Elephant & Castle has now offered me my newest favourite place – a small Mauritian venture. For what felt like ages, there was practically nothing great, apart from Nando’s. My colleagues and I more than occasionally complained about the lack of eatery choices. Good choices were a bus ride away in either Waterloo or Borough/London Bridge.
Our prayers were finally answered with the opening of South London version of Shoreditch’s BoxPark – the Artworks House.
New street food restaurants gradually opened and now it is packed with an internationally varied pop ups.
Marcel & Sons
Marcel and Sons is a small Mauritian eatery serving comfort food that are just too tasty for the quantity they serve. If not for a colleague, I would have missed this little gem. Keep on reading!
Stroll through the torii gates
After a lovely day visiting temples the previous day, I was off to Fushimi Inari. To be honest, I was very curious to see what all the hype about the thousands of vermilion gates was about. I can just say that I was pleasantly surprised.
I got off the train at Inari and had no problem finding the shrine, I just followed the crowd of people. Fushimi Inari is popular with both Japanese visitors and foreign tourists but for different reasons. Japanese come to pay their respects while tourists come as the site is one of the most iconic landmarks of Japan. I noticed that they were more Japanese people than tourists, maybe due to the large number of school children. Keep on reading!
Among all the many cities you can visit in Japan, one of the most preferred destinations is Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. As well as being the cultural capital of Japan, the city is also one of the most visited for pilgrimage.
After a few days in Tokyo, I was excited to board the Shinkansen direction Kansai, more specially Kyoto. For this trip, I made good use of the very convenient JR Rail Pass. The high-speed train is really an experience: beautiful trains, impressive punctuality, clean and spacious seats, you always sit facing the direction of the travel so to avoid headaches! Taking the shinkansen also means tasting bentos and there is an array of stalls in Tokyo station offering specialities all across the country.
I tried this ekiben with fried chicken and vegetables which was delicious!
Keep on reading!
Sorry, I have not been posting much recently since I have been very busy with other stuff. I thought before posting my Kyoto trip that you might want to know Japanese etiquette.
Japan is a country with a very unique culture and heritage. Manners are very important to the Japanese. If you are a first-time traveller to the land of the rising sun there’s a lot you need to know. A while ago, I came across this infographic commissioned by the Department of Tourism of Kyoto in collaboration with TripAdvisor about Japanese etiquette. This document entitled “Insider Guide to Kyoto Part II: AKIMAHEN (Don’ts) of Kyoto” inform tourists about the do’s and mainly don’ts in Japanese culture.
“What cultural things I should know about before travelling in Japan that might make my trip a bit easier?” Keep on reading!
Day 2 (Meiji shrine – Senso-ji temple)
After the busy day discovering Central Tokyo and Odaiba, my next step was to visit the two main religious building in Tokyo Meiji shrine and Senso-ji temple.
Meiji Shrine (明治神宮, Meiji Jingū) is one of the most important Shinto shrines. It was established in 1920 and dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife Emperess Shoken. The shrine is surrounded by a big forest around Yoyogi Park and is easily accessible from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line or Meiji-jingu-mae Station on the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin Subway Lines. (source: www.japan-guide.com)
After walking for a few minutes, I was faced with a huge torii gates telling me that I was near the entrance of the shrine. Keep on reading!
Nihonbashi Bridge (日本橋) which means “Japan Bridge” is a business district in Chūō, Tokyo and crosses Nihonbashi River. The first bridge made of wood was completed in 1603 and the current bridge was constructed of stone on a steel frame in 1911.
Tokyo, the most populated city in the world is magical and special not only because it blends perfection with modernity and tradition but also the language and customs as well. It offers a great choice of shopping, fashion, entertainment, culture and food. Captivated by this country for years, I set off to discover the land of the rising sun.
During my last trip to Japan, I had planned a tight itinerary leaving no room for unplanned events. However on my first morning in Tokyo, I met a Canadian who changed my outlook on the trip. He heard me speaking to my sister in French and started chatting to me. Having been living in Tokyo for years, he was able to share with me some of his experiences and suggested places to visit. It’s always good to meet people with whom you can have that instant connection. A piece of his advice that struck me was that Tokyo is a city that should be looked both horizontally and vertically. For example, you can easily see all the shop fronts as you look ahead of you but if you raise your eyes, you will see many signs indicating restaurants, shops or companies that the buildings also house. Things happen everywhere, you just need to open your eyes! Keep on reading!
Imagine you lived in your neighbourhood for years and you have passed the same restaurant without even realising that it’s there. I would have continued missing this great local if not for my brother-in-law taking me there on Friday.
The Sitara is small family-run restaurant serving Punjabi recipes, headed by the owner Raj Singh and his father. The particularity of this small eatery is that they have live Jazz music once a month however not on the day we visited, the place was nonetheless buzzing. Keep on reading!
Málaga, the beautiful Andalusian city, has long been unknown unlike other cities like Sevilla or Cordoba. However it is now becoming the destination of choice for many. The city, also known as capital of Costa del Sol is full of sunshine and is very popular with young people, fashionistas and beach lovers, as well as those more interested in the rich history of the city. Málaga is a welcoming destination rich in culture.
The city is going through an ongoing big renovation project so there are lots of work happening, but nothing major to inconvenience your trip. These work means that there is a change in the aesthetic of the city. The combination of the old (e.g centro historico) and new (port) works well together. Keep on reading!