The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan

June 19, 2018 by David Herd

A city between Tokyo & Kyoto

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan sits by the shore of Lake Biwa the largest lake in Japan. In previous blogs I have been a little harsh when writing about Hikone, however the Castle was interesting & I dined at two very good restaurants. Above is Castle Road which as you can guess leads to the famous Castle.

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto JapanApparently the buildings along Castle road have been designed like town houses from the Edo Period with white walls.

It was a long walk to Starbucks

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan Always worth the effort though. 🙂

My hotel to Starbucks

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan I’m sure it took me longer than 31 minutes. 🙂 Hotel Sunroute Hikone is also only 4 minutes walk from the station, you can get a room for around $30 AUD if you book through THIS LINK.

I stopped for an ice cream on the way back to my hotel.

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan I tend to walk as much as possible to help my fitness, plus you see more of the local environment. Most days I was walking more than 10,000 steps.

Cute coffee shop

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan Also there are lots more photo opportunities when you walk.

A monster supermarket

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan By far the biggest I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

The famous Castle

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan Five castles in Japan are national treasures, this is one of them. Hikone Castle’s three storied castle keep is relatively small but displays a unique design that combines multiple different architecture styles. This is one reason why the castle keep has been designated a national treasure, the highest designation for cultural properties in Japan, held by only four other castle keeps, namely HimejijoMatsumotojoInuyamajo and Matsuejo. 

The other four.

Hikone Castle Japanese National Treasure Hikone Castle is a 15 minute walk along the straight main road from Hikone Station.

Here I am with the owners of Apprenti restaurant.

Hikone Small City Near Kyoto Japan Masanori & his wife Hiromi are 2 delightful people who provide excellent French food & wine in their small French restaurant.

A-One hotel on Beach Road

Seven deadly Songkran days

For a great room rate at the A-One hotel opposite the beach just book through THIS LINK.               

 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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Rio de Janeiro                  Singapore                    Eastern Europe
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               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple Kyoto

June 11, 2018 by David Herd

A long climb to reach the Temple

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple

kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple Japan was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

More steps when you get to the Temple.

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple I assure you going back down from Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple is much easier. 🙂

Always crowds to contend with in the high season.

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple There are many advantages travelling in low season, less crowds, cheaper flights & hotels.

Coming down is much easier. 🙂

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist templeLots of students even though it’s a Saturday.

Photo opportunity

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple Such a lovely Kimono on this very pretty lady.

Lets try another pose.

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist templeIf you go to all the trouble to hire a kimono & dress up then you need to take plenty of photos.

Everybody loves the traditional dress 

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist templeIt’s so nice to see everyone dressed up.

A very busy ice-cream shop

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist templeOn a hot day such as this soft serve ice cream really hits the spot.

Small parking spot.

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple A tight squeeze here but at least it’s off the road. These little boxy cars are very popular in Japan.

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple

It was about a 35 minute walk from my hotel, however the last 10 minutes was up a very steep hill.

Thanks for visiting my Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple photo blog. The APA Hotel where I stayed is a great location with large rooms, as a bonus there is a Starbucks on the ground floor. For a really good room rate just book through THIS LINK, it will also give you free cancellation.

A-One hotel on Beach Road

Kiyomizu-dera buddhist temple

For a great room rate at the A-One hotel opposite the beach just book through THIS LINK.               

 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto

June 11, 2018 by David Herd

                                                       Kyoto                      

                                                           Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto comes alive after sunset. Lots of interesting bars & restaurants in this rather compact area adjacent to Gion. My first visit to Kyoto was in 2007 & sadly I never knew Pontocho existed.

At sunset people sit along the river bank, I’m guessing it is some sort of tradition they are following because the view is fairly average as you can clearly see below. 🙂

  A fairly average view.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto    I guess they meet for the company rather than the view.

  Now this is a better photograph. 🙂

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto  Late afternoon in Kyoto.

     Strike up the band

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto  These guys were playing very nice music.

   Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto as the sun goes down.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto   It’s time for an ice cold Asahi Super Dry.

  The Sisha Bar

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto   This was where I started with a couple of beers.

 Next door was Zaza Pub

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto   Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto gives you lots of choices of bars & restaurants.

    Sumika basement restaurant

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto    Sumika was an excellent Yakitori restaurant.

  Beef heart & chicken washed down with hot sake. Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto

    Six skewers & 3 bottles of sake for 2000 Yen or $24 AUD.

     The happy chefs.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto   They love having their photo taken. 🙂

 Pizza & Tapas

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto So many restaurants & such little time.

  Luca Yakitori bar

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto  How good does this look?

 Hot sake & a Shitake mushroom.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto     Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto offers very good food at a reasonable price.

  Another terrific Tapas bar.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto    Red wine at 500 Yen or $6 AUD a glass.

       Spanish cured ham.

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto The finest is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns during this last period. It is also known as jamón ibérico de Montanera.

  The crowd gathers

Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto    Obviously a popular venue. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Pontocho Entertainment District Kyoto photo blog, Japan truly is a fascinating country.

The APA Hotel was where I stayed, a great location with large rooms, as a bonus there is a Starbucks on the ground floor. For a really good room rate just book through THIS LINK, it will also give you free cancellation.

 Please check out these fabulous posts
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d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Amazing World Food Volume Two

June 25, 2017 by David Herd

Eat to live or live to eat?

Amazing World Food Volume Two starting with Japan

Amazing World Food Volume Two

 Amazing World Food Volume Two closely following  “Amazing Food Planet Earth Volume one” featuring my favorite food from all over this wonderful world. I’m not pretending to be a food critic I’m just highlighting some memorable food I have enjoyed over the years.

Kanazawa

Amazing World Food Volume Two

Salmon sashimi with salmon caviar sprinkled with edible gold leaf.  The gold leaf is used in jewelry, cosmetics etc as well as the edible product you see here.

Shabu Shabu at The Ginza

Amazing World Food Volume Two

 Wagyu beef at Shabusen at the Ginza, a terrific restaurant for Shabu Shabu, go at lunch time for special prices. I could dedicate this whole post to Japanese cuisine which is my favorite food, however I do that in another photo blog.

 Itaewon in Korea

Amazing World Food Volume Two

 This particular street in Seoul where all the restaurants are looks very ordinary through the day but it comes alive when night falls. It is the best bar restaurant area I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

Korean Street food

Amazing World Food Volume Two 

These street snacks look rather interesting.

French food in Seoul

Amazing World Food Volume Two

To be honest I’m not a huge fan of Korean food which is mainly due to ignorance, in future I must try ta few more dishes. Consequently here I am in Seoul eating french food, an entree of prawns, avocado & egg followed by steak tartare. 

Steak Tartare

Amazing World Food Volume Two

As I have found over the years this is a very tasty dish but too much for one person, better to share next time.

Lisbon in Portugal

Amazing World Food Volume Two

A wonderful city for food & wine, in fact it quickly became one of my favorite European cities. 

What an amazing atmosphere

Amazing World Food Volume Two

I’m sure this restaurant has not changed for hundreds of years. 🙂

One of the 6,000 restaurants.

Amazing World Food Volume Two

TripAdvisor show around 6,000 restaurants is Lisbon so I’m guessing nobody eats at home. 🙂

The cakes & tarts

Amazing World Food Volume Two

My downfall, how can I possibly resist?

Amsterdam 

Amazing World Food Volume Two

Let’s start with breakfast in a private home with two suites for rent.

A light lunch at Cafe de Prins

Amazing World Food Volume Two

Rated by TripAdvisor #322 of 3,241 Restaurants in Amsterdam. A fabulous baguette washed down with a Heineken.

Dinner at De Belhamel, lamb cooked to perfection.

Amazing World Food Volume Two

TripAdvisor rate #93 of 3,241 Restaurants in Amsterdam. Here is the Michelin guide description; This art nouveau style restaurant is located at the confluence of two canals and has a delightful terrace overlooking the water. Influences from France and Italy combine to deliver tasty dishes with clearly defined flavours.    

Manhattan Island New York City

Amazing World Food Volume Two

Food in the big apple is amazing, Gallagher’s lived up to it’s reputation as being on of New York’s best steakhouses, in fact my Surf & Turf could have fed two people easily.

Aged beef at Gallagher’s

Amazing World Food Volume Two

All fresh beef is aged for at least few days and up to several weeks to allow enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavor. These days, most beef is aged in plastic shrink-wrap—a process known as wet-aging.  All fresh beef is aged for at least few days and up to several weeks to allow enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavor. These days, most beef is aged in plastic shrink-wrap—a process known as wet-aging.

Amazing World Food Volume Two

Amazing World Food Volume TwoLast but not least is a typical Australian lunch at my home when I was living on the Gold Coast in QLD Australia, I entertained often & this food took very little preparation.

Thanks for visiting my Amazing World Food Volume Two photo blog. Check out volume one here.

Please check out these fabulous posts 
Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          b1c99886-3940-4dda-b350-44c5e5c77e41
 
 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains

December 11, 2016 by David Herd

Explore Japan in comfort

Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

 Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains are the perfect way to see this wonderful country. Rather than arrive at an airport 2 hours before your flight simply travel to the centre of one city to centre of the next.

Tokyo was the start of my trip

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

My good friend Kayo came to Tokyo Station to help me sort of all the tickets for my trip to six cities I had never seen before.

Currently a Japanese rail pass can only be purchased outside the country however from March 8th 2017 selected Japanese stations will sell them at a more expensive price.

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

As of January 2017 $100 usd = 11,695 Yen.

Tokyo to Kanazawa 4 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

One thing to keep in mind, I stay in budget hotels which are usually near the station. In many cities you can’t check in until 3 or 4 pm. Often I would just leave my luggage and head off to the nearest attraction.

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

How about the edible gold leaf?

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Kanazawa’s history with gold leaf began 400 years ago. Kyoto and Edo (modern-day Tokyo) used to make gold leaf, Kanazawa now is the only remaining production hub of the coveted craft. 

Kanazawa to Hiroshima about 5 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

 Hiroshima was an emotional experience that I’ll never forget. Seventy one years ago at 8.15 am on August 6th 1945 U.S. pilots dropped an atomic bomb which instantly killed 140,000 people. 

As if that was not shocking enough 3 days later they killed 70,000 in Nagasaki.

For a super room rate in a great location with free WiFi just book through THIS LINK.

Cenotaph & park

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

A memorial is held here every year on August 6th.

 Hiroshima to Kumamoto 2 hours 40 minutes

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

I was on my my to Kagoshima so I thought I would stop for one night to see the damage done to the castle by the recent earthquake.

My budget hotel was in an excellent location, good rooms with free WiFi, for a great rate just book using THIS LINK.

Three years to repair wall

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

 The city hopes to repair the main keep within three years, while the rest of the grounds are expected to require about 20 years to be fully repaired.

Kumamoto to Kagoshima 2 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Well worth a visit, the city lies opposite an active volcano.

Wonderful smiling faces

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Some things in Japan you can be sure of, happy smiling faces, they love to be in a photograph, & people are just so nice & polite.

 My hotel was only 10 minutes walk to lots of restaurants & the ferry terminal, a great location with free Wi Fi and a great room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

Kagoshima to Nagasaki 2 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

I had heard a lot aout Nagasaki so I was eagerly looking forward to visiting this seaside city, in particular the atom bomb site & Battleship Island.

 My favourite Nagasaki sign

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

It’s on billboards, the side of trains & trams, wonderful Japanese humour. 🙂

My hotel was only a three minute walk to the station. Rated highly by AGODA, book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate with free WiFi.

Nagasaki to Fukuoka 2.5 hours

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

The final leg of my Shinkansen rail trip through Japan.

I would certainly recommend the hotel Ascent, for a very good discount just book through THIS LINK.

Craving a change of cuisine

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

As much as I love Japanese food after 2 weeks I was craving a change. The fabulous pizza is a speciality at Gorm’s, part of a Danish restaurant chain, opened 2014 in Nagasaki & shortly after in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka was anther surprise packet, lots of things to see and do. Think about flying into Tokyo & out of Fukuoka as I did, travel by bullet train in between these 2 cities.

On the way to Osaka in October 2015 with my friend Hamish

Shinkansen Japan's high speed bullet trains

Hamish of course is world famous for the number of selfies he takes. 🙁 Look closely and you can see me in the background. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Shinkansen Japan’s high speed bullet trains photo blog.

Please check out some of the most popular below, and thank you for visiting.     

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad

 
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    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
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               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          b1c99886-3940-4dda-b350-44c5e5c77e41
 
 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)
 

This gallery contains 4 photos

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

December 6, 2016 by David Herd

Tokyo is a wonderful city

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

 Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station were the main areas where I spent my time in October 2016. Three nights and 2 days is just not enough time to fully enjoy this great city. It was however my staring point for my 2 week 6 city adventure on the Shinkansen or bullet train. 

I travelled to 6 interesting Japanese cities, includung Kanazawa, Hiroshima, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Nagasaki & Fukuoka

 Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Lets start around the Tsukiji area, here is my friend Kayo inspecting the produce. 🙂

Sushizanmai

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

My favourite sushi restaurant located close to the Tsukiji seafood market.

We both love Sushizanmai

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

I have also eaten in their branches in Osaka, Hiroshima & Fukuoka.

The eel is absolutely fabulous

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

 There is always a queue waiting to get in, make sure you sit at the sushi counter on the ground floor.

Bluefin Tuna Sells for $117,000 at Tokyo Auction

I have stayed in two excellent budget hotels very close to Sushizanmai, use these links to book and get a very good rate. Hotel Tokyu-Stay and Hotel Ban.

 Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Around the Tsukiji market area there are many sidewalk stores selling fresh seafood. The huge market was supposed to relocate by now, the 81-year old fish market is one of the largest of its kind in the world and is a Tokyo cultural icon.

Many stores will cook for you

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Many people rate the market as the number one attraction in Tokyo.

Everyone deserves a break

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

He probably started work at 3 am so it’s time for a break. 🙂

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

We say farewell to the Tsukiji market area

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

However I can assure you we shall return. 🙂

Lets take a 15 minute walk to Ginza.

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

On the way we pass the famous Kabuki Theatre.

The theatre dates to 1889 & has been destroyed by fire, earthquakes and war. It re-opened in 2013 and attracts 900,000 visitors a year.

Tokyo love buildings with a twist

 Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

One of the great attractions in Japan is seeing the oild and the new.

The Ginza

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Back in the 1990s real estate in the Ginza was unbelievably expensive, one square meter of land was over 100 million yen. Prices now in 2016 have fallen dramatically however the area is still very expensive.

You can buy anything in the Ginza

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Just make sure you have your black Amex card with you. 🙂

 Kayo & I at a Spanish restaurant

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Close to my hotel there were a number of restaurants including this Spanish one.

So many restaurants & such little time.

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Kayo had a snack & I stuck to the beers & red wine.

Instead of Spanish I chose a busy noisy Japanese restaurant

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

I had only been in Tokyo 24 hours so I was craving Japanese food. 

Shumai?

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

These look more Chinese than Japanese. 🙂

This is more like it

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Chicken Yakitori delicious.

So many restaurants

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

And such little time. 🙂

Tokyo Station

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

There is now a bus from Narita that will bring you to a stop opposite Tokyo Station or Sukiyabashi crossing in Ginza for only 1000 Yen. 

Adjacent to Tokyo Station

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

The lights of Tokyo at night are magnificent. 

Akihabara

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

 famous for its hundreds or perhaps thousands electronic shops.

My hotel was excellent.

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

Close to 3 metro stations including the Hibuyu line with with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

After 3 nights in Tokyo

Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station

I’m off for a two week trip to 6 cities I have never seen before. Many thanks for visiting my Tsukiji Sushi Teriyaki Tokyo Station photo blog.

 What a great year for travel in 2015           

           

   Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok           
 497d0b6e-c0bd-4ba2-86be-c02100f050a8        65470622-d17a-4b90-bf97-2574df4c412d        1a2160c1-41f7-465a-954c-631e083eb229
          Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
f59e958e-8eaf-48b4-8e96-c291a0c13d1a        f044491e-69aa-4082-b49b-1ff33557d7d4        a6a948cd-f30a-49ea-a905-82be4d202cc9
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
2246c6cf-5fa6-4fbe-ac30-b569253ad2a6        f65d714b-f44c-4b2e-9505-3511ebecbb80        4e82052a-24d0-41e1-ab84-10e8f27634d1
 
            Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you            
 book through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .
                                               Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                            d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037            01a75360-9573-473f-acba-3a187f779b7f
A-One hotel on Beach Road

Seven deadly Songkran days

For a great room rate at the A-One hotel opposite the beach just book through THIS LINK.               

 
Pattaya live webcam
 
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

November 30, 2016 by David Herd

Oyama Shrine

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

 Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants kept me very busy for the short time I was in this interesting city. This was my first stop after 3 nights in Tokyo on my 7 city Shinkansen adventure.

The Oyama Shrine gate originally guarded the entrance of Kanazawa Castle, and was later moved to Oyama Shrine.

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

The Oyama Shrine is in the heart of the city only 7 minutes walk from my hotel. First established in 1599 and moved to its present location in 1873.

I stumbled on a little princess

 Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

You won’t see too many sweeter young Japanese girls as this little princess. I almost had to beg to get this great photo. 🙂

Map of the city

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

An interesting sculpture of Kanazawa city.

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

People having fun in Central park

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

A sunny day without a cloud in the sky, so lets go to the park.

Central park is between the main city street & the castle, there were some Hawaiian dancers entetaining the crowd.

Tere is a cute little Japanese girl here stealing the limelight from the Hawaiian dancers.

Wedding

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

The Museum of Cultural Exchange is also in Central park, a wedding reception was about to begin in the restaurant.

Gorgeous girls

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

The girls look absolutely gorgeous dressed in Kimonos. 

The bikers come to town

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

  These fabilous looking machines were parked on the footpath outside my hotel. Very expensive looking machines.

Kanazawa parking

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

Making the ost of the available space.

Kanazawa railway station

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

A very modern railway station, almost a work of art.

Department store

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

 

Most cities I have visited in Japan all seem to have at least one department store at the railway station.

Lunch boxes

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

Naturally I purchases one of these salmon roe or caviar, whatever you wish to call it, absolutely delicious. I ate it on my way to Hiroshima on the shinkansen.

Yakitori tour of Japan 🙂

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

 This should be the name of my holiday, I was always searching for good Yakitori restaurants.

Yakitori no Meimon Akiyoshi was the restaurants name.

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

 

There are 2,969 restaurants in Kanazawa & tripAdvisor rated this one 426th.

Lots of chefs

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

A typical busy noise yakitori restaurant with delicious food.

Toyoko Inn

 Shinkansen to Kanazawa 12 (1)

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants

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My hotel is beside bus stop number 16 & is within walking distance of all the places of interest.

Thank you for visiting my Kanazawa Japan shrines parks restaurants photo blog.

                          Here are some more posts to check out 

                  Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

November 30, 2016 by David Herd

Gyokusen’inmaru Garden

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

 Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle is absolutely stunning as you can see from the header in this post. This is one of my favourite photos from my two week seven city Shinkansen trip in October 2016.

Constructed in 1634 if flourished for between 200 & 300 years before being abandoned. However a full reconstruction began in 2013 to produce the wonderful result we see today.

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

After a five minute uphill walk you arrive at the castle entrance.

Adjacent to the castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

These are a few shops just before you reach the castle.

Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

A huge fire in 1759 destroyed the whole castle then it was re-built in 1788. That year is also when 11 ships with 1,530 people onboard, 736 of them convicts, arrived in Botany Bay a few miles south of Sydney Harbour in Australia. This event is known to all us Aussies as “the first fleet”.

My hotel was great value in a perfect location, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount. Make sure you are in the downtown one at Korinbo, it’s more convenient than the one near the station.

The Imori moat

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

If you are going to build a castle then you gotta have a moat.

Spectacular

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Once again I was very lucky to have the beautiful blue sky to highlight my photos of Kanazawa Castle.

 The buildings look new

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Even though it was rebuilt 228 years ago it still looks brand new. 🙂

As usual built on a hill

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

The castles always take the high ground, all the better to resist their enemies.

Through the gate we go

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

The Ni-no Mon is what they call the second gate. 

Picture perfect

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

As you can see the buildings and grounds are in perfect condition. 

Not a cloud in the sky

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

A perfect day for wandering around Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful Kenrokuen garden right next door to the castle.

I was so fortunate to have perfect weather

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Photos look so much better when there is a beautiful blue sky. There seems to be a lot of rain between November & February.

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

A final look at this beautiful garden within the castle walls.

Toyoko Inn

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa 

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

Thank you for visiting my Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle photo blog.

                            Please check out these fabulous posts
 
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    Rio de Janeiro                      Singapore                       Eastern Europe
Carnivale Rio Di Janeiro         Singapore skyline         David Herd Thailand
     Bangkok Bars                          Tokyo                          Cape Town Safari
Soi Cowboy Bangkok          photo ShabuseninGinza4.jpg          Cape Town Safari

             

              Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .?
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

November 26, 2016 by David Herd

Near Higashi Chaya District

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa is located along the Asanogawa river only five minutes walk from the larger more popular Higashi Chaya District. Geishas are the traditional, female Japanese entertainers who regularly perform in these areas.

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

The district overlooks the Asanogawa river & seems rather quiet & peaceful.

That was until I heard the sound of drums

The noise seemed to be somewhere up on the hill so I took some narrow winding steps up to the top. I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time, I was walking through Kazue-machi, the old geisha district located along the river between Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge and Naka-no Hashi Bridge, when I heard these fabulous drums.  

 Five minutes they added a flute

I was so happy to be able to see these wonderful street performers in action. About ten days later I had some more good fortune in Nagasaki when I saw some more fabulous drummers doing their thin. Check out my photo blog through THIS LINK.

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

  Chaya houses have a beautiful lattice called “kimusuko” on the walls of the ground floor.

Tiny streets

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

As you can see many of the streets are just tiny narrow alleys in Kazue Machi Chaya District Kanazawa.

Tea House

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

 The historical rows in this tea-house town have been designated as Japan’s cultural assets since 2008.

Lattice is called “kimusuko”

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

A typical Chaya house which is noe a tea house or restaurant.

 Many interesting buildings

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

So many photo opportunities in Japan which is one of the many reasons I love travelling here.

Torii Gate

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

Torii gates usually mark the entrance to Shinto shrines, however they seem to be used in many other areas as well.

Another example

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa

This large Torii gate is quite different to the previous one.

Toyoko Inn

Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa 

My hotel was great value in a perfect location, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount. Make sure you are in the downtown one, it’s more convenient than the one near the station.

You can take a bus but I prefer to walk

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The Busses leave from the front of Toyoko Inn. Turn left just before you cross the river to get to Kazue Machi Chaya District Kanazawa.

Thanks for visiting my Japanese drummers Geisha District Kanazawa photo blog.

                           More posts for you to see

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                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South VietnamMain Square (3)Vung Tau statue (6)

Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
 
Pattaya live webcam
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

Holiday Inn

bbc35e6d-80db-4e1c-8f51-83dd84f16520

Fabulous views, excellent restaurants & a very good room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

The building in the middle is the Holiday Inn, on the left is the Amari Hotel which is another very good five star hotel. Use THIS LINK to book for a very good room rate.

Sabai Wing North Pattaya

36555237616_da3ed73d6a_o

The best Pattaya budget hotel, 3 pools & opposite Central Marina shopping mall. For a great room rate just book through THIS LINK.

Sutus Court is a great budget hotel right i the heart of one of Pattaya’s main bar areas, just use THIS LINK for a terrific room rate. 420/100 Moo 9 Soi Buakhao.

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

November 25, 2016 by David Herd

Two-story Chaya houses

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa, Higashi Chaya is one of three similar districts in Kanazawa. The cities tourism department holds a Geisha show in these Chaya districts every Saturday. Another district is Kazue-machi which is featured in another post.

Higashi Chaya District Kanazawa

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

  A chaya house has a beautiful lattice called “kimusuko” on the walls of the ground floor.

A close look at the lattice

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

Hopefully the rather large body of the well fed FiveStarVagabond does not stop you getting an idea of the  “kimusuko”.

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

I’m guessing this is probably where the Geisha girls perform every Saturday.

A couple of locals sharing a happy moment.

 Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

The chaya houses used to be in central Kanazawa but were moved into four districts away from the city centre in 1820.

Photo opportunity

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

We all love photos to help us remember these wonderful places.

Hello boys

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

I’m sure the big guy on the right had an Australian accent.

Smile please

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

TripAdvisor rate the Higashi Chaya District 3rd out of 167 things to do in Kanazawa so naturally the tourists (including myself) flock here with their cameras.

Magnificent blue sky

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

How lucky was I to have this beautiful sky?

My hotel was great value in a perfect location, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

Time to relax with an icecream

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

A rather unique tradition in Kanazawa is to sprinkle edible gold leaf on top of ice cream and other food. Check out my Omicho Fresh Food Market Kanazawa photo blog for other examples.

 Higashi Chaya District Kanazawa

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

This whole area along with Kazue-machi which is close by, and Gion in Kyoto have been designated as Japan’s cultural assets.

Just across the bridge is Kazue-machi

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

 Kazue-machi overlooks the Asanogawa river.

sound of drums

The noise seemed to be somewhere up on the hill so I took some narrow winding steps up to the top. I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time, I was walking through Kazue-machi, the old geisha district located along the river between Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge and Naka-no Hashi Bridge, when I heard these fabulous drums.  

More great homes

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

 Higashi Chaya District Kanazawa really has quite a wonderful unique style.

If you are feeling lazy

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

These guys are at your service. 🙂

But first lets negotiate the price. 🙂

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

It seems like a very friendly negotiation.

Lovely shop

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

Lots of nice shops & tea houses in Higashi Chaya District Kanazawa.

Toyoko Inn

Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa

 My hotel was great value in a perfect location, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount. Make sure you are in the downtown one, it’s more convenient than the one near the station.

Thanks for visiting my Old Japanese Geisha Town Kanazawa photo blog.

          Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.       

   Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets EuropeHungarian Parliament Building (2)The Walkie Talkie (5)   

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

                     43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837IMG_7425Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                    

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South VietnamMain Square (3)Vung Tau statue (6)

Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
 
Pattaya live webcam
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

Holiday Inn

bbc35e6d-80db-4e1c-8f51-83dd84f16520

Fabulous views, excellent restaurants & a very good room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

The building in the middle is the Holiday Inn, on the left is the Amari Hotel which is another very good five star hotel. Use THIS LINK to book for a very good room rate.

Sabai Wing North Pattaya

36555237616_da3ed73d6a_o

The best Pattaya budget hotel, 3 pools & opposite Central Marina shopping mall. For a great room rate just book through THIS LINK.

Sutus Court is a great budget hotel right i the heart of one of Pattaya’s main bar areas, just use THIS LINK for a terrific room rate. 420/100 Moo 9 Soi Buakhao.

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

This gallery contains 1 photo.