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First Visit To Japan and South Korea

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626 Teheran-ro, Daechi 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The home of e-sports is without a doubt Korea! I had the chance to visit Korea for a few days and I knew I could not go without attending a live Starcraft 2 match. It was held at GOMTV's new studio in Gangnam. We were very lucky because the...
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Japan, 〒605-0825 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Shimokawarachō, 下河原通八坂鳥居前下る下河原町477
Kyoto is known for its ryokans, or traditional Japanese inns. Ryokans are definitely a splurge, but the more you spend, the more you get. We splurged for one night at Tamahan in Kyoto, and it was more than worth it. Upon arrival at the ryokan, you...
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36-3 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Myeong-dong is a hip, young part of Seoul full of shopping and food. The street vendors are a huge hit, and these fried potatoes on a stick were the best of all the summer offerings. For about $2 USD, you get a whole baby potato, spiral cut and...
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Japan, 〒602-8381 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Kamigyo Ward, Imadegawa Dori, 七本松西入真盛町726-40
Takoyaki is a traditional Japanese street food particularly popular in Osaka and Kyoto. These little dough balls are filled with octopus and pan fried, then topped with a special sauce, bonito flakes, and seaweed. They’re the perfect snack with a...
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If you’re looking for some good ramen in Kyoto, head to Hakata Nagahama Ramen Miyoshi in Kawaramachi (Kyoto). Hakata ramen is a specific style of Kyushu ramen (Hakata being a ward in Kyushu), with a rich and creamy pork broth and firm, straight...
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950-1 Hamamoto, Motobu-chō, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-0216, Japan
This gorgeous café was the best find of our whole Okinawan vacation. Hidden on top of a high hill with nothing but a small, hand-painted sign on the sidewalk to indicate there’s anything up there, this café is really an enormous mansion with 360...
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1−1 Miyajimachō, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 739-0588, Japan
Itsukushima Shrine, popularly known as Miyajima, is a beautiful Shinto shrine built over water near Hiroshima. When the tide is low, you can walk all the way to the large torii (Japanese gate) built directly into the seabed. When the tide is high,...
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan
My first glimpse of Fushimi Inari was from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. Yes, I admit it. I was smitten by the scene of Chiyo running along the Shinto shrine's paths surrounded by vermilion torii, or gates. I had a chance to visit on a brisk,...
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1 Chome-13-21 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Each region of Japan boasts distinct culinary offerings, including ramen. Kyushu’s specialty ramen is tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen with a creamy, opaque broth loaded with salty pork flavor. For a little taste of this deliciousness in Tokyo, head...
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Japan, 〒900-0021 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Izumizaki, 1 Chome−7−19 天久住宅 1F
Watanji is a small izakaya (Japanese bar) tucked away on a side street in Naha. It’s clearly a favorite with locals, and we were the only tourists in the place. Our Okinawan friend had selected this place especially for our first night as it’s...