Straddling between breakfast and lunch time, brunch has become the hottest trend these days… our favorite leisure break! It’s story was framed in the late 1800s by English and its’ fame was escalated after 130 years in the U.S. However, the word itself was first appeared in Hunter’s Weekly content when Guy Beringer asked the public to have only light meals before going to church on Sunday afternoon. He said that brunch gives you a more jaunty temper and you are instantly like an upbeat ‘’looney kid’’. He even suggested the local restaurants and pubs serving beer with a nice plate of delicacies instead of the typical English tea or coffee. However, there was a short mention on the Punch magazine in 1876 saying that when you eat at times which are a bit closer to breakfast, this is brunch… Read More
We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From panda-themed hotels to converted airplane cockpits expect the unexpected. This week, it’s the infamous capsule hotels of Japan.
Image via @ www.theaustralian.com.au
Would you ever think of staying in a capsule-shaped hotel room? If not, then no need to feel bad, we’ve heard it’s not all that pleasant, but everyone has their wants!
Although capsule hotels have become popular in Japan, they haven’t really caught on in Europe, as it’s a bit like sleeping in a sort of slight larger coffin! However, the true purpose of this weird accommodation is rarely mentioned, so most people seem to think it’s a widespread trend in Japan.
Why stay? This type of tiny room with (usually) just a bed was developed to save money and time in case commuters missed their last train home (taxi rides are crazy expensive) or for travellers seeking a cheap overnight stay.
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What’s included? A night’s stay usually costs around £13, while there are some others around £17. The prices will get you ship shape in as much luxury as you can find on a tiny, capsule shaped mattress and, if you’re lucky a tv over the door. The big thing about these hotels though is admission to the ofuro a spa style bath, just remember to take a shower before entering, the water is not changed too often.
Image via @ commons.wikimedia.org
Capsule Hotel via @ Clango
Capsule Hotels might not suit absolutely everyone, but if you use your imagination and see it as a space station, it could be quite an interesting experience!
Sakura via @ SteFou!
If you love things romantic, filled with flowers or simply think the sight of hundreds of blooming cherry blossom trees is something you’d like to see, then head for Lake Sakura in Japan. Its name translates as ‘cherry blossom lake’ after its stunning surroundings.
In Ubuyagasaki, Japan, a small paradise in bright pink appears every spring, and offers a breathtaking opportunity to thousands of visitors who come to soak up the unique sight.
Dozens of cherry trees start to blossom turning the whole area into pink. What’s more, bright pink is blended with the blue lake waters making visitors think they are looking at a famous painter’s creation.
Colours harmoniously success each other, depending on the season, reaching their beauty peak in mid-April when visitors can witness a stunning sight.
Find out about more amazing places in the world from our Off the beaten track series…
Sakura via @ Forgo23
Sakura via @ jmurawski
Some people think aquariums are a bit weird – we don’t! We think it’s pretty cool to get up close with Nemos or the odd Jaws in there. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan has huge windows where you can practically reach out and touch the sharks, rays and tonnes of other species of fish that thrive in its waters.
image via @ temaki
Your visit starts from a beach and continues down into the deep sea world, as if you’re going diving yourself.
image via @ tab2_dawa
The aquarium’s exhibits are shown in many different ways and your experience will go far beyond simply viewing exhibits in tanks.
image via @ SteFou!
When you arrive you’ll get the chance to see multiple whale sharks and one of the largest rays, as the aquarium’s experts are the first to breed multiple manta rays in captivity.
image via @ Hyougushi
Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.
Functioning as both a connection to the past and an exhibition of architectural beauty, these mighty and somewhat unrealistic constructions are now ironically considered some of the most peaceful buildings around. From huge, solid strongholds to oriental fortresses and highly decorative palaces, here is our pick of the world’s most incredible ancient castles.
image by mindriot
Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is one of the largest and oldest castles in the world – its surface is around 570 metres long and 130 metres wide. Most fascinating about the castle is its design; representing literally every architectural style of the last millennium, from Gothic to Romanesque and Baroque features, the castle’s first buildings emerged as early as in the ninth century.
The Potala Palace, Tibet
Situated upon Marpo Ri hill, above the Lhasa valley in Tibet, the Potala Palace is the greatest monumental structure in the country. Built by Emperor Songtsen Gampo in 637, the original structure stood until the seventeenth century, when it was incorporated into the foundations of the larger buildings, which still stand today. The present palace, known as Potrang Karpo, or the White Palace, was completed in 1648, during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. The Potrang Marpo, or Red Palace, was then added, requiring some 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman for its completion.
Mont St. Michel, France
Le Mont St Michel is located on a small, rocky quasi-island on the Normandy coast, near Brittany. Only one narrow causeway links the island to the coastline, adding to the overall impression of this other-wordly castle. Unlike other castles in France, which were built for defence or to house royals, Mont St Michel began life as a monastery. Italian architect, William de Volpiano, designed the Romanesque church of the abbey in the 11th century, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount. Countless underground crypts and chapels were built below the structure to compensate for its weight. Today, it attracts over four million visitors a year and has been featured in several movies, cartoons, and even videogames.
Predjamski Castle, Slovenia
Do not be deceived by this castle’s small stature in comparison to other’s around the world – Predjamski is integrated into the second largest cave system in Slovenia and probably the only castle in the world incorporated into the landscape in such a way. It is also the only cave in the world with a double-track railway, meaning tourists can view the inner tunnels, galleries and halls of this unique architectural work.Although its name literally translates as ‘Castle in Front of the Cave’, the castle was actually built in stages, beginning in the twelfth century, with the middle added in renaissance, and the right wing built around 1570.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle via @ Wikicommons
Built for Louis II of Bavaria, often referred to as Mad King Ludwig, Neuschwanstein is a royal palace, located in the Bavarian Alps of Germany. The castle is a quintessential work of nineteenth century romanticism and a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle, complete with towers, spires and turrets – it’s no wonder that Sleeping Beauty’s cast in Disneyland was modelled on it. The castle was also extremely revolutionary at the time, equipped with all kinds of technical conveniences, including running water on all floors, automatic flushing toilets on every floor and a heating system for the entire building.
Matsumoto Castle, Japan
Matsumoto Castle, locally named Matsumotojo, is one of the most complete and beautiful in all of Japan and its origins go back to the Sengoku period (1500s). The castle is an example of ‘hirajiro’, in that it was built on a plain rather than on a hill.
Hunyad Castle, Romania
Although today located in what is known as Hunedoara, Romania, the Hunyad Castle was originally part of Transylvania, and is believed to be the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (aka Dracula) was held prisoner for seven years after he was overthrown in 1462. The castle is the most impressive relic of the Hunyadi dynasty, built in a Gothic style, with Baroque and Renaissance elements. Understandably intimidating, considering its history, the castle’s appearance is equally eerie; a large and imposing building makes up the castle, complete with tall, coloured roofs and myriad towers, windows and balconies, each decorated with stone carvings.
Pena Nationa, Portugal
The oldest palace inspired by European Romanticism, Pena National Palace in Portugal is perched on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra. First built in the fifteenth century as a palace, the building was later reconstructed and donated to the church as a monastery. The style of the palace is a diverse combination of the original and subsequent architectural styles, including Romantic, Bavarian, and Moorish.
In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, our number one choice is this Toilet Hotel Japan.
What’s the gimmick? Where else can one enjoy room service while on the toilet than in Japan? The Nakanoshima Hotel (a.k.a. the world’s worst honeymoon idea) is a small, but luxurious, fully functioning public bathroom. Located in downtown Osaka, fenced by two rushing rivers, this one-room facility boasts an ivory-sheeted bed, a stylish desk, fresh-cut flowers and a prominent opening in the wall marked with a male figure on the right and female on the left. Through this opening, a stream of citizens flow in hopes of emptying their bladders.
You should read: Top weird ways to travel on holiday
Why stay? Stay if the idea of waking up to a cleaner mopping up urine from the tiles is intriguing to you. This hotel is less a place to spend an uncomfortable night and more a piece of tongue-in-cheek public art. Crafted by Tatzu Nishi (the guy who put a room six storeys high in New York’s Columbus statue), the hotel is his celebration of the everyman’s commode. On the other hand, it is thoroughly disinfected and designed to be comfortable even though you can still hear people using the toilet in the other side of the wall.
The Wow Factor: Although this is the part in which we usually tell of high-class spas and ultra snazzy decor, this is a toilet for God’s sake, there’s not really much of a wow going on here…
You should read: A Night Less Ordinary : Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast
In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Benesse House in Kagawa, Japan.
What’s the gimmick? Built by the celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando, Benesse House in Kagawa, Japan, opened in 1995 and has continued to evolve since. The building itself serves as a museum for the modern art collection of Japanese multimillionaire, Nobuko Fukutake. The dozen or so rooms available form part of the museum itself. In a setting that hovers between James Bond in Dr no and the TV series The Prisoner, your stay here is bound to be one of the best memories of your trip.
Read more: Weird ways to travel on holiday
Why stay? One great advantage of staying at Benesse is that, once the visitors have left for the day, the building is at your disposal and you can wander freely among the artworks that decorate its walls. In fact, to reach the restaurant (featuring a painting by Basquiat) from your room, you have to pass through the museum. Works include such internationally renowned artists as Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock and David Hockney, and some of the art is exhibited in the open air, taking guests down to the beach, where there is a Jacuzzi.
The Wow Factor: Usable at night, the Jacuzzi faces an extraordinary desert-like volcanic island, making for a mysterious and enigmatic setting. Benesse House Spa is also available, which holistic natural therapies which use the power of nature to heal and promote harmony throughout every cell of the body. The treatments include aroma therapy using essential plant oils carefully selected by our therapists, thalassotherapy utilising Naoshima’s Inland Sea climate and the richness of the ocean, and stone therapy, which transfers the energy of natural stones to your body and mind.
Read more: Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast
Prices start from £400 a night. Click here for details.