The more we read about the spread of the Zika virus, the more Mr S and I worried about our upcoming trip to South America. We would be spending a week in Brazil, where the virus was continuing to spread at an alarming rate and had been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation. The virus is spread by mosquitoes and as someone who is guaranteed to get bitten – I was worried that I would become infected and the more I read, the more I worried about the future consequences a Zika infection could have. After much discussion Mr S and I decided to postpone the trip, despite the fact the virus hasn’t spread to Peru, we thought it was better to stay safe. Anyway, now the good news…we’ve booked an alternative trip! Keen to tick something else off my bucket list, in eight weeks time Mr Silver and I will be embarking on a big Asian adventure.
Regular readers will know I’m a huge lover of sushi and I’ve alway dreamed of visiting Japan to try the really authentic stuff as well as slurping on ramen, tasting tonkatsu and tempura and trying some of their beautiful pastries. I’ve also heard that there are two hundred different flavours of KitKat in Japan and I think I need to try at least ten of these…
Our adventure begins in Tokyo, a city I’ve always wanted to see, partly for the intriguing contrast of old and new. I’m looking forward to a sushi breakfast at Tsukiji Market, exploring the Meiji-jingu shrine as well as taking in Japanese pop-culture, visiting the shopping area of Ginza and seeing some of the quirky cafes I’ve heard so much about. Food-wise I want to try everything – from Michelin-starred restaurants to izakaya, to local sweets – and KitKats of course. I’ve also been told that you can experience food heaven in the department stores, a concept which I find very intriguing!
From Tokyo we’ll get the train to Hakone to admire the beautiful scenery, hot springs, mountains and rivers. We’ll be able to explore the National Park by train and cable car (eeek) and head up Mount Owakudani to try the local delicacy, a black egg cooked in the hot spring. We’ll be spending the night in a traditional ryokan and trying out the hot onsen baths.
Then it’s all aboard the bullet train and on to Kyoto. With 17 UNESCO world heritage sites we won’t be short of things to see, some of the highlights will be the Golden Pavillion, Nijo Castle and other beautiful gardens and temples. I’m also looking forward to a trip to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and touring Gion, the Geisha district. Kyoto is also known to be the best place to sample Kaiseki, a Japanese multi-course menu of the highest quality.
We’ll spend our final night in Osaka, not far from Kyoto, Japan’s third largest city and known to be the most friendly and laid-back. It is also considered by many to be the culinary capital of the world where the phrase ‘eat ’til you drop’ is a common refrain. It’s apparently not the most attractive of cities but it is known for the vibrant night life and bustling streets.
After the craziness of Japan we’ll be escaping the city and heading to the beautiful pristine beaches of The Philippines.
Staying on a tranquil sun-kissed island, Mr S will relish the relaxation times and it’ll give me some time to start writing up our Japanese adventure. We plan to pretty much do nothing while on the island but drink cocktails, enjoy the spa and spend some time by the pool. Mr Silver’s idea of heaven.
Our final stop will be Hong Kong, a city that we visited before and that we absolutely loved for the shopping, restaurants and glamorous night life.
Last time we took a trip along the harbour on Aqua Luna, a traditional junk ship, but I fell asleep cos I was so jet lagged! I’m going to book us on again so that I can do it properly this time as well as exploring the markets, dining on dim sum and learning more about the city’s incredible history.
So that’s our itinerary, I would absolutely love some recommendations of things to do and places to eat as to be honest, there’s so many wonderful experiences that I feel a little overwhelmed. Please drop me a message in the comments, email or DM me with any suggestions….thank you!!!!
I was sad to cancel South America, but a new adventure awaits…