Autumn/Winter in Tokyo

I’ve heard a lot about Japan prior to my trip. It is supposedly THE country which has a lot to offer throughout all four seasons and the city looks equally beautiful throughout the year.

I am a HUGE fan of Japanese food and I couldn’t wait to devour into all the yummy goodness once I arrive the Japanese shores!

I stayed in Tokyo for a week or so and I had ample of time to explore what this city had to offer. While it was supposedly winter in Japan, I still managed to catch the last glimpse of autumn, killing two birds with one stone!

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Asakusa Temple (Sensō-ji)

The oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo! The area leading up to the temple is pretty scenic and filled with rows of shops selling food and souvenir among many other things!

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Besides the temple and the rows of shop houses, Asakusa is an area worth visiting because the area itself is beautiful and has so much to offer! Walking away from the temple, I found myself in a beautiful and scenic area which I guess can be categorized as a park.

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In true Japanese style, it is extremely zen and perfect for a walk. The thing about Japanese winter is, the sun is still extremely bright and the cold isn’t too cold, making it the perfect combo!

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Few days later, winter was beginning to make an entrance and the leaves turned really yellow and the trees started balding really quick. When the wind blows, it was literally snowing leaves, super pretty and dreamy!!

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Almost bald!

I also went to the infamous Tsukiji Fish Market and had a feast! The seafood there was really fresh and so much food was sold there! I enjoyed trying out authentic local food and was definitely spoilt rotten.

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Shibuya 

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The hustle and bustle of Shibuya. Amidst all the chaos, the Japanese people are pretty organized and orderly. This is literally the busiest crossing in the world, yet it isn’t in total chaos, amazing!

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Roppongi Hills 

Roppongi Hills is an upper-class area which explains why it is pretty quiet. The winter illumination here is really beautiful, making it very romantic and dreamy to walk along the sidewalks at night!

Tokyo Disneysea

This is the ONLY sea themed Disney theme park in the entire world (for now) and that itself should excite anyone! It is located within the same region as Tokyo Disneyland and both parks are right beside each other.

Prior to my trip, I read a lot of mixed reviews about Disneysea. Some said it is better than Disneyland and others said it is nothing great. Not knowing which to believe, I went for it anyway since I was already in Tokyo.

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I went to Disneysea bright and early (9am) and it was partially cloudy but the sun eventually came out at around noon!

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In Disneyland, this would be the main street of USA, not sure if it is the same here in Disneysea! Anyway, since I went around Christmas period, the decor was up and the atmosphere was lovely! The light breezy Japanese winter made it felt so much like Christmas.

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Feeling the Cali vibe in Tokyo.

So everyone is given a chance to redeem fast past tickets for certain rides and made full use of it! It really cuts waiting time by a whole lot because the theme park was surprisingly filled with locals and not tourist. I’m guessing they are annual pass holders.

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Little Mermaid – Under The Sea.

The little girl in me was EXTREMELY happy!! If you know me, you’d know that I love bright and pastel colours and this is exactly where I would fit in!!! Nevermind the ride was childish, the aesthetics and environment made me a happy kid.

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I’ve never been to any Mediterranean country but I am in awe of this beautiful replica architecture. These were cafes and restaurants for patrons to dine. I tried their infamous turkey leg and it was finger licking good!

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Tower of Terror!

I’ve sat on this ride in Paris Disneyland and gave it a miss in Disneysea because it is essentially the same ride and the queue time was over 100 minutes for this. True to its name, the drop when it reaches the top is sudden and in my opinion probably the best ride in this theme park!

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The atmosphere at the main street after the sun sets, festive and romantic. I’m a sucker for these type of atmosphere and it would be such a perfect date night idea to be here. Imagine having a hand to hold while walking down this street along with a hot chocolate to sip on.

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Toyville – Toy Story!

This is the most HYPED up ride and I didn’t manage to ride on it. The fast past for the day has already finished when I arrived and that made me want to see what’s it all about even more! But the unreasonable queue time of 120 minutes was something I couldn’t bring myself to do.

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Disneysea didn’t have a castle, nor does it have a parade to end the evening. Instead, they had a lights and water show by the volcano. It was definitely freezing cold sitting out here on a winter night at 6pm waiting for the show to start, but I guess you can say it was worth it as it is unlike the ones in Disneyland!

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The night ended with some spectacular fireworks!

While I enjoyed myself in Disneysea, I didn’t think it was a spectacular theme park. I still prefer Disneyland over this sea-themed park!

Hakone, Japan.

I chose to visit Hakone not for their famous onsen but because I wanted to view Mt Fuji, which I did but unfortunately did not have the best picture for it. Hakone is a beautiful small town off Tokyo and easily accessible as well.

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A short overhead bridge which connects you to to the main part of town! Behind it is pretty scenic and it doesn’t get closer to nature than this.

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Here’s a glimpse of the small town and the red autumn leaves which greeted me in winter. A very pleasant and beautiful sight, I must add.

I took the infamous Hakone loop after lunch and hopped from one location to another. It was the perfect combo for those doing a day trip like me as it covers the main sights without too much of walking.

Making a stop at Owakudani, here’s an active volcanic site.

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I stop by at Owakudani for their infamous black sulphur egg. Eggs which have black shells because it was cooked in sulphur. Truth be told, it tasted very much like every other hard-boiled egg. Rumour has it, for every sulphur egg you eat you’ll live up to 8 years longer.

Not the best picture of Mount Fuji because it was unfortunately cloudly! I was extremely excited at the sight of this and it definitely made my day and entire trip! I was hoping to be able to see this infamous snow capped mountain and I was lucky enough that the clouds weren’t blocking it, well at least 75% of it was visible!

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I boarded this pirate ship and went around Lake Ashi after. It was a very slow and calm journey with Wifi onboard.

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Look how picturesque my sight was?! It is definitely postcard worthy, hands down and no arguments about it! I am definitely a huge, huge, huge lover of picturesque views and scenery and this definitely made me happy!

Despite not visiting their famous Hakone Shrine and hot baths, it was still a great day trip. I was very pleased that I caught more than a few glimpse of Mount Fuji and the picturesque view of Lake Ashi and Owakudani was a bonus!

Paris Disneyland

Of course, I need to have a separate post for Disneyland but truth be told it was drizzling on the day I went *insert real tears.

My entire Paris trip was fairly drizzly and occasionally the sun peeked out for a little while. I can’t decide if it was because it was winter time or was it just merely luck! Anyway, I tried to go to Disneyland on a day when the weather app said it would be less rainy but alas it also drizzled!

LUCKILY! That didn’t dampen my mood because I was in Disneyland for goodness sake (and also Paris)!!!

After exiting the train station, there were actually two separate parks within the same area which I didn’t know about prior to this. Since I had tickets for both, I decided to pay Walt Disney a short visit as well!

Walt Disney Studio

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I didn’t know what to expect because I haven’t been to other Walt Disney Studios before but I am the type who gets very excited over theme parks or amusement parks. I didn’t spend or waste too much time here but I did go for the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride!

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I am legitly the biggest fan of city lights, night views, etc – basically the lighting, colour contrast and bright, sparkly atmosphere.

Disneyland 

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Excited!! While it was drizzly for a bit, it didn’t stop me from having a good time or feeling like I am in the happiest place on earth! I don’t think anyone ever goes to Disneyland and feels sad about it.

Quite sad that there were SO MANY people and I didn’t get a good shot of the castle and I alone but this was already expected anyway. Even on a drizzly day, it was pretty packed. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a sunny day.

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Thank goodness the sky cleared up by night and I think the parade was the best part and of course the fireworks after! Since I was there during Christmas, the atmosphere was extra lovely!

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*hearts eye emoji. There’s something about Disneyland during Christmas which is extra special. It could be the combination of the cold, the breeze, the lights, the Christmas tree and Christmas carols. While it was a wet and drizzly afternoon, the atmosphere at night made up for it!

My dream is to visit all the Disneylands in the world and so far so good! While I managed to check 2 things off my bucket list this trip, Disneyland’s box is a work-in-progress.

Winter In Paris

Paris has always been THE PLACE I wanted to visit since I was a little girl. To finally tick this destination off my bucket-list made me a really happy camper and I was so excited! Winter might not be the most ideal time to be in Paris but my excitement was so real, I HAD TO GO!!!

Plus, I went to the city of love with the love of my life… It was perfect!

I randomly picked a place based on convenience and proximity from my hotel and off I go, visiting the infamous Arc De Triomphe.

Truth be told, I was bummed that it was cloudy but I should have seen this coming since it is winter time after all. After taking enough photographs of this historical arc, I made my way upwards along the Champs Elysees, passing by rows  of designer boutiques. Even their McDonalds looked more glam and upscale!

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First tourist attraction checked and onto the next. The Notre-Dame Cathedral is located in a slightly further area from where I stayed but it was worth a visit as it IS the most well-known church in the world.

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I am usually a fan of Christmas trees but this one here ruined what could have been a perfect picture of the Notre Dame. I was already impressed by the architecture from afar. As I made my way towards the entrance of the church, I noticed the detailing of the arch and that left a lasting impression.

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The side profile of Notre Dame is not too shabby at all!

Visiting the Louvre Museum is a must when one is in Paris. After all, it houses one of the most famous paintings in the world, the Mona Lisa AND is also the world’s largest museum. That explains why I spent a good amount of hours in the museum even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.

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How gorgeous is this! Truth be told, it looks way better in pictures than in real life. My expectations and reality did not match for this one! I figured it was the lighting that made the pictures pop and the darkness that complemented the overall look.

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Passing by a famous departmental store, Galeries Lafayette.

And of course, a trip to Paris is incomplete without visiting the Eiffel Tower!!!!!

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This. Is. So. Magical.

If you know me, you’d know that I have been obsessed over the Eiffel Tower since I was a little girl. Growing up, Paris had always been on my bucket list and places-to-go. There is something about the Eiffel  Tower which I can’t pinpoint to that takes up a special place in my heart.

It was definitely a dream come true seeing this magnificent tower in real life. I even visited it 3 times from 2 different locations, trying to savour the moments while I can. This one right here has the BEST view in the house! Seeing the lights twinkling at night feels so surreal and almost magical. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes that this is checked off my bucket list!! *inserts tears of joy

On my final night in Paris, I did what every couple would do – head over to Pont Des Art, the love lock bridge and lock their love. It is believed that if you inscribe each other’s name on the padlock and throw the keys into the river, you’d have unbreakable love.

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While I am sad that they have now taken down the locks from the bridge due to it collapsing, I am happy to have also checked this off my bucket list before the bridge collapsed!

Experiencing Paris with my other half was simply magical. While the weather was gloomy on most days, the city of love still shined through and brought us lots of fond memories. I wish to visit this city again in the future on a summer day and enjoy more pastries, escargots and the view of Eiffel Tower.

I have yet to visit Palace of Versailles and I wish to cover that the next time round.

Au revoir for now Paree!

A Trip To Lake District

You know how London is everyone’s go-to place when they visit UK? Well, Lake District apparently is the most popular national park in England. A quick google will show you a string of Window’s Desktop worthy images, luring you to visit them as soon as you get the chance.

With easy access by train and bus, Lake District is worth a visit for those who love the outdoors, nature and seeking time for some solitude. If you’re digging the vibes of a quaint town, Lake District is the perfect match!

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Naturally, Lake District is a huge area which is not possible to cover within a day. People who visit this place often have hiking in mind and for someone like me who don’t fancy that, Windermere is the perfect place to visit.

Unfortunately it was a gloomy day when I arrived at Lake District but fortunately, it didn’t pour like what the weather app had predicted it to be. Phew, it was a close one. Taking a bus from the train station to Windermere itself is already a beautiful sight on its own. I was pleased with the nature of this small town, almost too beautiful and cozy to be true.

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A small and quaint town like this is so so precious! Rarely ever do we come across a low density and underpopulated town where there isn’t skyscrapers left, right and centre of us. This itself, was already a great view for me.

As the bus driver makes an abrupt stop at the bus station, I  jerked forward almost falling off my seat with my face planted towards the seat in front. Making my way to the exit, I was greeted by this beautiful sight as soon as I stepped out of the bus.

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Postcard worthy isn’t it?!

Such a breathtaking sight with flocks of doves / pigeons flocking together. I noticed there were many boats and yachts parked by the bay. Taking a slow stroll around the area led me to a small hut where these boats are up for rent.

I went ahead with renting a boat for an hour and headed out into the largest lake in England. There are two options when you decide to rent a boat, either you literally row it or a motorised engine will be your saviour and do the dirty work for you.

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I of course, chose the latter and it turned out to be the best decision made. Those who chose to row their boats were stuck near the bay and hardly made any progress into the lake. It isn’t as easy as people make it seem on TV because of other external factors like wind, water current, etc.

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This was my view throughout my trip. Like I said, it is the largest lake in England and my motorised boat wasn’t a speed boat which goes at 150km/h.

Being surrounded by the hills and being in the middle of the lake with no reception can be both eerie and exciting at the same time, depending on how comfortable you are with being lost and stuck in the middle of a lake. After all, I’ve got to find my way back to the shores without any GPS signal.

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This looks like a scene right out of a movie or a postcard even.

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This is my first encounter with a swan! Apparently, they can be pretty vicious so I tried to keep my distance as to not allow them to eat my camera. They had very pretty white and fluffy feathers, almost too white to be true. If I had to describe them in one word, it would be snob. Just look at that stare!

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 It has been a pleasant experience being out in a colder and quiet part of the country. Will I make a trip back to Lake District? Yup, but for other sceneries next time!

Brighton, An English Seaside Resort Town

Brighton is unlike any other part of England. If you’ve visited this region, you’d know what I am talking about.

As I step foot out of the train carriage, there was a noticeable difference right away. Out I go to the streets and I found myself making my way to where all the action is, the beach of course.

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Look at that broad walkway, instantly giving a holiday / resort feeling. With plenty of personal space around me, I took my time strolling down the streets. Slowly taking in the sight and sun. It didn’t take me long before I felt like I was on an actual beach vacation on an island.

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Looking like a scene right out of a romantic comedy, I fell in love with this place at first sight. Life must be a breeze for the locals living here.

It was sunny afternoon in Brighton. The sun kissed my skin but left no mark, being as mysterious as a secret lover.

As I adjourned to the infamous Brighton Pier, it didn’t take me long before realizing the walk is going to be a long one. While far, I had an enjoyable sight which made it less dreadful. I have to add that with every step I took, I felt like the Pier was not getting any closer in sight, it was really a very long walk.

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What a lovely warm welcome. I am most definitely in love with the environment here in Brighton. The laid-back lifestyle, warm temperature and the glorious sun.

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I could just lay on the pebble beach for the rest of my afternoon, just like the rest of them. What’s a visit to Brighton without visiting their infamous pebble beach?

This marks my very first pebble beach experience. As I was contemplating between renting a beach chair or not, I realized most of them don’t rent chairs although it was readily available.

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Would I choose pebble beaches over sandy ones?

While pebble beaches are beautiful, there’s something about sandy beaches which gives an extra oomph,  completing my beach experience. I do agree though that pebble beaches are way better for those looking to just get a tan, sandy situation averted!

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Here I was, at the Brighton Bandstand. Apparently, a popular spot for locals to tie a knot and I wouldn’t see why not. Being by the beachfront boasting a gorgeous view of the endless ocean, this is so perfect to exchange vows and say I do.

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Before I arrived at Brighton, I did a little bit of research on where to dine. The Regency visually impressed me and I gave it a go. Being directly opposite the beach, it is hard to miss.

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BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!

The seafood platter was definitely something to shout about. Not only was it fresh, but also incredibly tasty! I enjoyed everything served in this platter from the lobster to the clams, mussels, scallop and prawn. I loved it all.

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I had high hopes prior to arriving in Brighton and it is safe to say I was not disappointed. While the view, atmosphere and sights were great, I have to say I loved the seafood platter the most!