Shu Matsubara Knives – the perfect Kyushu Souvenir

Shu Matsubara Knives – the perfect Kyushu Souvenir

My first Nagasaki souvenir, a Shu Matsubara knife, remains sharp a year after purchase, evoking fond memories of Kyushu each time I use it. Shu Matsubara, located in Omura, offers traditional and modern Japanese knives forged by the dynamic Katsuto Tanaka, who trains the next generation of smiths. My initial purchase led to subsequent visits, enriching my collection with a personalized knife. Shu Matsubara Knives, not just a store but a workshop, provides an enriching experience for those looking to own quality Japanese knives.

Relax at Nagasaki Onsen – with a detailed onsen guide

Relax at Nagasaki Onsen – with a detailed onsen guide

Exploring onsens in Nagasaki offers a quintessential Japanese experience, highlighted by visits to various natural hot springs. Each onsen provides distinct experiences—from serene, traditional settings to modern facilities with diverse baths and saunas. Essential tips for onsen usage include proper etiquette and what to bring. Also outlined are directions for reaching each location. Whether seeking relaxation, therapeutic baths, or cultural immersion, Nagasaki’s onsens cater to all.

Diving in Muscat, Oman

Diving in Muscat, Oman

Can you dive well in Oman? And what is diving in Muscat like? The coastline of Oman is over 3000km long, with plenty of diving opportunities along larger settlements. And yes, you can dive really well in Muscat. Prime diving spots, starting with the North, 

Two Wheels and a dram: Our Islay whisky trip – with a bit of cycling

Two Wheels and a dram: Our Islay whisky trip – with a bit of cycling

While  unable to travel, there’s an opportunity to recap something older that may otherwise never see the light of day.   It may delight,  in this case, lovers of whisky. I never wrote about my Islay whisky trip. It’s been a while, but as I occasionally 

Where to stay in Muscat on a budget

Where to stay in Muscat on a budget

Oman is still an affordable destination, but definitely not a budget destination. Are there even nice hotels to stay in Muscat on a budget? When I recently visited the capital of Oman on a diving trip, I was quite conscious on where to find good 

How to transfer in comfort at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport

How to transfer in comfort at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Have you ever transferred through Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (IATA Code: SAW) ? If so, how did you find it?  If you are heading from Europe to destinations in the Middle East and Asia on a budget,  you may inevitably pass through it at some 

The honest Diary of a new Scuba Diver

The honest Diary of a new Scuba Diver

You may wonder, what does a new scuba diver have to say, other than… “just do it!” Well, if it’s no more than that, and if this post just encourages one other person to take up diving, I will be happy. The sea has always 

Treasure Hunting in Arita

Treasure Hunting in Arita

Treasure Hunting in Arita  was dream come true. I love Japanese ceramics and porcelain.  Many years ago, trips to the now defunct Oriental City were a wonderful respite from  toiling away in a laboratory. Years later, my already decent Japanese tableware collection was supplemented by 

Okawachiyama, the Beautiful Village of the Secret Kilns

Okawachiyama, the Beautiful Village of the Secret Kilns

When you love Japanese ceramics, visiting Saga Prefecture on Kyushu Island is highly recommended. I studied in Nagasaki this year , so a trip to the kilns of Arita and Imari was pretty high on my wish list. When I wrote my Japanese Ceramics Dream trip 

My 2024 Travel Plans

My 2024 Travel Plans

Time to make 2024 travel plans! Looking back at my 2023 Travel Plans, I am  pleasantly surprised how many of them I turned into actual trips. My end of year post if full of pictures and good memories, and as is tradition with many in 

“A Red Letter Day”: My 2023 travel year review

“A Red Letter Day”: My 2023 travel year review

So, the end of the year is near… let’s write a wrap-up of  the years travels. The  traditional “between the years” 2023 travel year review. As the title suggests, it was a pretty good one! And, in the words of my teenage favourites, the Pet 

Artificial Intelligence and Blogging or: The bot  went to Ravenna and came back with the ultimate scrumptious word salad

Artificial Intelligence and Blogging or: The bot went to Ravenna and came back with the ultimate scrumptious word salad

The first time I heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI)  and Machine Learning was a while ago. I think when I watched Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” for the first time, I got a better grip on its implications – not in a nice way as those who 

My Traditional Japanese Ceramics Dream Trip

My Traditional Japanese Ceramics Dream Trip

(written November 2017, updated December 2019 and Kyushu part December 2023)  I love Japan, and I love beautiful things. So it comes as a surprise that I have never been deeply into the art of Japanese ceramics. Until now! Japanese Ceramics are worth seeking out 

Fabric Shopping in Uzbekistan:  Gorgeous ikat and vibrant colours

Fabric Shopping in Uzbekistan: Gorgeous ikat and vibrant colours

Fabric Shopping in Uzbekistan is brilliant. I mean, definitely if you are into traditional ikat pattern or very glitzy colourful material. I am not going to say visit Uzbekistan for fabrics alone, but if you plan to visit and if you are into sewing or 

A Day in the life of a “German Doctor” – My Dhaka Diary, Part 4

A Day in the life of a “German Doctor” – My Dhaka Diary, Part 4

Aside from getting as much sightseeing in in our spare time, I primarily came to Dhaka to work! And whatever reservations I had in the beginning, I honestly and thoroughly enjoyed my first mission as a doctor serving disadvantaged communities, and if you are in