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Things to do at Nagano

7 things you must do at Nagano – A peak at Nagano

I got to attend a screening at JAPAN RAIL CAFE about Nagano prefecture, a region that is mountainous and landlocked to know more about its top destination areas and speciality. Organized by NHK WORLD, it was based on a series program called, ‘A Peak at Nagano‘ which promotes the region.

NHK Event

NHK Event

Previously, I did not know that the region exists, nor I was interested to travel around Japan other than Osaka and Tokyo. But after going through the talk about Nagano, it was truly an eye-opener that there are actually so many other things to do in Japan! I was intrigued to know that the region is easily accessible by Japan’s railway system from Tokyo and Nagoya!  Make sure to take advantage and visit the area for your next vacation!

 1.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

Credit: NHK World

Beautiful and elegant, yet designed to ward off intruders

Matsumoto Castle is located in the second largest city in Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto. The castle is considered a national treasure as it has a long history of more than 400 years! Do you know that the traditional structure was designed in a way that it actually fight off any enemy that tries to attack it in the past? Sounds interesting right? I’m sure it is a place for you to discover something new and special.

Besides,  you will get a taste of traditional Japan in the city of Matsumoto. I highly recommend you to check out the area.

2.

 Zenkoji Temple

Zenkoji Temple

Credit: NHK World

One of the most popular temples in Nagano is the Zenkoji Temple, you must not miss it when visiting there. The centerpiece of the temple that enshrines is the holy statue of Amitabha, the Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism. Dating back to the 7th century, this historic temple is one of the only few temples that still has strong religious roots as morning rituals are still held daily by the high priest  So make sure to visit and understand more about it when you are there!

3.

Lake Suwa

Lake Suwa

Credit: Go! Nagano (http://www.go-nagano.net)

Cruise around the largest lake in Nagano Prefecture and enjoy the month-long fireworks festival every evening during summertime. Make sure to catch the longest and biggest Suwa Lake Fireworks where you can expect to see over 40,000 fireworks go up in the sky on the 15th of August! The breathtaking festival will be held during August till early September annually. Additionally, the lake is surrounded by lots of hot springs, I highly suggest you to stay a night in one of the nearby traditional inns to truly feel relax and understand the history here.

4.

Kamakura Village

Kamakura-Village

Credit: Go! Nagano (http://www.go-nagano.net)

Be enchanted with the famous Kamakura snow huts in the winter. Thick white blanket of snow will be covered usually in the month of February and approximately 20 magnificent snow huts will be built to celebrate the season! Make sure to feel magical by lighting up one of the snow huts! 

5.

Cruise Trains (also known as Sight Seeing Trains)

 

Night View Obasute

Credit: NHK World

Have you set on a train in Japan and stunned at Japan’s amazing scenic view? Ride a round trip train from Nagano to Obsaute at night just for a speculator view! What’s more, a delicious bento that uses ingredients from Obsaute will be provided for each ticket holder. The trip is called as ‘Night View Obasute’. Isn’t it nice that you will be able to dine while enjoying the night view? Romantic and extraordinary. 

6.

Kamikochi

Credit: Japan-Guide (http://www.japan-guide.com)

Credit: Japan-Guide (http://www.japan-guide.com)

Home of over 3,000-meter high mountains, you will be greeted with some of Japan’s most spectacular mountain scenery here in Kamikochi.  Be sure to wander around Taisho Pond where decayed trees due to the eruption of nearby volcano Takedake provide a special sight of the area. Immerse yourself in nature and take a moment to enjoy the surroundings as there are so much more to see like the Tashiro and Myojin lakes. If you are feeling adventurous, there are hiking courses to the summits of the mountains! It is a wonderful place that you can’t miss if you like hiking. Do note, however, that the park is only accessible by bus or taxi.

7.

Azumino City

Located in the central of Nagano prefecture, be sure to take a cycling tour on Azumino Yamabiko Cycling course. It is easy to rent a bicycle at a reasonable price to explore the city to places such as the Azumino National Park for an incredible view, and Daio Wasabi Farm which you can experience yourself the harvesting of Wasabi plant. You can tune into NHK WORLD to catch one of their programs called, ‘CYCLE AROUND JAPAN on ‘Nagano – Life Deep in the Mountainsto discover the secret places of Nagano.

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Fun-facts about Nagano:

Do you know that Nagano has the longest life expectancy in Japan? 80.88 years for men while 87.18 years for women. However, it was very different 50 years ago as the residents of the region used to have a diet high in salt. Yet, the situation at early 1980 turned quickly as the government encouraged the residents there to stay active and reduce sodium intake by eating smaller quantities of pickled vegetables and less consumption of salty miso soup. The campaign was a huge success and now the region is Japan’s longest life span expectancy!

NHK WORLD

Find out more about Nagano on NHK WORLD’s latest series, A Peak at Nagano‘ that features episodes on tourism in Nagano! There are also other Nagano programmes like ‘Journeys in Japan and Japan Railway Journal for you to discover the secrets of Nagano prefecture. 

For those of you who are new to NHK WORLD, it is a 24 hour English TV channel of Japan’s only public broadcasting station, NHK. You are able to catch the latest news and trends with its wide variety of programmes that covers food, travel, culture and many more.

Tune in to NHK WORLD on your TV via Singtel TV on Ch. 157 or Starhub TV on Ch. 812.

If you don’t have any subscription, do not fear! You can still stream (for free!) the programmes LIVE or access to tons of their content via VOD (video-on-demand) services which are available on NHK WORLD’s official website and their free smartphone app.

If you are interested in traveling there, make sure to check out their official tourism guide by heading over to http://www.go-nagano.net/.

Nagano Navi

Credit: Go! Nagano (http://www.go-nagano.net)

Download ‘Nagano Navi’ on Android or IOS as your Nagano’s travel guide there for information on Nagano’s sights and transportations!

 Brought to you by NHK World and Go! Nagano

 

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YourWifi with South Korea – Affordable WIFI Connection On The Go

YourWifi, Seoul, South Korea

YourWifi, Seoul, South Korea

Why bother looking for free unsecured wifi network connections that are unreliable and risky? Avoid data theft by using YourWifi services when you are traveling!

My trip from Seoul, South Korea was amazing. It got even better thanks to YourWifi as I was always connected. Having a portable wifi router was so convenient, I was able to navigate Seoul easily with ease. It is especially great if you travel in big groups too, as you can connect up to five devices with their portable wifi router.

YourWifi, Seoul, South

YourWifi, Seoul, South

They even provide you with portable charger for you to charge if you run out of battery. How thoughtful!

Honestly, I’m not really good at Korean. It was a little intimidating to travel there. Especially, when I was roaming around alone for a day as I was catching a live band from my favorite singer, Roy Kim that night. Yet, knowing that there will be the internet when I needed help, I was much assured. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a great evening and I met many wonderful people along the way. With YourWifi, I was able to add them on my FaceBook right away so that we could keep in touch.

YourWifi, Seoul, South

YourWifi, Seoul, South

Quote “Zong25” on their website (http://yourwifi.com.sg/) to get 25% discount off for all their travel wifi rental services. Promotion code will be available until 31st Dec 2017. 

Sponsored post

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Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Puteri Harbour

Hello Kitty Town Puteri Harbour (Johor Bahru, Malaysia)

Hello Kitty lovers should check out Sanrio Hello Kitty Town at Puteri Harbour, Malaysia. If you are traveling together as a family, I highly recommend you to get the “All Park Pass” which lets you enter not only Hello Kitty Town but also Thomas Town and all other characters activities. Rides here are pretty simple and suitable for younger kids too.

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Puteri Harbour

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Puteri Harbour

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Tea Cup Rides

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Tea Cup Rides

A cute fun activity you could with your family is to take the Tea Cup Rides in Hello Kitty Town. I’m sure your kids will be intrigued by the fairytale-like ride!

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Wishful Studio

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Wishful Studio

They also have hands-on activities! Here in Wishful Studio, You get to make your own Hello Kitty themed souvenirs to bring home!

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Wishful Studio

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Wishful Studio

I got to make my own Hello Kitty Paper Bag!

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Wishful Studio

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Wishful Studio

It’s a simple activity that will delight your kids.

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town - Puteri Harbour

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town – Puteri Harbour

There are a few other activities you could do in Hello Kitty Town. 

Other highlights and activities you could do are

  • Hello Kitty’s House tour
  • Purrfect Stage
  • Dream Photo Garden
  • Hello Kitty in Oz World (Coming Soon)

As I have mentioned above that I highly recommend you to get the “All Park Pass”. 

Activities at Thomas Town are quite fun too!

Thomas Town - Puteri Harbour

Thomas Town – Puteri Harbour

Take a tour aboard Thomas Train via the Knapford Station Ride

Thomas Town - Knapford Station Thomas Train Ride

Thomas Town – Knapford Station Thomas Train Ride

Thomas Town - Windmil Ride

Thomas Town – Windmil Ride

The Windmil ride at Thomas Town.

Bertie The Bus

Bertie The Bus

Bertie The Bus ride where the bus would go up and down up and down. Quite fun!

Harold's Helitours Ride

Harold’s Helitours Ride

This was quite fun, you get to control how high or low your helicopter is when you are riding on it.

There are a few other activities you could do in Thomas Town. 

Other highlights and activities you could do are

  • Colin Crane Drop Ride
  • Thomas Town Playground
Thomas Train Show

Thomas Train Show

There are also different live show times on Thomas Train.

Bob the Builder

Bob the Builder

Lastly, there are other character’s themed activities. These are few smaller playgrounds that consist Bob the builder, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, and Pingu.

Price starting at RM 85.00, book your tickets now!

Additionally, get the “All Park Pass” via Causeway Link and get FREE 3 days bus pass! It entitles you to have 3 days of unlimited bus rides connecting Johor Bahru & Singapore.

Click here to check out more.

Causeway Link Bus Map

Causeway Link Bus Map

With the 3 bus pass, you get to see all your favorite tourist attractions in Johor Bahru!

Puteri Harbour

Location: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor

Contact: +603 2203 9668 (Outside Malaysia)

Website: http://www.puteriharbour.com

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6 Cafes You Must Visit In Seoul

If you are traveling to Seoul, Korea and are looking for cafes to visit, here are some you must not miss!

1.
O´sulloc Tea House

O´sulloc Tea House

O´sulloc Tea House

O´sulloc Tea House

If you are looking for Green Tea/Matcha flavors, you should totally check this place out! This cafe specializes in Green Tea and has many Green Tea drinks and desserts. I totally love their Green Tea Swiss Roll as the sponge was so soft and delicate, with a hint of Green Tea. It was filled with deliciously refreshingly Green Tea Mousse Cream.

However, I was really disappointed with their ice cream. Maybe, it was only for that day but totally mine was certainly disapproving icy. Yet, the place was very quiet and relaxing. A great place to chill out after a long busy day shopping in Myeongdong.

Nevertheless, if you are dropping by, make sure to get some of their tea products! They have really special tea leaves that you can’t find anywhere else.

O´sulloc Tea House

Address: 12 Myeongdong 7-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Phone: +82 2-774-5460
Hours: 10AM–11PM
Website: http://www.osulloc.co.kr/

2.
Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe

Beautiful and enchanted, this cafe host 2 cute fluffy white sheep that will sure to make you go feverishly!

Why do you still visit dog or cat cafes when you can visit a sheep cafe? Thanks Nature Cafe sells mainly waffles and drinks, so don’t come here with an empty stomach expecting for the main course! Located just around the station of Hongik University (Hongdae), you could shop around the area after spending a delightful amount of time in the cafe. Clothes here are very affordable, usually starting from 10,000 won for most of them. Most youths like to hang out here! Additionally, there are many street performances in the evening during the weekend.

Thanks Nature Cafe

Address: 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 54-228-5106
Hours: 11AM–10PM
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TNcafe/

3.
Line Friends Store & Cafe Seoul

Line Friends Store & Cafe Seoul

Line Friends Store & Cafe Seoul

If you are a Line user, you got to visit Line Friends Cafe & Store when you are here in Seoul. It is considered the largest Line store in the world. The store is 3 levels high and should definitely be considered a tourist attraction!

Here, they offer not only the cafe but a bunch of other cute Line products to browse through. You will be greeted by a huge Brown upon entering the store. But, you do have to queue if you want to take a photo with him though. The basement level holds the themed cafe. I highly recommend you to try out their really adorable macarons! Additionally, you also should roam around the area as there are many other shops there.

Address: South Korea, Seoul, Gangnam-gu, 535- 15 현대맨션
Phone: +82 2-3448-1764
Hours: 10:30AM–10:30PM
Website: https://store.linefriends.com/

4.
Lobster Shack

Lobster Shack

Lobster Shack

Lobster Shack

Lobster Shack

Retro American-style, located just around the corner of Garosu-gil just like Line Friends Store and Cafe, it offers really delicious fluffy Lobster Rolls!

There are many variations of Lobster Rolls you can find here. We got to try out a few and my favorite one was the warm Cajun Cheese Lobster Roll. The restaurant is located in the basement alongside with elevated windows and coastal decorations, it made me feel like I was having my meal inside a boat in a nearby port. They were very generous with the amount of lobster meat in their rolls and will sure to please you.

Address: 524-27 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-6402-0904
Hours:
Sunday to Thu: 12pm – 3.30pm, 4.30pm – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm – 3.30pm, 4.30pm – 11pm

5.
Blind Alley

Blind Alley

A rare shot with the ever so active Raccoon at Blind Alley

A rare shot with the ever so active Raccoon at Blind Alley

Blind Alley Cafe, as its name suggest, I couldn’t find or take notice the cafe even after walking past for quite a few times! Situated along the street of Cheongpadong just before Sookmyung Women’s University, this is one unique cafe I’m certainly sure you can’t find something similar in Singapore!

WARNING: THIS ANIMAL-THEMED CAFE HAS TWO WILD RACCOONS INSIDE!

Yeap, it is a raccoon cafe! These raccoons are not kept in their cages most of the time. Hence, do expect them to crawl all over you when dining there. They do offer some refreshing smoothies, aromatic cafe latte, and some desserts. The best part is that the food was reasonably priced! Unlike some other animal-themed cafe whereby,  the price of a cup of Orange Juice can be exorbitant!

Address: 63-20 Cheongpadong 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-701-6075

6.
1Q84 Churros

1Q84 Churros

1Q84 Churros

For a quick bite, head down to 1Q84 Churros while shopping in the streets of Ewha Womans University.

You do have to wait awhile for them to prepare the Churros as it will be made to order. Warm crispy Churros with well-coated Cinnamon Sugar is so comforting, especially in the winter. I got to try out their Churros with Cream Cheese spread on it. It so delish!

Address: 196-14, Uijeongbu 1-dong, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi, Seoul, South Korea

 

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Christmas with Legoland Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia

This Christmas, I got to celebrate in Legoland Malaysia on their Brick-Tacular Holiday activities! Family and friends will get to enjoy the jolly good spirits with many interesting Christmas activities here! You got to:

  • Meet & Greet with a LEGO Santa walking character
  • Christmas Show @ LEGO City
  •  Advent calendar activities from the 1st to 31st of December
  •  Asia’s tallest LEGO DUPLO Christmas Tree Light Up
  • 3D Lego fireworks
  •  Photos with LEGO® Santa and his sleigh
  •  Witness Snow in LEGOLAND
Snow Village located in LEGO City

Snow Village located in LEGO City

It was lovely festive! The Christmas performance was terrified.  

LEGO Santa

LEGO Santa

I got to meet Lego Santa walking character! He was so cute!

From 1st to 31st of December, there will be a surprise Christmas giveaway everyday! How lovely is that? All you need to do is to participate the lucky draw when you are in the theme park.

LEGO NINJAGO

LEGO NINJAGO

Legoland Malaysia has just launched their latest attraction, LEGO NINJAGO! I was told that the ride was based on the ever so popular LEGO NINJAGO TV series. Immerse yourself fully in a 4D dark ride with special effects. You got to choose to shoot fire, ice, lightning or shockwaves with your very own hands! The ride has state-of-art hand gesture technology that registers your hand movements to project these attacks to enemies while riding on it! Sounds cool, right?

It was indeed a very fun and exciting ride! 

LEGO DUPLO Christmas Tree

LEGO DUPLO Christmas Tree

A sweet shot with the tallest LEGO DUPLO Christmas Tree which will be lit at night beautifully!

Dino Island

Alongside with those wonderful festive activities and the new ride, their other rides are pretty amazing too! Hahaha, I’m not a very adventurous and daring person, so I was glad it was tamed enough for me, yet still exciting!  

Be sure to get an extra piece of shirt as you will get wet with Dino Island ride! 

Beetle Bounce

Beetle Bounce

Project X

Project X

Sophie and Kaiting having their crazy time riding Project X.

KL Cluster

KL Cluster

The new enhanced KL Cluster is now bigger and bolder! It features many historical buildings, landscapes, and skyscrapers of the capital city. There are also new additions like Bukit Bintang, Tabung Haji Tower, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Wau Bulan Arch, National Monument, Sam Kow Tong Temple and Petaling Street Arch. You should totally check it out, it is fascinating! 

I had a great time in Legoland Malaysia all thanks to my two lovely friends! We had so much fun and it was so enjoyable. It has been awhile since I last went to a theme park.

Embark on a marvelous journey at Legoland Malaysia Resort and make sure to spend your holiday here at Legoland Malaysia Resort! I had a great time celebrating Christmas here with so many activities to do. 

LEGOLAND® MALAYSIA

Address: 7, Jalan Legoland, Medini, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia

Phone: +60 7-597 8888

Website: https://www.legoland.com.my

 

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Cashback, Honestbee discounts and online shopping deals at ShopBack

Got my Daniel Wellington at Lazada, extra 9% cashback savings thanks to Shopback!

Online Shopping

I love online shopping because it’s so convenient and easy. I also get to compare prices from many different sellers at one goal, making sure that I get the best deal!

Don’t you just love when there is a huge sale going online? Yet, do you know that you can even get a small percentage of your cash that you spent online to your pocket with ShopBack?

How ShopBack Works

When you shop online through ShopBack, they will give you back a portion of your cash on your purchases back to your ShopBack account. This means extra savings!

For example, you spent $500 on one of their participating merchant stores, and the merchant has an 5% Cashback. You will get $25 (which is 5%) back to your ShopBack account. Cool right?

Can I still cashback when I use a coupon on a merchant website?

Yes, you can totally use any coupons you have and still get your cash back as long as you shop through ShopBack.

In fact, you can ShopBack is where you can enjoy convenient access to offers and coupons from other merchants working with ShopBack, such as Net-a-porter, Guardian and many more. You can find a whole list of offers here.

With ShopBack

Not only I can use on platforms like Lazada and Taobao, I can even order my lunch with FoodPanda through Shopback and get a portion of my money back. Imagine you are helping your whole office to order lunch, your next meal could be ‘on them’ because of ShopBack! The great news is they are also a participating merchant at ShopBack! Extra savings!

Also, I love to shop my ingredients on HonestBee because it is so easy and fuss-free for me. After placing my order, all I have to do is to wait for them to deliver. No more me being pathetic trying to carry everything back home like an auntie now. The great news is they are also a participating merchant at ShopBack! Extra savings!

If you really still want to know more about ShopBack, I suggest you click here to see more information.

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