Tag Archives: food

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New Year’s Eve in Japan

I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Japan in 2015.

As it got nearer to the New Year, only minutes away now, everyone gathered inside. All the staff from TOWA, the soba restaurant next door, owned by the same one who owned the bar, came as well. Not like Norway at all. In Norway we all go out at midnight to watch the fireworks and wish friends and strangers happy new year. Here there were no fireworks, we all stayed inside the bar, the sake was passed around.

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A Christmas Market in Sapporo

I visited the Christmas Market in Sapporo in December, 2015

I have been to many different christmas markets, I happen to travel a lot around christmas, but I had only been to markets in Europe. When I saw there was a christmas market in Sapporo while I was there, I knew I had to visit. I have been to christmas markets in Strasbourg and Berlin, Trondheim and Gdansk. They are usually very similar, but all with small differences.

It was the same in Sapporo, at first sight the market could have been anywhere. It looked like any christmas market, but at a closer look you could always spot the differences.

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Helios Beer in Naha, Japan

I visited Helios Beer in Okinawa in September 2016

I had seen the place during my walk through the city earlier in the day. A little too early for a beer then, there was still much I wanted to see in Naha, but now, a few hours later a beer would be just perfect. And an Okinawan beer as well. I love to check out the local beer when travelling. I had been walking for hours, having my first look at Okinawa and Naha. I was tired, needed a rest. To sit down in a bar with an ice cold Okinawan beer seemed like a nice way to relax, regain my strength.

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A public market in Naha, Okinawa

I visited a market in Naha, Okinawa in September 2016

These arcade markets are quite normal in Japan, you can find them in almost any city. A few streets closed for traffic, a glass roof built over to keep the elements out. Inside is row after row of tiny shops and stalls. You can find anything in a market like this. Clothes, shoes, souvenirs, dolls, food, art, swords, snacks, beer and fruit. And so much more. In a market like this in Nagoya I saw a store selling crumpled up paper, the kind you use to protect fragile objects in boxes when moving. A whole store sold nothing but that. Continue reading

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A Night in Taoyuan, Taiwan

I stayed at the Orchard Park Hotel in Taoyuan in September 2016

My flight from Taiwan back to Tokyo was cancelled. The airline put me on a flight the next morning, and checked me into a hotel not far from Taoyuan Airport to spend the night. It was a really nice hotel, the dinner buffet was amazing, but after a while I was full. Room for no more to eat. I left the restaurant.

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When my flight from Taiwan to Japan got cancelled

I flew from Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan to Narita Airport in Japan in September 2016

It was the day after Typhoon Megi, yesterday all flights to and from Taoyuan Airport outside Taipei had been cancelled. Today the typhoon had passed, no more rain, the winds had calmed down. A perfect day for flying. I still anticipated some chaos at the airport. Lot oftravellers, long lines. People who could not fly yesterday looking for a new flight. Planes needed to be redirected, planes not where they should be, having to get to Taiwan before being able to depart from Taoyuan Airport. Things could be slower and more chaotic than usual. I left Taipei with plenty of time, I did not want to be be in a hurry at the airport.

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Beef Noodles in Taiwan

I had beef noodles in Taiwan in September 2016

As we sat down I took one look at the meny, all written in Taiwanese, before turning to my new-found Japanese friends.

‘Can you read this?’ I asked. They stared at the menu for a while, talked Japanese among themselves, before one of them turned to me.

‘Yes, I think we understand enough of it.’
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Taipei 101

I visited Taipei 101 in Taiwan in September 2016

The view from the top was breath-taking. From an altitude of 384 meters, you can see quite some distance. The city of Taipei law beneath me, covering large areas of land. In most directions the urban sprawl went on for as long you could see, to one side forest-covered mountains lay not far away. It was a bit cloudy, the view was partially blocked from clouds and smog in the distance. I had been in Taipei less than 24 hours, did not know the city, but with the help of a map I figured out where I was staying in relation to the tower. I looked and looked. I never managed to spot my building.

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Onsen and Okonomiyaki. Afterski in Niseko

I visited Niseko in December 2015

Just lying there, all relaxed, not a worry in the world, the 42°C water encompassing you, was so relaxing. Just what my sore muscles needed. After a long day of skiing, having a bath in the onsen at the Hilton Hotel was perfect. We were cold after hours out on the slopes, our muscles were sore, we were tired. We could not wait to sink into the hot water when the skiing was done for the day. I have never enjoyed an Onsen as much as I did in Niseko.

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