Bento Class in Japan

I’m so excited to finally share with you guys this class I took through AirBnb whilst I was in Japan last month.

AirBnb has gone beyond its typical home sharing and has now introduced experiences which is activities and/or learning opportunities you can book with locals in the area you are staying. You can experience a wide variety of tours and adventures on offer. I was quick to look up what there was to do during my visit to Tokyo and there were definitely a lot of interesting and unique options. I wish I had enough time to do them all but alas I could only pick one. So the obvious choice for me was this Bento making class. I’ll pop the link here. If you’re in Tokyo, I’d highly recommend making time for this. ALSO! they offer vegetarian options too! and I can say with great pride that my bento was not only cute AF but beyond tasty!

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If you guys can’t make it, don’t fret! Your gal Yan has gotcha covered!

Here is a little bts picture diary of the class. Enjoy xo!

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ANDDD finally my favourite part of the class…

IMG_1230Alright, you got me… it was my favourite after the selfies and gramming. IMG_1199-Edit

♡ LOVE YAN

Northern Japan

Last month the amazing team at Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) flew me to Japan to visit the northern country side in Aomori Prefecture and Hokodate. Japan is somewhere that’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember so of course I jumped at the opportunity to go.

 

I packed my bags and left Sydney with my eyes wide open, camera ready and adventure shoes on. And just like that, I arrived at Haneda airport early in the morning and met up with my tour guides and companions for the trip. From there we transferred from International to Domestic and hopped on another plane to Aomori. A quick one hour nap later we landed in the beautiful and peaceful country side of Aomori which is the capital city of Aomori Prefecture. First thing was first, LUNCH!

Sakanakkui no DEN is located right inside Nebuta Museum WA RASSE so it’s perfect if you want a quick bite right before you check out the history and artwork of Aomori’s Nebuta Festival.

 

Aomori’s Nebuta Festival is one of Japans most colourful festivals. Each paper float is lit up with hundreds of colourful lights. The museum offers a ‘Haneto’ experience where you can learn to dance like a Haneto dancer and also have a go at beating a Taiko.

Aomori is well known in these here parts as the apple capital of Japan as it produces the most apples in the country. Lucky for us, right across from the museum was the A-Factory; an apple cider brewery. Now I don’t drink, but I attempted some of the ciders on tap and there were a few that you could barely taste the alcohol and the apple taste was oh so delicious.

 

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Can we all just take a moment to appreciate these adorable cat salts and yes I bought one because I can!

So for dinner we went to Ringobako, this brightly lit underground restaurant that had various apple crates used as tables. We were then serenaded during our meal by a passionate musician wielding a shamisen (a traditional Japanese three-stringed lute). 

 

And that wraps up day one!

I awoke the next day to discover my tour group had been rudely awoken during the night by an earthquake that I completely slept through. A tad annoyed at myself that I just slept right through my first earthquake. But nevertheless, I was ready to take on the new day having slept soundly.

We went up to Mt. Hokkoda to check out the Sukayu Onsen Ryokan that boasts a hiba sennin-buro which is a large communal bath. This bath house also doubles as a hotel if you wish to stay the evening.

 

IMG_9716Afterwards we voyaged onwards to Oirase Gorge where we soaked up the beauty of Kumoi no taki waterfall. From there we bounced from one picturesque spot to another and set forth for Lake Towada. Before that though we had to make a pertinent pit stop to get some savory soya mochi and apple sorbet. I must say, Japan makes the best little road side snacks. Lake Towada was so serene and still aside from the ripples we made in our speedy little inflatable boat. 

 

IMG_9819Then just like that we were off again. Said our goodbyes to Aomori and ventured north to Hakodate, Hokkaido. The bullet train takes approximately an hour so we took it upon ourselves to buy some yummy snacks for the ride; chips, chocolates, drinks, and more chips! Always get lots of chips!train (1 of 1)Once we arrived in Hakodate we wasted no time and headed straight for the famous night view look out situated on Mt. HakodateIMG_9875The very next day we got up bright and early and popped by the local fish market and true to form, I found somewhere to satisfy my never ending ice cream cravings. Hokkaido is famed for it’s milk and various dairy products so it only makes sense I eat three ice creams in one day.

Then we went to Onuma Quasi National Park where you get the perfect clear view of Mount Komagatake, this monumentally stunning dormant volcano.

We finished our trip with a bang out meal at Yuzen Aburiya Sara No Tsuki 

 

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And that’s a wrap! I flew back into Tokyo later that night and extended my trip for a few more days. I said goodbye to my hospitable tour guides and dared to go out there in the big city on my own.

I’m so thankful that I got this life changing opportunity to go to Japan and see more of it than I ever expected. Thank you to the wonderful people at JNTO for making my dreams come true and thank you to all the amazingly talented people I met along the way. You guys made my trip truely remarkable and memorable.

Singapore

Earlier last month I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Singapore, a city I had been dying to see for a very long time. I must say, it did not disappoint and I anticipate the day I can return.

I was lucky enough to stay in two beautiful accommodations. The first being So Sofitel which is a luxury boutique hotel that has gracefully managed to fuse the soft and delicate french ambiance with modern, sleek Singaporean designs with a tiny help from the legend himself; Karl Lagerfeld.  It is conveniently located minutes away from Chinatown and Marina Bay and best of all, a hawker centre just at your finger tips. We were greeted immediately by the attentive and hospitable staff who escorted us up to our room. We stayed in their So Lofty Suite that had beautiful french decor filled with high technology such as the ipad room control and the built in nightcove device that helps you have a peaceful nights sleep.  My favourite part of the room was by far the bathroom which had a bathtub big enough for two, his and her toiletries, the twin rain showers and to top it off, the fluffy bathrobes designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Outside of the room, the hotel amenities include the So-Fit gym, the So-Xperimental restaurant and the So-High Rooftop bar. You can enjoy delicious cocktails whilst having a front row seat overlooking the Singapore skyline or take a dip in their infinity pool or both!

SO Sofitel Singapore

35 Robinson Road, 068876 Singapore

http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-8655-so-sofitel-singapore/index.shtml

The second place we stayed at was Sofitel Sentosa Resort and Spa which gave us the chance to explore Sentosa, something we wouldn’t have planned for otherwise and I’m so glad that we did. Because Sentosa is across the bridge, it was approximately 30minutes from the central parts of Singapore, however it was still really easy to get around. In saying that, when you’re staying here, there was so much to do that we almost didn’t have to leave the resort at all.

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The resort itself offers amazing spa services, international breakfast buffet, and much much more as we came to discover! We stayed in the Junior Suite and were immediately greeted by a personalised welcome treat on our fluffy king sized bed. Beautiful peacocks constantly roam the oasis of gardens that fill the grounds.

On top of all that, we indulged in a little So Life treatment at the So Spa. It was a relaxing 4-step detox program.

1)         Detox – 15-minute Galaxy steam

2)         Balance – 15-minute deep stretching

3)         Regenerate – 60-minute deep tissue oriental massage

4)         Nourish – Healthy Acai bowl at The Garden restaurant

I wasn’t able to take any pictures because I wanted to really unwind but trust me when I say that this was the highlight of my trip! The galaxy steam room felt like we were really in the solar system and as someone who absolutely can’t stand people touching them and gets fidgety from all massages, I was able to really just let go and everyone in the room with me can vouch for how relaxed I was thanks to my roaring snoring 😅

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa

2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa, 099891 Singapore

http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-9474-sofitel-singapore-sentosa-resort-spa/index.shtml

This goes without saying, everyone I met was so polite and delightful. Singaporeans are probably the kindest bunch of people I’ve ever met! All the locals were so helpful and were quick to recommend delicious places to eat. The staff at both accommodations were extremely friendly and delightfully happy!

Here are some extra snaps from the trip

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Couldn’t end this post without saying a big thank you to this guy who made this trip unforgettable! Thanks for the memories ❤️