Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hostels in Japan recommended by Nick a traveler and my favorite budget business hotel chain Toyoko Inn.

By Carole Goldsmith Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved 

Nick a colleague of mine and a recent traveler in Japan has recommended the following hostels in Japan. I have not stayed there but he has. 

Space Hostel Tokyo

J Hoppers, Osaka

K's House Kyoto

Santiago Guest House Hiroshima

I don't stay in hostels anymore and I like the Toyoko Inn Chain located across Japan. 

Toyoko Inn Benefits - 
                Your own room and bathroom. 
                Great free breakfast and country hotels best breakfasts
                Close to railway stations and you can see top of hotel from station
                Reasonably large room for Japan and every amenity you need. 
                Comfortable beds and pillow. 
                Free Wi Fi. 
                Discounts for members - stay 10 nights and one night free. 
                Early check in (3 PM) for members

                Toyoko Inn Narita - rooms are larger than other Toyoko Inn Hotels


                Excellent booking system and customer service 
                Smoke free lobby and rooms
                Computers in lobby with printing service for guest
                Budget prices for these great business hotels
                Spotlessly clean and very well managed across Japan. 
                Luggage storage if you are returning.
                Sterilized night gowns and clean slippers plus extra 
                amenites at front desk. 
                You can also book Kuro Neko Yamato Transport at reception
                and Kuro Neko will transport your luggage to your next 
                destination at a reasonable cost. 

Book early as the rooms fill up quickly: 



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Understanding Japan - article

Japan budget travel article

Interesting Japan budget travel article which however lacks a few important budget travel tips - such as using the Suica / Pasco cards in cities across Japan and use CitiBank debit cards in CitiBank ATM's in Japan and globally - no fees.

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to hire the next Steve Jobs for your business

How to hire the next Steve Jobs for your business: Nolan Bushnell co-founded Atari and was the co-creator of the GPS and touch screen, but Bushnell’s other claim to fame is that he was the first person to hire Steve Jobs.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ohnoyama Koen Naha - a beautiful large park (near Mercure Naha) to run around exercise in and explore.

Ohnoyama Koen Naha, Okinawa. 

 By Carole Goldsmith Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Greetings from Naha Okinawa.

I just went for a run around Ohnoyama Koen Naha which is three minutes walk across a small bridge from Mercure Naha where I am staying.

How wonderful to be near such a large park and to see green trees / bushes / flowers and hear birds singing. I ran around the park and did yoga over a 3/4 hour period.

Here is a link to the Park's Location .

Trip Advisor pictures.

The Mercure Naha is a good hotel with all the facilities one needs in the room. Rooms are small as is the case in most Japanese hotels, I always ask for a non smoking quiet room on a higher level.
Floor 12 is all non smoking.  There are two supermarkets nearby and a restaurant at the Mercure.

I am paying Y49,000 for four nights and that does not include breakfast and it should.

I pay around Y5300 per night a Toyoko Inn Narita and the rooms are huge and breakfast is included.
See my comments on Trip Advisor -

The Mercure Naha is to the right of Tsubogawa monorail station, so when you leave the railway ticket checker, turn right and you can see the Mercure ahead of you. Catch the lift down to ground level. There is a convenience store ahead of you and then the Mercure. Large lobby and very helpful staff who speak both English and Japanese.

I will check out the town and port today to get my tickets to Kume Island.

The Monorail company have an all day pass for Y700 so I will buy one of those.


Carole Goldsmith

Friday, December 26, 2014

Transport your luggage with ease with Kuroneko - Yamato Transport. .

Transport your luggage with ease with Kuroneko - Yamato Transport. 

By Carole Goldsmith - Copyright © 2014 / 2015 - All rights reserved 

Having your luggage transported from hotel to hotel or  from the airport to your hotel or home, makes traveling in Japan, so easy.  No more luggage to carry on transport, it is transported for you at a very economical cost by one of Japan's leading transport providers - Kuroneko or Black cat - Yamato transport.

You can see the Kuroneko or Black Cat symbol on yellow background at hotels and convenience stores throughout Japan in your travels. This excellent economical luggage transport service will assist you greatly in your travel.

Ask your hotel or local convenience store to make the booking with Kuroneko or book it yourself if your Japanese is good enough. Arrange the booking and have your luggage ready the morning or the day before you are traveling to ensure its delivery in time to your next destination.

I have used this service many times in Japan to transport my luggage from one hotel to the other or to the airport. This has been arranged by the hotel staff.  Also I have booked the service through my local convenience store when I lived in the Tokyo suburbs and booked it through to Narita airport in Tokyo. At airports ask airport staff for directions to Kuroneko / Yamato Transport or TA-Q-BIN. See more below on TA-Q-BIN.

Kuroneko is economical, fast and oh so  convenient. My friends have used it to transport their ski equipment and luggage from the Japanese ski fields to Narita airport.

TA-Q-BIN or door to door next day delivery service.
TA-Q-BIN is a next day delivery service (excluding certain areas) which sends your parcel or luggage to anywhere in the country, 365 days a year.

The delivery rates are here, but you will probably find it a lot easier to call and book or get your local hotel or convenience store to arrange the booking. The price will depend on the size of the item,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kiko the Japanese Frog and Rogi Rogito Japanese Doggie and worm friends go to the moon

Copyright by Carole Goldsmith © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Kiko the Japanese Frog, Rogi Rogito Japanese Terrier Doggy and the two worms are headed for the moon. They are zooming northwards in a rocket made of recycled vegetables and fired with high energy dog faecal and worm droppings bio fuel. 

Out of the sky comes a large flash of lightning with a purple light radiating out of the middle."The lightening bolts  are getting closer and they seem to have hands reaching out for us, trying to grab our spaceship," screams Rogi. All of a sudden there was a strong wind blowing us away from the enemy lightning bolt. The wind is blowing us upwards towards the moon swirling forward in a tornado like action. We are now speeding towards the moon at 1,800 km per hour.  

Rogi is feeling very giddy from all the swirling, but he is the captain of the spaceship so he takes control and calls out " Kiko and worms, Cilli and Milli, try to hold on to your seats and put your seat belts on." 

"We are all stuck to the roof so we can't get down," says Kiko and he tried to salute to Rogi while hopping around upside down. All around us we could see the stars shining brightly, so bright that they were almost blinding us. Kiko added excitedly. The moon is happy to see us, that is great news guys”!

We all looked towards the moon with great anticipation of reaching our destiny very soon.

'Let us look at our sky map and see whether we can see where we are, I suggested to the group.
Look the moon is there on the map, it does not look very far away.
The moon is ahead of us and we can see the light. I wonder what it is like on the moon".

As we were getting nearer to the moon, we saw two new comets speeding through the sky. They had sparks blowing out of their tails - multi colored bright sparks.

"Oh look Kiko, Cilli and Milli, at the pretty colours". I called out to the group excitedly.

There seemed to be new colours emerging all the time and it looked like a firework display of huge dimensions. The stars from the comets danced across the sky making pictures of flowers as they exploded into the sky’s surface.

“What a view we have” we all agreed together.
Now it looks like a rainbow in the sky, all different colours.
“Look those red sparks are turning into big red blobs all joining together, I wonder what they are going to do to us. The red blobs kept flashing and it appeared to get bigger and bigger as they spoke.
That blob has a hole in the middle and it looks like we are going to pass through the middle as it is moving in our direction. All of a sudden, creeping around the corner, we noticed something strange. There was a smoky haze starting to appear – a bright blue smoky haze coming out of the sky. Silver stars were beaming through the haze.

Out of the smoke came a little silver frog with a gold crown on its head.
"Look Kiko and worms, a silver frog and a gold crown. Have you ever seen anything like that guys?" I enquired.
The little frog seemed to be very happy through the haze, without a care in the world.

“Let us get our spaceship closer, Roggi and we can see it better. Maybe it is one of my long lost relatives from Tokyo” Kiko announced.
We moved our spaceship nearer to the silver frog and he seemed to be getting bigger and bigger the more we approached him. It had red eyes with a green light inside of them. As it grew larger, its red eyes were shining with a green light piercing out of them in our direction.

It was still hopping around but its hop seemed to be much more aggressive than before. It suddenly diverted its attention from hopping to looking directly at our spaceship. It was looking very scary by now with an angry look on its face.

“Maybe we should approach it and ask directions to the moon” Kiko said. I replied that we should be more careful and wait and see what happens in the next few minutes. As we moved closer to the silver frog, it seemed to have grown five times larger than when we first saw him.  His eyes seemed to be glowing a bright emerald green.

The silver frog that we had named Zongo was now staring in our direction. It was growing and then shrinking at the same time. Suddenly bright orange and silver threaded wings started emerging from its shoulders as if they were growing before our eyes. The eyes were also growing bigger and were now as large as saucers.

We were getting mighty scared by now, after all we were just a little dog, a frog and two worms in a spaceship made of recycled fruit and vegetable material.

The silver frog’s eyes were glaring at us with such intensity, that it felt like the eyes were piercing through our spaceship.
“What will we do now” Kiko screamed out. “How are we going to escape”?

"Let’s be brave guys, time to get all of our strength together. Maybe we can calm him down so that he becomes a friendly little frog again", I tried to assure them all

“Hello Silver Frog” we called out of the spaceship’s loud speaker.
The now giant frog looked in our direction and flapped its huge wings and let out an enormous croak that shook our moving spaceship. Its green pupils seemed to have increased to the size of a dinner plate.

Pointed ears emitted from its head and it appeared to be trying to listen to what we were saying.
“We want to be friends” Kiko called out. “ I am a frog too, maybe we are relatives. I am a frog from Japan." Kiko added.
The giant frog seemed to be listening but not really understanding.
“I had better talk to him in frog language, he may understand me better”.
“Croak, croak, cro….ak, croak, cro….ak (I may be your long lost relative). The giant frog seemed to be understanding and its big red tongue licked our spaceship.

“Croak, cro…….ak, croooooak, croewwck” the giant frog responded to Kiko.
What did he say, I asked Kiko,
He said that he has been lost here for a long time and an outer space alien put a spell on him and made him stay suspended in outer space. So when danger approaches, he becomes a monster.

How did he know that we were not dangerous when we spoke to him, I inquired.
The giant frog said suddenly in our language. “ I can tell by the tone of your voice. Some how I can sense danger when I am faced with it. By the way, where are you guys going to”?

“We are going to the moon, we all called out together. Do you want to come with us, you could protect us along the way if we face any danger. But you cannot get into the spaceship looking like you do, you will have to shrink again to your normal size”.
“Maybe I just will not get into the spaceship after all. I can guide you to the moon. After all I was living there for a while so I sort of know the way there. Also I can help protect you from danger along the way".

"Would you agree Rogi, Kiko and worms.”
"Yes we do, we all said in unison".
To be continued......Join us again on our journey to the moon.
Carole Goldsmith Copyright ã