Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jagalchi in Busan - poor animals stuck in cages in pet shops - just like Japan.

Carole Goldsmith, Copyright 2010

Today I went to Jagalchi, only a few subways stops from Busan Station in Korea. After buying a couple of jackets and caps, I wandered on towards the market area. On the way I passed three pet shops and one more further down the road. Poor young cats and dogs stuck in cages on display for potential buyers, just like the pet shops in Japan. The poor little animals in the cages, some without even mats in their cages jut laying on the cold wire of the cages. Many looking around and probably hoping that they would get out of their cages soon.

Why does Korea and Japan persist in keeping poor little animals in cages in pet shops when people should be buying dogs and cats from refuge shelters for lost animals.

In Japan I also saw female dogs, stuck in cages for non stop breeding and they hardly ever get out of the cages. This should be banned as well as the poor animals, probably a result of breeding, who are stuck in cages in pet shops in Japan and Korea.

A quick trip to Busan, Korea

By Carole Goldsmith Copyright 2010
I flew to Seoul last Monday for some meetings and to attend an International environmental expo. So for the weekend I decided to travel to Busan, about three hours south of Seoul. The return trip Seoul to Busan by KTX train (up to 300 km per hour) costs around $US90.00. Traveling to Busan takes just under three hours, a smooth and stress free trip. There are elevators at Seoul Station and at Busan station to the train platforms, with all the steps on the subways in Seoul, it is great to have elevators, especially when you are carrying luggage.

I booked into the Dongyang Motel (  tel 82 051 442 1248) which is one minute' walk from Busan station. Go to ground level, come out to front of station, turn left and walk straight parallel with the railway track and you will find the Donyang Motel. The rooms are very spacious and comfortable, with a large TV, computer and internet in room and a separate bathroom with bath and shower. A standard room is Won 40,000 ( around $US35.00 per night)and a luxury room Won 45,000 (around $40.00 per night). There is a great view of the city and the harbour from my window.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Japan on a Budget E Book

Carole Goldsmith Copyright 2010

I am in now working on my book How to Travel Japan on a budget. The book is for every one who always wanted to travel in Japan and throught Japan too expensive. Ï have been travelling Japan on a budget for over 20 years, so over that time I have gathered many travel tips especially for people who have never been to Japan before.

I will sell the E book on and the book will provide lots of tips on budget travel, accommodation, eating out, culture, where to get your bank balance and withdraw money and lots more.

In Melbourne Australia, where I usually live when I am not on planes, trains or buses, I teach a course as follows on


International freelance journalist Carole Goldsmith, has been travelling Japan ‘budget style’ for over 20 years. She will provide tips on preparing for the trip, valuable web-sites and an insight into Japanese cross - cultural awareness. Carole will also guide you through a range of budget travel and accommodation in the major cities as well as in villages away from the main tourist areas. Join Carole on her trip around Japan from the far north of Hokkaido, through to the southern island of Kyushu. Enjoy the local foods, the friendly people, the exciting, fast moving cities, the beautiful countryside and the wonderful culture of Japan.

By writing the E book, I will be able to spread the world on how easy and economical it is to travel Japan on a budget. Hopefully the book will be finished and on line at Amazon. com by June 2010.

Pink "snow" in Tokyo

By Carole Goldsmith Copyright 2010

Last week, a strong wind blew masses of pink petals from the cherry blossom trees in Iidabashi (a suburb of Tokyo). As the petals flowed to the ground, it was like pink snow was falling and the ground was suddenly covered by a pink blanket of blossoms.

Children in the street were holding handfuls of the pink snow and throwing them in the air like snowballs. Adults were on the ground with their mobile phones flashing away the pink spectacle.

It certainly was an exciting time for all as pink snow lined the streets of Iidabashi and stopped young and old in the tracks from the frenetic pace they all seem to usually move.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kitten on the owl causes photo frenzy

Carole Goldmith Copyright 2010

Surprise, there was a new star at Ikebukeru station last night (around seven PM), that caused an absolute photo frenzy. A black kitten sitting on the head of the owl sculpture at Ikebukeru station, (a suburb of Tokyo) was surrounded by a crowd of excited people.

Amid sounds of "kawai" or "cuto" (cute), there were mobile phone cameras everywhere snapping the little star. Kitty sat there calmly miowing and cleaning herself lapping up the attentionfor around five minutes . The crowd gathered and Kitty was sitting put.

All of a sudden came a hand to the side of kitty. The cat's owner collected the star of the day and out the station they went with the cat sitting calmly on the owner's head, probably getting ready for a fish dinner.

An exciting end to the day's busy schedule.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Toyoko Inn - A great place to stay in style on a budget

welcome to Tokyo

Usually I fly into Osaka, so I know where I am going, but I have not flown into Tokyo since the were Y300 for $AUD1 - and that was a few years ago.
So I fly into Tokyo on 6 April at 20.00 with Jetstar, the plane was full.
After a swift move through customs and immigration, (Japan is so organised), I exchange money at the Bank money exchange to the left of the exit. No commission is taken.
Now to travel to downtown Tokyo, there are several options listed on site, but I chose to use the Airport Limousine service as they drop near major hotels. The cost is Y 3000 to the Ikebukeru area, Hotel Metropolitan stop. Tell the Limousine people where you want to go and they will book you on to the correct bus. The next bus was going to be 9.55 so I called my hotel to let them know I would be arriving later (so they would keep my room - you need to do that if you have given an earlier time of arrival.
As I approached Tokyo at around 23.15, there were many offices lit up and would you believe it, people still working at their desks- male and people office workers slaving away. Maybe they were shift workers but I would guess that they are day shift people still at work and they will go home on the last train and be back there at 9 in the morning.
The trip takes about 1.5 hours and it was a smooth run to the city.
I alighted at Hotel Metropolitan and I was no where near my hotel, so I asked for directions along the way. At times like this when you are frustrated and feel a little lost, just ask and you will get directions.
The term The police in the police box (Koban) to the left of West Exit of Ikebukeru Startion were very helpful and directed me - Turn right at Kentucky and turn left at next corner and walk straight ahead until you see Toyoko Inn No 1 on the right hand side.
So off I went and within five minutes I was there - 23.45 to be exact.
Tired and survived the trip into Tokyo and ready for a good night's sleep.