Ever since I watched the PBS Nature episode about Japanese snow monkeys, I hoped that one day I might be able to see them in person. In the winter of 2016 when my husband and I visited japan, we took the opportunity for a visit to Japan’s Snow Monkey Park. The experience with the snow monkeys was as engaging and entertaining as anything I could have wished for. In many ways, it was like looking in a mirror.
Miyajima, Japan is most famous for the photos of its floating torii gate. But this lovely little island offers up lots of gorgeous scenery, both man made and natural. Read on to find out about my experiences as I spent a day in Miyajima.
The graceful curves of a Geisha wearing a kimono. The rotund shape of a groaning sumo wrestler. The stately orange beams of a torii gate. An artistic plate of freshly caught sushi. The large eyes of a manga cartoon charter. The serenity of a perfectly raked gravel rock garden. I don’t know if there is another country that has so many single identifiable images associated with its culture. All of these images speak the word Japan as clearly as if it were yelled from the mountain tops. But if there is one iconic image that stands high above the rest when it comes to symbolizing the soul of Japan, it is Mt. Fuji.
The shrines and temples of Nikko, one of Japan’s 21 UNESCO listed sites, are an easy day trip from Tokyo. You can do a day in Nikko either as a tour from Tokyo, or you can go there independently. Either option has its pros and cons. Read my recommendations for a complete Nikko trip experience.
Mt. Mitake in Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park is a green and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Tokyo. Only 90 minutes away, it is easily accessible and provides a non touristy cultural experience as you hike with the locals past shrines, waterfalls and a natural moss covered rock garden.
I have never been to a spa. So this summer, when a girlfriend and I were planning a weekend in Hershey, PA, we decided to indulge ourselves to a day of chocolate treatments at the world renowned Hotel Hershey Spa. Continue reading “Chocolate for the Mind, Body and Soul – A day at the Hotel Hershey Spa”
“The best care killing scenery on the continent” is what naturalist John Muir wrote about Glacier National Park in the US and the adjoining Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. A visit to Waterton Lakes NP is an easy day trip from the US side and provides a different perspective on the mountain scenery and lakes that straddle the border between the two countries. Continue reading “A Day In Waterton Lakes National Park – Where the Prairie Meets the Mountains”
Most visitors to Seattle, Washington who want to see works by master glass artist Dale Chihuly would most likely visit the Chihuly Gardens at the base of the Space Needle. But just 30 minutes to the south in Tacoma, Washington, you can also see a diverse series of his permanent art glass installations set in a variety of very distinct environments. Continue reading “On the Trail of Dale Chihuly – a Day in Tacoma, Washington”
On a recent visit to London, my husband and I took a whirlwind tour through time, experiencing 5000 years of British Isles history in one day. Our tour took us to the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge, the Roman baths in Bath, and the (relatively) modern royal residence of Windsor Castle. Continue reading “A Day with Royals, Romans and Ruins”
History remembers England’s King Henry XVIII for his notorious excesses – excess wives, excesses in food and drink and excessing the Catholic church. At Hampton Court, Henry XVIII’s favorite residence, you can still see where he lived, loved and died. Continue reading “A Day In Hampton Court Palace – A Taste of Henry XVIII’s Tudor Court”