Iceland pt4: Fire

…And everything volcanic :-) It’s time for the ~~alien planet~~ side of Iceland! Why does Iceland look so alien? Well, for one, there aren’t any trees. Seriously. A couple of planted ones but other than that NO TREES. You can scroll back and check each post now if you don’t believe me :p Secondly, since …

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Iceland pt3: Water

Water! Iceland is full of water! Or foss-es, which means waterfall. They are EVERYWHERE and in every shape and size. Prepare for some awesome fosses!!! Now look at that foss! If you squint your eyes you can see people on the other side of the gorge and get a sense of the scale. (hint: IT’S …

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Iceland pt2: Earth

Next element: Earth! Let’s start where we left off last post, with the misty fjord we were heading into. Seydisfjordur, to be more precise. This pictoresque village in the far east of Island is tucked away between mountains. When we arrived it was heavily foggy, but the next day things cleared up and we decided …

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Iceland pt1: Wind & Ice

We made an amazing trip to Iceland this summer and while going through the photos, I realized that Iceland is very element-y! All the photos could be divided roughly in 4 themes: Wind & Ice, Water, Earth and Fire. So instead of the usual chronological way of telling, I’m going element-based this time. Let’s start …

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Hey Helsinki!

We made a short trip to Helsinki last weekend and met up with our friend who showed us around the city and its beautiful spaces. Helsinki is all about architecture, design, patterns, snow and sauna, at least it was for us :) Helsinki is an amazing city!!! It is beautiful, clean and calm, not so …

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I ❤ NY: Night

New York is maybe even more amazing at night, when the city lights up in a thousand colors.  We went up Freedom Tower to the 101st floor and it was so impressive, all the lights and cars moving around, like a giant glow in the dark anthill :p One night we had some light rain, …

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I ❤ NY: Daytime

We ❤ New York! We spent one week in the middle of Manhattan and here are our adventures in the city that never sleeps! This first post will be about all our wanderings in NY during the day. The city transforms at night, but those photos will come in the next post!  Woooow New York is so …

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Art in London

We went to the Industry Workshops this year in London! This is a 3 day workshop for concept artists around the world so it is the ultimate place to meet new people and learn new techniques. Plus, we could have a small vacation in London!The area where the workshop was held was very interesting, with …

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Vienna Weekend

Since Vienna is just a (7 hour …) busride away from Krakow, we decided to spend the weekend in this beautiful city!There was no way that we could see all the sights in just one weekend… Vienna just has so much to explore! So we made a selection. First we went to palace Belvedere, a …

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USA Roadtrip pt5: Monument Valley & more!

  The final post I’ll make about our fantastic USA trip! This one has a lot of variety, since it covers Monument Valley, the Canyonlands, a bit of Denver and New Orleans!   But first, Monument Valley! We all know those rock formations :-)It’s funny how surreal this area feels, mostly because you know the …

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USA Roadtrip pt4: Canyon Crawling

Time for some canyoning!! America has some fine canyons, and again the diversity is astonishing. We went to a couple o’ canyons and this post is going to be very photo-heavy because I had so much difficulty to make a selection :p. This post is about three canyons: Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. …

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USA Roadtrip pt3: Dry Deserts

After our beautiful adventures in the lush forests of Yosemite and Sequoia, we saw the landscape change dramatically as we took highway 58 through the mountains. Near Sequioa, it was raining heavily, and Yosemite park actually flooded that day. But we drove towards the desert, and all rainclouds disappeared.  Here came the sun! Our first desert …

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USA roadtrip pt2: Fantastic Forests

After leaving the busy city of San Francisco behind, it was time for some nature! A lot of nature! First stop: Yosemite National Park.Yosemite is really gorgeous. It has incredible mountains (some still with some snow on it!) and even more incredible waterfalls (in spring they are the biggest!).We got up really early – thank …

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USA roadtrip pt1: San Fran!

So we made the most-amazing-roadtrip-ever this April, exploring the southwest of America, and it started out in San Francisco!Such a cool city! Our hotel was in the center, next to the awesome Chinatown, a very colorful neighbourhood with lanterns and supercool paintings on the walls.  Lots of good coffeeplaces everywhere!San Francisco is just so colorfulWith our …

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Snow!

Yes, it is snowing, our first Polish winter here in Krakow! And we’re really impressed by the Polish snowman-making skills :-)They were everywhere, in all sizes, shapes and facial expressions :) Poor guy…:We made a new friend while strolling around beautiful snowy Krakow :-p

Rome pt 3: Vatican Day

And after Art day and Archaeology day we also had a Vatican day! Usually there are 3 hour waiting lines to get in, but we bought our tickets to god in advance and could walk right through :-) Inside is an endless collection of riches from antiquity. In some ways it made me feel a …

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Rome pt2: Archaeology Day

We dedicated one day to the archaeology of Rome :-) O wow we love Roman history! Our first stop in the early morning was the Colosseum!It is so impressive!! Can you believe the games they held here thousands of years ago??The Forum Romanum, the very heart of ancient Rome, is located right next to the …

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Rome pt1: Art Day

It’s been a while!!! In the meantime, we moved to Krakow (I promise I’ll post some photos) and we went on a short vacation to Rome :-) This is part 1, the first day, when we went to Villa Borghese and in the afternoon to the MaXXI museum (Modern Art). Villa Borghese was one of …

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A Buddhist break

Before we were going to start with all the stress of moving and packing and saying goodbye etc. we decided to take a nice and peaceful break. And what would be better than a Buddhist break? So we traveled all the way south to mount Koya, which is a secluded mountain village that consists of …

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Chinese Tokyo

And finally, a post about the Chinese side of Tokyo :-p We went to Chinatown in Yokohama, and to the Kawasaki entertainment hall. What does that last one have to do with China? Well, the whole inside of that gamecenter is decorated like the (now demolished) Walled City of Kowloon! The outside already looks awesome …

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Moody Tokyo

Tokyo is very moody during the night. We wandered around the city each night, visited all kinds of shady restaurants and bars, and made loooots of photos.Especially the Shinjuku district is very atmospheric. It reminds of movies like Blade Runner.We visited “Piss Alley”, named after the public toilet there, used heavily since the area is …

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Crazy Tokyo

Time for craaaaazy Tokyo! Ofcourse Tokyo is the place to be to experience some weird crazy stuff, it is closest to the image of Japan most Westerners have, and sometimes I think in Tokyo they tend to exaggerate some of the craziness because they know tourists love that. So the crazy things we experienced were usually …

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Lovely Tokyo

We went to Tokyo for a couple of days, just to have fun and visit some places we never gotten around to visiting, because who knows when we will come back to Japan??? So I am going to make 4 posts about different sides of Tokyo. We did so so so much different awesome things there that it …

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Real Soba

Last week a colleague took us on a roadtrip to eat some “real soba” !It was a very cool and Japanese experience. The restaurant was located an 1,5 hour drive from Osaka, in the middle of farmlands and rice fields. The restaurant had no sign or anything, so it was a place that you hear …

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Australia bonusround: Wildlife!

Ok I want to dedicate this entire post to all the animals we encountered in our roundtrip through Australia! You get warned often to watch out for kangaroos….Wombats….And koalas…But fortunately we only encountered them in the wild and not on the road! Let’s start with the farm where we stayed for one night. There, they …

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Australia pt5: Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island lies near Adelaide, and it has less kangaroos than the name might suggest haha :p But it has a lot of beautiful wild nature and beaches. By ferry, we arrived at Kangaroo Island in the early morning. We took a tour where we explored the island by bus with a group of about …

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Australia pt4: The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road! Woohoo! Driving along epic beaches and cliffs for two days and spotting a lot of wildlife! Sure, it was a bit rainy when we started…But those clouds headed towards Melbourne and flooded the city (they really did, we were lucky we missed that). So our Ocean Road was pretty sunny :)And cliffy …

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Australia pt3: Blue and Snowy Mountains

We’ve visited two famous natural parks in Australia: The Blue Mountains near Sydney, and the Snowy Mountains on the way to Melbourne. First, the beautiful Blue Mountains! Amazing right? This huuuuuuuuge nature area consists of many canyon and valleys. It smells sweet from all the eucalyptus trees.We hiked a few trails too! We then visited the …

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Australia pt2: The Cities

Our travel through Australia was so inspiring! We have so much photos to show, but let’s start with the big cities we visited!We arrived in Sydney, where Wards aunt picked us up and gave us a tour of the city! We finally saw the beautiful operahouse. We climbed the bridge to have an awesome view …

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Australia Roadtrip: The Highlights

We traveled to Australia this christmas!! We rented a car and for two weeks and drove along the southside of Australia, from Sydney to Melbourne to Adelaide. It was a fantastic trip and I am going to write several posts about it, but for now, I just want to quickly summarize our trip and show some …

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Japan Roadtrip!

We rented a car with a friend and did a little roadtrip! First we visited Takeda Castle! This 15th century castle was built on top of a mountain and overlooked the valleys around it. Now there are only ruins left, which are really impressive.  The most popular time to visit these ruins is in autumn in …

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Kongo: The Highest Mountain in Kansai

Since autumn has set in, the temperatures are nice and cool, it is time to start hiking again! And so we did, this time our goal was to summit Kansai’s highest mountain, mount Kongo!Getting there was a matter of stairs…  lots and lots of stairs. Endless amounts of stairs…No it wasn’t that bad actually, it only …

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Twins in Japan!

So happy this year, my twinsis and her boyfriend traveled to Japan so we could celebrate our birthday together! They traveled from Tokyo to Matsumoto to Kyoto to Osaka and everything in between, but we could still spend three days together v(^^)v We climbed the Daimonji in Kyoto! Always a lovely hike, we used to live …

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Festivals and Fireworks

Summer is here!! Heatwaves yeah! 37 degrees during the day, 30 during the night and at least 33 degrees inside! Hooray for airconditioning :D No but summer also brings some very cool things (pun intended): Festivals and awesome fireworks! Near our house is Osaka’s most important shrine, the Tenmangu shrine, and every year one of …

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Holland Holiday

We traveled back to the Netherlands during Golden Week! Wow, did you know Holland is absolutely beautiful? We were so lucky with the weather, which can be very rainy but was fantastically sunny the two weeks we were there. Not only did we visit our family and friends, we traveled all around Holland to the …

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Yama no Be no Michi

Or, in English, “the mountainside trail”. This famous trail leads alongside the mountains of Nara, through farmlands and past old temples, it is one of the most beautiful daywalks to do if you want to experience a bit of Japan’s rural areas. We walked this trail a couple of years ago, but wanted to come …

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Hanami Time!

So it is hanami time! Time to sit on blue plastic sheets beneath the cherryblossoms, and drink and eat untill the early hours. All of it while wearing a kimono! After our trip to Arashiyama we took the train to downtown Kyoto to really get that hanami vibe :-) The atmosphere was amazing, beautiful lit …

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Arashiyama: Bamboo groves and stone statues

O my it is sakura time again!! The trees are bursting with flowers! This weekend, we traveled to Arashiyama, Kyoto and Osaka to see all the famous cherryblossom spots. First stop: Arashiyama, where we actually saw a whole lot more than just sakura. Arashiyama is a beautiful mountain area west of Kyoto, and is famous for …

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NZ: Sunny Beaches

We have been to many of New Zealand’s beaches during our roundtrip, on the north, east, west and south side! And the funny thing was that all these beaches were so different from each other, different colors, different sand, different views. To begin with the most spectacular of all beaches: The Abel Tasman Park (named after …

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Volcanic New Zealand

So after our more general post with all the highlights of our trip, I want to show some more awesome photos about some of the fantastic places we visited! First up is volcanic New Zealand! The North Island is pretty much all volcano and that means unearthly landscapes and smells of rotten eggs :-) We stayed …

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New Zealand Dream Trip: The Highlights

We spent three weeks traveling around New Zealand this winter and it was the most amazing trip we have ever made. New Zealand has so many different landscapes all packed together on car-drive distances, it is amazing how much we saw in three weeks. The people are extremely open and nice and everyone is so …

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Mount Ikoma: Temples and Themeparks

From our apartment we have a beautiful view of the mountains that separate Osaka from Nara. So, why not climb those mountains and see our house from the other side??  Only 20 minutes by train we arrived at the base station of mount Ikoma to start our climb!The trail starts at a beautiful old temple complex, “Houzanji”, …

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Happy Halloween!

Everything that allows for some escapism becomes really big and Japan, so what about dressing up in crazy costumes and parading in the streets? Yes please! Halloween has grown bigger and bigger and bigger over the past few years into a huge event with thoouuaasands of people dressed up as… well, anything. The atmosphere really reminded …

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Deer Nara

We spent a lovely day in Nara, the old city located right on the other side of the mountains we see from our balcony. Once the train leaves the tunnel through the mountain, it’s like you’re in a different world! Gone are the endless concrete buildings of Osaka, here are the rivers, green hills and …

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To the top and back: Mount Fuji

Yes, we did it!! We climbed mount Fuji!! This was something we had on our wishlist since we moved to Japan and now we can finally say, we stood on top of Japan! Mount Fuji is with its 3776 meters the highest mountain of Japan! It is also one of the three sacred mountains, two of which we have …

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The Kirin Beer Factory

Let me tell you the magical story of our visit to the Kirin beer factory! Probably one of our most absurd adventures in Japan. Kirin is one of the biggest beer brands of Japan, and as of today we know exactly how it’s made:-) How did we end up there? You know, I don’t really know myself! …

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Shigaraki Fire Festival

In summer there are festivals everywhere in Japan, and we went to a very magical one this year: the Shigaraki Fire Festival! And we did more than just watch, we participated :-)!! This beautiful festival takes place in a little village east of Osaka and Kyoto. The village is famous for its ceramics, and its …

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Rocky Rokko

This weekend we hiked the highest peak in the Rokko mountain range near Kobe! We started at trainstation Ashiyagawa and climbed all the way up to the peak at 931 m, then descended back on the other side of the mountain to Arima hot springs. The trail starts at a very nice teahouse near a …

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China Trip pt5: Beautiful Beijing

After the Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace we spent one more day in Beijing. It’s amazing what we managed to do and see around the city! We walked over the immense Tiananmen Square (see the photo above),  the world’s biggest square (Beijing has a lot of “world’s biggest”-records) and visited the shopping and eating area south …

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China Trip Pt4: The Summer Palace

So where did the Chinese royal family stay during the summer heat? Why, at the almost equally big ” Summer Palace”! :-0…. The Summer Palace lies a little north of Beijing on a hill so with a spectacular view of the city. The Summer Palace is green, lush, peaceful. A very nice place to spend a …

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China Trip Pt3: The Forbidden City

So after tackling the Great Wall, we visited the nr 2 on the Beijing must-see list: The Forbidden City! Here many Chinese emperors made their home! I mentioned in post 1 about China that everything here is big-bigger-biggest-MEGAHUGE and that really really goes up for this royal residence. It’s ENORMOUS! Like airport big. Really. I believe the Forbidden …

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China Trip pt2: The Great Wall of China

After spending 3 days in Shanghai, we took the train to Beijing! There, we prepared to do a 5 hour hiking tour across old and restored parts of this over 9000 km long wall. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and at 8 in the morning we were picked up by our guide. We drove through beautiful mountain …

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China Trip Pt1: Shanghai

During golden week we traveled through China!! Our trip was only 9 days but since we saw so many amazing things I will split our trip up in 4 (!) posts. First, I’ll start with our 3 days in Shanghai! It’s going to be a loooot of photos, so just scroll and enjoy ;-) Only 2 …

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Yoshinoyama: Sakura Mountain

Cherryblossom season gooooooo! Every year we try to go to a special place to enjoy this pink explosion, and this time we travelled two hours southeast of Osaka to the famous Yoshino region. Basically, it’s a mountain range that’s completely covered in sakura trees. Yes, more than 30.000 trees can be found on the slopes of …

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Fujiya 1935: *** Dinner in Osaka

Also for Ward’s birthday, we had a fantastic dinner at Fujiya 1935, a three-starred restaurant just around the corner from our house. We had lunch there last year, and it was so amazing that we wanted to experience dinner too. Needless to say the dinner was even more spectacular!! I’ll just post images of the menu …

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Ward Matsuri!

Ward Matsuri, or ” Ward Festival”, because for his 30th birthday Wards family paid a surprise visit to celebrate his birthday for a whole week :-D It was a biiiiig surprise because Ward had absolutely no idea they were coming to Japan!!! And so, we celebrated, gave presents, baked an applepie, took some days off to visit …

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Vietnam Pt4: Saigon’s Secrets

After all of our travelling in Vietnam (the past three blogposts took place in 9 days), we had one day left to explore Ho Chi Min City (also called Saigon). So we made the most of it! Saigon is very modern, and reminded us a bit of other big Asian cities, though it still has a …

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Vietnam Pt2: Halong Bay and Ninh Binh

  The limestone karst landscapes of Vietnam are mesmerizing. It’s like you’re in another world. During our stay in Hanoi we did two overnight trips to these limestone landscapes: Halong Bay and Ninh Binh.  First we travelled to the north to Halong Bay: this dreamy mountain area in the sea is a Unesco World Heritage site and rightly …

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Vietnam Pt1: The Old Quarters of Hanoi

  We have spent our Christmas in beautiful Vietnam. It was one of the most inspiring trips we’ve ever made! We took thousands of photos of the jaw-dropping scenery of bustling Hanoi, the peaceful and imposing Halong Bay and Ninh Binh, the fantastic Mekong Delta, the warfields in Cu Chi, and the modern Ho Chi Minh …

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Bali Illustration Workshop 2014

For work we traveled all the way to Bali to attend the Bali Illustration Workshop! How cool is that! It was a week full of drawing, meeting other awesome artists, eating strange foods, almost karaoke, monkeys stealing glasses right from your head, sundown at a watertemple, incredible wood/gold/silver and bone carvings, beers on hotel rooftop overlooking …

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Temples, bears and dark forests: Hiking Konpira

On “culture day”, one of the many Japanese holidays, we traveled to the little farm village Ohara, north of Kyoto. There we wanted to hike the mountain ridges to mt. Konpira.  But first, we visited the lovely temple Sanzen-in :-) This beautiful temple in the Ohara hills has a nice garden and very cute statues. Kinda …

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Hiking up Kyoto’s highest mountain: Atago

After summiting Tateyama our next goal was to climb the 925 meter Mount Atago, west of Kyoto. Perfect for a daytrip from Osaka! We took the 8:00 train and arrived about 2 and a half hours later at the foot of this sacred mountain in Kyoto. Then there was a warning sign, in English, wow. Must …

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Marthe Birthday Dinner: Taian ***

We’ve made it a bit of a tradition to go to michelin starrred restaurants on our birthdays. This time, we made reservations for Taian, a three-starred grill restaurant in Osaka. The first time we had three starred dinner (we usually go for lunch), so we were very excited! There was a heavy Typhoon in Japan …

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Summiting the Sacred Mountain

I think the Japanese Alps are one of the most epic, beautiful places I’ve been… If you scroll back a few posts, you’ll see we went there in winter, back when the great Murodo Plateau was covered in meters of snow. Even that time we were overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. We were …

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Honeymoon in Paris

So we had a tiny little three-day honeymoon in Paris before heading back to Japan! Aaaah the beautiful city of Paris… we visited some fantastic musea, ate delicious dinners and cheeses, drank some nice wines and walked around until our feet fell off (particularly Marthes…). It was a really inspiring trip and I tried to capture …

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Skies over Holland

We haven’t been to the Netherlands in almost 2 years, and we almost forgot how amazingly beautiful the Dutch skies are! No wonder they were often portrayed in paintings.  Since there are  no mountains in Holland, the sky is everywhere! I made  some photos with my with my phone during our travels through the Netherlands :-)     …

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Roses are red… and white, yellow, pink, purple, orange…!

With the Cherryblossom Craze finally calmed down,  the next flower mania takes over Japan; the roses are in full bloom! Near our house is a famous park, not the one with the castle, but the one built in the middle of the river surrounded by skyscrapers and highways: Nakanoshima park, literally meaning “island in the middle”. There …

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The Nara Mountainside Trail

Now is the season in Japan to go outside! The temperature is perfect, the weather is sunny, the mountains are green. Next month the rainy season will start, and after that the unbearable heat of summer, and it won’t be until October when it has finally cooled down enough to actually do stuff outside again. …

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Rock Climbing in Kobe

It was a beautiful sunny day, and we really wanted to explore the mountains around Osaka a bit more. So we went to hike around mount Rokko, near Kobe. The trail leading to the top is really cool because of the sandstone formations you have to climb! After passing a lovely old teahouse and a waterfall, …

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Epic Mountainscapes: The Japanese Alps

So we went for some mountaineering in the Japanese Alps, the northern ones to be precise. From Osaka, you can take the “Thunderbird” train to Toyama (the city next to the Alps where we stayed) in 3 hours. When we arrived, we were welcomed by a huuuuge impressive mountain range!!! And we were going to …

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500 Disciples of Buddha

During our holiday in the Japanese Alps, we stayed in the city Toyama. There we visited a very impressive shrine; 500 statues of disciples of Buddha, overlooking the city from a beautiful green hill just west of the city center. This place is magical, since all the statues have their own design, facial expressions and …

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100 different cherry trees

What, a hundred?? Yes! I’m a bit embarrassed to say, but I used to think there were only a couple kinds of cherry trees… Until today! We went to the Mint Museum in Osaka, which is surrounded by a park with hundreds and hundreds cherry trees. But not the kind you usually see in Japan, …

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Sakura Season Start!

It might be raining and it might still be pretty cold, but in Japan spring has begun because the cherryblossoms have started blooming!     Every year this is celebrated elaborately with festivals, music, foodstalls and especially lots and lots of beer drinking while sitting on blue plastic mats underneath the blooming trees. At work …

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3 Star Birthday Lunch: Fujiya 1935

Happy birthday Ward!! To celebrate, we went to a very cool restaurant only a 3 minute walk from our house: Fujiya 1935. This restaurant has three michelin stars, the most starred food we’ve ever had so we were really looking forward to it. And was it worth it? Do those stars really mean something? YES …

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Osaka Castle Light Show!

We’ve been seeing the 3d projections on Osaka Castle from our apartment for a while now, and during newyear they projected a countdown and fireworks on the castle which looked really cool! So we decided to head down there and see the light spectacle from up close.     Thousands of led-lights colored the surrounding …

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Trip to Mie

In Japan, most big companies own a couple of hotels on scenery locations in Japan where employees can spend time free of charge. Now that’s nice! So we traveled all the way to Mie prefecture, about 3 hours south-east of Osaka, to spend a night in our company’s hotel, which included a luxurious dinner, bubble-baths, …

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Horie Orgel Museum

Last month we visited the Horie Orgel museum near Osaka to enjoy fresh Dutch Stroopwafels and a tour through the amazing collection of music boxes collected by Mitsuo Horie. The collection is located in a beautiful house in the mountains of Kobe and Osaka, with a spectacular view over the city and a lovely Japanese …

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Twins in Osaka

In November my family visited me to celebrate me and my twin’s birthday!   They were only here for a week but we saw most of Osaka and Kobe so we used our time well! Osaka Castle and Umeda ofcourse: But also Osaka aquarium! He was cleaning the aquarium but the stingray wanted to play …

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Fuji, Pirate Ships and Black Eggs

Together with Wards family, we spent a weekend in Hakone; a really beautiful green area of Japan located near Mount Fuji! The nature is beautiful in Hakone, it’s a volcanic area with active sulfur vents that produce natural hot springs. The place to be to relax! And so,  we had some adventures involving hot springs, …

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Happy Birthday Marthe!!

      \(^0^)/ Yaaaaay last weekend was my birthday and it was very VERY special. I’ll start with the most special part: Ward and I got engaged! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay we’re so happy :D And I love love love the ring, it’s so beautiful! But my birthday was also very special because I got to celebrate …

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Hiroshima & Hikarimono

For obon matsuri, the summer holiday during which the Japanese honor their ancestors, we traveled to Hiroshima. The city has a very nice atmosphere, with trams and rivers and trees. Nothing except for the the Dome reminds of the atomic bomb that was dropped here by the Americans during the end of World War II. It …

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Bunnies and Poison Gas Factories

Okunoshima. An island located in the sea near Hiroshima. Packed with bunnies. And abandoned gas factories from World War II. Sounds interesting right? And so we took a 2 hour train to a tiny village somewhere between Hiroshima and Kobe, and took a boat to this beautiful island. It looks really tropical, turquoise waters and …

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The Tallest Tower in the World

With its 634 meters, the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world! That’s one impressive building, especially when you realize it’s built in the middle of an earthquake-heavy area… We didn’t climb it (yet), but made some beautiful pictures as the sun was going down. Tall isn’t it!!! :-p     And the …

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Ishigaki: Japan’s Tropical Paradise!

Golden Week is the only long holiday in Japan and so this was our chance to go on a tropical holiday to the southern Okinawa island, Ishigaki. Flying to Ishigaki takes two hours from Osaka, and the subtropical island is located almost next to Taiwan. Ishigaki is surrounded by smaller islands, some formed by coral. …

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Panda!

We visited the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo and saw our first panda ever :-) They look extremely cute I have to say, sitting there on their butts and eating bamboo all day.    They’re so cool! They are the main attraction of Ueno Zoo, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other exotic animals around: …

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Sakura blossoms and more

I just love how Japan changes in color and atmosphere during the year. The blossom time is fantastic, in February the plums are all blooming bright and around the end of March the beautiful cherry blossom trees go in full bloom. Everyone is having fun and sitting underneath the trees, barbecuing, drinking beer, having a good time :-). …

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Birthday Party on the 52th floor!

♪Happy(。´_●`)ノ┌iiii┐ヾ(´○_`*)Birthday♪ March 2nd was Wards birthday and we celebrated it with a lot of delicious foods :D We started the day by going to Takano, a very famous fruit and delicacies store that sells strawberries for 100 euros a box (!). If you don’t want to pay that much but want to have a chance to …

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An inspiring trip to Singapore

I went to Singapore for 5 days to attend the FZD workshop “concept art for next-gen videogames”. I went with a colleague and we really had a wonderful time, learned a crazy lot and  even had some time to do some sightseeing in this amazing city.   During the day, we were attending a concept …

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The Abandoned Railroad Tunnels

Armed with flashlights, we did a scary hike this weekend that followed the tracks of an abandoned railroad, right through the mountains and with several long, dark and creepy tunnels! It was a very exciting trip, and beautiful too since the old tracks follow a wild river that flows through a green valley. The railroad …

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Mountain Hiking

    We didn’t climb mount Fuji, but we did hike to the top of Takaosan, a slightly smaller but also beautiful little mountain in the outskirts of Tokyo!   Japan’s steepest train tracks took us to halfway up the mountain from where we walked all the way to the top.     The view …

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Red Autumn

Yes! It’s autumn again and that means an explosion of bright red leaves! Today I went with some friends to Minoo, a lovely place in the mountains north of Osaka, and a famous momiji viewing spot (momiji being the bright red leaves). It was amazing! These photos have not been altered, these were the actual …

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A Happy Birthday!

Yay this weekend was my birthday and I had a wonderful time! Lucky it was ” Health and Sports Day ”  here in Japan so I had an extra free day to enjoy. Last year I celebrated my birthday in a real traditional Japanese way by dressing up like a Maiko, this year I wanted …

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Tokyo Game Show 2012

We went to the Tokyo Game Show!! This massive and popular game event shows all the new and upcoming (Japanese) games and is ofcourse a must-see for us :-) All the big Japanese game companies were there, showing their new stuff: Square Enix… Konami… With Hideo Kojima ofcourse :D Level 5… And ofcourse: CAPCOM! I …

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Kobe Port Town

This weekend was holiday-time, since monday was de day of the elderly and all of Japan had a day off! Jurgen, Carlijn and Ward came to Osaka and  together we went on a daytrip to Kobe! Kobe is not so far from Osaka (about 30 minute trainride) and it’s a lovely town with a big …

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Festival of Lights

Summer in Japan always means lights; whether it’s amazing fireworks shows or lanterns floating on a river. This weekend, the park around Osaka castle was lit up with thousands of small lanterns. You could buy your own lantern and place it in beautiful patterns on the fields around the castle. There was live music and …

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Comiket Cosplay

Today I went to Comic Market. The biggest comic event in Japan, and maybe the world. It’s absolutely massive, there where so many people! I took some shots of a couple of cosplayers for everyone to enjoy :D!  

Ooooo…Aaaaaa…Hanabi!

Summer in Japan means fireworks and festivals! And not just any fireworks, the bigger the better! Each fireworks festival attracts thousands of people and the viewing spots are already full with people hours before the show starts. We went to the Tokyo Sumigawa fireworks show, one that has a long history and is said to …

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Summer in Osaka

It’s been a month since I moved to Osaka, time flies! So many things happened, I moved to my own apartment, started a new job and became an aunt! :D In the meantime summer kicked in, and that means temperatures of above 35 degrees during the day (and it does not cool down at night). …

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