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Visiting the Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima, Japan

Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima, Japan

Prior to visiting Japan, I didn't know the name of the island that is home to the famous floating shrine. Rather like my visit to Himeji Castle, I knew the emoji symbol and the fact it looked pretty in photos, but it was only with some research that I realised it would be feasible to visit it on a day trip from Osaka, and that the island it lives on is called Itsukushima, but is commonly known as Miyajima.

Steak Frites at Flat Iron, Denmark St

Two flat iron steaks with chips, creamed spinach and two pints of beer

There's a whole heap of places on my London to-eat list that I haven't made it to yet because I just cannot be arsed to queue. Gradually, no-reservation eateries are starting to become less rare, but I do get it with smaller places. Flat Iron on Denmark Street is limited on space which means demand is high, and explains why it's taken me so long to actually eat there.

Just Go

Just go

If the topic of my three-month solo travel adventure ever crops up (or rather, if you can stop me from talking about it), there's a few routes that the conversation could go down. There are people who simply have no interest in travel, and especially not the long-term type, so they'll ask why I'd even want to embark on something so alien to them. I had my reasons, as I've written about before, but for the most part, the responses are more positive, and they go something along these lines:

How to Spend 24 Hours in Osaka, Japan

Neon running man sign, Dotonbori, Osaka

Before heading to Japan, I was told by everyone who'd been before me that Osaka was their least favourite city, but within moments of being there myself, I knew I'd disagree with them all. OK, it's not the huge bustling, modern metropolis that Tokyo is, or has the history of Kyoto, but it is vibrant, friendly, and it's wonderfully easy to lose yourself in its warren-like streets.

Three Ways to Eat Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Yum Cha dim sum, Hong Kong

Dim sum was my first foray into Chinese food, way back when I was still a fussy eater (can you believe I was ever anything but a never-ending stomach?!). It's bite-sized food filled with all sorts of delicious things; it's canap├ęs that have been souped up and they are generally more plentiful than the food you'd be served up on a silver platter, too.

It was the first traditional food I ate there during my first trip back in 2014, but each time I've been back, I go in for so much more. No matter what your budget or palate, there's a way for you to enjoy dim sum in Hong Kong:

Seven Things British Transport Could Learn From Japan Rail

Shinkansen N700 bullet train

When my friends and I were planning our trip to Japan, we knew we wanted to cram in as many places as possible within our two-week itinerary. Bullet trains are synonymous with the Land of the Rising Sun, and it was the obvious way to travel so that we could see as much of the country whizzing by as possible as well as tell people how fast they are (my ears popped and I felt dizzy on our first one, so BIG TICK there!).
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review