Travel – Korea (Summer) 2

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And well, now that I`m married to a Korean, I do fly more often to this country than expected. [other posts here, here and here] This time we went due to 2 weddings of a university friend of my husband as well as a relative of ours. I got a bitter-sweet taste of what those “weddings” actually mean and how they are culturally implemented in everybody’s hearts.

Honestly it would be a less positive post if I kept rumbling on how heartless and cold those assembly-line wedding “procedures are (people didn’t even shut up while ceremony already started) Where the only purpose is to “get your money back from all those married ones” (as you too, invested in their weddings as a guest)  This being actually the main point – and a reason why we have our “ceremony” 1.5 years AFTER our actual wedding. [Anyway, I hope it’s over soon and we somehow manage to keep debt as low as possible.]


Fun part: Korea – yeay – I love summer in Korea…..well, I did. Last year. But this year was hell. Air pollution was on its peak during our 2 weeks stay, and (being allergic to dust) I went all the way: sore throat, pimples, itchiness, swollen eyes, cough, runny nose, asthma……Korea would be a great country regarding nature. But pollution (which is not Chinas fault alone) reminds me what a gem other countries are (Canada, Germany etc. )

» As for the wedding, there is this “being forced to treat friends for cafe/dinner to hand them invitation over”- kinda thing…….so we ended up having dinner or lunch with a lot of people. The best (only?) day I really enjoyed was date-day on a pollution-free (thanks wind!) day. Going to the recently inaugurated Seoul towerA beautiful lake, some cold drink, my husband, and fresh air to breath. These are the things that make me happy, and I`m glad my husbands opinion coincides.


Some other day we went all the way down to Busan again, for his cousins wedding. Family chaos all over again (I even don’t have names for those 5th line-cousin on mothers side (guess in Korea it’s a “Family tree”  “Family Tumor” ….add korean names and you know the mess I felt I was in.)  In Busan we successfully escaped family and checked in in my fav. Yellow Hostel at Yongdo Beach (see this post) and had a nice walk at the beach; and the next day a rainy train-ride home.

This time was more a “real lifeexperience. And yes, it’s not all happy-go-lucky lovey-dovey family. It’s “real” it’s “life”. But one should not forget you marry only one person (not the whole family)  → I’m glad I made this choice, I love my husband. That’s enough.

Health – Mt. Tsukuba

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Yes, another mountain post. We went to Takaosan (see post) last year during a national holiday…and have learned a big lesson. Which made us go on a weekday this time.

Mt. Tsukuba(筑波山) is located a nice 1 day-trip (drive) north of Tokyo. Even you are not the hiking type of person you might wanna go there as you have not only the option to ride a rope-way up to the top. But beautiful forest/flower parks and a really old impressive temple (筑波山神社) at the foot of the mountain are worth the visit anyway. (We decided to climb as far as we could, but gave up halfway. No pictures of mountain top, unfortunately.)

• To make your day perfect you can grab some snacks at a convenient store and walk around “Lake Kasumigaura¹, which is located on your way to/back from Mt. Tsukuba. It’s Japans 2. largest lake ! Check out the pictures ↓ for a preview and start packing 😉

We had best weather and pics turned out as wonderful as the scenery felt. Totally a secret “must go” for you (if you wanna escape Tokyo prefecture as a whole and check out ‘Ibaraki‘ a little)

P.s. There is a quite funny story about why Tsukuba is so green and full of life, while Fujisan is cold and deserted. Check it out – history can be fun.


Tsukubasan[筑波山, Ibaraki]
¹Tsuchiura [ 霞ヶ浦, “Kasumigaura Bay”]^

Health – Hitachi Seaside Park

I feel like my trip-posts have become less and less. And it is definitely true.
We do travel less due to some big changes in our life. Decisions had to be made, planes had to be flown. But still I insist on some longer trips at least once a month. So here we go »


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There is this famous ‘flower park‘ which tends to be (believe it ore not) more crowded than Tomorrowland¹ on a weekend [golden week being the ultimate long holiday-thing in japan + blooming spring season] Anyway, we managed to go on a Thursday noon instead, the weather a bit rainy too made us have the park for us (and some 10 other people) alone.

• What the park is most famous for are those blue/violet hills – some 5 hectare of “Nemophila². Though, weather was a bit rough, I could take some nice shots But the blue eyes are not the only thing the park has to offer.

I saw poppy in all kind of colors (up to now I only knew about red one, in Germany) enjoyed huge areas of plain grass »« trees »« forests »« bridges »« hidden theme-park and roller-coaster …..PURE NATURE (which is so rare, especially when you live in Tokyo)

The park itself is quite far from Tokyo (speaking less about distance; more about the time you need to get there) but having the sea on one side and costco/outlets/coffee shops on the other side makes it worth the trip.


国営ひたち海公園 [Hitachi Seasidepark, Ibaraki]

¹Tomorrowland
²[Nemophila in german is called “Hainblume” (grove-flower)]^
Actually Hain has its origins dated back hundreds of years ago, so it’s a very old word we don’t use anymore.

Travel – Kagoshima

kagoshima004Our trip back [from Amami / Tokuno]to Kagoshima was by boat or to be more exactly with “A-Line” (Ferry)¹ my first trip ever on water.. And I totally love the smooth ups and downs…..makes me feel I`m sleeping on Totoros Belly


Luckily I could have a glimpse into one of the 1st class rooms. Add a kitchen and you have our 2LDK in Japan *sarcastic laugh* as for me I actually had booked the cheapest dorm -tatami-side-by-side- place, which I think is enough (you can walk around anyway) …it`s like a little hotel with reception, restaurant, places to sit etc. Very comfy I totally recommend the boat trip at least in one direction.

Kagoshima is lovely. A big city but I had the feeling it is less suffocating than Tokyo. If I had to stay for longer it would be on my top 3 list for sure. Why it`s not my first choice might be based on the fact you sleep right next to an active vulcano.  Also, the blog title rather be –24h in Kagoshima

»from ferry to hotel » to some 3h exploring the city » to Hotel / sleepover / and right to the airport after a delicious breakfast.

This area is famous for certain fruits and (as you can see on the pictures) for Kurobuta [berkshire pigs] – they still have a Tram system which reminds me of Germany a LOT. As for the hotel I stayed, it was the first timeever– that I felt like a place offers “european sanitary standard” ; Japanese tend to be quite dirty especially about dust and mold.
⇒ Totally recommend ‘Richmond Hotel(if you are lucky as me you can catch one of the 11. floor corner rooms for only 50 bucks)

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[A-line Ferry information]

¹Important: ^there are TWO companies providing rides every other day, so basically you can come/leave islands every day!  Be aware of the ‘timeshift’ as one ride from/to kagoshima/okinawa and vice versa includes a change of dates (made me miss my boat once!)