#justjapanesethings

So Tayla and I have been in Japan now for just over a week and have seen a handful of wild things. Thought I'd share some of my personal highlights.

Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku

This place definitely lives up to it's reputation. It's worth every cent and a must when in Tokyo. Entry is 8000 yen (roughly $90 AUD per person). They ask you to arrive before the show 40 minutes early which gives you access to the bar on the 2nd level which is INSANELY cool and decked out in all things shiny, reflective and colourful. The cocktails there are delicious and very reasonably priced- about $8 AUD a pop. Best to book in advance as well. It's sold out almost every night and for a good reason!

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Monkey in a suit, Saga-Arashiyama Station

Enough said... it's a monkey in a suit. Crazy! Only in Japan.

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Yayoi Kusama- My Soul Forever exhibition at Forever Museum of Contemporary Arts, Gion-Kyoto

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I love this woman. Her art blows my mind. I was so grateful I got to see it in the flesh again and in Japan. The exhibition entry is 1200 yen (roughly $14 AUD) and unfortunately you aren't permitted to take photos past the first room. But I guess that makes it extra special! The pumpkin installation can be viewed just outside of the museum though if you're on a budget and are looking for a cute photo op. The exhibition is running until the 25th of February, 2018.

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Bidets- Japanese style toilets

At first glance they look pretty normal but as soon as you enter the room the lid automatically opens and your bottom is greeted with a toasty warm feeling. Yep, the toilet seats are heated. Some have taps to wash your hands after on top (like the one pictured), some give you the option to play music if you'd rather not let the person next door hear you while you go about your business and all of them have the water spray option for the front and the rear. You can use the toilet hands free and some bidets even give you a hot air dry option if you'd rather not drip dry or use the toilet paper provided. Most of the bidets I've seen/used have clear instructions on which buttons do what but some are trickier than others and you kind of have to press a few different buttons and hope for the best. It's 2017 and I can't keep up but I'm gonna miss the heated toilet seats when I'm back in cold Australia in a weeks time.

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Daisy xx

Konnichiwa from Japan!

Day 1 and 2 in a nutshell

Late last night my friend Tayla and I arrived in Tokyo. Japan has been on my top 3 list of places to travel since the moment I knew I wanted to see the world and its still surreal to think I'm actually here... pinch me! Although I'm feeling pretty run down with the flu I've still managed to cram in a fair bit in the last (less than) 48 hours. Here's a quick wrap up.

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Nine Hours Capsule Hotel

Our accomodation is so cool and futuristic, I literally feel like I'm straight out of the Black Mirror 'Fifteen Million Merits' episode- in a good way though! Upon arrival you're given a little kit which includes a towel, pyjamas, toothbrush, slippers, hotel pass and face cloth. The reason I say it's a little like a Black Mirror ep is because everyone is in matching black set pyjamas, no one really socialises and the capsules are all identical with numbers by each bed. 

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The capsules also kind of look like little ovens to me, haha but I'm into it! It's actually a really comfortable sleep, the staff are friendly and helpful and it's in a prime location- a 2 minute walk to Shin-Okubo station and a 10 minute walk from the heart of Shinjuku. Also the view from the 8th floor is pretty phenomenal!

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Takeshita Street

This hot spot shopping street in Harajuku is insanely busy but actually has some great little stores and also tonnes of crepe joints...who doesn't love crepes?! Though, if you venture down some of the back alleys and walk all the way down to the end and turn right you'll find some really cool 90's/vintage/recycled stores there for pretty sweet prices and a lot less crowded.

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K Pop Central

Shin-Okubo is Korean Pop central and I've decided I'm totally okay with this. Tayla and I didn't realise this until last night when we stumbled into a Korean restaurant for dinner which was decked out in K Pop posters. After exploring the streets a little more today you can really feel the K Pop vibe- they've got the tunes pumping in every store, video clips on the tv's, advertisements on the billboards, Korean dining and merchandise for days! I think the guys are total androgynous babes and I'm thinking I'll be coming back home a fan.

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More to follow within the next few days. Sorry for the average iPhone pics, going to take my camera out for a spin tomorrow. Sayonara!

Daisy xx

Cham Islands, Vietnam

The other day I did a day trip to the Cham Islands from Hoi An and it was honestly the highlight of my few days spent there. I did my trip through Hoi An Diving Centre. It was about $50 AUD and included pickup and drop off to my hostel. The trip was well organised, plenty of quality snorkelling gear provided, delicious lunch on the Island below and decent amount of time out on the vibrant and well preserved reefs. Worth every bit of sunburn I got that day! Here's a snippet of my day, shot on Go Pro Hero 3. Watch in HD. Unfortunately the footage doesn't do the reefs colours justice but you get the idea. Honestly it's just something you'll have to see with your own eyes!

Follow my journey here on Instagram- @daisydoes_ as I explore some of the biggest caves in the world in Phong Nha next.

Daisy xx

2 nights in Singapore

Singapore is a place I've wanted to visit for a while now and I can finally tick it off my bucket list! Although my stay was short and sweet and I had the flu the whole time I was there, I forced myself out of bed for 1 full day of exploring before taking off to Vietnam the next morning.

View from Marina Sans Bay shopping centre rooftop walk

View from Marina Sans Bay shopping centre rooftop walk

The first thing I noticed on the drive in to Singapore City from the airport is how clean everything is! There's no rubbish in sight. The drive in has a very Brisbane/South Bank-esque feel to it. I'm not sure of the name of the bridge that connects the City to the airport but the drive over that bridge is pretty phenomenal with sights of Marina Sans Bay, Ferris wheel, Gardens By The Bay and ArtScience Museum. Some of the hotel strings had a Gold Coast feel to them while others felt from another world, scattered among run down buildings which looked straight from the 60's.

View from Marina Sans Bay shopping centre rooftop walk overlooking Ultra Music Festival

View from Marina Sans Bay shopping centre rooftop walk overlooking Ultra Music Festival

I stayed at place called Met A Space Pod in Little India. It was so cool and futuristic! It felt like I was in outta space! It's a newish capsule hostel so everyone had their own private pod fitted with a TV, air con, dimable lights, safety deposit box and a USB port to charge your phone. Although I loved staying here, as a solo traveller I didn't find it to be a very social hostel. There is a cafe/common room area but I found everyone kept to themselves and stayed tucked away in their pods. So if you're looking for somewhere sociable to stay in Singapore, maybe this is not the place for you. I really enjoyed my stay here though and as I was sick and quite tired it was nice to have some alone/down time. The pods were really comfortable and actually quite spacious!

Met A Space Pod capsule hostel, Little India

Met A Space Pod capsule hostel, Little India

I paid around $45 AUD per night and the hosts were very helpful. It was a little far from the attractions I wanted to visit but the Singapore transport system- Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is super easy to use and almost everyone speaks fluent English there so it was really easy to ask for help/directions and find my way around the City. It's really easy to get your head around Singapore dollars if you're from Australia as it's almost dollar for dollar!

I can't recommend Gardens By The Bay enough! I could have easily spent a whole 2nd day there. The Supertrees at night are breath taking and the Cloud Forest was also a highlight. The Supertree Grove is made up of 18 trees with over 162,900 plants and a variety of more than 200 species.

Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay

Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay

Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay

Supertree Grove, Gardens By The Bay

These Supertrees are as tall as a 16 story building and the OCBC Skyway connects the Supertree Grove into a 128 metre long walkway at 22 metres high. Entry to the OCBC Skyway platform costs around $8 AUD. At night they really come alive! Usually their is a light show on every night between 7:45-8:45pm but due to rain the night I was there it had been cancelled. I was still blown away but what I witnessed so I can't even imagine what the light show would have been like!

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Bay

The Cloud Forest is a 35 metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation boasting the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. There's so many different levels to explore and if you're feeling sweaty from the humidity outside there are various misting sessions throughout the day to cool down! At the end of the walk there's a video which is a must watch called +5 degrees and shows the very real effects on climate change.

Cloud Forest at night

Cloud Forest at night

Cloud Forest at night

Cloud Forest at night

The Flower Dome is equally as cool and hosts plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions and spans 1300 metres squared. I paid about $28 AUD for combined entry to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. All of the above I checked out through the middle of the day and night and were equally as great at both times.

Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay

Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay

Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay

Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay

Cloud Forest at night

Cloud Forest at night

If you get a chance, definitely check out the ArtScience Museum. It's about a 10 minute walk from Gardens By The Bay and is a huge white lotus shaped building. I went and saw the 'Future World' exhibition. This cost around $17 AUD.  Definitely worth checking out as it's great for adults and children with lots of interaction installations.

ArtScience Museum

ArtScience Museum

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Future World exhibition

Although I didn't get to see as much of Singapore as I would have liked to, it was unreal! I think I will definitely have to come back for a few more days as 2 nights wasn't enough for me!

Daisy xx

Top 5 eats in Bali

Not gonna lie... I'm not a huge foodie back home but I do enjoy fine dining when I'm overseas and a daily dose of cocktails! Bali has a vast array of great dives to eat and a wide variety of cultural flavour to please any taste bud. Here's a list of some of my fave spots to eat... so far!

 

1. The Lawn, Canggu Beach

This was by far my favourite spot to eat in Canggu. There weren't many places I ate at twice as I wanted to try as many different restaurants as possible but after trying the Barramundi with fennel & kale salad, rustic potatoes and lemon butter sauce I had to go back. They do great cocktails as well. The Lawn grounds are located right by Canggu beach and is particularly wonderful at sunset either pool side or quite literally on the lawn!

The Lawn, Canggu

The Lawn, Canggu

Kombucha Hawaiian Mojito - white rum, pineapple and mint    (Left) Karaage chicken - kewpie mayonnaise, hondashi    (Right) Roasted pumpkin & feta salad - pearl cous cous, zucchini, currants, almonds, pomegranate, spinach

Kombucha Hawaiian Mojito - white rum, pineapple and mint

(Left) Karaage chicken - kewpie mayonnaise, hondashi

(Right) Roasted pumpkin & feta salad - pearl cous cous, zucchini, currants, almonds, pomegranate, spinach

2. Clear Cafe, Ubud

I can't recommend this place enough! I literally ate here everyday I was in Ubud. The food was outstanding from presentation, taste, service to vibe. With a majority vegan and vegetarian menu you left feeling well fed, clean and hydrated. They have dishes from all around the world and all the food is locally sourced and fresh, fresh, fresh!

Clear Cafe, Ubud

Clear Cafe, Ubud

One Love- passionfruit, vanilla, mylk & honey and super high in plants sterols, blended smoothie    (Left) Smooth zucchini tahini hummus served with flax crisps and raw veggies    (Right) Grand Puri- wild greens, feta cheese, sliced apple & caramelised cashews ft. Clear's signature dressing

One Love- passionfruit, vanilla, mylk & honey and super high in plants sterols, blended smoothie

(Left) Smooth zucchini tahini hummus served with flax crisps and raw veggies

(Right) Grand Puri- wild greens, feta cheese, sliced apple & caramelised cashews ft. Clear's signature dressing

Feta & sun dried tomato, cheddar cheese with home made basil pesto quesadilla. The coffee is particularly good here too! Ft. classico latte

Feta & sun dried tomato, cheddar cheese with home made basil pesto quesadilla. The coffee is particularly good here too! Ft. classico latte

3. Motel Mexicola, Seminyak

If you don't come here for the food, come here for the decore. It's a Kitsch enthusiasts paradise! Beautifully lit and walls covered in Mexican memorabilia, I could spend hours studying every inch of those walls. I did find it a little pricey but for the experience and the area, it's worth it. 

Motel Mexicola reception area

Motel Mexicola reception area

Motel Mexicola entrance

Motel Mexicola entrance

Home made chorizo and melted cheese quesadilla and a Manuela's mojito

Home made chorizo and melted cheese quesadilla and a Manuela's mojito

4. Mrs Sippy, Seminyak

I spent the whole morning to evening lounging by the pool and drinking cocktails on one of my down time days. If you're game like me they have a 5 metre jump board and 2 for 1 cocktails every Sunday. My kinda R&R ;)

Mrs Sippy pool side, Seminyak

Mrs Sippy pool side, Seminyak

Half eaten (whoops!) hummus, babaganoush, yoghurt parmesan, focaccia plate and passionfruit margaritas

Half eaten (whoops!) hummus, babaganoush, yoghurt parmesan, focaccia plate and passionfruit margaritas

Classic mojito cocktail

Classic mojito cocktail

5. Bambu Restaurant, Seminyak

I felt super fancy dining here! The wait staff were very attentive and food presented neatly. Although they don't have any real sort of social media presence online don't let that stop you! Surrounded by pools of koi fish and romantic mood lighting this restaurant is a must.

Address: Jl. Petitenget No. 198, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Badung, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Bambu, Seminyak

Bambu, Seminyak

Entrance to Bambu, Seminyak

Entrance to Bambu, Seminyak

So that's my top 5... so far! Shout out to Bridges Restaurant, Ubud and Mudras Cafe, Ubud for also being extraordinary. Mudras breakfast bowls are insane! Check out My 3 Bali Must Do's blog post here for more info on Bridges.

Phoenix breakfast bowl, Mudra Cafe, Ubud

Phoenix breakfast bowl, Mudra Cafe, Ubud

Daisy xx

Taman Festival, Sanur - Abandoned Amusement Park, Bali

Watch in HD

Before heading to Bali I'd heard about abandoned aircrafts and after a bit more research found this place- an abandoned amusement park in Sanur (about 50 minutes drive from where I'm currently staying in Canggu) and knew I had to check it out. I headed in with my new friend Aidan to go exploring. The park is really easy to access but be prepared for the mosquitos and sandflies! Even after dowsing myself in insect repellent I came away with some fresh bites.

Development stopped just before the rides were put in due to financial issues so it's mostly just overgrown buildings and graffiti covered walls but there is a spooky pitch black theatre room which no one has lasted longer then 30 mins in by themselves and the grounds are haunted so I was told by a local!

There is also a fake volcano and the remains of a croc pit- rumour has it when construction on the park came to a holt , the owners left the crocodiles there to become wild. Unfortunately (thankfully) I didn't see any crocs roaming the grounds.

The park is located right by the ocean and you can here the waves crashing from inside the buildings.

Best to allow a few hours to really explore the whole park and arrive before sun down. I think it would be quite chilling to be there at night time! Worth the venture if you enjoy exploring abandoned buildings.

Check out the video up the top in HD. Some gopro footage I got while I was there. Subscribe to my YouTube channel @daisydoes_ for future videos!

Daisy xx

Hot tips- Bali 101

Traffic- After spending the last few days riding around on a scooter through sunshine and rain, day and night, I have had to learn the rules of the road; or should I say, lack there of to make sure I don't get myself injured. Although there are lanes, markings on the roads, pedestrian crossings and few traffic lights in the busier areas of Bali there are no real set road rules but, there are small things you pick up on to help you get around with ease.

Honking your horn over here isn't seen as aggressive, it's a polite way of letting someone know that you are behind them and may be over taking soon, changing lanes or dodging a road block ahead (a parked car or a stray dog for instance). I've noticed all the locals doing this and it definitely has helped me out when I've been in peak hour traffic on congested streets and don't have time to check my mirrors or turn my head every 2 seconds for the 30 mopeds behind and beside me. Also indicating isn't really a thing. Some do, some don't. So don't always bank on the car/bike ahead to continue on a straight path.

Turning into oncoming traffic sounds quite dangerous in theory but everyone is very aware of their surroundings and will stop for you if you start turning in front of them. Obviously pick and choose your battles. It's good to wait for a lull in the traffic but sometimes there just isn't one and again you have to beep your horn a few times, put your hand out if need be and start turning in slowly. I have had no near misses and everyone gives way and makes room for everyone. It did feel quite chaotic at first but after a few days I feel like an old battler on these Bali streets.

I think the locals tend to give way to foreigners as well if that helps. I also think if there are going to be any accidents on the road it will most likely be drunk tourists or inexperienced riders. Good idea not to drive if you're drunk and always wear a helmet. If you intend on getting a motorcycle over here on your next holiday I would advise driving around the quieter areas and streets first to get your confidence up and then tackle Seminyak/Kuta/Denpasar when you are feeling 100% confident. Also it's good to check over your vehicle before riding. The first scooter I'd hired the speedometer didn't budge from 0 and the left brake didn't work at all.

Stray dogs- They look mostly cute and friendly but I have had a few hairy run in's with 1 in particular that must live/hang around a few doors down from my Villa in Canggu. Every time I drive past it no matter what the speed, it arcs up and starts barking and then tries to bite at my feet. I think they must be hungry, don't get a lot of love and they don't seem to like scooters- who can blame them really. I was so petrified the other night driving back to my Villa late at night that I went and bought some dog food from a local Kwik-E Mart to throw at it but also a kind man offered to drive back with me as back up protection and when we got back to mine, the dog was no where to be seen! How embarrassing!

He told me to never stare the dog/s in the eyes for too long as this is seen as a threat to them and to show confidence around them. I have been doing this the last 2 days and no more run ins so far. Will keep you posted! Also this is just my experiences with stray dogs, I'm sorry if I've shone a bad light on all strays, I'm sure there are some beautiful friendly dogs in Bali I just haven't met yet :) The stray cats are gorgeous though! I have been feeding a family of kittens every day that must live in the storage cupboard of where I'm staying. They are so tiny and malnourished though I wish I could take them home with me. I am cautious of infections and diseases though so I always wash my hands and sanitise after patting any I come in contact with.

Snakes- I've had 2 cross my path in front of me while driving. 1 on a highway back to my Villa late at night- I had to swerve to miss it and the other today on my way in to Seminyak, just casually slipping off into the bushes after crossing a busy street! The 2 I've seen were really big brown snakes, quite dull in colour. After looking up common snakes seen in Bali I think they were both (Naja Sputatrik) Javan spitting Cobra. These guys are apparently really venomous and can spit accurately from 2 metres away so I am feeling really lucky to have dodged a bullet on both accounts. They like to live in old rat holes in the ground and be cautious on the roads when driving at night. They are mostly found at ground level but can climb quite actively in trees when chased.

ATM's- As I mentioned in my previous blog post ATM's are a bit different over here to back home in Australia. Make sure you wait till the very end of the transaction after the money has been dispensed to take your bank card. I stupidly bailed too early and left mine in an ATM after landing. You can get a temporary card sent over but it is a bit of a pain. I was told mine would arrive within 24 hours but am still waiting for it to arrive. Apparently it's scheduled to arrive tomorrow so it's not the end of the world. Learn by my mistakes and don't forget your card, have a back up or just get a travel card! Rookie error on my behalf!

Indonesian Rupiah- I feel like I've got the money down pat now. 1 million IDR sounds like a lot but really it's only $100 AUD. Once you get your head around all the extra zero's it's pretty easy to stay on top of your spendings. The way I work it out is 10,000 IDR = $1 AUD (roughly), 100,000 IDR = $10 AUD and so on. Also the notes are paper... so remember to take them out of your pocket before swimming! Last time I was here I'd gotten out a big wad of cash and jumped in the pool. I then had to lay them out in the sun and make sure they didn't blow away while drying out haha!

Hit my up on DM on Instagram at @daisydoes_ if you have any questions, tips you'd like to know and even suggestions for future blog posts :)

Daisy xx

Here's the cute stray cats from my Villa to brighten your day!

My 3 Bali must do's

If you've been tuning into my Instagram channel @daisydoes_ then you will have noticed I've been posting quite a lot of #throwback photos from my last Bali trip in February, 2016 to build the hype for my next Bali trip which is fast approaching. T-minus 3 weeks and 2 days to be precise ;) As I had such an incredible trip last time I thought I'd share my top 3 must do's- Eat, Sleep and Adventure!

Open mushroom ravioli with goats cheese salad shot on my iPhone

Open mushroom ravioli with goats cheese salad shot on my iPhone

Food: Bridges Restaurant, Ubud

You know when you have a moment of remembering just how good a meal was years later? This is one of those moments! I can't recommend this place enough! I'm not usually one to post snaps of my food on Instagram but this place was off the hook! A short 9 minute drive from Ubud's Market Centre this 5 star Restaurant is a little slice of heaven with romantic views of the Wos River. I ordered the open mushroom ravioli with a goats cheese salad. It was 110,000 IDR which equivalates to about $11 AUD. The mojitos were on point too! The hospitality was most impressive and for someone who doesn't go out for luxe lunches and dinners often this was a real treat. They even did the serviette over the lap ;) I definitely plan on heading back there in a few weeks to try everything else on the menu!

Bridges mojito with a view! Shot on my iPhone

Bridges mojito with a view! Shot on my iPhone

Accomodation: The Alchemist, Bali Treehouse

I'd wanted to stay in treehouse so badly when planning my first Bali trip and this fairytale cottage was just what I was looking for! Although it was a short 1 night stay and it rained on and off the majority of the time, it made it even more dreamy. At The Alchemist there are 4 magical cabins to choose from. My friend Talia and I stayed in the La Petit Prince through Air BnB.

Our La Petit Prince haven. Shot on my iPhone

Our La Petit Prince haven. Shot on my iPhone

It was so refreshing to wake up surrounded by rainforest, away from the hustle and bustle of Seminyak and Kuta. A delicious highlight was being able to bathe in the open canopy shower with the sound of an afternoon thunderstorm as my background music.

Beautiful walkway between cabins at The Alchemist. Shot on my iPhone

Beautiful walkway between cabins at The Alchemist. Shot on my iPhone

It was a little tricky for our driver to find but after asking a few different locals on the way we made it! Best to print off the address and directions before hand if possible. 

 

Adventure: Mount Batur Volcano Sunrise Trek, Kintamani District

Absolute highlight of my trip! I repeat! Absolute highlight of my trip! For someone who is farrr from a morning person, I somehow managed to drag my ass out of bed to be shuttled from Ubud at 2:30am to Toyabungkah Village start point at 3:45am to then start the 2.5 hour hike to the summit. But boy it was rewarding! When you start the climb its pitch black and freeeezing! Silly me thought I'd be hot and sweaty the whole time so I hadn't packed a jacket but my shuttle driver kindly lent me his for the climb and we were provided with flashlights. The climb was tough but worth the reward. I couldn't wipe the smile from my face as the sun crept up from behind the mountains below. Colours grew richer and hits of sun kissed my face. It was truly a breath taking sight to witness at 6:15am.

Onlookers admiring the view. Shot on my Canon 6D

Onlookers admiring the view. Shot on my Canon 6D

It cost us $146 AUD each to do the trek with a guide but we honestly hit the jack pot with ours. Aldi Ketut was an absolute little legend, cracking jokes and entertaining us the whole walk up and down, keeping our spirits high on the tough bits. We liked hanging out with him so much we took him out for dinner and drinks that night! We also met a lot of wild dogs and monkeys on the trek too which was a bonus because we didn't get chance to make it to the Monkey Forest in Ubud!

Wild monkeys and dogs at the summit! Shot on my iPhone

Wild monkeys and dogs at the summit! Shot on my iPhone

So they are my top 3 Bali must do's. Each to their own but hopefully something you consider when you're next booking your Bali trip :)

Daisy xx