Visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima should be on everyone’s itinerary. Hiroshima has one of the saddest reminders of what humans can do to each other during war. Miyajima is the reminder of beautiful things humans can create. Both can be done in one day if you are on a tight schedule. We arrived at Hiroshima station in the morning and went straight to Miyajima. You need to take a local train to Miyajima-Guchi station and then follow the signs to the ferry to Miyajima Island. The JR Hiroshima Kansai Pass is valid on both the train and the ferry. Getting their is really a no-brainer if you understand the Japanese train system.
If you think all deer are innocent beautiful creatures like Bambi, a visit in Nara will make you reconsider. I recommend Nara to all my friends. It should be a must-see item on everyone’s bucketlist. Not only do you get to see beautiful shrines and temples amid lush nature, you also get to interact with deer and by interact I mean try to feed one, get surrounded by many, get bitten on your behind and try to get away from them while they follow you begging for more deer-cookies and bowing their heads Japanese style. What a fun day!
Nara is one of my favorite destinations. We went there twice and I wouldn’t mind a third visit. The town is pretty small and it is easy to walk to the park from the station. You can get a city map at the information counter which shows you the best walking route. Most of the attractions are located in the park and surrounded by crowds of tourist and deer. The tourists start to disappear when you get deeper into the park since most come to visit the Todaiji Temple (東大寺, Tōdaiji, “Great Eastern Temple”), the deer on the other hand are everywhere. And I love it!
Himeji Castle (姫路城 Himeji-jō) is a hilltop Japanese castle located in the city of Himeji. It is also known as “White Heron Castle” because of its white exterior. The castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. Furthermore, it was never destroyed by war or fire and is one of Japan’s twelve original castles. If these reasons are not enough for you to put Himeji on your Japan Bucketlist, I hope my beautiful photos will convince you. Going to Himeji was a right decision this time. It is stunningly beautiful and I couldn’t get enough of it. I hope to be able to see all the other original castles in the future.
Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto. It is easy to reach from the Kyoto station with the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line), which goes to the Saga-Arashiyama station. If you are visiting Kyoto, you should take a day to go there. There are a lot of must-see places, including the famous Bamboo Forest, Togetsukyo Bridge and Monkey Park Iwatayama (my personal highlight). There are also beautiful temples like Tenryuji Temple or Daikakuji Temple.
My favorite Buddhist Temple in Korea is located in Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도) and is called Unmunsa (운문사/ 雲門寺) or “Cloud Gate Temple” in English. It might be less known among foreign tourists, because it is not easy to reach. However I love this temple especially because of it’s beautiful location amid lush forests and mountains. There are buses going there from Daegu Nambu Terminal and from Cheongdo Bus Terminal, but it is more convenient to go there by car and enjoy some great scenery along the way.
The other side of the river
COEX, Lotte World Tower, Gangnam
I wish we would have done something different instead of going to COEX, but I wanted to visit an aquarium with my mom. To be honest, COEX is not the best choice, although they do have some impressive sea life in there, but I think a lot of the fish tanks are too small. I honestly felt bad for all the animals at some point. COEX itself contains convention centers and exhibition halls as well as a shopping mall with a lot of restaurants. It is easy to find, there are two subway stations which come in question:
How to start this first entry?
I have been thinking about starting a traveling blog for a long time, but there was just not enough time, not enough content and all the other excuses. I do not know if this blog will turn out good and interesting, but I want at least try it out. English is not my first language, not even my second, so please bear with me. The idea has been sitting in my head for a long time. I love traveling and have an incredible “Fernweh” when I am at home. “Fernweh” is a German word, which can be roughly translated as “Wanderlust” (also a German word, but more familiar to English speakers). “Fernweh” is a longing feeling for a place somewhere far away. No matter how often I go somewhere else and how nice my home is, I cannot shake off the feeling of wanting more.
Where are so many travel blogs out there, why start one now? I want it to be a motivation for myself to dream bigger, to go father and to live the life I want to live. My current boring office job is finally going to an end. Finally there is a chance to start some new adventures and experiment a little.
Let’s jump into it, shall we?
South Korea, Seoul
Where to go, what to see and what to eat?
I have been to Seoul so many times that I am starting to lose count. But this time was quite special, because I arrived with my mom, who has never been to Asia before. We only had four days and I decided to do as much sightseeing as possible without it being too tiresome (failed though). Since Seoul is a very big and dynamic city, new places open and close all the time, but there are a lot of must-sees and must-trys. This was our itinerary: