Good Travel in Japan Includes Good Lunch

Make lunch one highlight of your days in Japan, because food is an important and celebrated part of travel in Japan.

Japanese guidebooks introduce foods, cafes, restaurants, bentos, and food souvenirs to buy for your families, friends, and colleagues. Model day trips usually consist of visiting famous sights at your destination, eating local food or visiting a popular restaurant, and shopping for omiyage souvenirs. And those souvenirs are most often food items. Japanese travel programs also focus on local foods.

Don’t know where you should go? Go somewhere for the food – soba noodles in Nagano prefecture, okonomiyaki and takoyaki in Osaka, yudofu in Kyoto. Plan a trip to eat a local specialty as you would plan a trip to visit a local attraction. Or combine the two reasons to travel.

Going to Asakusa in Tokyo? Have tempura, sushi, or monjayaki at an old local restaurant, see Senso-ji temple, and buy some of the food souvenirs the area is famous for like ningyo-yaki cakes and kaminariokoshi crackers.

Going to Matsumoto in Nagano? Visit Matsumoto castle, eat fresh soba noodles, and buy oyaki dumplings with different fillings as a souvenir.

Wherever you might visit in Japan, make use of the best lunch offers make time in your schedule to explore Japanese food.

1. Get a free upgrade. During lunch you can often get a big portion for the price of a regular one. I have seen this offered for ramen, tsukemen, and curry rice.

2. Get a free refill. Many restaurants serving teishoku style sets will offer you more rice or miso soup. At the tonkatsu restaurant Wako for example staff will serve you more miso soup, rice, and also more cabbage.

3. All you can eat. Just like a salad bar offering as much salad as you want there is buffet style all you can eat called tabehodai. Check lunch at the big hotels. Their tabehodai lunch includes a great variety of savory dishes and desert. The high quality food here is popular with Japanese visitors and the amount you eat is only limited by your appetite and usually generous time limit.

4. Lunch sets. Select a special lunch set at a sushi bar or traditional Japanese restaurant. You can expect to eat an exquisite selection for less than half of what you would pay at dinner time. These lunch sets are a good option if you want to eat at places that would usually outside your budget.

5. Bento box lunch. Boxed lunch is a good option if you want to eat outside at a park or will be on the train during the day. Of course convenience stores offer cheap lunches, but you can also get a bento that is a special treat. Check the restaurants and bento vendors near train stations. Eki-ben (train station bento) often uses local delicacies and is a celebrated class of bento in itself.

So do not forget lunch and time for meals when you design your travel. Local delicacies and restaurants will add to your overall travel experience.

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Essential Money-Saving Travel Tips for Beginners

Any plans of taking a break after a few months of stressful work? Then, travelling out of town might be a good idea. To ensure that the hard-earned money will go far, here are some of the budget travel tips to keep in mind:

• Call the hotel first before booking it through the Internet. Though it’s convenient to make travel arrangements online, it doesn’t guarantee to give travellers the best possible deals. It’s recommended to call the hotel depending on the expected time of arrival and speak with a supervisor or manager on duty.

Ask if they can offer an affordable package during the stay. Normally, some hotels would give discounts to travellers who prefer rooms that aren’t as coveted as the others. And for those who are celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries, some hotels offer complimentary upgrades for a night.

• Compare prices of airline tickets. People will prefer to purchase tickets online than over the phone because it’s more convenient. However, it’s essential to make a comparison first by calling the airline and check if the ticket price is similar to what is displayed on the Internet. When purchasing tickets, it’s also recommended to consider the extra fees. Once all of this has been made, go for the one that offers a lower rate.

• Book everything alone. Third parties such as travel agents and booking websites offering services to arrange everything seldom work for free. Normally, there’s an equivalent fee that will go to them. Travellers will save more money by booking each and every element separately through contacting their preferred hotel and airline. By doing so, they will also have the option to contact other choices for price comparison.

• Ask for repositioning cruises or flights. Airlines and cruise lines usually reposition their trips from time to time. it’s cheaper than the traditional trips but also offers similar services to customers. One thing to note though, travel time for repositioned trips may take longer than the usual.

• Avoid travelling during peak seasons. As the number of tourists goes up, the travel cost also does. Though visiting a certain country during Christmas time is a perfect idea, travellers can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel accommodations if they can wait to visit once the season is over.

• Share a room with a friend. Stay at the hotel is another essential thing to consider on budget when travelling. There are hotels where room rates for a single person is also the same as the cost of rooms for two persons. Instead taking separate rooms for this situation, why not get a room for two? Aside from the saved money, this will also be a good time to spend bonding moments with a friend while on vacation. Forget about the loud snoring during bedtime though.

• Travel like the locals. As tourists, riding glitzy air-conditioned buses with movies on-board is a convenient option but often comes with a hefty price. Doing this might take away the money that should be spent on exploring other places around the area.

Travelling should not be expensive. All it takes is just the right preparation, timing and budgeting. By keeping all these budget travel tips in mind, everyone can have a wonderful vacation without shedding out too much money from their pockets.

Travelling To and In Antarctica – Modes of Transport

How To Travel To and In Antarctica

There are two choices for mode of transport when traveling to Antarctica either as a tourist or to work there. It’s either by ship or aeroplane, however ship is by far the most popular, particularly for tourist cruises and voyages.

Aeroplanes are difficult and risky to get to Antarctica and they are usually reserved for trips by Personnel working there or for emergencies. The main difficulty being weather related, the aeroplane must be able to carry enough fuel to do a return trip on one tank in case it has to turn back due to not being able to land.

The trusty sea going ship is still by far the most popular, and I have to admit it is by far the most entertaining – if you don’t suffer from sea sickness. Most Antarctica tourism operators hire ice breakers or ice strengthened ships to get you there, there is definitely nothing else like seeing the ice edge as you enter the pack ice belts surrounding the Antarctica continent, and watching those massive ice bergs float silently past as a majestic albatross circles the deck above, and the occasional whale blows out a jet of water from its spout. Yep it is a once in a lifetime experience.

So once you are there how do you get around? What modes of transport are available for tourists visiting the great white ‘Deep South’ – Antarctica? Here is a brief list of transport used in Antarctica and why!

Modes of Transport in Antarctica

    • IRB’s Inflatable Rubber Boats. Probably the most versatile and most fun way to get around in Antarctica. They are used to get from ship to shore but also for sight seeing cruises around the Antarctic coast and Islands. They are however probably one of the most coldest (coolest) ways to get around. Basically you are open to the elements and the faster you go the greater the wind chill factor, however with the correct clothing and conditions they are the best way to see the splendour of the Antarctic coast, Icebergs and wildlife.
    • Quad Bikes, they are the IRB of the ice. Quad bikes are used extensively by Antarctica bases personnel. Probably not so popular amongst tourists unless you take your own, however they are versatile, all terrain vehicles, but unfortubnately again they are open to the elements. You can however get heated Helmets and Handlebars to take the chill away from the most vulnerable areas.
    • Skidoos, not as versatile as Quad Bikes but better in heavy snow conditions. Most bases and stations will have Skidoos but would not be that popular amongst tourist operators.
    • Hagglunds all terrain vehicles. If you get to visit an Antarctic base or station then chances are you will get to ride in one of these babies. They are extremely loud, slow and uncomfortable, but they are a safe warm way to get around, and they float should you have the unfortunate experience of breaking through the ice!
    • Walking or Hiking – a great way to get around and save the planet from green house gasses. For some Antarctic locations and bases that is the only way to get around on dry land/ice. At Macquarie Island this was the only mode of transport on the island but it was a great way to experience the sheer majesty of the place and the awesome wildlife.
    • Helicopter or Chopper – Most Antarctic stations and bases will have a helicopter either permanently or for the summer season to facilitate transport for scientists and during re-supplies. They are a quick and relatively easy way to get around, however they do require a number of resources including radio operators for operations, fuel caches and good weather. Some of the larger tour operators will have helicopters for emergencies and possibly for “jollies” for the tourists. Again if you are fortunate to visit a station with a helicopter you may even get a freebie ride!
  • Light propeller aeroplane. Again some Antarctic stations have light aeroplanes as a mode of transport, particularly for travelling from base to base and for scientists research where long distances need to be covered. They also require a number of resources such as radio operators, fuel caches and good weather.

That about covers it, there are other modes of transport in Antarctica but they would be for specific tasks such as tractors, bulldozers and even utilities for around the stations and bases.

So if you are fortunate enough to travel to Antarctica make the most of it and see one of the last unspoiled frontiers on this world, but please leave it that way!