Tokyo Shopping: fountain pens, notebooks and agendas

Tokyo is the best place to find the finest fountain pens, as well as notebooks and agendas with good paper for fountain pen writing. Here are my favourite places in Tokyo for pen/notebook/agenda shopping. (1) Tsutaya Daikanyama: Also called T-Site, this is the most luxurious Tsutaya bookstore in Tokyo. Make sure you have lunch or […]

Day trip outside Tokyo: Kamakura

Kamakura is a coastal town less than an hour from Tokyo (by train), filled with temples and shrines. It is popular among local and foreign tourists and gets very crowded on weekends, so the best time to visit is during weekdays. You can take the train directly from a number of Tokyo metro stations and […]

Claska Hotel Tokyo: Design Chic in Meguro

Claska Hotel Tokyo is hip, modern, and utterly Japanese, offering a premier boutique hotel experience in the western Meguro area of Tokyo. The hotel has only fifteen rooms: nine Western with gorgeous hardwood floors tall white walls and minimalist furniture reminiscent of Muji designs; three in traditional tatami style lighted by paper lanterns and outfitted […]

Tokyo Shopping The Ginza — Shiseido, 45rpm and others

The Ginza is one of Tokyo’s most popular shopping districts because of the variety of stores — expensive Western designer brands, department stores and Japanese fashion — ┬áin such a small walkable area. Here you will find notable stores such as: Shiseido The Ginza: This is Shiseido’s flagship store where fans of Shiseido can sample […]

Top 10 destinations for spring

Springtime means sunshine, warmth, flowers and fresh brilliant green pastures, and our top 10 destinations for spring promise to bring you just that. Spring also means Easter, Passover (Pesach), Ascension (Himmelfahrt, Hemelvaart) and Pentecost (Pinkster, Pfingsten) holidays, during which many people take a few days or a week (or two) off. Here are our favorites […]

Guide to the best hidden boutique hotels around the world

Here’s a list of some of my favorite hidden boutique hotels. They’re not all in remote locations. Some are in cities such as Amsterdam, but the hotels are distinctive and quirky, definitely not boring and standard. Hill Lodge: tropical hideaway in Chiang Mai, Thailand If your idea of a holiday in Thailand does not include […]

Mapplr's favorite ryokans in Japan

If you are going to Japan, consider staying in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese guesthouse) instead of a hotel, as many Japanese do, when they travel within their country. Many ryokans are small, family-run guesthouses that offer a very Japanese experience. They vary in price and quality, with high-end ryokans costing hundreds of dollars a […]