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Today’s Hippest Tokyo Neighborhoods

Our staff has compiled a list of our favorite Tokyo neighborhoods that are quickly coming to prominence in 2017 that you should definitely check out.

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Tokyo is a magnificent city that is huge and has great influence on the rest of the world. Everyone wants to come to Tokyo. But we’ve all been to or heard about Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku, are they really still the hippest neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Tokyo in 2017?

Just like the city you live in, Tokyo has some hip, up-and-coming neighborhoods that you should give some serious thought to when planning your next visit to Japan’s capital.

Our staff has compiled a list of our favorite Tokyo neighborhoods that are quickly coming to prominence in 2017 that you should definitely check out.

Shoin Jinja-Mae

Hit up the Setagaya Ward to find this hip new neighborhood that is just starting to become noticed.

There are great restaurants and bakeries, amazing bookshops and right next to the train station.

The Shoin Jinja-Mae neighborhood is great for those who love traditional Tokyo but also embrace the future in which Tokyo is headed.

 

Kiyosumi-Shirakawa

If you’re a coffee head then this is the district for you. You can tell how hip Kiyosumi-Shirakawa is by all of the trendy coffee shops that have popped up all over.

But it’s not just coffee here, there are also beautiful boutique bakeries and crazy stores. This neighborhood is now being called the Brooklyn of Tokyo, just in case you needed proof that people consider Kiyosumi-Shirakawa cool.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo resides here, so you will be able to get there bright and early and avoid the crowds.

 

Tomigaya

Tomigaya is right next to Shibuya, so it makes sense that it was oft-overlooked. But lately, the once quiet neighborhood has seen an influx of stores and restaurants. Hipsters flock to Tomigaya for its ancient appeal amongst its modern feel.

Daikanyama

If you’re looking to get lit then Daikanyama is a place you should check out. At night this place is home to some of the best electronic music in the entire city.

Even if raving all night isn’t what you consider fun, this neighborhood has a bunch of international restaurants and boutiques that are sure to keep you busy.

If Shibuya seems like too much, then Daikanyama is probably a good alternative place for you to stay.

 

Kuramae

On Tokyo’s east side is the beautiful Kuramae. Thanks to cheap rent, this neighborhood is becoming very popular with the locals. There is an abundance of fabric stores, which even if you’re not trying to buy a bunch of fabric, it is a highly enjoyable scene to take in.

 

Of course, you can’t go wrong staying in the neighborhoods everyone knows about in Tokyo, but if you’ve already done that, or the traditional neighborhoods don’t hold any appeal to you, give these hip new neighborhoods a trip and do Tokyo in your own unique style.

 

 

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Destinations

Developed Vaccine Brings Hope to Avid Travelers

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Travelers hope that a developed vaccine becomes available soon so that they can, once again, easily visit various places all around the world.

Travel has been heavily affected by the ensuing pandemic. Easy entry to various countries has become a difficult pursuit especially since massive lockdowns have been imposed to halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, the news of a possibly developed vaccine brings a welcome breath of sigh.

Both companies hope to be authorized to commercially sell the developed vaccine within US territory before the end of November. Representatives plan to manufacture about 50 million doses prior to the end of 2020 and produce 1.3 billion vials next year.

Recently, several pharmaceutical companies, BioNTech and Pfizer, announced that a developed vaccine may be 90% effective against COVID-19 infection. This assumption was obtained from the collaboration’s third stage testing of the said vaccine. A couple of weeks after, the vaccine was observed to be even higher in efficacy, reaching 95%.

Consequently, Moderna announced that their developed vaccine against the virus is 95% effective, as well. In the UK, a vaccine produced by the joint efforts of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been deemed 70% effective—a percentage that can even reach 90% as it gets further modified to reach its highest potential.

These updates are now providing hope as various countries grapple with the debilitating impacts of the pandemic, both economic- and health-wise.

Specifically, a developed vaccine—one that may be proven 100% effective against the novel coronavirus—can boost the economy. Likewise, an effective vaccine can result in a boom in the tourism industry which has been drastically decreased due to the necessity of restricted border entry in various countries around the world.

Explaining the ill impact of the pandemic on tourism, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development approximates that earnings from tourism will decrease by 80% this year.

Countries with a huge bulk of their GDP relying on tourism have had to make do with lesser income due to the need for lockdowns and social distancing protocols. Currently, it is predicted that it will take several years before these countries get to experience a resurgence of tourism in their territories. An effective, developed vaccine can help expedite this boon, however.

China, for example, is seen as an excellent epitome of that yearned-for tourism rebound. Since the country was able to immediately control the spread of the virus, they were able to restore air travel—enabling almost 90% of pre-COVID-19 air traffic.

“I believe that the main priority of the tourism industry is to get people travelling again safely by giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing and contact tracing are possible and reliable prior to having a vaccine programme,” asserts Aileen Clemente, the chairman and president of Philippine firm Rajah Travel Corporation, citing that a developed vaccine is not the sole solution for travel resurgence. “As we all know, the vaccine programme will take a while to roll out to all parts of the world, so pre- and post-vaccine programmes should be concurrently available,” continues Clemente.

Nonetheless, it is the hope of many that a developed vaccine becomes immediately available to the public so that a new normal can finally emerge—and easy traveling can be, once again, experienced.  

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Destinations

Ukraine: An Underrated Tourist Destination In Europe

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When many people think of taking a European vacation they probably imagine strolling along the Seine with their lover, or seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence. I mean, those are both two amazing things to do. However most people would even consider traveling to Ukraine. It is a country at war, the winters tend to be unbearable, and Eastern Europeans have a reputation of being unfriendly. All that being said, Ukraine is still an underrated tourist destination and one that should be on travelers radar.

What Is There To Do In Ukraine?

Ukraine is a large country. In fact, it’s the largest country entirely in Europe. This means that there is something for everyone! From adventure travelers to those just looking to relax, you can spend months exploring the country and still not tire of things to see and do.

If you are looking for a city break you can’t skip out on the capital of Kyiv, nor the cultural capital of Lviv. For adrenaline junkies you can go skiing in Bukovel, or white water rafting in Vorokhta. And if you are just a good old nature lover then camping by the sunken city of Bakota or the uninhabited Dzharylhach island could be for you.

5 Amazing Places To Visit In Ukraine

1. Lviv – A Beautiful City In Western Ukraine

The cultural capital of Lviv has a storied history. From being the capital of the kingdom of Rus to a part of Poland, the pearl of the Austrian Empire to the gem of an independent Ukraine. There are so many things to do in Lviv almost anyone can have a great time.

For dining I highly recommend a trip to the most popular restaurant in Lviv, Kryivka. This restaurant in a bunker under Rynok square is themed, but don’t let that put you off. The walls are papered with interesting artefacts from one of the most tumultous periods in Lviv history. Youc an see old military medals, propaganda posters, and plenty of old (non-functioning) weapons.

2. Bakota – A Less Than Easy Place To Go Camping Like A Local

The site of a submerged city, Bakota, is currently a reservoir connecting to the Bug river. This is a very popular camping spot for Ukrainians and there are plenty of activities you can do. I like to just relax and enjoy nature, but you can go boating, fishing, or hiking the cliffs around the area.

You will need a car to get there as public transportation doesn’t really exist, but that just means you’ll have to do a bit of car camping.

3. Dzharylhach Island – The Largest Island In The Black Sea

Dzharylhach Island is an uninhabited island in the Kherson region of Ukraine that is another beautiful place to camp. You can only get there by taking a ferry from the mainland, and there are no accommodations other than tents. Rest on the soft white sand or play with the dolphins that come very close to shore.

If you do spend some time there you have to try the island specialty – stingray borsch! This soup is made daily by the shanty little cafe near the pier. And don’t forget to see the sunset by the famous Dzharylhach Lighthouse!

4. The Pink Lake – One Of The Most Unique Places In All Ukraine

Located on Arabatska Strilka, about 6 hours by bus from Kherson City, is one of my absolute favorite places in the whole country. Officially named Henichesk Lake, this natural pink lake is an amazing sight to behold.

The color is due to a non-harmful bacteria that thrives in the high salt content of the lake. Many people even take salt home to cook with it, I know I brought a few kilos back! Make sure to wade out as far as you can go so you can see the most naturally pink section.

5. Kyiv – The Capital Of Ukraine

No list about places to see in Ukraine would be complete without Kyiv. A capital going back all the way to Kievan Rus, the city is a mix of classic Eastern European architecture and ugly Soviet commie-blocks. However don’t let the ugliness deter you. The city is lively and fun if you know how to do it right.

Spend some time at the Bukta food center on the Dniper river, or hit up an amazing pool party in the warm months. Walk through beautifully manicured parks and see the Mariinsky Palace, or visit the Pechersk Lavra – an historic cave monastery filled with the bodies of Orthodox saints.

About the author:

Alona Tiunina is a travel blogger from Ukraine who has been to (almost) every region in the country. When she is not traveling she enjoys binge watching Netflix and scouring airline tickets for her next trip.

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Destinations

Visit the Quieter Side of the Caribbean

 Let’s get away from the crowds and find a vacation spot that is just as beautiful and affordable while we visit the quieter side of the Caribbean.

 

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Summer vacation is around the corner and now is the time to start planning your beach trip. If you are thinking Caribbean then you most likely are looking into Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, the three most popular destinations. These places are awesome, cheap and beautiful but also the busiest, so maybe a quieter destination ids for you.   Let’s get away from the crowds and find a vacation spot that is just as beautiful and affordable while we visit the quieter side of the Caribbean.

 

Costa Rica

If surf is your goal then Costa Rica is your paradise. Considered the best surfing in the world, with warm waters and consistent breaks all year long, Costa Rica needs to be on your list if you like water activities. Costa Rica straddles both coasts with the Caribbean side being the calmer side with smaller waves and thicker jungles. The Caribbean side is generally cheaper than the Pacific side and much more laid back.

 

Honduras

Honduras isn’t on most people’s lists because the city of San Pedro Sula is currently the murder capital of the world but its well over an hour away from the beaches. This beautiful country sits right on the Caribbean Sea and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches around. Check out Roatan, the largest island off the coast and a major vacation hub. You can fly direct from major US cities like Houston, so no need to worry about the crime riddled central cities.

 

Panama

Nobody thinks of Panama when booking Caribbean vacations but that is their fault. This Central American country boast some of the region’s most secluded private islands and luxurious retreats. Find the above water villas you’ve been searching for with unspoiled marine life just waiting to be explored. Panama has some awesome wildlife and plenty of sanctuaries you can explore and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Panama also has a rich history so you can see some really cool ruins.

 

Trinidad and Tobago

Tourists still under utilize the only actual Caribbean islands on this list, Trinidad and Tobago.   The country isn’t focused on tourism like the other Caribbean nations so they don’t offer as much variety of resorts as the other islands. Trinidad is the business island and Tobago is the pleasure center of the two, so I advise you stay on Tobago. These islands have those authentic laid back vibes you’ve been searching for.

 

Belize

If you want the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the region than look no further than the Barrier reef off the coast of Belize. The largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere is full of marine life and intense coral reefs. Belize also has some radical Mayan ruins you can check out that are located deep in the lush rainforests. There are plenty of guided hikes and activities to keep you entertained and more than enough sandy beaches to relax on. Belize is nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, so it’s easy to get to and affordable.

Try one of these less traveled paths and your vacation will be filled with chill Caribbean vibes.

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