A visit to Tokyo 2017: Autumn Beauty

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Tokyo October Festivals and Events:

Japanese Drums

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Niihama Taiko Festival October 16 to October 18, 2017

This festival takes place on Shikoku Island and is like a big parade of giant taiko drums. There are 47 floats shaped as such, and each one represents a city neighborhood. The main idea of the festival is to display the energetic spirit of each float. Every neighborhood has 150 men carrying its float, and about 300,000 spectators come to watch the show.

Kimono

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Yasukuni Autumn Festival October 17 to October 20, 2017

The amazing Yasukuni shrine complex is a favorite place to visit in Tokyo. Located in Chiyoda (central Tokyo), the complex was founded by emperor Meji in 1869. The shrine is dedicated to those who died while serving Japan and lists the names of people of different nationalities; even animals are listed here.

A number of festivals are held here in autumn and spring. In October, you can enjoy traditional Japanese arts: fire dance, drums, and local music. We suggest that you visit this incredible festival to enjoy people dressed in traditional Kimonos, as well as plenty of souvenir stalls and a chance to sample tasty Japanese foods. The shrine is located within walking distance of the popular Kitanomaru Garden.

a japanese tea ceremony

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Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony October 2017

Nowadays everyone is crazy about coffee, but how about a cup of wonderful Japanese tea – especially when it is served during a special traditional ceremony! There is no better opportunity than to visit the famous outdoor ceremony held in October in Hamarikyu Detached Garden and the indoor activity held in Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum.

We suggest you explore Japanese culture through this wonderful drink and understand the incredible taste of green tea. You will have a great opportunity to better understand Japanese culture and enjoy amazing first-timer workshops.

ray of various pickles available for sampling, on a market stall in a Japanese market, selling the pickles

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Nihonbashi Ebisu-ko Bettara Market October 19 – October 20, 2017

This market takes place near Takarada Ebisu Shrine. Being a fairly famous Tokyo seasonal event, it is known for such tasty local dishes as bettara-zuke, or sweet and salty daikon radish pickles.

This event goes back to the Edo period, a time when local Japanese merchants began to sell fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits.

The event starts on October 19, and the market is located just at the shrine entrance. The ceremony commemorates the god Ebisu. Enjoy this amazing fair in the Odenma-cho area (eastern part of Chiyoda). Here you can find an enormous variety of food, souvenirs and traditional items sold at 400 to 500 street stalls that work until very late evening – as well as many places to stroll and enjoy the atmosphere:

Kitanomaru Park / Chiyoda-Ku / Tokyo

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Kitanomaru Park:

Located in the very center of Japan’s busy capital, Kitanomaru Park is a must-see place for those who dream of escaping to Tokyo’s vibrant life. Here, in the Chiyoda area, you can feel the historical presence of the northern enceinte (kitanomaru) and successive generations of the Tokugawa clan who lived in this place until the end of the Shogunate.

Formerly, the area was part of Edo Castle, and you can find a lot of historical sites in different sections of the park. This place is perfect if you are a nature lover: there are lawns, ponds, tracks, flowers, colorful bushes and quiet park walkways here. The wonderful scenery will make you forget that you are located in the heart of a vivacious metropolis.

Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan.

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Imperial Palace Outer Gardens

The Imperial Palace Outer Gardens was part of the imperial household grounds; now the area is open to the public. The park is a must-see site in Tokyo, and one of the most exciting places to visit. Many people consider this area a symbol of Tokyo.

Enjoy beautiful views of the Nijubashi (Doble Bridge) built in 1886, historic sites of Edo Castle and Fushimi-yagura. Moreover, you will definitely be amazed by the park’s beautiful nature and wonderful grounds.

Hibiya Park

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Hibiya Park

This park has a long and exciting history. It was land of feudal lords in times of shogunate, and later where military parades took place during Japan’s modernization in the second part of 19th century. It became public in 1903.

This park has two large Western-style flower gardens, a few cafes, and an amazing recreational area for strolls and quiet walks.

 

Published: 14/10/17

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Meet Your Kids’ Favorite Characters at the World’s Best Amusement Parks

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If sightseeing and excursions induce yawns and lying on the beach is boring – amusement parks might be perfect for you!

Dizzying rides, incredible heights, frantic speeds, along with superheroes walking around – sounds like you are 10 years old again and your dream has come true!

amusement parks worldwide

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  1. Ferrari World
Ferrari World Amusement Park

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Half an hour drive from the capital of the Arab Emirates there is the artificial island of Yas, where the world’s largest indoor theme park “Ferrari World” is located. Its red corners and curves vaguely resemble a race car.

This giant structure with the emblem of a black horse on the roof is visible even from space.

Inside, in a glass tunnel, there are more than 20 training routes for race lovers. For example, Formula Rossa is a roller coaster that simulates a Formula 1race: accelerating at a rate of 100 km/h each  second, to a main speed of 240 km per hour! Your photo is taken at the peak emotional moment.

Getting to ride in a real Ferrari is easy, too; you can also see models of all the cars designed in the Italian Maranello – the birthplace of the red car.  

  1. Disneyland, Anaheim
Disneyland

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The world’s original Disneyland is located in the California city of Anaheim, part of Greater Los Angeles.

It was opened long ago in 1955, the only embodiment of Walt Disney’s vision of a large theme park to become reality during his lifetime. He had this idea in the 30s and 40s, but the Disney Company began creating it only in the 1950s.

  1. Universal Studios, Singapore
SINGAPORE, Universal Studios

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This is an amusement park dedicated to the film industry. It opened on March 8, 2010 on Sentosa Island and became the first Universal Studio park in Southeast Asia. It is famous for the highest “American roller coaster” in Asia.

In the park there are seven themed attraction zones, each of which is dedicated to favorite well-known films and cartoons that were released by Universal Studios at different times.

* Hollywood. Here you can take pictures with Charlie Chaplin, Frankenstein and Marilyn Monroe; see the famous Walk of Fame and go to the Hollywood Pantages Theater, where they show a real American musical based on the movie “Monster Rock.”

* New York. Here you can feel the atmosphere of real New York City – the most famous city in America. Guests can also take part in the creation of cinematic effects in the pavilion Lights, Camera, Action! – with Steven Spielberg himself. 

* Sci-Fi city. This zone is a futuristic city replete with the latest technological innovations. The thrill of visiting local attractions is guaranteed.

* Ancient Egypt. Here is one of the most interesting attractions of the park – “The Revenge of the Mummy.” The entrance is guarded by gods of Anubis statues. Visitors wait in line for a journey in a car that rushes at great speed in complete darkness through the labyrinths of the Underground Kingdom.

  1. IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai
 Worlds of Adventure in Dubai

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This is the biggest Indoor amusement park in Dubai. Its opening took place on August 31, 2016. It is not just an amusement park; it is a whole world of entertainment sprawled across an area equal to 28 football fields. Super-modern attractions revitalize your favorite heroes – from the Avengers to full-sized dinosaurs. Concentrated here are all kinds of extreme slides, carousels and other attractions for children and adults, decorated in the style of modern cartoons, as well as the universe of Marvel.

The Haunted Hotel attraction holds a special place for those visitors 15 years or older who want to tickle their nervous systems.

  1. Lotte World, South Korea
SEOUL, KOREA  -  Lotte World amusement park

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This park was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest amusement park under a roof. In this case, the indoor complex is only the first section; the second one is located in the open air. In addition to attractions, there is an ice rink and a laser show. On attendance, it overtakes the majority of European and American parks, and in Asia, only Tokyo Disneyland is more popular.

  1. Chime-Long Paradise, China

rollercoaster

It is a modern amusement park which was built in 2006. More than 100 million yuan (about 14.8 million US dollars) were spent on its construction.

The park has a huge number of attractions: a roller coaster that is more than 40 meters high with the possibility of vertical free-fall, race tracks for motorcycles that can reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour in less than 3 seconds, huge water slides, a cloud of splashes, swings and carousels. In total, the park has collected more than 100 modern attractions that were specially brought from Europe.

  1. Dream World, Thailand
rollercoaster, Thailand

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This park is located outside Bangkok near the international airport on an area of 28 hectares. Opened in 1994, the park was made in European style and is divided into four zones:  World Dream Square, Dream Garden, Fantasy Land, and Country of Adventures.

Dream Garden is a beautiful park where many different plants, including rare flowers, grow;  among them are sheltered miniature copies of world famous sites – the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and others. In addition, there is a cable car that carries guests to Paradise Lake. Fantasy Land is a magical world with the castle of Sleeping Beauty, a house of gnomes, Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, and many other things that bring children and adults back to the worlds of their favorite fairy tales.

  1. Legoland, Denmark
 Miniland at Legoland Deutschland

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The largest of the Legolands and the first theme park with attractions and sights made of these play construction pieces. It was opened in 1968 next to the original LEGO factory in the Danish town of Billund. It took 45 million of the constructor blocks to create it.

Legoland theme zones in Denmark have become the basis for new parks around the world: in each Lego park you can find Miniland with Lego-copies of attractions; a game park “Duplo” for the youngest guests; 4D-attractions like “The World of Imagination,” “The Land of Pirates,” and “Kingdom of the Knights;” the universe of “Star Wars” and other attractions.

  1. Tokyo Disneyland

Miniland at Legoland Deutschland

The theme park Tokyo Disneyland was created in 1983 on a territory of 115 acres, and became the first Disney entertainment park outside the United States. The entertainment complex Tokyo Disney Resort consists of two huge parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

A feature of this complex is that it is only partially owned by the Walt Disney Company. The complex has a classic Disneyland structure: the territory is divided into “countries” in animation styles.

From the entrance you walk into the World Bazaar – the main promenade, which includes Main Street and Center Street. On this street you will encounter not only pedestrians, but also stylized transport – omnibuses. Attractions are represented by arcade automata – Penny Arcade.

  1. Europa-Park, Germany
Europa park

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The second most popular amusement park in Europe after Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park is located near the city of Rust in southwestern Germany.

The park is interesting for its concept – the thematic zones are represented by several mini-copies of European states. In total, 11 countries are represented in Europa-park, and the eleventh one is entirely Scandinavia. Other countries are Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, England, Greece, and Russia.

The highest roller coaster in Europe, Silver Star, is in little France, and in Scandinavia there is a whole river for rafting among landscapes reminiscent of fjords. In Italy, you can admire the comedy del Arte, and in Greece – to ride on the water slide “Poseidon”. Germany has a park with vintage cars, and in Spain there is the remarkable “Columbus Boat” – which resembles a ship’s journey during a storm.

  1. PortAventura, Spain
PORT AVENTURA, SPAIN

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It is the most popular Spanish family recreation park and resort, visited by more than three million tourists from all over the world. The PortAventura complex was opened in 1995 and now covers an area of ​​117 hectares, with more than 40 attractions.

In addition to the amusement park itself, the complex includes a huge water park, Port Aventura Aquatic, several beach clubs and golf courses, four hotels, and a three hectare lake on its territory.

PortAventura is thematically divided into six zones – “countries” – on a geographic basis, which allows you to take a walk around the park as a round-the-world trip to visit the attractions. There are The Mediterranean, Wild West, Mexico, China, Polynesia, and the bright children’s country of Sesame. On the streets of the park and in theaters there are many colorful shows – about 90 performances per day.

  1. Linnanmäki, Finland
Linnanmaki Amusement Park; HELSINKI, FINLAND

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The entertainment park “Linnanmäki” is a true pride of Helsinki. It has a 50-meter rotating platform Panoraama, which offers an excellent view of the Finnish capital. In addition to all kinds of attractions, the amusement park “Linnanmäki” is a whole city where there are cafes, restaurants, shops, 4D-cinema, toy libraries and lotteries. Today there are about 40 attractions and every year there is something new. Admission to the park “Linnanmäki” is free, albeit you must by tickets for the attractions.

  1. Tibidabo, Spain
Barcelona, Spain - 2014, April 27: People on a huge ferris wheel with panoramic view over Barcelona.  On April 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

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The amusement park Tibidabo is rightfully one of the symbols of Barcelona. The park is located on the highest point of the city (about 500 meters above sea level), from where there is a magnificent view of the Catalan capital. Tibidabo Park is one of the oldest Spanish amusement parks; it was opened more than 100 years ago!

  1. Tivoli, Denmark
Tivoli, Denmark

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Tivoli is an amusement park in Copenhagen that opened in 1843, making it the second oldest park in the world. It is located on a territory of eight hectares and is one of the three most visited entertainment parks in Europe. The founder of the park was the Danish officer Georg Carstensen, who, according to legend, persuaded the Danish King Christian VIII to give the land to the park with the words: “When people have fun, they do not think about politics.”

From the very beginning, theatrical troupes worked in the park, areas for orchestras were organized, and restaurants and cafes were opened. The park has constantly evolved; as if recalling the words of its creator that “Tivoli will never be finished,” it has never changed that tradition. Today the park is known for several wonderful attractions.

  1. Efteling, Netherland
Kaatsheuvel, Holland, Netherlands, Europe.

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The theme park Efteling, opened in distant 1952, is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe. It is located in the Netherlands province of North Brabant near the city of Tilburg. Every year it attracts more than 4 million visitors.

Initially devoted to themes of old European fairy tales and their characters, over time Eftheling has become a full-fledged amusement park with attractions like roller coasters, but its style is still a priority.

Efteling is somewhat reminiscent of Disneyland – a full resort with a golf course, hotel, radio station, etc. By the way, the creators of the Parisian Disneyland even consulted with Efteling, asking how to better adapt the American park to European culture.

That Efteling is a European park can particularly be noted from the first thematic section “Fairy Forest” – based on folk tales of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault.

Published: 31/07/2017

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The Trendiest Autumn 2017 Destinations

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Summer is a perfect time to plan your autumn vacation. Late July and early August are upon us, so it’s high time to make future holiday plans. Do you want to take part in European events? Or maybe you would like to lengthen your summer and buy a tour to a sunny destination?

Gondola near Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

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Italy

If you didn’t have a vacation this summer, you can take one in autumn. One of the best destinations is the northern coast of Italy. Air temperatures during this period are very pleasant, around 33-34° C, and waters are 24-25° C. The most exciting places to visit are Rimini, Sardinia, and San Remo on the Venetian Riviera – where you can also enjoy the world famous Venice Film Festival, an event that attracts a lot of celebrities.

In the second half of September, all “fashionistas” of the world come to the city of Milan for its famous fashion week. It becomes quite cool in October in the north of Italy, however, so it is better to go to the southern coast or to Sicily, where the water gets warm at this time, 22-23° C. The Island of Ischia near Naples is suitable for fans of thermal waters, and air temperatures there in October are mild and pleasant at 21-22° C. For gourmets it is probably better to wait until November and go to Italy for the festival of young wine. It is also possible at that time to attend agricultural fairs to sample well-known varieties of cheese, as well as hundreds of grades of sausages, gammons, and olives.

Greece

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Greece

The fall in Greece is special. The heat is gone by then, but the sea is still warm and great for swimming. In September-October, there are no storms on the coast, and the weather is ideal for beach relaxation.

In the Balkans the beach season comes to a close at the end of September, but the air temperature in October is 28° C, and in November 20° C. Such temperatures quite suit vacationers who arrive from colder regions. The sea is warm in September and October, up to 23 C °, but by November storms begin.

The fall is a good time to try guided tours as they become less tiresome than during hot summer days. It is possible to explore the islands of Rhodes, Crete, Corfu, Mikonos, and Santorini. The weather is also perfect for excursions to the beautiful temples and wonderful natural sites.  

Mt. Fuji with fall colors in japan.

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Japan

Japan is lovely in autumn. The weather is not as hot as in summer months, and you can enjoy a country colored in red, orange and yellow with the fallen leaves, called kayo. This beautiful, favorite season for many citizens of Japan lasts from early September to late November. Famous places for viewing the romantic foliage are located all over the country – especially in parks, temples and mountainous areas.

If you plan to visit Japan in autumn, don’t forget Hokkaido, the second largest island, and be sure to come to Tokyo and Kyoto. We recommend you travel to these cities by train, because then you will have the opportunity to see not only the cities themselves, but also their surrounding areas, which are truly wondrous.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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United Arab Emirates

Prices for tours to the UAE are higher in autumn than summer because the weather is less torrid and becomes more pleasant for vacationing. While the sun is not so scorching, the sea remains warm and relaxing on the beach feels magnificent. It is also possible to get acquainted with sights and safari parks. Dubai is the most expensive resort area of the UAE, but during the fall season it is even more attractive. Gorgeous mountains, sandy beaches, mineral springs, night hunting for crabs, diving – all this is available to the country’s visitors. Fall is also the time for numerous international exhibitions – of design furniture, perfumery, and computer equipment.

This destination has it all not only for beach lovers, but also for those who love diverse city experiences.

Amazing Japan: Tokyo Charm

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For millions of travelers, the country of Japan is a favorite place to visit. Due to many years of isolation from the rest of the world, Japanese culture has developed a unique identity in this cosmopolitan world that has slowly become an eclectic mixture of various traditions and cultures.

Everything is so different there: mentality, traditions, cuisine, clothing, business etiquette, family values, behavior, and life philosophy. Japan is not only different from the Western world, but also from its neighbors; it has almost nothing that is similar to other Asia Pacific countries.   

Tokyo, Japan at Tokyo Tower

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No matter when you come to this country, it will capture your imagination forever. Japan is one destination that should definitely be on your bucket list.  However, we suggest that you visit in 2017, as there are so many events going on in the Land of the Rising Sun that you should not miss this travel season! 

There are many cities that are worth visiting in Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, Kutchan-Cho, Nara, Hatsukaichi, Yakushima, Hakuba-Mura, and others. But the heart and soul of Japan is definitely in Tokyo, its capital and economic center.

Tokyo never sleeps, so citizens and guests who come here fall in love with the vibe, atmosphere, and innovative beauty of the Japanese capital.  The best seasons to visit Tokyo are spring and autumn when the weather is mild and pleasant.  In spring you can also witness the wonderful cherry trees blossoming like nowhere else on earth. 

If you are not afraid of hot temperatures and the possibility of sudden rains, you can come here in summer. The positive features of coming during summer months are the many festivals and events taking place in the Japanese capital, as well as open-air swimming pools and aqua parks, fewer tourists and discounted prices, summer fireworks, and, of course, the craziest ice cream you will ever taste. 

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

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What are the best places to visit in Tokyo in summer 2017? 

Yes, this is the first question that all tourists ask themselves when planning a trip to Japan. Well, the country capital has it all for all kinds of tourists: museums and temples for history lovers, parks and open-air recreation zones for those who love nature and serenity, hi-tech museums, and the world’s most innovative architecture for those who love technology. 

Japan has even more: don’t forget about the unique cuisine with outrageously tasty dishes and unusual, Japanese-style attractions that will excite even the most seasoned tourists. 

Tokyo city skyline

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The best Tokyo attractions:  

  • Tsukiji Market – the largest market in the world, with 2,000 tons of fish per day, will amaze almost any traveler 
  • Meiji Shrine – a Shinto shrine built in honor of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. You can visit not only the building itself, but also the forest located nearby, which has more than 245 species of trees from around the world 
  • Imperial Palace – no doubt, the most famous attraction in Tokyo. What is more, it is not crowded with visitors as it has an official limit of guests. So, plan your visit in advance. We suggest visiting East Gardens. 
  • Sensoji Temple – one of the oldest religious sites in the Japanese capital. Worth visiting for any tourist, as it is extremely beautiful and sumptuous.  
  • Ginza – the most luxurious street in Tokyo, and the most popular. The prices are expectedly high, so shopping will cost you a lot. But here you can enjoy the fanciest restaurants, the most exciting shops, and high-quality everything. 
  • Tokyo National Museum – if you visit just one museum in Tokyo, you had better choose this one. It is the most popular and a must-see museum in Tokyo.  
Tokyo, Japan residential high rises at Tsukushima Island.

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Summer is also a perfect time for those who love festivals. Here is the list of the wonderful Tokyo fests that you can enjoy while visiting the Japanese capital: 

  • Sumida River Fireworks – July 29, 2017 
  • Shinjuku Eisa Festival – July 30, 2017 
  • Fukagawa Hachiman Festival – Mid August 
  • Summer Sonic (Tokyo & Osaka) – August 19-20, 2017 
  • Asakusa Samba Carnival – August 27, 2017 
  • Tokyo Koenji Awa Odori – Late August

Published: 05/07/2017

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