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.

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 

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 Bursa: From gorgeous silk to beautiful cheap cotton

Fabric Shopping in Bursa: From gorgeous silk to beautiful cheap cotton

As far as I can see, there is no blog post on fabric shopping in Bursa yet – but if you are a sewist and find yourself in Istanbul or the Marmara region, I highly recommend a trip out to Bursa. Bursa is well worth 

Seven Ways to enjoy Venice stress-free and within budget

Seven Ways to enjoy Venice stress-free and within budget

Venice, Italy is one of the worlds top destinations – and for some, one of the most disappointing. Crowds except in winter, sky high prices, scams, generally poor restaurants… some might as, is it worth even going there? Here’s my list of tips to enjoy 

Night Trains in Uzbekistan – sustainable, safe and fun

Night Trains in Uzbekistan – sustainable, safe and fun

Last year, I planned to take several night trains in Uzbekistan.   I wanted to maximise sightseeing time and since I don’t like flying, I booked  four longer journeys by train. The first two journeys on night trains in Uzbekistan would take me from Tashkent to 

On finding Vegetarian food in Uzbekistan – I should be so lucky

On finding Vegetarian food in Uzbekistan – I should be so lucky

Can you find Vegetarian food in Uzbekistan in easily? I would say it is one of the harder countries for me, but then, I have never been to South America or elsewhere Central Asia. So, the answer is, Vegetarian food in Uzbekistan in relatively easily 

Urgut Market – the best place for Suzani shopping in Uzbekistan?

Urgut Market – the best place for Suzani shopping in Uzbekistan?

Oh, the fabled Urgut Market. For years, I read internet forums and  guide books, wishing to visit this bazaar south of Samarkand. This time, I was going to visit Urgut Market, and please, if you are interested in textiles, let me share my Sunday shopping 

Learning to dive as an Older Diver is cool!

Learning to dive as an Older Diver is cool!

Why I was waiting until I was an “older diver”?  I love the water, love to snorkel.  But I  have never had the guts to learn to scuba dive. I was  thinking it is for the fit, for those with regular access to tropical waters 

Holiday Golightly’s Gift Guide 2022 or: give the gift of travel!

Holiday Golightly’s Gift Guide 2022 or: give the gift of travel!

Here it comes, the season to… shop and shop, and the publication of endless gift guides on the internets. And, with just a tiny bit of delay, but ready for the (s)hopping madness here in Europe comes Holiday Golightly’s Gift Guide 2022. In 2019, I