Japan: Osaka Castle

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In front of Osaka Castle

The Osaka Castle is one of the most famous landmarks of Japan. If you now quickle image search “Japan” you’ll see many images of the castle in the results. Even though there’s not so much to do at and around Osaka Castle, I wanted to visit to see it for myself.

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Japan: The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Osaka)

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The Instant Ramen Museum

I first heard about the Instant Ramen Museum from our friends Chris and Hannah. They went to Japan for their honeymoon and visited the museum. After I saw photos of them making their own instant ramen from scratch, I knew we needed to go too!

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Japan: Koyasan

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Delicious dinner at our temple on Mount Koya

Koyasan is a Buddhist community located on top of Mount Koya in the Wakayama Prefecture (just south of Kyoto and Osaka). We decided early on in our planning to make the trek up the sacred mountain and spend the night at Kongo Sanmaiin, one of the Buddhist temples.

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Japan: Fushimi Sake District (Kyoto)

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Fushimi Sake District

Japan Guide describes it best: The Fushimi Sake District is a charming, traditional sake brewing district along the willow-lined Horikawa River in southern Kyoto. Revered for the clean, soft water that flows in abundance from the river’s underground springs, the district is home to nearly 40 sake breweries.

Walking through Fushimi, you can’t help but notice the beautiful traditional appearance of the buildings with wood and white-plaster walls. We didn’t have a lot of time in Fushimi (everything closes at 4:30PM!) but we made it a point to visit the Go-kawa River, the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum, and the Fushimi Yume Hyakushu Café for a sake tasting.

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Brouwerij De Koninck

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With the famous De Koninck Bolleke bottle

 

With Christina and Rafaël in Antwerp, Koen and I booked a tour of the newly renovated De Koninck Brewery. Of course if you’re in Belgium you need to taste the local cuisine which includes the famous Belgian beers. De Koninck is the biggest brewery in Antwerp – most known for the “Bolleke”, an amber beer named for the goblet shaped glass it’s served in, Triple d’Anvers, an Antwerp style Belgian triple, and Wild Jo, the brewery’s newest beer made with wild yeast.

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Scotland Day Six: Glasgow

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Empire Biscuit

 

Day Six was our last day in Scotland before heading back home. We started the day with a coffee and breakfast from Riverhill Coffee Bar. I finally tasted the Empire Biscuit – a cookie I had seen everywhere during the trip – and it was so delicious!

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Scotland Day One: Glasgow

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Bagpipes at George Square

 

For our May vacation, Koen and I headed to Scotland with our friends Chris and Hannah. Our main destination was the Isle of Islay, but to start and finish the trip we spent some time in Glasgow.

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London: Day Five

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Lunch at Ottolenghi in Notting Hill

 

Day Five was our last full day together in London. We started off with breakfast at The Butter Bakery in Notting Hill. The bakery is located across from our apartment, so it was an easy walk across the street for our hand pies and coffee.

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London: Day Four

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Freezing, but happy to have my red velvet whoopie pie!

 

One of the reasons we decided to stay in Notting Hill is because we love the movie Notting Hill. Do you remember the scene in the movie, that in order to show how much time has passed by, you see Hugh Grant walking through a market? Well that market is the Portobello Market and we visited it during Day Four, enjoying a big brunch and sweets.

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London: Day Three

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Strolling through Notting Hill

 

To start our first real day together in London, we walked from Notting Hill through Hyde Park to get to Chelsea for the most delicious brunch at The Ivy Chelsea Garden.

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