Going to Kyushu, Japan? Why Visiting Yakushima is Worth it

I originally had no plans to visit Japan in 2017….  but when we saw plane tickets from Los Angeles to Kyushu, Japan for only $600 round trip, my husband and I thought:

Dude.  We’re goin’ to Kyushu.

When I told my Japanese friend Tohko that we were going to be in Japan, she said she would meet us in Kyushu on one condition:

We go to Yakushima.

Yakushima?  Where and what is it?

It’s the greenest and wettest place in the country, receiving more rainfall than any other location in Japan.  On top of that, the island has a strong reputation for being a spiritual and mystical retreat, and rightly so–it did, after all serve as the inspiration for the animated film “Princess Mononoke.” read more

Moganshan, an Easy Shanghai Weekend Getaway

新年好!

IMG_0774

Happy Chinese New Year!

So it’s Chinese New Year, I have a long holiday, but I don’t have enough money to make it back to the states and I don’t want to join the throngs of tourists going to the Great Wall or Terracotta Warriors.

I wanted a holiday without the crowds, without breaking the bank, and without the hassle.

Getting Away From the City

The problem with Shanghai is that the closest getaways are Hangzhou and Suzhou, which are both huge, sprawling cities filled with so much congestion and clutter it’s actually more stressful going there than actually staying in Shanghai. Finding a nice, natural retreat from Shanghai can sometimes seem impossible. Therefore, I’d like to introduce two locations that are not only a short train ride away from Shanghai, but are also surprisingly vacant of the usual horde of Chinese tourists. read more