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!

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!

Greenery And Scenery In Bath

In under 2 hours, this quaint town of Bath greets you and you’ll be away from the hustle and bustle of London town. The best place to get some fresh air, clear your mind, unwind and have a slow paced day.

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Prior to this, I did a quick research – locating a few points of interest, like a typical tourist. Right about every other website recommended the same places to visit and I followed through with their recommendations.

First up, I headed over to Bath Abbey, a famous church.

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After snapping a few images, I made my way to The Roman Baths which was within walking distance and approximately 300meters aways. This is definitely the place to visit if one ever makes a pit stop at Bath for sight-seeing.

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Being a UNESCO heritage, do expect this place to be packed with tourist. What I did was to visit this place early, and I’m talking about as early as 10.30/11.00 AM. Could you believe this was once a public bath for Romans?! The fact that it is so well kept is already impressive enough.

Here’s another point of interest which the internet recommend, The Pulteney Bridge. What is noteworthy about it is that instead of being a bridge opened to vehicles, shops are actually built on it instead!

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When you’re in Bath, be sure to try out Sally Lunn‘s Buns. Being the oldest house in Bath, expect to be greeted by a narrow walkway and stairs. Their specialty buns exceeded my expectations and I personally loved it!

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I ordered a simple scrambled egg on their specialty bun and it was one of THE BEST buns ever! I didn’t think that it would be very impressive but the first bite leaves you wanting for more.

This is a quarter of The Circus. Not much of a tourist attraction but they sure do have a  beautiful architecture.

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Bath feels like a rich man’s town. I’m taking a guess that the standard of living in this quaint town is comparable to London, if not slightly more expensive. People here are more dressed up and lots more luxurious shops can be found here. It seems to me like this is a perfect retirement town where it is peaceful and quiet yet modern. Till next time, Bath!

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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!

Sights And Shopping In Milan

Known to be the capital of Italian fashion, Milan has quite a sight when it comes to beautiful architecture as well. Compared to Rome, I would say Milan is the updated and more glamorous city compared to the capital.

I took a train from Venice and the sight that greeted me at the train station alone has already impressed me. This is probably the most impressive train station I have ever set foot on.

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Just look at that!!! A very grand entrance, featuring nothing short of a high ceiling and detailed arch.

Before my visit here, I googled the points of interest in Milan. On every website that I visited, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II would show up. From the pictures, I was already blown away. Let me just do the same and show you how it looks like.

PS: These pictures do not do justice!

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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One of the world’s oldest shopping mall and dare I say the grandest one I have ever seen. Named after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy, it is also home to the very first Prada outlet.

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This was a really cute sight I spotted as I was walking closer to the duomo. A little girl watching attentively to a live kind of puppet show. Don’t know the exact term for it but it was fascinating!

Duomo di Milano

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A large and elaborate gothic cathedral in the heart of town. Doesn’t look scary from this point of view but I guess whatever floats their boat! Probably the spears or spikes above made it seem scary but it’s so iconic that I think we can look past that. I forgot to mention, this cathedral took almost six centuries to build, insane!!

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I don’t remember the exact location, but it was fairly close to the duomo. This is the shopping heaven for girls. The entire street is literally retail store after retail store and I have to make a mention that these stores are HUGE! If you’re very familiar with retail outlets, you’ll be able to spot Zara in this picture!

Serravalle 

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A very popular designer outlet mall. This is a definite must go for people who are eyeing to get a few designer goods and let me tell you, Prada is almost free here – I kid you not (or at least that’s how people make it seem!).

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Another shopping street in Milan. While it is common for most retail outlets in Europe to close by 5pm/6pm, you’re lucky if some open till 8pm! No doubt shops have already closed, the streets are still lively and full of energy, just like every fashion capital.