This summer I’m finally returning to Japan after two years! Because I have been doing a lot of planning, updating my Japan bucket list and just going through some of the amazing memories I had during my first visit, I thought it would be ideal to share some of this information with you. That’s why I have updated my old Japan bucket list post about Golden Pavilion aka one of the places in Japan that made the most lasting impression on me.
Like always all comments and questions are more than welcome. What are some of the things on your bucket list that you would love to revisit? I hope you enjoy!
Why should you add Kinkakuji to your bucket list?
Like I mentioned this temple is the place to take your best travel photos. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.
But in reality, I’m just kidding. The golden pavilion did impress me. I would not recommend it for you if it was just for that one selfie. I had never seen quite anything like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion.
Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan and Kyoto. This pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there.
So let me make sure you will fall in love with Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this temple is the must place to go in Kyoto and take the new charming selfie…
Other Names: Kinkakuji
Where? Kyoto, Japan
How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station
When to go? I think the prettiest times to visit are when there are autumn leaves. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to…
The year 2017 is ending soon and like last year it’s time to look back at the amazing (and not so amazing) moments I had the privilege to experience. When 2017 was starting I promised myself that this year would finally be the year when I start truly traveling and will take it seriously. This may have been the first time when I kept my New Year’s resolution. Anyone who knows me or has been reading my Twitter knows that year 2017 was full of adventures and travels.
Starting my travel year from Travel Expo
I started my travel year 2017 with something inspiring and unbelievable. I went to Finnish travel expo “Matkamessut”. There I took part in this seminar meant for travel writers where they taught everything from writing a travel blog to taking better photos. Afterwards, I walked around the expo and collected a huge bag full of fliers from different travel themed companies and countries.
This all made me want to be a bigger part of the travel community. If I was writing Finnish blog, it would probably be easier. But at least during this year, I have made more traveler friends and even met a cool blogger from the other side of the world twice during 2017. Isn’t that amazing?
Most Finnish people think that flying out from our lovely country is super expensive. In fact, this year I must have heard “How do you have enough money to travel?” at least hundred times from the mouths of my family and friends. Even randoms comment the amount I travel. One of the funniest comments this year must have been “Are you some kind of heiress with endless fortune?” Those who are wondering: I probably make less money than most normal people right now and everything is about budgeting.
During 2017 I have learned more and more ways to travel cheaply without giving up the best sides of traveling. I made my own schedule so that I can leave whenever and where ever flight tickets are inexpensive. Hotels are also out of the equation (if we don’t count traveling with my amazing mum!) and I have to skip some of the most touristy experiences. Traveling to so many places during this year has been possible because I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveler.
Because I had decided to travel cheap and my budget wasn’t great at spring, there wasn’t a lot of choices while picking out the destinations to visit. At first, I thought it would be a bad thing but surprisingly it just meant that I fell in love with cities I might not have visited on my own. During 2017 I was lucky enough to travel to three cities that took me by surprise. Bremen, Gdansk, and Bratislava.
All these three cities were sold short for me. The photos of Bremen I found online were dull and painted picture of an industrial dark city. Gdanks seemed like a place made for tourists and nothing else. While many people told me that there is nothing to see in Bratislava. In the end, all three of these cities ended up on my list of places I have to visit again with more time. Surprises make traveling so much better.
Some places you just know that you will fall in love even before visiting them. Brighton is a place like that for me. I saw the photos of its huge pier, idyllic streets, and endless beach. That’s all I wish for a perfect travel destination. Even if you know beforehand it always surprises you how one unknown place can make you feel like you have finally found your home. Dark alleys, colorful buildings and people so happy its ridiculous. I fell asleep listening to too loud live music playing under me in the hostel’s bar. Brighton felt like home.
Stockholm, city probably 99% of Finns have visited at least once in their lifetime. Even if my statistics aren’t the truth, Stockholm has been known as the easy and cheap destination amongst Finnish people for a long time. Stockholm cruises are always a popular way of traveling. I have taken this form of traveling to the next level because it just happens that flights from Stockholm are nothing when compared to the flights leaving from Finland. Because of this, I have visited Stockholm too many times this year. If I counted correctly I have visited Stockholm 7 times during the last 12 months. 7 TIMES!
I am all for solo traveling but it doesn’t mean that adventuring with my family every once in a while wouldn’t be on my budget list. One of the first trips of 2017 was with my mom, siblings, and cousin to Sweden by cruise ship. The idea of this trip was to see the pinkish cherry blossoms for the first time in our lives. If I wasn’t planning a return trip to Japan before, after seeing cherry trees in Stockholm it came one of my most important agendas.
This cruise wasn’t the only trip I did with my family during the travels of 2017. At autumn I went to Rome with my mom. That trip interesting. Not bad but definitely torturous because of the endless sun and hot temperatures. We saw a lot of local history like Colosseum and Vatican but also just walked the idyllic streets full of tourists. After traveling together my mom flew back to Finland and I continued by bus to Venice.
I believe that every traveler has a few dream destinations that have always wanted to visit. Iceland and Venice have been dream destinations for me as long as I can remember. I’m not even sure how or when my mind decided that going to these places would be dream come true. It must have been primary school and something to do with geography homework.
2017 was a lucky year for me because I was able to visit both of my longtime dreams. After spending a week in Rome with my mom, I continued by over-night bus to Venice. I arrived at early morning hour and fell in love right after exiting the train station. Getting lost is my thing and in city full of canals, narrow alleys and ending roads it’s easy. Iceland was almost an opposite experience but still as breathtaking. Alone traveling around Iceland’s south coast would be boring but with a good friend and easy bus tour, everything felt perfect. I even hiked on a real glacier!
Between my trip to Venice and Iceland, there was time for one more adventure. I think you know what that means! Time to do one more dream of mine. I booked a flight to Budapest and first bus from there to Bratislava. After that my plan was just to improvise and travel around East Europe by busses.
During the following two weeks, I had the privilege to visit four new countries and return to Poland. Like always traveling gave me more than enough funny memories, new stories and moments to share. However, I also experienced the most moving moment of my 2017 while taking a bus trip to Auschwitz. They teach us about it in school but really visiting this sadly famous place you truly could feel the pain and terror.
The last trip of my travel year 2017 was to the USA. It was my first time crossing the Atlantic and visiting America. After Iceland, the first few days didn’t feel as marvelous as I would have probably felt if coming straight from Finland. It doesn’t mean that New York didn’t charm me. I loved running around with Starbucks mug and fancy paper bags. The museums I visited were unique and full of famous artists. Let’s not even talk about the three-story high bookstores or writing endless stories to my new notebooks in small cafes.
And that’s my travel year of 2017. Adventures, adventures and little more adventures. I will now start my year 2018 with a new theme. There will still be travels around the world – I don’t think there is any other way for me to live – but at the same time I have decided new goal. During 2017 I wanted to travel as much as possible but in 2018 I will give everything I have for blogging.
Laugh if you want because this year my blogging schedule has been just sad. Feel free to not believe me but remember that when I once decide something it’s hard to change my mind. Next year I have decided to do daily blogging. It may sound crazy but I think that’s just fitting for my current life. Just follow my lost side blogand there I will tell you more about this plan later this week.
What hopes or resolutions do you have for 2018? Or what were the most memorable trips you did during 2017? Like always all comments are more than welcome!
Cherry blossoms are usually seen as Japanese thing but suprisingly you can see these beautiful pinkish flowers even in cold northern countries like Sweden. During our day trip to Stockholm a few weeks ago the most important thing we wanted to do was to see the popular cherry blossoms on Kungsträdgården.
Earlier today, I asked my sister if sharing post full of cherry blossom photo would be okay. She said no… Apparently this is boring idea. So, here is post full of only cherry blossom photos I took in Stockholm! I am always been kind of rebel and not so good at listening others’ opinions. I hope you enjoy.
We were scared that there wouldn’t be any cherry blossoms left because it was cold day in Stockholm (and it was even snowing at one point). Luckily for us half of the trees were still blossoming and we got to see these beautiful flowers.
We weren’t the only one who had came to central Stockholm to see cherry blossoms. Under the trees everyone from families to excited tourists were taking photos and admiring pink flowers.
Here I am looking totally lost and awkward like usually. But hey, we traveled to Stockholm to see these trees so at least I can share one photo of me with them.
I have to say that seeing a few cherry blossoms in Stockholm made me want to travel back to Japan. Maybe next spring? I love pink and pretty things so seeing even more cherry blossoms would be like a dream. Now I just have to plan this trip, right?
Have you ever seen cherry blossoms? Or what are your favorite beautiful travel spots? Feel free to comment anything like always.
With these cherry blossom photos from Stockholm it is good to start spring. It is snowing today in Finland but my summer holiday started yesterday. Because I don’t have school anymore before autumn I will have more time to write this blog. So, wait for better post next Wednesday! I will come up with something interesting.
Hello everyone! Today I have my first guest blogger here in my GoTravelGlobal blog. I find Ilona’s blog super interesting and totally fell in love with this article she wrote for my blog so be sure to check out her blog. I hope you enjoy her inspiring bucket list themed post.
Ilona is an avid traveller from Northern Germany who explores the world through holidays in far-away countries and weekend trips throughout Europe. You can follow her adventures and see her bucket list on her blog.
But what exactly is a bucket list and why are so fascinating?
A bucket list is a list of all things you’re hoping to accomplish before you die. The Bucket List Guy says that there are several possible origins of the word ‘bucket list’. The one I’ve seen the most often is that it is derived from the term ‘kick the bucket’. You see, in the middle ages, when someone got hanged, they would stand on a bucket with the noose around their necks. The hangman would then kick that bucket and the poor person would die.
Not the nicest explanation, is it?
It still doesn’t keep me from being fascinated with bucket lists. I’ve set my wordpress reader so that whenever I go online, all posts tagged with ‘bucket list’ are shown to me. I’ll browse through them and see if I get inspired to add items to my own travel bucket list. I do have a bucket list for other areas in my life as well, but let’s focus on the travel aspect here.
So why is a bucket list so fascinating and why should everyone have one?
Bucket lists will help you focus on your goals. Everyday life will try to throw as many distractions at you as possible. Do you know that feeling of just making it from day to day, reacting to what is happening to you? A bucket list can help you focus on what you really want in life.
This goes for travel bucket lists, too. Everybody knows a destination that is safe and easy to travel to. And we all know how much easier it is to stay at home. No flights to book, no risks to take.
Deep down, you’ve always wanted to see the gorillas in Uganda. But somehow, you never got around to looking up tours and flights. A bucket list can help you focus on what you want to achieve, so you don’t end up spending your holiday sitting around in your apartment, wondering what to do.
A bucket list can also help you focus on areas of the world you’ve previously overlooked. I put down pins on a map for every place and experience that was on my bucket list and quickly saw the ‘white spots’ that I didn’t know much about.
Western Africa, for example. I did a bit of research and quickly stumbled on Voodoo ceremonies – attending one was exactly what had been missing on my list. And on that note, if you need more inspiration for Western Africa, the westernmost point is located next to Dakar and very easy to access. Plus, Senegal is an amazingly easy country to travel through (I highly suggest you go in November so you won’t miss out on the pelican migration).
For me, travel bucket lists are not just about location-specific items. I also enjoy adding experiences that can be done all over the world. Sleeping in an ice hotel, ziplining and hang gliding are just a few examples.
Those items will help you focus on enjoying life. Maybe you can tick off one of them while you’re at home. It’ll shorten those months that are left until your next vacation. Or maybe you’ll realise that your next trip takes you to a spectacular hang gliding location that you shouldn’t miss.
No matter what’s on your bucket list, you will want to work on achieving your goals. I think part of the fascination of bucket lists comes from putting a difficult goal on the list and then not having to think about it anymore. Needless to say that this is not the purpose of a bucket list.
If you end up with all those amazing experiences on a list and then never look at it again, you’ll have the perfect excuse to go on with life as it is. Instead, what you should do, is take out your list over and over again and look at it. Read through the goals and pick one or two to focus on. That is why I highly recommend not only to create a digital bucket list but to also write it down on a piece of paper. That way, you can take it with you wherever you go and it’s always available to look at.
The next step to achieving goals on your travel bucket list is to set a time frame. Those goals you picked, choose a specific date to accomplish them. For example, let’s say you want to visit Easter Island. It’s a remote location and deciding to go there within the next two weeks probably won’t work. But it’s achievable if you set a time frame of two years.
As soon as you start ticking items off your bucket list, or even sooner, you should start adding new ones.
Bucket lists aren’t set in stone. You can add whatever you want. There are no rules for what goes on there and what doesn’t and I think that makes up half of the fascination with them. If you want to learn how to scuba dive, add it. If you want to stay in a tree house, that goes on there, too.
Even travelling to remote and inaccessible places like Somalia is a possible goal. There are no limits because no matter how impossible the goal, if you work hard enough, you will get to that place and you will have that experience.
So what are you waiting for? Go and write your own bucket list. Or just browse through existing ones until you’re so fascinated, you’ll automatically reach for pen and paper to make yours.
Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan. This golden pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there. Kinkakuji aka Golden Pavilion is one of those places you shouldn’t miss when visiting Kyoto!
So let me make sure you will fall in love with Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this golden temple is the must place to go in Kyoto. The selfies and photos you can take when visiting Kyoto’s Kinkakuji are just simply breathtaking.
Other Names: Kinkakuji
Where? Kyoto, Japan
How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station
When to go? I think the prettiest time of the year to visit Kinkakuji is when there are autumn leaves. However, this Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion is worth to see all year round. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to 5PM. Go early so you have enough time to get charmed by Japan’s golden wonder.
How much does it cost? 400 yen
Why should you add Kinkakuji to your Japan bucket list?
Like I mentioned already Kyoto’s Kinkakuji Temple is the right place to take your best travel shots. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. Finding Instagram photos spots in Kyoto won’t be hard but Kinkakuji is definitely one of the best photo spots. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.
I could keep making fun of the Golden Pavilion because of the insane amount of tourists visiting there. However, Kyoto’s Kinkakuji did impress me. I would not recommend it as a thing to add on your Japan bucket list if it was just for that one selfie. I have to admit that I had never seen anything quite like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion. Isn’t that enough of reason to visit this Kyoto’s tourist hot spot?
My Visit to See Kinkakuji in Kyoto
I had some challenges trying to find the entrance. There was huge construction site between the bus stop and line for Kinkakuji. Finally, I found the right place following group of students. The closer I got the more students I saw. Apparently, there was field trip going on.
I walked confidently to buy my ticket, saw how much it costs and ran away in panic. 400 yen to see one building. Why would anyone pay that much? With that money, I would pay dinner of the day. I didn’t know what to do so I kept walking back and forth among the students.
In the end, I decided it was just money and walked again confidently to buy my ticket to Kinkakuji and went through the entrance. There was a lot of tourists and I was starting to regret my decision. Until I saw the Golden Pavilion. How can one building be so beautiful?
I took some photos and probably appear in dozen holiday photos others have taken. It was crowded in the perfect photo spot and guards were making sure no one stood on the walking path but rather in the photography area. That one not so perfect selfie with Kinkakuji was quickly taken and I walked ahead.
There was some other buildings and things to see but nothing would be worthy of mention after seeing the main sight. In the end, there was some small shops (and a lot of free food samples…)
It was a hot day so after exiting the park I bought ice cream from vending machine. I had just eaten it and decided to leave when a group of students (probably under ten years old but I’m really bad at guessing ages) approached me. Behind them stood their teacher who smiled warmly at me.
“Hello, can we ask questions from you?” one of the students finally dared to ask me. Their teacher explained that they were English language students and had this mission to ask one tourist things about them. Of course, I agreed.
They asked shyly about my name, nationality and other things. I gave Moomin pins for them because I used to always carry them with me in the case I met someone special. After they had asked all the questions I, of course, got sticker decorated business cards from them. So Japanese and extremely cute that I had to keep myself from laughing.
It was a fun experience and I got really surprised how good English they spoke. Perfect ending for my Kinkakuji visit.
My second time visiting Kyoto’s Kinkakuji
After visiting Kyoto for the first time in 2015 I couldn’t get this beautiful city out of my head. It wasn’t surprising for anyone when I decided to return to Japan for the second trip in 2018. The only difference was that this time my cousin and sister were sticking along because apparently, my stories of Japan, Kyoto, and Kinkakuji had made them curious.
And so we ended up visiting the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto for their first time and for my second. Let me tell you that even after seeing it already once the charm of Kyoto’s Kinkakuji hadn’t faded. Would I pay for the ticket again? Yes, probably. Visiting Kinkakuji won’t take a lot of time out of your day in Kyoto but at the same time, it’s one of those places everyone should add on their Japan bucket lists or must to do things in Kyoto.
I even learned new things this time around! When you walk the path through Kinkakuji garden there are these “cups” and statues where people throw money for good luck. Definitely must to do when visiting Kinkakuji, however, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Like always feel free to comment below your thoughts. What are some of your favorite destinations on your Japan bucket list? Or maybe Kinkakuji in Kyoto is one of them?