Travel Blog

In which we spend one year discovering the world

Ryokan: the Japanese guest house

The term ryokan refers to a traditional Japanese inn. When Roman and I first came to Japan in 2008, we stayed at two ryokans (one in Kyoto, and another in Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyushu). The rest of our nights were spent in more modest accommodation at Kyoto’s Cheapest Inn (a tall, narrow […]

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Kaiseki – little plates of food

Kyoto in particular is known for this type of meal, which consists of several tiny and artful dishes offered as a set. The origin of kaiseki (meaning “hot stone in a kimono fold”) lies with Zen Buddhist monks, who carried hot stones inside the folds of their robes, close to their stomach, to ward off […]

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Kids’ Blog: Kyoto Top 5

We asked the boys to come up with their top 5 things to do in Kyoto and area, and to write a little bit about each one. Here are the results: Peter’s Top 5 in Kyoto 1. Shinkyogoku Shopping Street We went to Shinkyogoku Shopping street near Sanjo Station. It has a lot of little […]

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A Long Pause in Kyoto

We are living in Hieidaira, a small neighbourhood located halfway up a mountain in the suburbs of Kyoto. There is only one bus which serves the suburb, and it lumbers up the narrow, switchback road once every hour. We are somewhat out of the way, where the airbnb prices are more affordable, and so our […]

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7 Thoughts of an Aging Monkey

We are living in Kyoto presently. On the western side of town, there is a neighbourhood called Arashiyama – which is home to great sushi, a bamboo forest, and a mountain park with wild macaques. The macaques are quite accustomed to people and friendly. We’ve visited them twice so far, and in exchange for chunks […]

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Fun Food in Tokyo

We love Japanese food, from sushi to soba, it’s always been one of our favourite cuisines. However some of our dining forays in Japan have gone beyond our taste buds – they were an experience. Themed restaurants are a big thing in Tokyo, and during our short week in the capital city, we visited two […]

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Water and Stars

We crossed the Pacific in a ship. There is no adequate English verb for what a ship does in the ocean. In Russian (my only language of comparison), it’s quite comfortable to say “корабль плывёт,” which would translate to “the ship swims” – an absurdity in English. “Sailing” implies a sailboat, implies a skill we […]

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Eating in Portland

I enjoy food a lot. I love to try new food, to discover neat restaurants, to seek out novel ingredients and flavours. Therefore, a big part of travel for me has to do with eating local dishes and learning about culture and location through food. Some of these blog posts will therefore be somewhat food-centric. […]

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