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House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt (and ‘must dos’ for YOU)

House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt (and ‘must dos’ for YOU)

It’s been over six months since we set off on our house sitting UK adventure. We’ve explored terrific destinations in the UK through house sitting, including London, Northampton, the Cotswolds, Bedfordshire and soon Devon and the Sussex coast.

We’ve loved house sitting in the UK, and we’ve also been to Malta, France and Ireland.

House sitting UK: 6 lessons learnt

Leave the toilet seat down!

You hear stories about dogs drinking out of the toilet, right? One night we were sound asleep but awoken at 1am.

“Can you hear a noise, is that an intruder?” I asked panicked (but still tucked into bed)

“I’m not sure… do you think I should check?” asks Cooper, as we hear again… what is that?

“Slurp, slurp, slurp…” 😆

Our beautiful shepherd, Luna, couldn’t be bothered going downstairs to her bowl. Our lesson? Close the toilet lid! It’s true – dogs DO drink from the toilet.

Luna in Northampton on our dog sit where we learnt a house and pet sitting lesson...

Never forget poo bags

We find poo bags in all or pockets now. It’s pretty funny. The bags always come in handy, of course. But what about the one occasion you forget to take them?

In Northampton we had simply popped out to the corner store. When I was inside gathering supplies, Cooper was walking Luna (pictured above) around the block and having a little play with her. You guessed it – she chose this very time to do her business.

And it was no small matter!

Cooper scrounged around to find cardboard and resources to clean up after Luna, but it wasn’t pretty, oh no.

Hence, poo bags in every pocket since that time.



 

Watch what your dog eats

I’m sorry, this seems to have turned into a post about toilets and dogs’ business. You see, we took care of another gorgeous pup, Teal. A Springer Spaniel – about the best behaved and most affectionate creature you’d ever meet. But Teal has a secret.

Teal eats poo. In the depths of fields around the Cotswolds, this innocent pooch will grab a ‘snack’ the second you turn away. At first I thought Cooper was exaggerating because he spotted this, er, behaviour first. I didn’t believe him. Not our lovely Teal.

However, when I turned around after being engaged in conversation with a fellow dog walker, I saw it. Oh Teal. Perhaps he needed some nutrients that are in there?

Whatever the case, we were reminded that dogs are like kids. Keep an eye on them at all times 🐶

 

👉Find out how we got started pet sitting in London



Be mindful of how you’re using treats

We took care of a precious little old man called Monty. He was such a beautiful old soul. A 15 year old Jack Russell, for the most part he was super easy to look after. Except he suffered major senior separation anxiety.

When we arrived he seemed ok, but once his parents left he wouldn’t leave his bed or hid under theirs. It broke our hearts. We kept an eye on him over the 12 hours to come, and we even called TrustedHousesitters pet line for guidance to make sure we were doing all the right things, which we were.

For anxiety, we’ve discovered we need to give dogs in this scenario their space. It’s beneficial for them to be in their own home. If they are not sleeping or eating, then you should contact a vet. One thing we had going for us was that Monty liked his food. We used this to try and coax him to love us 💖 We even got him downstairs by laying out a cheese trail – his favourite treat.

After a while though, we realised we were using treats in the wrong way – we were reinforcing his behaviour to stay in his bed or hide from us. We’d give him treats for it! Instead, we switched it around – gave him treats for coming to us and we got him outside on walks which cheered him right up. Our lesson: consider what kind of behaviour you’re rewarding with treats, or are you giving them to make you feel better?

We’ve shared more on this in our video guides 👇

 

Close doors and check where your pets can go

House sitting in the UK brought many lessons our way. When we took care of Blue, a senior Lurcher doggie in London, we’d been told where in the house he could go. It was pretty much everywhere except the bedrooms. What we didn’t realise is that’s exactly where he’d try to go. Some of the door handles weren’t shut properly and we discovered this after he went missing twice. Blue managed to break into the rooms, have a nap on his siblings’ beds but then got locked in, bless him!




Our Luna in Northampton was known to break into the fridge and eat all the meat, so we had to lock the door to the kitchen if we went out. Luna’s also actually unlocked the front door to go in search of her family 💕 So, we needed to deadbolt it for her own safety from the busy street outside.

A special mention must go to Harley in Dublin who knew how to follow you into the toilet, jump up on the sink and drink water while you wash your hands. His mum said that is entirely his father’s fault for teaching him 🤣

 

Learn to share your personal space

 

 

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Polly and Darcy ☝ haven’t been the only babies to want in on our private space. Pretty much all dogs and cats, once they get to know you, will want to be with you – or on top of you, in bed with you…

But you know what – that’s the bit we love the most. If you don’t, then this gig probably isn’t for you.

 

 

Find out more practical tips about house and pet sitting as you travel the world: subscribe to our newsletter for a FREE guide on how you can travel the world house and pet sitting. 

And of course – questions/comments are appreciated below 😸

 

 

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes 💕

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes 💕

This lovely story on how a dog hotel is helping to find furever homes popped into our inbox recently.

We were so inspired that we had to share. We’re embarking on pawesome travels ourselves, and one of our most visited posts here is on options available for your dog when you travel. So, we figured this dog hotel item is a good fit 🐕

A boutique dog hotel making a big difference

As this tale goes, in March 2017 Ashley Bush received a photo from a friend. The pic featured an adorable little dog called Chester who was ‘one of the team’ greeting guests in the lobby of a Florida hotel, the Aloft Tallahassee Downtown.

Chester was a rescue dog, recruited as part of the hotel’s foster dog program.

Curiosity got the better of Ashley. That’s how she ended up stopping in to meet Chester.

The Leon County Humane Society had placed the Pekingise/Chihuahua cutie at Aloft for his effervescence and abundant cuteness. They also figured he had a unique ability to thrive in the busy environment of a hotel lobby. If he got tired, they’d set him up with his own doghouse, a custom-built replica of the hotel.

Ashley said she felt an immediate connection with Chester (pictured below).

“I put him on a leash and took him around. He jumped up on the sofa next to me, very curious and sweet. Chester seemed very well-adjusted.”

 

How a dog hotel is helping find furever homes - Chester before adoption

 

Travel + dogs 🐶

Ashley and her partner, Walter, ended up adopting Chester 🙌

How many of us are likely to book a local hotel staycation, and leave with a furry friend? Cooper and I probably would!

Chester was the third dog adopted from the Aloft Tallahassee Downtown as part of their foster pet program. This excellent initiative was started by the Aloft Asheville Downtown and it’s spread to some of the group’s other hotels in America.

Each hotel partners with a top local animal rescue facility and hundreds of rescue dogs have found new homes through the collective program.

 

Chester before adoption - amazing work being done by this dog hotel

 

Where did the idea come from?

Seems serendipity was at play. Emma Ledbetter, director of food and beverage at Aloft Asheville, was flying to interview for her current job. She sat next to a man who worked at an animal rescue facility. They got to talking, and coincidentally ended up sitting next to each other on the flight back. That’s when she had an idea…

After securing her job, she brainstormed with the hotel’s general manager about having an ‘ambassador dog’ that would ultimately be adopted.

The first canine guest, Gabriel, was housed in the back office and it took just three days to find him a new home. Staff then moved their foster dogs into a contained area in the lobby, and had the custom dog house built.

“Even associates who aren’t really dog people got excited and helped make the program a success,” Emma says. “And the guests love it. It’s so fun to see businessmen come in and the first thing they do is greet the dog.”

 

Chester after adoption

 

Corporate culture and man’s best friend 💕

Ingrained in McKibbon Hospitality’s corporate culture is the opportunity for teams to undertake projects that will enhance the guest experience, lift employee enthusiasm and do good in the community.

“The foster dog project is a perfect example of how these factors converge,” says Randy Hassen, President of McKibbon Hospitality. “It checks all the boxes. And it’s a great example of innovative thinking about how to run a successful hotel. We’re not surprised that three of our other Aloft properties started their own programs.”

 

Chester is still living happily with Ashley and Walter. But, his new family haven’t forgotten where he came from. They frequently take him for visits. His hotel family still loves him too.

 

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We’ve since discovered there’s a number of hotels around the world running schemes like this! Here’s 5 you might like to read about.

If you know of any other great schemes like this, or awesome animal tales linked with travel, let us know about it in the comments. 

 



 

4 types of house sitting jobs UK (and how to get them)

4 types of house sitting jobs UK (and how to get them)

We recently posted about becoming house and pet sitters in London using TrustedHousesitters. Because we’re expanding this beyond London only, we’ve been asked about house sitting jobs UK and how to secure them.

There’s four main types of house sitting jobs in the UK that might be suitable for you, depending on whether you want to travel, stay locally and take care of animals or not.

 

House sitting jobs UK

Local stays

No matter where you live in the UK, there are house sits nearby. We were based in London when we first decided to sign up to TrustedHousesitters, with a view to using the service for long-term travel. The site makes use of reviews, which help home and pet owners make a decision on who sits for them.

Being new users, we applied for local house sits in London. This gave us experience and the chance to build our reviews.

Plus, sitting locally offers a change of scenery and makes it possible to explore new neighbourhoods. Win/win!

If you’re on TrustedHousesitters, you can set up an alert with your availability and preferred location, and apply as new sits are published. Often home owners prefer someone who lives locally, believing them to be more reliable than someone who may be travelling through.

Short term

There’s plenty of short term house and pet sitting opportunities available in the UK. This is especially true if you’re around during key holiday times, like Easter, summer (August/September) and Christmas. By short term, we mean about two weeks.



 

Applying for a short term house sit in the UK means you can take a trip to a different part of the country and not have to worry about accommodation. This is a cost-effective way to travel.

Keep an eye out for daily alerts from TrustedHousesitters and apply for dates and locations that appeal to you as soon as you spot them.

Tip: if a sit already has over ten applicants, feel free to put your hand up for it. But, why not take it as a sign and apply for somewhere else instead? Go with the flow and be open to new experiences and destinations.

4 types of house sitting jobs UK (and how to get them)

 

Long term

We consider long term to be over two weeks. There are house and pet sits in the UK (and beyond, of course – house sitting Ireland is on our itinerary) that range anywhere from two weeks to a month, two months and even six months. Over the next few months, Cooper and I plan to ‘slow travel’ and explore the digital nomad lifestyle. We want to take our time in destinations. With that in mind, we specifically applied for longer term sits.

For us, long term sits are an excellent opportunity to ‘live’ somewhere new, and we can get into a routine for working and setting up our digital business. It’s also more cost-effective for us to stay in one place for two to four weeks.

There’s a wide range of sits in the UK, from country to city house sits, some that require a car, and others where you’re fine to walk everywhere (our preference). Our first long stay UK sit was in Northampton, which was ideal for our needs.

Before you commit to a long term sit, make sure you’re comfortable that all the facilities at the sit fit your needs, along with transport being appropriate for you, and that you have supermarkets or other preferred amenities around. You should also be certain that you will happily stay there for that long. Outside of an actual family emergency like a death in the family, you should never back out of a sit you’ve committed to because that majorly upsets the plans of the people you’ve agreed to sit for.

With animals or without

The best part of TrustedHousesitters for us is the opportunity to travel and take care of dogs. We LOVE dogs and are happy to spend all our time with our little charges, ensuring they’re as happy with us as they are with their own family.

If you’re using TrustedHousesitters, or any similar sites, you can filter searches by animal, to look for cat sits, horse sits, reptile sits… the list is endless. You can also opt to sit without any animals.

Only ever commit to a sit that you have experience for or that you’re willing to give a loving go to, especially if animals are involved.

 

 

Our experience so far has been that anyone using a service like TrustedHousesitters has the same attitude as us: they’re loving animal people, kind and open to meeting new friends from all walks of life.

Hopefully this has inspired you to get out and travel, whether it’s in your own backyard, or further afield. Comments and questions always appreciated – drop us a line below.

Cooper and I have signed up to TrustedHousesitters – click the link if you’d like to know more or join the service too.

 

House sitting London guide – how to: house and pet sitting

House sitting London guide – how to: house and pet sitting

As I write, I’m house sitting in London. I’m in the loveliest of places we could never afford in the north of the city. A few minutes up the road is Alexandra Palace!

I’m gazing upon the prettiest of gardens that you’d not imagine to be in central London. Rain is coming down hard outside, and all is quiet. Well, except for Alexa pumping out choice House tunes, perfect for a Friday after lunch.

There’s a sleeping dog next to me. His name is Blue, and he’s a short-haired lurcher. Blue’s family are on the other side of the country for a special wedding, and chose us for their London house and dog sit this weekend.

 

House sitting London: how did we get here?

Let’s rewind to the beginning of the year for a bit of context. Cooper and I decided to pursue a different direction which you’ll be reading a lot about from August 2019. Some hints were given on the blog when we started posting about digital nomad tips and tricks.

In fact, we are taking off on an epic nomad, dog-loving adventure – house and pet sitting across the UK and Europe while we work on this blog and other freelance projects.



 


We joined TrustedHousesitters, which requires its users to have reviews based on things like reliability and trustworthiness. (We’ll share more about these house sitting services in future posts.)

In order to increase our reviews before we travel long-term, we chose to apply for house sitting London gigs.

we love travel and dogs that why dog sitting is perfect for us

 

House sitting in London (that is, locally to where we live), meant we could:

  1. improve our rating on the house sitting service for London and beyond, and increase our chances of being chosen for sits
  2. gain more house sitting experience that we can take on the road
  3. spend time with dogs (most importantly!) 💛

In March our house sitting London journey began. I meant to write more about it because it’s not so much the places we stay that’s appealing, but the dogs we meet. Time has escaped me up until now. Still, better late than never 🐕

 

Dog sitting: the best part about house sitting!

We chose to embark upon this new style of travel, starting with our house sitting London experience, because it is certainly a cost-effective way of securing accommodation.

But the bonus for us – if not the driving motivator – is the fact we get to spend time with dogs 💕 I say to people that we’re turning from ‘crazy dog people’ into ‘craziER dog people’. We’re totally going to own it.

For dog-lovers, this lifestyle is the ultimate, especially if you’re not in a position to have a dog yourself, and you’re keen to travel as we are.

House and dog sitting has given us the chance to experience different types of dogs and their personalities.

 

For the love of dogs

Our first dog sit

Our ‘first’ were Polly and Darcy, two cheeky Westies. Darcy is an old soul and a gentleman of 11 years young. Polly is two years old, and the ring-leader in all things barking and chasing. Gosh we loved them. We’re heading back for a second sit for these little pooches soon which is pawesome.

This pair have such funny characteristics – one being the race out to the backyard every couple of hours to ‘check for a fox’ (that was there once). Polly will rouse Darcy from slumber to pursue this task, and next thing their little paws are racing along the wooden floor boards and the dance at the back door begins until Cooper or I let them outside.



 

They were great off the lead at the parklands up the road, and showed me that most dogs are happy to come back even if they’re not yours!

During TV time, we were surprised to learn the lengths of their affection, as Darcy jumped up onto the sofa and then up again onto the back of it, to sit leaning into our shoulders. Polly would make herself comfortable between Cooper and I on the couch. One big happy (temporary) family. 😂

It was sad to leave them, if I’m honest.

 

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Catering to unique needs

But then came George and Milly. Yes, we fell in love with these two as well, but for different reasons. George is an old soul who certainly still loves adventures but his back legs have had enough and so Cooper learnt to walk George on a harness. We’d take he and his younger adopted mate, Milly, over to beautiful Hampstead Heath for a walk around the path that they’re familiar with. People would stop to make way for George, and the dog-lovers would give us a smile as if to say, ‘how lovely, bless his little cottons socks’.

Milly had a tough time when she was a baby, being mistreated by her original owners. Don’t get us started. She won the lottery with the mums she ended up with though, two inspiring women who it was an absolute privilege to meet!

This sit helped us grow as dog carers. When Milly and George’s parents left for their travels, there was an hour or two where we needed to get acquainted. Usually we’d take a dog on a walk to help them settle with us as new humans in their space. I was on my own for the first few hours of this sit and couldn’t walk George. It was Milly, George and me, sussing each other out. Milly seemed a little anxious without her mums, and I was a bit anxious worrying that the dogs seemed worried.

Cooper arrived though, we went on an adventure to the park, had some food and everyone settled. By the end of this weekend sit, we got an understanding of George’s barks and sounds telling us what he wanted. Milly would demand to be massaged on her head by pawing our legs and insisting we ‘continue’. How amazing to communicate with dogs like this.

getting to know dogs is a bonus of housesitting and pet sitting

 

Anxiety, walks and weather

Now I’m with Blue, waiting for Cooper to get in from his day at work. Blue was super happy to welcome me into his home. However, about an hour into the sit, he disappeared. I thought I’d lost him! He was hiding in the laundry room in the dark.

Fortunately I figured out it wasn’t due to me, but rather, his mum had said he is fearful of storms. There was one overhead, so we waited it out together. Blue isn’t fond of rain, or the heat, but I discovered Blue likes hugs and treats, which will do us until things are better outside and we can find adventure together.

He also likes sleeping. And he’s been doing just that while I write this piece.

Five dogs in, and I’m in love with each one – all with their different sizes, quirks, personalities, sounds, interests, affectionate traits and backgrounds.



 

House sitting – what’s next?

In mid-August we’re heading off on our own adventure, and we’re going to share it with you here! We’ve been asked by so many people how we got into house sitting – it seems like something you’d only see in a movie. We’re going to test it out though, and share everything with you, so you can do it too.

Crouch End is where we're hanging out for this house sitting this weekend

 

This lifestyle is ideal for us right now because we:

  • Love dogs
  • Want to travel and see new places and don’t really mind where we end up
  • Intend to work on our digital business so we just need to be somewhere there’s good WiFi
  • Enjoy meeting new people, learning new stories and cultures, and this seems like a perfect opportunity to do all that!

We hope you’ll join us for more stories as the months go by. If you’re interested to find out more about how to travel the world house-sitting, drop us a line in the comments. 

As mentioned, Cooper and I have signed up to TrustedHousesitters – click the link if you’d like to know more or join the service too!

 

For the love of nature – Phillip Island Australia

For the love of nature – Phillip Island Australia

Situated only 90 minutes from Melbourne discover unlimited coastlines and seaside villages, lavishing wildlife and an array of family attractions on Phillip Island.

The breathtaking natural beauty is perfect for everyone looking for the perfect holiday vacation.

The most popular attraction here is the penguin parade. Other attractions include koala and bird sanctuaries, remarkable rock formations, historic homesteads and fine pottery shops. Sports activities here include surfing, sailing, fishing, tennis, golf and bowling.

Phillip Island travel live learn penguins

 

The penguin parade at Phillip Island is an amazing natural spectacle. Every day at Summerland Beach, hundreds of little penguins waddle from the waters of Bass Strait to their burrows in the sand.

They have been doing this for many years for all seasons. On shore, the penguins spend their time preening themselves. Visitors watch them from raised boardwalks from the many penguin tours to Philip Island. Read more about a day in the life of penguins and tourists on Philip Island here, where Peter Dann comments:

“I can see quite clearly that tourism has been crucial in the protection of this colony and the visitors are playing an important role in the conservation of Phillip Island.”

 

Phillip Island travel live learn penguins 2

Seal Rocks is located at the western end of the Phillip Island.

At Sea Rocks, you can find Australia’s largest colony of fur seals. There are about 6,000 seals indulging in activities such as playing in the surf, resting in the sun or feeding their pups on the rocks.

The peak of the breeding season is around early December; hence, it is best to watch these fur seals during this time. Visitors can watch these fur seals through telescopes in the kiosk on the top of the cliff at Point Grant.

Alternatively, they can join an organised trip to view these fur seals. There is also a large koala colony on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island has a few fantastic beaches. Cape Woolamai, with its wild surf and red cliffs, offers fine walking trails, great surfing and good bird watching.

Phillip Island travel live learn Phillip Island 3

There are some sheltered beaches on the north side. You can view Australia’s native fauna at the Koala Conservation Centre. The main town, Cowes, is located on the north coast.

In this place, you can find sheltered beaches, pubs, cafes, resorts and hotels. It is a peaceful town where you can enjoy swimming, eating and relaxing.

There is fine seafood served by restaurants. Cowes served as a tourist centre on the island.

During summer, when the number of visitors is at its peak, you can find the place extremely packed with holidaymakers and tourists.

Phillip Island is an interesting place to visit. Particularly, you can have a unique opportunity to view the amazing penguin parade.

Besides this, you can enjoy viewing fur seals, koalas, birds and Australia’s native fauna.

There are plenty of exciting activities for you to do here.

Apart from sightseeing, you can enjoy many kinds of sports activities. Explore the hidden treasures of nature that will forever be an exclusive experience you’ll ever find!

 

 

Top 11 places to visit in Tokyo

Top 11 places to visit in Tokyo

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Tokyo is fascinating, cool and colourful. It’s the most populous city of Japan and is officially called Tokyo Metropolis; founded in 1943 by merging Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo.

Generally Tokyo is mentioned as a city but it is administered as a ‘metropolitan prefecture’ – that is, both city and prefecture.

The city administers 23 special wards of Tokyo – which consists of the place formerly known as the City of Tokyo – and 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture.

Tokyo City was ranked first by TripAdviser in terms of “overall travel experience” and it also holds the first position in different categories like “nightlife, shopping, public transportation and cleanliness of streets”.

Despite a massive population, people of Tokyo are extremely polite, and it is considered one of the safest cities in the world which makes it even more pleasurable to visit.

Well-known for being technologically advanced, Tokyo is also rich in cultural heritage and people still value traditions and constructs of their civilisation.

With so much to experience, it’s difficult to know where to begin – here is a starting list of eleven places to visit in Tokyo – a city that will inevitably end up as one of your favourite destinations in the world.

11 places to visit in Tokyo

Sensōji

Situated in Asakusa, this is the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and a spot of attraction for most of the locals and foreigners interested in Buddhism or different religions of the world.

The temple is associated with Guan yin, the goddess of mercy and was formerly associated with the Tendai sect which gained independence after World War 2.

Nakamise

Nakamise is the oldest shopping centre in Japan and it is located near Sensoji.

There’s a huge paper lantern here, painted red and black to show thundercloud and lightning, and visitors enjoy browsing the different stalls that sell local souvenirs and snacks.

Meiji Jingu

A Shinto temple dedicated to emperor Meiji and his wife Shoken. The temple has its own rituals to pay tribute to the emperor and to make wishes if one has any.

Rituals include a half bow when entering and leaving the temple, washing your left hand and right hand then left hand again and rinsing your mouth.

At the main shrine building if you want to make a wish, bow and clap twice, make a wish and then bow again.

tokyo-imperial-palace-and-east-garden

Imperial Palace and East Garden

Imperial palace (pictured above) is the residence of the Emperor of Japan and it reflects the political history of Japan.

This palace is not open to the public except on two days which are New Year’s greetings day and the emperor’s birthday (2 January and 23 December respectively). On these two days, imperial figures make public appearances on the balcony.

The imperial gardens are the part of the inner palace and are open to the public.

Tsukiji Fish Market

This is the largest wholesale market of seafood in the whole world. It manages more than 400 categories of sea animals from cheap species to expensive ones, from tiny sardines to 400kg tunas!

The most interesting part of this market is the tuna auction which can be seen in the early hours of the day in two shifts. You’ll need to purchase tickets and they are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you want to experience the tuna auction it is advisable to stay near Giza so that you can get a cheap cab early in the morning because no trains are operating at this time. If you are looking for other travel discounts then check out Groupon deals.

Tokyo Skytree

The 634m Tokyo tower is the tallest tower in Japan and is used for television and radio broadcast across the Shinto region.

It comprises of two parts which are the Tembo deck and Tembo gallery, and there’s a shopping centre at the base.

tokyo-skytree

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

A popular park of 115 acres and based on the films produced by Walt Disney, this was also the first Disney theme park outside of United States.

Tokyo Disneysea is the world’s fourth most visited park, inspired by the myths and stories of Disneyland, this park is based on seven ports of call: Mediterranean Harbour, Mystery Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, post-Discovery and American Waterfront.

Kabukicho

This is often called the ‘sleepless town’. The name Kabukicho comes from the desire to build a theatre named Kabuki here back in in 1940.

The theatre was never built because of financial reasons but the name stuck and Kabuki-Cho is a place with lots of hotels, dance clubs and bars; famous for its entertainment spots and Red-Light District.

Ginza

One of the high-end fashion centres in Japan and famous for its costly real estate, Ginza also boasts many of the five-star hotels and entertainment centres of Tokyo.

On weekends the roads are filled with flowing traffic, while in the daytime it is a haven for pedestrians.

Yasukuni Shrine

A shrine dedicated to those who died for a cause and for the emperor of Japan.

This shrine is also famous for a poem written by Emperor Meiji when he visited the shrine in 1874, the lines are:

“I assure those of you who fought and died for your country that your names will live forever at this shrine in Musashino.”

tokyo-hachiko-statue

Hachiko statue

This is one of the most touching and inspiring real-life stories in the world, and is particularly poignant for ‘dog people’.

Hidesaburō Ueno took in this dog as a pet and every day, loyal Hachiko greeted his owner on a nearby train station when he returned from work.

One day Ueno died unexpectedly because of a cerebral haemorrhage. He never came home.

Hachiko waited nine years in the same place for his master to come back, with friends and passers-by in the busy city often stopping with food for the dog.

Eventually, Hachiko became a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness and ended up with his statue being erected in the middle of the bustling city.

 

Do you have Tokyo tips to share? Please add them in the comments section below…