooming cherry tree with locals enjoying their hanami in the background.
Above: Visitors viewing the beautiful flowers.
Above: Sakura date with hubby
This is an event most recommended to those who have other plans in the vicinity. There are some entertainment scheduled during the festival period, but if you visit on a day without anything scheduled there honestly isn't that much to see besides the flowers. We got our nice cherry blossom pictures and headed over to Enoshima for some more in-depth sightseeing. If you find yourself in the Tokyo area early March and looking for opportunities to see the sakura it might be a good option as a part of a trip to Shonan.

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

 Basic Info
  • ・Oide River Cherry Blossom Festival (小出川桜まつり)
  • ・Event Page: (Japanese only)

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Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
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The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
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Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa


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Monday, March 5, 2018

Tokyo: The Gajoen Hinamatsuri Doll Festival (百段雛祭り)

10:39:00 PM
Above: Inside the Gajoen. Photo from the official event page
The Meguro Gajoen is one of Tokyo's best-hidden gems, and one of the few sightseeing spots I wouldn't mind revisiting multiple times. Not only does the Gajoen offer one of Tokyo's best-rated hotels, inside the former wedding complex you also find the historical hundred-stairs staircase that helped inspire part of the architecture in the Ghibli movie "Spirited Away". Although much of the Gajoen was rebuilt after the Second World War the old wing still remains in its former glory and is used throughout the year for special exhibitions. This time we went to see the special Hina Matsuri (ひな祭り) doll festival exhibition that is held at the Gajoen from mid-January to mid-March.
Above: Inside the Gajoen 
The Hina Matsuri doll festival is a yearly event held in Japan on the 3rd of March to celebrate and pray for the health and happiness of girls. It is common that a collection of dolls is displayed in both private homes and public buildings, often set up in a multi-tiered doll stand called hinadan (雛壇). The Hina Matsuri tradition is celebrated all over Japan, but the features and details of the practice vary from area to area. In the Gajoen they have collected Hina dolls from various places in Japan, giving visitors a chance to see and compare dolls from different Japanese prefectures.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring in Tokyo: Plum Blossom Viewing at Ueno's Yushima Tenmangu Shrine (湯島天満宮)

10:54:00 PM
Above: Plum flowers in bloom at Yushima Tengu
Japan is already known worldwide for its beautiful cherry blossom trees blooming around late March until early April in the areas around Tokyo. It is no wonder that this also is when the number of visiting tourists to Japan hits its yearly peak, a number that keeps increasing every year. But did you know that if you visit Japan a little bit earlier you can enjoy the just as beautiful plum flowers that are blooming from the beginning of February to early March?

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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