Tuesday, January 7

Winter Holiday Trip in Nara & Kyoto - Part 1

Happy New Year to everyone! How have you been? I had big plans of catching up with my blogging during the holidays but I honestly underestimated the time I needed to prepare for my workshops, Christmas and look after the kids at once. We spent our Christmas in Japan this year (while in 2012 we were in the Philippines) and we went on a road trip to Nara and Kyoto.

It was quite cold and we even had snow the first day we arrived in Kyoto! Of course we visited a few temples - as many as the kids could take, and enjoyed some delicious Japanese food. Here below are a couple of the best pictures I took in Nara. It's the place the children enjoyed most, because of the deers walking freely around the temples...

The Nara backpackers's guesthouse, near Todaiji temple

We stayed at the Nara Royal Hotel, which isn't exactly in the center but the hotel offers a free shuttle bus every 30mins so it wasn't a problem to get around. Room was decent (make sure to request for a non-smoking room at time of booking), staff very friendly and the breakfast is buffet style which was nice with kids. The whole family really enjoyed the La Royal Spa downstairs which had a really big shared bathroom (I am not 100% sure that it was an onsen, but it looked like it), massages and a gym.

However on the way to the Todaiji temple we stumbled upon a guest house located in a 90-year-old Japanese house that looked really nice (last picture above). It's called the Nara Backpackers Guesthouse and unless you are traveling with young children (no children under 10 years old allowed), it may be the perfect experience if you are on a budget. Check out their website, it's in English as well.

How did you spend your Christmas?


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