Welcome to the beautiful Grote Kerk, Haarlem’s spectacular centrepiece in the middle of the city’s historic centre. It is one of The Netherlands’ best examples of Gothic architecture, and a symbol for the city. The Grote Kerk, surrounded by marketplaces, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops, is one of the most impressive sights to see in … More Haarlem’s spectacular Gothic Cathedral
Haarlem Station is an under-appreciated architectural gem in The Netherlands. I was sitting on a lacquered wooden bench, a Hema coffee in one hand, and I couldn’t help admiring one of The Netherlands’ most beautiful stations. It is airy and serene, the only Art Nouveau-style station in the country, and a pleasure to travel through. … More Admiring Haarlem’s Beautiful Art Nouveau Station
Lier is one of Belgium’s undiscovered gems. It is a historic town on the river Nete where little seems to have changed since the 13th century, and makes for a history and culture lover’s dream. Not one, but two UNESCO sites can be found in this tiny place. From the impressive Belfry to the brilliant … More Lier, Belgium’s undiscovered medieval town
My bowl of udon tempura was so small, it fit into the palm of my hand. I couldn’t eat it either, because the chopsticks were the size of toothpicks. It was, however, extremely fun to make. In Mayuka’s Bonchi studio of miniature plastic food, we sliced tiny clay noodles, painted little shallots, and poured epoxy … More Kyoto in sketches: Japan’s cultural heart
Seville is completely entrancing. This Spanish city feels like it has history written into every sandy-coloured stone and decorative blue tile. There’s a rich cultural heritage here, a melting pot that resulted from centuries of architectural evolution, fusion of cultures and shifts in political power. Of course, there’s the cultural heritage and architectural wonders… but … More What to do in Seville – An illustrated guide to Spain’s cultural gem
Beppu is the perfect destination in Japan for bathing. This city on Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, is famous for its geothermal activity and range of hot spring bathing options. Clouds of steam rise from dozens of vents in the earth, creating a very unusual cityscape. There are large public bathing houses built of wood, private … More Beppu: an illustrated guide to Japan’s spa city
Hiroshima is a vibrant, friendly and charming city. Of course, Hiroshima is best known for the atomic bomb which destroyed the city. But there’s a lot more happening in this city than just a tragic past. Hiroshima is amazing for foodies. Long shopping arcades seem to be endless. There’s a castle to explore, a museum … More Why Hiroshima is Japan’s most underrated city
For anyone comparing Osaka to Tokyo, Tokyo is the busy, responsible sibling, while Osaka is the laid back younger one relaxing with a cup of tea. Tokyo has the non-stop energy of a city that never sleeps, people rushing around the city on crowded trains to and from work. Osaka is a large metropolis in … More Osaka – tourist traps and favourite gems
Nara might be the perfect day trip. Easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka, friendly and quaint, with plenty to see on foot in a just a few hours. But what are day trippers missing out on? Dinner menus unique to Nara, for one, and excursions out of the city. So is it worth extending a … More Visiting Nara – is it best as a day trip or overnight stay?
With Kyoto’s 1600 Buddhist temples, and 400 Shinto shrines to choose from, the choice of where to visit seemed overwhelming. After some research, we narrowed our visit down to just a few standouts.