Travel

JAPAN: Oita Prefecture, Beppu (African Safari Wildlife Park/ アフリカンサファリ)

Having written about the Fuji Safari Park in Shizuoka earlier, I would like to introduce you to yet another safari park in Japan that is popular with both adults and children.  Located about an hour from Beppu Station is The African Safari Wildlife Park (アフリカンサファリ). Situated on the island of Kyushu, Beppu City in Oita Prefecture is popular with tourists because of its many onsens (hot spring baths). The sprawling African Safari Wildlife Park is just a few miles outside of Beppu City on the Tsukahara Plain (Tsukahara Kogen) and is equally popular.

Open year round, the park affords visitors the opportunity to view the animals either from the safety and comfort of their own vehicles or from within a safari park bus. Unlike other zoos, the animals of the safari park roam freely and it is the humans who are restricted.

The safari park buses are designed to look like enormous exotic animals. Their large windows are protected by heavy gauge wire and visitors can feed the animals through the bus windows. If you drive your own car through the park you are  not permitted to roll down your car windows or get out of your car under any circumstances.

The safari park is divided into multiple zones because while some animals are allowed to mix freely, others have to be kept separate from each other. It is easy to understand because lions, for instance, are the natural predators of gazelles and cheetahs may not get along with the tigers, etc. There are “neutral zones” in between the various habitats.  This design enables the park rangers to send back any animals who may have followed the cars or park buses and may potentially end up in a different zone.

The cost of your admission includes a food tray with various treats for the animals roaming the park.  Instructions on how to feed the animals is in Japanese however, the animals themselves will clue you in on what treats they will accept as they are known to refuse something that is out of their ordinary selection of food items. You will be given a pair of long-handled tongs to pass out the treats with.  Understandable, as you will be feeding carnivorous animals in the park who may confuse your hand as part of their treat!

There is a petting zoo area within the park as well with the typical creatures you will find in other petting zoos.

The safari park is open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (March 1 to October 31) and from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (November 1 to February 28).  There is a night safari offered on a limited basis from 5:00 PM – 7:20 PM. Admission is ¥2,500 for adults and ¥1,400 for children. Please note that there is an additional charge for the safari buses. The rate is ¥1,100 for adults and ¥900 for children.

 

Location:            2-1755-1 Ajimumachi Minamihata, Usa-shi, Oita, JAPAN

Web page:         http://www.africansafari.co.jp/english/

Please visit Amazon.com to purchase my book, “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan,” where you can read about the Fuji Safari Park and many other interesting destinations in Japan.  The book is available in print and electronic format.

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New Giveaway: A Blogger’s Guide To Japan (Kindle Edition)

It has been sometime since I sponsored a giveaway contest.  With that being said, I am offering a free Kindle version of my book, “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” starting today.  One lucky winner will be chosen at random.  Please visit the following link for your chance to win:  Free Kindle Book Giveaway

Remember, the Kindle app is FREE to download and enables you to read the book on various devices including your phone and computer.

Good luck!

(Contest ends: Jul 27, 2017 11:59 PM PDT)

The Newly Formatted Kindle Edition of “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” Is Here!

I am happy to announce that the long awaited newly formatted edition of “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” is finally here!

Product details

  • File Size: 27479 KB
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MRCHE72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled

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The Kindle App is FREE to download and it enables you to read the book on ANY device including: the Kindle Reader, tablet, smart phone or computer.

The eBook is currently in the Top 50 of Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank in the Kindle Store.

Order your copy today at: Amazon Kindle Store

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A Blogger’s Guide To Japan

“A Blogger’s Guide To Japan” is currently available at Amazon.com and through the CreateSpace eStore.  (International shipping is available through CreateSpace if you are unable to find the title through your respective Amazon site.).

Please note that the eBook version is currently being reformatted so that I can bring you a better product.  Stay tuned for an update as to when the eBook version will be available to purchase.  The Kindle app is free to download and allows you to read the book on any device (tablet, phone, etc.).

Amazon.com Link

CreateSpace eStore Link

 

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JAPAN: The Capsule Hotel (カプセルホテル)

With the astronomical prices associated with lodging in many cities across the globe, Japan came up with a unique alternative that is slowly catching on in other cities outside of Japan in such countries as China, Belgium and the U.S.  What I am referring to is the capsule hotel (カプセルホテル) which originated in Osaka (Capsule Inn Osaka) in 1979 and has gained popularity all over Japan.

The standard capsule hotel features a collection of extremely small rooms or capsules (anywhere from 50 to 700 units) comprised of plastic or fiberglass and measuring roughly 6 feet 7 inches x 3 feet 3 inches x 4 feet 1 inch each. These hotels primarily cater to business men who require cheap overnight accommodation without the additional services offered by conventional hotels. They can be found near major train stations in large cities and usually charge ¥2,000 to ¥4,000 per night.  However, these days the demographics are changing. More and more capsule hotels now welcome female guests and offer gender segregated floors or buildings.  The hotels are also becoming popular among foreign travelers and a few “premium” or “themed” capsule hotels have emerged in such places as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka which charge a slightly higher rate.

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The capsules are typically stacked two units high and are lined up side by side in a corridor.  In addition to the bedding, they are equipped with a light, alarm clock, TV and radio. Some even offer free Wi-Fi service.  There is a pull down shade or a door at the entrance of each capsule for privacy.  The hotels typically offer communal bathrooms and showers and more and more hotels are now adding such services as vending machines, laundry facilities, entertainment rooms, manga libraries, restaurants and lounges. The guests’ luggage and other personal belongings must be stored in an assigned locker and smoking and eating inside of the capsule is not permitted. Oftentimes, guests are provided with a yukata (cotton kimono) and slippers in exchange for their street clothes and shoes while they are staying at the capsule hotel.

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The first capsule hotel opened in Xi’an China in 2012 followed by the first capsule hotel in Europe opening up in Belgium in 2014. On June 13, 2011, a capsule hotel called YOTEL officially opened in New York City Times Square.

In America where size does matter, Yotel offers what they call “cabin” rooms which measure approximately 129 square feet, significantly larger than their Japanese counterparts. There are 669 units packed into a futuristic tower in Times Square with each unit offering its own bathroom, shower, a tiny desk and a flat panel screen TV.  The beds are queen-sized and they sit up against the wall like a sofa during the day. These cabins go for anywhere between $195-$230 and VIP Suites boasting a fireplace, hot tub and terrace are available for $1,500!

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Wherever your travels may take you, today you have the option of experiencing an authentic Japanese capsule hotel or upgrading to a more luxurious facility which employs the capsule hotel concept. There is something to satisfy every taste and budget!

Yotel Web Page:                            http://www.yotel.com/en

Capsule Hotels In Japan:             http://bit.ly/1pVBEsN

(TripAdvisor)

 

 

Tips for Today’s Travelers

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or just setting out on exploring the world, valuable travel tips can add to the ease and enjoyment of your vacation.  Below, is a guest article associated with Experience Destinations, headquartered in Miami, FL. offering just that! 

-Wishing you safe and happy travels!

looking like tourists reading mapsTraveling today is much different than it was several years ago.  Today’s travelers rely on technologically advanced tourist information to get them where they want to go.  This makes traveling much easier and more enjoyable.  It also allows travelers to more fully reap the benefits of their vacation.  If you have an upcoming trip, learn how you can benefit from the following traveling tips to help you have the best time.

Fly With Wifi

First, whenever you are traveling, try to book a flight with an airline that provides wifi.  Your flight is going to feel like an eternity if you do not have access to your computer or smart phone.  Fortunately, most airlines provide this technology.  Usually, it comes with a small fee.  However, it is worth the cost if you want to be able to entertain yourself during a long flight.  This will allow you to stream videos, work, or catch up with friends.

Review the Area Online

Before you arrive, it is a good idea to review the area you are visiting.  You can browse tourism websites or read reviews about places nearby.  This will help you determine what you want to see when you arrive.  You can also plan restaurants to eat at in the area.  When you research beforehand, you eliminate a lot of stress during your vacation.  Much time is wasted trying to figure out what to do and where to go.  Also, you might discover something to do that you had not considered before you planned the trip.

Understand the Transportation

Next, make sure you understand the transportation system of the area you are visiting.  Obviously, you can always use the GPS system on your phone to navigate the surrounding areas.  However, some places get around differently than others.  For example, you might need to take taxis or buses to get from place to place.  In other areas, a car rental may be necessary.  Sometimes, you might rely on the metro or subway system.  Make sure you know what is the most practical for you as a tourist.  Then, make any necessary arrangements so that you can get around with ease once you arrive.

Download Helpful Apps

Furthermore, it might be beneficial for you to download helpful apps to help you best understand the area you are visiting.  It is common for cities to have an app with helpful information for tourists.  In addition, there are usually apps for public transportation systems.  These apps are convenient and will help you to feel comfortable in a foreign area.

Let Your Hotel Help You

Whenever you are traveling and away from home, you should stay at a good hotel that you can count on to help you with your needs.  This is what a hotel is for.  They can help you with a wide variety of services including bringing food to your room, providing you with extra bedding, offering access to the Internet, and giving traveling suggestions.  Too often, travelers fail to use their hotel as a resource for traveling advice.  When they do this, they miss out on their expertise.  A good hotel can recommend delicious dining options and enjoyable activities.  Even better, they might even have discounts for some of the events you are planning to participate in.

Find Time to Relax

Finally, many people come home from vacations overly tired.  They spend the entire week trying to fit every activity in and forget to relax.  Although events are part of the fun of vacationing, so is relaxing.  Therefore, make sure you take the time to relax.  Spend a morning sleeping in, stream a movie on your computer, or enjoy a night by the hotel pool.  It will allow you to distress and have a good time.

Hopefully these helpful tips will help you make the most of your next vacation.  Need some more inspiration? Check out this guide to vacationing in the Caribbean.

A Guide To Caribbean Attractions
Presented By Experience Destinations

Newly Added! Reader Pages

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Do you have travel photos or videos you would like to share?  Click on the link below for more information on the newly added page which will feature photos and videos from our contributors:

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