These are moments collected from a trip I took in August of 2015. My itinerary was formed around the best prices I could find for flights on airlines I hadn’t flown before (SQ A380, QR 787, JL, CX). I also did some side trips via train and bus.
A print house founded in the 1500s, this (now) museum displays an exceptional collection of books, maps, and other typographic material, plus a lot of weird leather walls. It is located in Antwerp, Belgium.
I love going into the greenhouses when it’s raining. This time, I also saw a great collection of bonsai trees, which have their own blog, apparently.
You can visit Kew Gardens via the Underground from the center of London, but you can also take a ferry. The boats seem to be just some random one-offs with plastic chairs on the deck. It can get cold, but there’s an indoor area where you can buy beer and chips/crisps/whatever.
Qatar Airways has a route from Brussles to Osaka, with an overnight layover in Doha, so I took it. Because it was over 100° in the daytime, it seemed everyone was out at night in the Souk and along the waterfront. Doha is crazy clean with tons of new construction for the 2016 World Cup.
I found this place after looking for an onsen in the forest. I decided on Tsuboyu, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Kumano area. This hot spring, located in Yunomine, has been in use for over 1,000 years, as a resting spot on the pilgrimage routes of Kumano Kodo. I spent the morning at Tsuboyu and then walked some of the trails. It was about 95° and 95% humidity. Also, a giant wasp almost killed me.
“All trees were born from a part (hair) of body of ‘Susanoo-no-mikoto’ who is the guardian god of Kumano Hongu Taisha and ‘Country of Trees’ was created here. All trees are given spirit by God and they have ‘Kodama’ that is a spirit of tree over a course of a long period of time.
This charm ‘Kodama’ is made of Japanese cedar in Kumano, country of trees. So, this charm has natural blessings and spirit of God (spirit of trees). Obtain this charm to be overhelmed by virtur [sic] of God and spend peaceful days.”
– Kumano Hongu Taisha
I spent a few days in Osaka pretty much wandering around town and eating stuff. I had really good expensive sushi and really good cheap conveyor belt sushi. I went to the Instant Ramen Museum and made a custom Cup Noodle. I had a coffee at Starbucks and a Chimay at a bar.
One-day layover. I decided to spend the afternoon at a rooftop bar...the view was nice, but wasn’t really my kind of place. In the evening, I got one of those junk ships for a bay cruise. It was cool, super touristy. It came with free cocktails and great views of the skyline at night. Before I had headed out, I bought a 4-hour pass to the lounge to take a shower, have coffee and food, do some wifi. Totally worth it.
SFO ✈ JFK, Virgin America A320
JFK ✈ FRA, Singapore Airlines A380
Frankfurt ➞ Antwerp
Antwerp ➞ London (Roundtrip)
Antwerp ➞ Den Haag
Den Haag ➞ Brussles
BRU ✈ DOH, Qatar Airways 787
DOH ✈ HND, Qatar Airways 787
HND ✈ ITM, Japan Airlines 767 (codeshare w/QR)
Osaka ➞ Tanabe (Roundtrip)
KIX ✈ HKG, Cathay Pacific 777
HKG ✈ SFO, Cathay Pacific 777