Road Trip Essentials

Hi! It’s been a while since my last post. I was on vacation in Kelowna and now I am back in town. During my road trip there, I thought I would write up a post about the items that I take with me and just some tips of what to bring…. so here it is, a week later!

I’m writing this post while on a road trip. As I sat here wondering why our dog doesn’t want to hang out with me, I realized that I could write a post of my essentials on a road trip! Thanks for the idea, Tofu!

Entertainment

The number one thing I think about if I’m going on a road trip is how I will entertain myself for hours. There’s a variety of things you can do, the easiest one is to socialize with your car mates. But if that’s not really an option (most people would probably fall asleep and not have to worry about entertaining themselves, lucky people!) then you have to find other fun things to do!

I’m typing this entry on my phone, so I bring that of course. I don’t have data throughout the province (please extend your range, Freedom!), so I’ll edit some photos through Snapseed and listen to music with headphones or earbuds so that I don’t distract anyone. If there’s any offline games I can play (not really) then I’ll play those too.

Of course I’ll probably run out of ideas and photos to edit, so another essential is my Nintendo 3DS. Consider bringing your favourite console and make sure it’s fully charged! I don’t play my 3DS as often, so I usually bring one game cartridge and play whatever trials or games I have installed on my SD card/device. This helps lessen the amount of stuff you need to bring. If you’re curious, I’m currently playing Pokemon Shuffle!

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Bring a book! Or an ebook! I’ve brought my KOBO Glo ebook with me preloaded with some books. I prefer ebooks since I only need to bring one item and not multiple books that could take up a lot of space. Once I have access to Internet, I can always download some more books.

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Sleeping is also another option. I envy people who can sleep almost the entire ride! I usually like staying awake so that I’m aware of my surroundings, but it is nice to sneak in a nap or two.

Hygiene

If you’re somewhat of a germaphobe like me, this will probably be a priority!

If you will not be stopping at places with washrooms and sinks with soap and paper towels, I recommend bringing some hand sanitizer (73% or more!), paper soap, a few bottles of water, wet wipes and towels. We usually use hand sanitizer and wet wipes after using the outhouse. But if you have paper soap or regular soap and some water bottles that you can use to wash your hands, it would be more effective!

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I also bring some Lysol wipes with me to wipe down my phone and other devices, and anything else that isn’t my hands to disinfect. It’s great to have in the car!

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Prepare some food!

Pack some food that won’t need a cooler and pack food that will actually keep you full throughout the ride. We usually get some Vietnamese subs and pack apples and bananas. And of course, pack water! I would not recommend freezing water bottles as they make take long to melt. If you want your water to be cool, just put some ice cubes inside a reusable water bottle instead of disposable one.

What are your road trip essentials? Let me know in the comments below!

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Japan Day 7

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Mmm, ryokan Japanese Breakfast.

We went to Himeji castle today. It is a beautiful castle. We had to climb up and down many steep stairs, right now I feel like I have strong thighs but am really sore as well.

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We also got some Kobe beef as well. Very expensive price, but Kobe beef is super famous. I really enjoyed the fillet as it was really soft and buttery! We also got soup and salad and the service was really great.

Japan Day 6

We went to check out the Hells of Beppu and an onsen yesterday.

The Hells of Beppu are several different areas of steaming hot water at 98 degrees Celsius. The steam rises really high and some of the different hells have coloured water. I’m not sure if it’s artificial colouring or just sulphur, but we saw red, green and blue water.

Afterwards, we spent a good amount of time trying to locate the Kanawa Onsen, as we tried to ask for directions, but were given answers that told us the entire area was named Kanawa Onsen. We were trying to find the biggest onsen, but settled for a smaller place because we couldn’t find the bigger one.

The onsen we tried was a little expensive, but luckily we only had to pay per room. I shared with two of my female friends. We had one hour of time for 2000 yen in the inside onsen. Little did we know, that time would be somewhat wasted. Trying to step in, we discovered that the water was waaay too hot. Our feet were red trying to go into the water. We should have asked for a different room… The water was so hot, we decided to just collect the water in batches and cool it with cold water and splash it on ourselves.

When we got back to our ryokan, I decided to take a night shower since the baths would not be open until 6am, and I needed to get ready for breakfast before 6:30. Half an hour would be rushing it, so I quickly showered and them soaked in the public onsen for a bit. The temperature was much better than the other place!

For dinner, we went to an izakaya and had many yakitori and appetizers. We ordered tendon skewers and we ordered it since we didn’t know what it was, but after everyone saw it, they didn’t want it. I love tendon, so I ate most of them… Yummy!

Japan Day 5

Yesterday was quite the adventurous day!

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We went to a theme park town called Huis Ten Bosch. It is a dutch town with many different things to do, with an intense admission price of 62,000 yen, or around $62 CAD. It was definitely worth the price we paid for, but we didn’t get a chance to do everything we could in the town. It’s a two day trip worth of stuff to do!

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The Flower Ice cafe was filled with flowers in ice cases inside a room that was -10 degrees Celsius. We gad hot cocoa and cold drinks while we sat in this icical oasis. I was wearing a dress, but growing up in Canadiam weather, -10 just felt like a breeze! It was refreshing. The cold drinks came inside a cup made of ice. It was placed in a bag to make it easier to drink.

We checked out the Thriller part of the theme park, it was freaky, but so much fun. First we went into this musical theatre house. No photos or cameras were allowed, so I couldn’t record the experience. We had to navigate through a haunted corridor and the staff would pop out occasionally. We all had a good laugh at the ridiculousness of the experience.

Afterwards, we checked out an interactive haunted wedding. Basically, we had to choose a button from three bells. If we chose the right bell, the wedding bells would ring. If we got many wedding bells, then the couple would be happy and could get married. But I wonder what happens if no or not the desired amount of wedding bells ring?

We then checked out the Zombie Lab, which was a scavenger hunt where you were equipped with a headset and tablet and had to shoot zombies and pick up items, etc., in order to get the vaccine to cure the zombie virus. It reminded me very much of GoldenEye 007 on the N64. I liked it a lot since we got to be on a team, co-op style with out friends.

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We also checked out the One Piece ride, trick museum, 360 domeshooter (lasers, pew pew) and much more.

We stayed until the park was closed and headed back to our hotel.

Japan Day 4

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We went to Gunkanjima yesterday. It’s an abandoned battleship island that is also known as Hashima island. This photo reflects part of the tour we went on. I have many photos on my micro DSLR so I’ll post a few on here once I get home.

The tour was amazing! First we boarded onto a small boat and rode it for about two hours while the guides explained the history of the island. We then disembarked on the island and got to see what was left of Hashima. It’s such a lovely sight but has a really rich history behind it. It was coal mining town and one of the most advanced islands in Japan back in the day. We took lots of photos and after the tour of the island itself, we headed back to our boat. Instead of sitting in the inside of the ship, I opted to sit on the top deck and there were prizes being given out. We all had to play rock, paper, scissors with the guide. I didn’t win anything but the prizes were neat and included sweets!

After Gunkanjima we checked in at our hotel in the JR Nagasaki station and also went to Suwa Shrine, where we explored and then found out that it may be a shrine for child birth… But we looked it up afterwards and it was for success… I think.

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We went back to our hotel for dinner. We had some skewers and soba. Very delicious! Then the group went to the arcade while I slept. I was pretty tuckered out and ready to pass out after dinner.

Japan Day 3

Today, we went to a few places: Marine World Park (can’t remember the exact name), Marine World, and Momochi Town for the Fukuoka Tower.

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The park was vast and had many lush green trees and grass everywhere. I took a solo walk for the first part of the park, as I really like to explore quiet places while reflecting on my self-being. Afterwards, we checked out the children part of the park and had some soft cream.

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I was looking forward to soft cream during this trip, so I was ecstatic to have some!

We even got to ride bikes while at the park. That was really enjoyable! I actually have never rode a bike before, so a kind gentleman (boyfriend) allowed me on the back of his bike to help pedal a two-person bike.

After much exploring, we headed over to Marine World and had some food. I had my first katsu curry on this trip and it was surprisingly very good.

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Marine World was pretty interesting. Although we didn’t read the vast majority of Japanese text on the exhibits, we did get to see a lot of cool marine life. We watched a feeding show, where divers fed whole fish to sharks and much more. We also got to watch a cool sea otter and dolphin show. Got splashed quite a bit but was it fun!

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We then took a small commuter boat to Momochi town. Our plan was to go to the Robot Museum, but we ended up going to the Fukuoka Tower for a bit, and the museum was already closed by the time we were done.

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The tower had this special love sanctuary where you pay 1000 yen and receive a lock you and your significant other can write/draw on. Usually you would write the date and your names, then decorate it however you would like. The couples in our group took part in this, we all locked our locks onto the love sanctuary and even included 5 yen coins for good luck. πŸ™‚

After the tower, we headed back to our place, had some ramen at the Yatai stalls, went to Bic Camera (I was trying to find 500 yen selfie sticks) and then called it a night.

Japan Day 2

For breakfast, we headed out to the Family Mart near our hotel and picked up some onigiri, curry bread and some othet glorious goods such as Boss coffee. Simply one of the best canned/bottled coffee.

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We didn’t do very much today as we wre riding trains for most of the day. We took the shinkansen to get to Fukuoka.

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When we got to Fukuoka, we immediately went to the place we are staying in, dropped off our bags and left for Canal City.

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But first, we got some famous Hakata ramen at Hakata Zen Ramen in the Tenjin Media Mall. Great food for really cheap. I only paid 380 yen, and got a huge bowl. My boyfriend had to help me finish half my noodles because I didn’t realize I had ordered the bigger version haha… I was way too tired to figure out any Japanese at that point.

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We got to Canal City to shop around for an hour. I went to this place called Muji, hoping to find stationary as I saw a few photos of their stationary… I was excited, but found none. It was more like a small Ikea.

Afterwards we tiredly headed back to our place and slept. Off to be legit tourists tomorrow!

Japan Iku-zo! (Let’s go!) – Day 1

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The view from the sky is so beautiful! I love looking at the snow on top of the mountains.

Usually when I’m on a plane, I would pass the time by talking to my companions, but since it’s a 10+ hour flight, my friends are usually fast asleep. I’m not one to sleep on the plane, but as soon as I turned on a movie, I fell fast asleep for about an hour. I should have brought a neck pillow as my head would drop periodically as I drifted into a deep slumber. I woke up, feeling irritated and tried to sleep a bit more after turning my screen off, but it didn’t work out.

I decided to take out my Kobo Glo (super old, I know, but it’s amazing!) and started reading Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. After a few chapters I am now doing a bit of studying. Currently writing down some key phrases and looking up essential vocabulary that includes words for paying a bill at a restaurant, how to talk about my job, and other fun stuff.

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We’re staying in Shinagawa for the night! Quiet place we a few nice local eateries nearby. We bought some onigiri and snacks and chowed down on those until we met up with our friend Koji.

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We went to a random izakaya style place and ordered sashimi and a few chicken and other meat skewers to share. Koji ordered for us as we were all so exhausted from being up for almost 24 hours. The waitress spoke English as well, so it was easy to order.

We were given a huge plate of random sides to choose from… At first, we were so confused because we didn’t order it. But the waitress asked us all to choose one dish… Too bad we couldn’t grab them all! It was a new experience for me as I have never done that before in Japan.

The food was good but we didn’t stay very long nor eat very much! We were ready to fall asleep so we said our goodbyes to Koji and went back to out hotel.

After that, I fell asleep like a baby, but woke up at 5am the next day. It gets bright outside here much earlier than it does in Canada…

Going to Japan!

I apologize for the lack of posts in the last few weeks. A lot of things happened and I have been very busy!

I will be posting regularly over the next couple of weeks as I will be traveling to Japan!

I plan to blog about my adventures every day, so if you enjoy travel blogs and/or Japan, please take a gander!

I’m hoping to also pick up a few beauty products from Japan as I’ve watched a lot of great reviews on YouTube. My first few purchases will definitely be on false eyelashes, as I did not purchase many when I last went to Japan, and they are very affordable! I’ll also pick up some mascaras and eyeliners, as that is what I use the most… maybe some foundation powders as well and possibly some nail tools!

In addition to beauty and traveling in general, I will be posting a few food pictures here and there. I love Japanese food and I am looking forward to trying out the awesome goodies at the convenience store! Believe it or not, but Japan’s convenience store food is actually pretty decent. πŸ™‚ Of course, I’ll also be trying out fancier stuff too~

And oh, clothes… possibly outfit of the days will be posted as well. Stay tuned and keep on reading. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your support! πŸ™‚