Page 2 of enlightenedtravels Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Japan » Fukuoka » Fukuoka March 1st 2010

I woke bright and early and looked around my apartment, which had things strewn about and was pretty dirty from the previous tennant. All I could think of was how much I'd like to sleep in a lot later, then wake up and start to work towards making my apartment feel like home. But, I knew Laney and the taxi driver would be there soon to whisk me away to Busan to catch a ferry to Fukuoka, Japan for a visa run. I've forgotten to mention that my friend Bryan gave me a ton of Starbucks Via packets (instant coffee) and it was one of the things I was most grateful for in my first weeks...I'm not sure I would've made it through the observation period and this trip to Japan without them!! So thank you ... read more
Busan
Fukuoka
Fukuoka

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do » Geojedo February 28th 2010

It's close to 10pm on my second night in Korea when we finally arrive at mine and Tim's apartments on Geoje Island. It's felt like a long time coming. Leon first takes us into Tim's apartment, which is in an old building that may have once been a house or maybe a duplex, but is now divided into a four unit apartment building. There is a tall apartment building next door that Leon points to and says, "Kailie apartment." We climb the stairs to Tim's second floor apartment, kick our shoes off at the door and walk into the kitchen. It's got a pretty rank smell, but overall looks nice enough. From the kitchen we're through to the bedroom, which has an awesome bay window, then on to the bathroom, which is also the shower and ... read more
Geoje-do
Geoje-do
Geoje-do

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do February 25th 2010

9:20am came far too quickly! I dragged myself out of bed and opened the suitcase that I was fairly sure I'd be able to close again. I then searched for the most work appropriate and least wrinkled clothes I could find and threw on some mascara in hopes that it would fool people into thinking I was awake. I did not. Leon was waiting for Tim and I downstairs and we were off to the Tongyeong Beyond Advanced school. Beyond Advanced is a chain of private English language schools spreading throughout South Korea with the Geoje Island branch being its newest addition. We walked in on the first floor of one of many tall buildings to see a large reception desk with several ladies having rapidly fast phone conversations. We past them by and were led ... read more
Tongyeong
Tongyeong
Tongyeong

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do February 24th 2010

Well hello everyone and welcome back to my travel blog! New adventures have begun and I am very excited to share them with you all! So to start off, it was a blistery, cold Tuesday morning when I headed off to Detroit Metro with Nana, Mom and Dad. We'd gotten about 6 inches of snow the night before, which helped with the whole leaving Michigan thing. But on the other side of things, I was already blubbering by the time we walked out the door and I had to say goodbye to my little cat Oreo. I pulled myself together for the ride to the airport, but before long, the rest of the goodbyes came and it was very tough. I guess every other time I've traveled I've known my return date, where this go around ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kanagawa » Hakone March 13th 2009

Hakone is a small, quaint town with lots of character. This is where we stayed in our second Ryokan (our first was in Koyasan) and despite how fancy the hotels were, the traditional was my preferred accomodations. Upon arriving and dropping off our bags, we headed into town for a quick meal before making our way to the ropeway that led up to Owakudani. Owakudani is the area around a crater created during the last eruption of Mt. Hakone some 3000 years ago. Today, much of the area is an active volcanic zone where sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers can be experienced. Owakudani has good views of Mt. Fuji on clear days. Luckily for us it was a semi-clear day. The clouds blocked our view momentarily, but we were able to see Mt. Fuji ... read more
Hakone
Hakone
Hakone

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion March 11th 2009

Kyoto is a very cool city! Since I was on a group tour in Japan, most activities were with the entire group, but Kyoto was a time for ourselves. Our group leader Axel gave us a rundown on the city, the sights and the bus system. When we got into Kyoto, I went out to eat with a couple of the girls for a nice sushi meal and it was one of my favorites of the whole trip! Then, a group of us decided to go see Nijo Castle. Nijo Castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Edo Shogunate, as the Kyoto residence for himself and his successors. It survives in its original form and is famous for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors and floors that squeak like nightingales when someone walks on ... read more
Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Miyajima March 10th 2009

Hiroshima was an awesome experience. The city is well rebuilt, but does not let it's past fall by the wayside. We spent our last night out at the Japanese Arcades playing a lot of interesting video games, which is a huge passtime in Japanese culture. Today we were back on the road, this time to an island outside of Hiroshima called Miyajima. This island contains a very famous Japanese icon..the floating torri gate. We took a ferry over to Miyajima and stepped onto the island only to be surrounded by deer. These deer would eat anything! They were coming after the papers in our hands and though they got a couple of edges, I was luckily able to keep my map of the island safe from them. With the tide out, we made our way down ... read more
Miyajima
Miyajima
Miyajima

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji March 8th 2009

We scrambled through the busy train station grabbing coffees, pastries and bento boxes (kind of like take-away, a meal in a box..except they taste good!) then waited on the train station platform taking in the occasional woosh of air as the bullet trains whizzed by. Eventually one stopped, allowing us to board. We had lots of room to kick back in reclining seats, spread out and enjoy our food while traveling at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph) on our way to Himeji. Our final destination of the day was Hiroshima, but we decided to stop in Himeji, the halfway point of our journey, to see the famous Himeji Castle. Himeji Castle is one of Japan's "Three Famous Castles," and is the most visited castle in Japan. It serves as an execellent example of the ... read more
Shinkansen
Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle

Asia » Japan » Wakayama » Koyasan March 7th 2009

We woke up early and got ready for our first move. Traveling in a large group can prove difficult if everyone doesn't stick to the plan. We had a great group though and I wasn't too worried. We met in the lobby to check out and make our way to the train station. I loved Axel, our group leader, for one reason...he was as addicted to coffee as I am, so every morning move included a coffee shop stop! My kind of guy!! We dragged our bags to the station and onto a train heading toward the Wakayama prefecture, where we were to catch a cable car up to Koyasan. Mount Koya (Koyasan) is the center of Shingon Buddhism, a Buddhist sect that was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi, one of the most ... read more
Japan
Japan
Japan

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka » Shinsaibashi March 5th 2009

My flight from Singapore to Osaka was wonderful! I had a whole row to myself..the three seats I was in, plus the four middle seats and the three on the opposite side of the plane that were all empty, which made sleeping that much more comfortable. Singapore Airlines is phenomenal! The food was wonderful, I had everything I needed and I was so relaxed. I got a bit of rest, woke up for the most delicious airplane breakfast ever as well as the sunrise, then arrived in Osaka at 8am. Now Japan is a whirlwind! I picked up my bag and immediately changed into pants, socks, shoes and sweater, because I had definitely underestimated how cold it was going to be in Japan in March. I grabbed a coffee to warm my insides and started on ... read more
Japan
Japan
Japan




Tot: 0.29s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 12; qc: 86; dbt: 0.0739s; 86; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 4; ; mem: 6.7mb