There are so many hotel options when travelling to Tokyo and to be honest it can seem a little overwhelming. The city is so big and hotels are notoriously expensive and the rooms are reportedly small. After plenty of research I also found that family rooms are difficult to come by and are on the expensive side.

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Alannah has to be the biggest fan of Harry Potter so when we decided we were going to Japan I knew Universal Studios was going to be top of the list. Universal Studios Japan was celebrating it’s 15th birthday during 2016, with Harry Potter World opening in July 2014. I can’t explain how excited Alannah was when we arrived so Harry Potter world was first cab off the rank.

SFI - Wrap up post 2016

Wow, so its Christmas week already, it feels like yesterday I was excited about heading off to Cambodia at the end of July. We have had so many amazing experiences this year and it’s going to be hard to top in 2017 but I’ll give it a red hot crack! So I thought this week we would wrap up the highlights of the year including our favourite hotels in each place.

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If you’re planning to move between cities in Japan you’re best off purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, or JR Pass, it will save you a huge amount of money. It also includes some local travel in the cities which will also save you some money. Working out the rail system in Japan will take a little while but once you get the hang of it it’s fairly easy to navigate. Well lets say you will navigate it with minimal hiccups!! (Yes I’m giggling right now!).

Through my contact with other travellers on Instagram, I was given the ‘heads up’ about a fantastic group of volunteers located in Kyoto. The Good Samaritan Club are a group of university students that love their city and like to practice their english skills. Out of that need, a brilliant initiative was born for all tourists visiting Kyoto.

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If you are going to visit Kyoto, firstly I suggest that you don’t do what I did and try to see it all in one day. My advice is to give yourself as long as you possibly can but read on to see how much you can fit into 24 hours. Kyoto is the cultural centre of Japan and the spot that the Japanese visit on their holidays to experience to learn the traditions and history of old Japan. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over a…

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I have to be honest, I never even considered not taking Alannah to Hiroshima on our recent visit to Japan. Since then a lot of people have actually queried whether I took her or not making me start to wonder why I never gave it a second thought. I even had an older American lady approach me at Hiroshima and thank me for taking her. She said it is something all children can learn from.

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I had always considered Japan to be too expensive for a family of 5 so when the prospect of a girls trip was floated I knew I had to convince the others that Japan was the perfect spot. Luckily it didn’t take too much convincing.

After 2 red eye flights in a row, we arrived in Osaka at 8:30 in the morning. After organising our rail passes for our Japan adventure we jumped on the train to Osaka Station and then had a 10 minute walk to the hotel. When I saw the entrance I instantly felt that this stay was going to be something really spectacular. The entrance is grand, l felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she walked in to the Beverley Wiltshire Hotel and the fact that I looked like I…