The Varied Festivals of Japan

December 30, 2008
Jetset to Japan -

Jetset to Japan -

If you’re looking to take a holiday in Asia, Japan is an excellent choice. It’s a land of many contrasts with ultra modern lifestyles juxtaposed against ancient traditions, and rural communities set against sprawling metropolises. A single holiday in Japan can take in many conflicting aspects of life in the country.

If you’re looking to absorb the culture, or simply to find some outstanding entertainment for your stay, you could do a lot worse than timing your visit to coincide with one of the many popular festivals that the country is host to. Here are some of the more memorable ones:

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival will be entering its 60th year in February 2009, and you can expect the event to have an extra special feel to go along with its landmark year. The festival, based in Sapporo – the capital of Hokkaido – takes place over a week and includes the construction of hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures throughout the town. Each year you can expect around 400 immaculately sculpted ice structures displaying everything from instantly recognisable landmarks to famous celebrities. If you’re planning a winter holiday in Japan, then it’s well worth joining the 2,000,000 people expected to attend this legendary festival.

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

If you’re taking your holiday in Japan in Autumn, the Nagasaki Kunchi festival is a must. Started in the 16th century to celebrate the harvests, the festival has now grown to become one of the most popular in Japan. Visitors to the country will be able to see traditional dancing, huge floats decorated like river barges or Chinese boats and the legendary ‘dragon dance’. To give you an idea over how well planned the whole thing is, preparations for the annual festival begin as early as June 1st.

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Kyoto Gion Matsuri Festival

The Gion Festival is another famous one, this time held annually in Kyoto. Unlike the previous entries, this one is on for the entire month of July, but the legendary parade (Yamaboko Junko) is worth being there for on the 17th. Those wanting to get an insight into how Kyoto residents live will also want to visit at this time, as the customary Byobo Matsuri (folding screen festival) means that many residents will open their homes for others to visit. An unparalleled opportunity to get off the tourist trail and see how people live on your holiday in Asia.

Nebuta Matsuri Festival

The largest festival in the Tohoku region is the most popular ‘nebuta’ event in the country with tourists, and that should be enough to convince you to visit on your holiday in Asia. Nebuta festivals involve the float of brave warrior figures carried around the city, accompanied by dancers moving in time to the famous Rassera chant. It has an atmosphere like no other, and is definitely worth seeing.

Sanja Matsuri Festival

Although Sanja Matsuri is celebrated nationwide, Tokyo is without doubt the place to be for it. The main festivities take place at the Sensoji Shrine on the third weekend of May and some 2 million people come to enjoy the huge parades, traditional music and dancing. Those who dislike crowds need not apply, but it is an unusual experience that everyone with an interest in Japanese culture should try.

Takayama Matsuri Festival

One of Japan’s most popular festivals, the Takayma Matsuri festivities take place both in Spring and Autumn. Both festivals welcome the changing seasons and involve colourful floats moving through the Takayama streets and huge crowds. The Autumn version is on the 9th and 10th October, while the Spring version is held on April 14th-15th. Accommodation can be hard to come by, but tourists looking to see it should be able to find something in the neighbouring towns of Furukawa and Gero Onsen.


Fuji Rock Festival

It may not be a traditional cultural experience like the others, but if your idea of a good music festival is a muddy field in England, Fuji Rock may just change your expectations completely. Hosted at the Naeba Ski Resort (it was moved from Fuji in 1997, but retained the name), it is the cleanest mainstream music festival you’ll likely ever see. Alongside quality food and drink, the acts are impressive too – past years have attracted the like of The Cure, The Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck and The Foo Fighters.

Whether you’re interested in music, arts or just absorbing the country’s history and culture, there is a Japanese festival for you. By timing your luxury holiday in Japan to coincide with one of these festivals, you’re guaranteeing yourself memories that will last a lifetime. Via: Kieron Sellens

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Top 10 Adventures for Solo Travelers

December 27, 2008

Hot Vacation Packages -

Hot Vacation Packages -

Traveling is spiritually rewarding and always educational; however choosing where to travel and what to do is often frustrating and time consuming. When you are a solo traveler, this task may be hard or easier than if you were traveling with others. When traveling with others, there are suggestions and desires that you may or may like. When traveling alone, all decisions are yours to make and this can lead to a relaxing trip. Here is a list of the top ten solo adventures to help you choose the right vacation. 


Regardless of where you have grown up, you may have heard at least some stories about Europe, and true or not, they would have stimulated your imagination. In reality, Europe has an incredible and intricate infrastructure, making travelling across this great continent much easier. Countries, which lie side-by-side, are all highly individual places, with a rich store of history and culture to explore. Europe has so much to offer that this list would not do it justice if it did not cover some of the essentials.


Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and there are many excellent museums and cultural locations to visit here. Some of the main attractions in this city are the canals, Van Gough Museum and you can even visit Ann Frank’s house. Regardless of what you are looking to experience, you can find it with a vacation to Amsterdam.

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Some may think that Athens is a place for those who enjoy visiting historical locations such as the ancient landmarks that many history books mention. It is also a must-see destination regardless of your age, or your interest in history. No matter how old you are or what you most enjoy, Athens is a place that can leave you inspired and amazed at its ancient grandeur.


Ibiza is located in the Balearic Islands and it is well known for its nightlife. If you are looking for a vacation resort that is well known for its parties, this is the location for you.


Paris cannot be missed! It can be expensive for a solo traveler, and some may find it mildly depressing due to its reputation as a city for lovers. In reality, though it is the city of love, passion and romance. If there is anywhere to fall in love, it would be in Paris. Others attractions in the city of Paris is the breath taking iconic monuments and architecture, try on some of the world’s hottest fashion, and the fine food the city is renowned for the world over or you can visit the Louvre.

New York

The Big Apple is considered the city that never sleeps. Everyone has heard of these names, seen the “I love NY” t-shirts, and everyone should go there at least once. If you are traveling solo, then this is a great destination because of the clubs, great food, a great vibe and a place where everything and everyone is always on the go.


The weather is hot and humid, the food is exotic and the locals are very friendly. A vacation to Thailand is very reasonably priced and the beaches are beautiful with clear oceans, tiny islands to explore and millions of people who are also seeking an adventure.

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South Africa

Africa has some of the most majestic and surreal landscapes one could imagine, it has culture that is not seen anywhere else, and people who are warmer and more welcoming than you can meet in any other place. Perhaps the best place to start experiencing all of this is South Africa. South Africa has the infrastructure of many first world countries, making traveling somewhat easier. It has some of the most highly rated beaches in the world, as well as spectacular scenery in places such as Table Mountain and Kruger national park.


More to the point, the Ngoro Ngoro Crater Conservation Area, the essence of Africa! During the migration season from July to October the wildlife spectacle is beyond words and it provides an experience that you can remember for many years to come.


Brazil shines if you are keen dancer as the nightlife is buzzing with Salsa, Mamba and the Rumba. If you are not a great dancer, then this is the best place for some cheap dance lessons! Brazil is an exciting, sensual place, but be on your guard at all times, just as you would when traveling in any new location.

There are many great locations to travel on a solo vacation but it mostly comes down to what you are looking to experience. Many great choices range from big cities to secluded beaches in the Caribbean. If you are looking to travel for the cultural experience or the nightlife, you should consider checking out these locations.

Via: Lisa Parker

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Cliff-Integrated Pod Resorts – The Sphere Hotel

December 23, 2008

The Sphere Hotel - United Arab Emirates

The Sphere Hotel - United Arab Emirates

The Sphere Hotel, designed by Milla Rezanova, will be located on an artificial island between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Guests will be transported to the hotel by helicopter because the hotel will be built on a cliff.

In addition to the incredible ocean views that will be on offer at the hotel, the prototype includes 200 rooms, restaurants, entertainment areas, a conference room and several boutique shops.

Another luxurious leap forward in the excessive design trend occurring in the Middle East.


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Florianopolis Brazil – the Vacation of a Lifetime!

December 19, 2008
Florianoplois, Brazil -

Florianoplois, Brazil -

If I could take a vacation anywhere in the world, it would be to Florianopolis Brazil. I’ve traveled to tropical places all over the world, and when considering all things, Florianopolis is my first choice for an exotic vacation destination.

Florianopolis (mostly a large island) is the city capitol of Santa Catarina state in south Brazil. It has rolling hills and mountains covered in lush green jungles & forest. Florianopolis is the safest city in Brazil and is mostly a large island that resides just off the coast but is connected to the continent by a bridge.


Florianopolis Island has 42 beautiful beaches with some of the best surf in Brazil. It is also home to the most beautiful women in Brazil and some of the best nightlife in South America so you can see how the qualities of this amazing place are coming together, especially for young singles looking for an action-packed vacation.

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The beaches in Florianopolis are simply amazing. Federal law prohibits the building of homes within 100 yards of the sand so 90% of the beaches are surrounded by jungle or lush vegetation, making nearly every beach downright beautiful. On just about every popular beach, you’ll find at least one restaurant on the sand that doubles as a bar. In high season (mid December through February) the beach bars will usually have DJs spinning all day. At about 2 pm, people will gather at the bars and the party will intensify with dancing and drinking until dark. Once the sun goes down, people head home and prepare for the nightlife.


In Brazil, people don’t start going out until midnight, which works out great for Americans who are used to getting a much earlier start. This means it’s easy to beat the crowd in high season, where lines to enter a nightclub can be a 50-100 yards long after midnight. Unlike nightclubs in the USA (where the beautiful women walk right past the line), Brazil has so many beautiful women, they get no special treatment here and have to stand in line with everyone else. And since Florianopolis is mostly women, naturally the lines at the nightclubs are also mostly women. It’s really an odd (yet pleasant) sight for any tourist to see.


Ok, so the bottom line is this… If you’re looking for a combination of adventure activities, such as surfing, sunbathing, fishing, sight seeing, river rafting, paragliding, sand boarding, woman chasing, and some of the best nightlife in South America, then without a doubt, Florianopolis Brazil is a vacation destination you’ve got to check out. Here you’ll find all the best of Brazil rolled into a single, beautiful, subtropical island location.
By: Don Guy

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Luxury Island Holidays For Independent Travelers

December 15, 2008
Jetset the World - Make a Difference!

Jetset the World - Make a Difference!

Experienced, savvy travelers seek out the best travel destinations the world has to offer, scouting for the ultimate combination of luxury accommodations, fine dining opportunities, and impeccable service, while at the same time enjoying unique local scenic splendor and culture. Luxury island holidays provide the perfect recipe for vacation success because each developed island of the globe, no matter its size, offers a unique view of the world. Resort owners of island properties typically cater to a specific group of travelers and offer a wide range of activities from, for example, an eco-friendly perspective where the resort blends seamlessly into the landscape to a bold high-rise hotel bustling with nightlife, and everything in destinations in the world that appeal to upscale independent travelers: the islands of the South Pacific and the islands off the east coast of Africa. The Polynesian Islands of the South Pacific include exotic Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Morea, each boasting a host of fine resorts, many taking advantage of the pristine sand beaches and clear azure waters that are part of the South Pacific legend. Visitors to these exotic islands can select from a host of superior resorts that offer all the amenities imaginable on islands of every size. For the ultimate in privacy and tranquility, consider a resort that is located on a small private resorts. For a change of pace, consider a stay at an eco-friendly inland small hotel and be close to the myriad of flora and fauna that can be found nowhere else in the world. Eco-friendly five-star resorts that offer the best in accommodations, dining and service can be easily found in the travel for many an upscale globe-trotter. The warm islands of the world beckon and the hosts at these fine resorts are ready to fulfill the traveler’s every wish, including a private dinner on a secluded beach at sunset.

Two groups of islands are among the best luxury

Halfway around the world, the Seychelles Islands, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, are also known for phenomenal beaches, crystal clear waters and idyllic scenery coupled with five-star beachfront

For travelers who enjoy a tropical environment, the islands off the coast of the tiny Central American country of Belize offer spectacular scenery in a warm climate and waters. The reefs off the coast of Belize provide one of the premier scuba diving venues in the world. And unlike the remote islands in the middle of the ocean, guests at eco-friendly resorts on some of the islands of Belize are only a short boat trip from the mainland tour adventures to the Mayan ruins, bird-watching and other activities.

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East of Belize, the Caribbean Islands are a group of volcanic islands that form the boundary between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The culture of the islands is a rich blend of African and European influences upon an indigenous population that dates back to the era of colonialism. Again, sun, surf and luxury resorts abound in the Caribbean and upscale visitors have numerous five-star resorts from which to choose. Golf enthusiasts particularly enjoy the fine selection of courses available on the islands and the islands are known for their many jazz festivals.

Warm waters, sandy beaches, sunshine and luxurious pampering at a five-star luxury resort represent the ultimate in

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10 Best Beaches of France

December 13, 2008
Cannes Beach -

Cannes Beach -

When I think of  France I don’t immediately think of beautiful beaches, I think of Paris. But I stand corrected because southern France has some of the most beautiful beaches on the world. There are actually a variety of beaches to please every kind of taste. France is surrounded by water, the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The French Riviera is located on the eastern Mediterranean coast from Cannes to Menton. This is the France holiday you want to take if you are looking for upscale adult vacationing. The Côte d’Azur is the coast to the south and is the ideal spot for “alone time” although it can get a little crowded in some spots. It is also a great spot for surfing. Brittany on the north Atlantic coast and the surrounding area has beaches with family attractions.


While the world famous film festival may keep tourists busy, there is no denying the beach here is fun. This is a lighthearted beach town, steeped in the arts and film. Check out the sand castles while you are on the beach. If you hunt for bargains, this can be a reasonable beach vacation.

Beach at Nice

This beach is enormously popular on the French Riviera. The actual beach is comprised of pebbles instead of sand. It is very crowded in the summer.

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Menton Beach

Menton is a quaint little beach town and of all the beaches on the French Riviera, Menton’s beaches are the most family friendly. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and it isn’t the wild partying beach town that its neighbors are.


The beaches in Monaco are upscale and are adjacent to opulent high-rise hotels and casinos. This is an adult environment and there is plenty of fun to be had sun bathing during the day and gambling at night.

Arcachon Beaches

The small town of Arcachon sits next to the Atlantic Ocean. This beach area is free of crowds except at peak time of summer vacation. If you visit this beach you must walk along the Dune du Pyla, which lies between the ocean and the largest forest in France, Les Landes. This is huge dune elevated and overlooks the Atlantic.

Biarritz Beaches

While the Biarritz beachfront was once wildly popular, in the last forty or fifty years tourists have migrated to the French Riviera to empty their wallets. While these may not the most ideal beaches, they are less crowded, have less traffic, and have less expensive accommodations. Beaches are free to visit.

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Garoupe Beach – Cap d’Antibes

This is a very exclusive beach that is split off into sections some of which are free to the public. This beach faces the east so when you are on the beach the sun is not in your face. It is also sheltered from the wind and this makes it pleasant.

St. Jean de Luz St.

Jean de Luz beach is located just south of Biarritz in the town of St. Jean de Luz. This is a clean well-kept beach with a nice sea wall separating the beach from the town. The architecture of the town has been carefully preserved and the old 17th and 18th century structures are just gorgeous. This is a quiet and peaceful beach experience.

Cap d’Agde

Located next to Montpellier, Cap d’Agde is famous for their nude beaches. But apparently the tendency to divest one’s clothes may extend to the entire city. Maybe we should leave the kiddies at home.

La Rochelle

This is a quaint port town located on the Atlantic coast. The beach has shallow waters and is great for families with young children.

Article by: Travel Guru

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Nightlife in Europe, Cyprus and Greece

December 11, 2008
Amsterdam Nightlife -

Amsterdam Nightlife -

Europe is a fantastic country to visit, with as many varied cities and things to do as some women have shoes. You can enjoy the beaches and restaurants in the daytime, and then turn around and visit the bars and clubs for their spectacular nightlife.

Powerzone, a nightclub in Amsterdam, holds five thousand and is one of this city’s biggest clubs. Music subjects are different every Saturday, no two the same. Bars and lounges look out over a huge dance floor.

Outside the city centre at Amstel station, Paradiso is a classy converted church hosting discos and modern music concerts. This place carries a great local following.

Charlies Bar at Pilestreade 33 stands out, but it is its ambience that makes it so inviting. What is called a freehouse, this bar serves real beers including Czech Pilsner, not always available in Northern Europe.

Europe is not the only desirable travel destination. In Cyprus you can find night clubs with live music, discos and a great variety of bars.

Ayia Napa is the town to party in. In Cool Club, the number one dance club in Ayia Napa, you can dance and party the night away. Another club in Ayia Napa is Coyotes Club.

Enjoy a week of karaoke, dancing and cocktails at Seahorse Cocktail Bar.

Settled in Aiya Napa’s busiest road, Paloma Cocktail Bar features five satellite dishes, Sky digital television, and cocktails and beers. Whatever you want, they’ve got it, as well as unbeatable hospitality.

Makedonas is at the center of Cyprus’s nightlife, located in the square in Aiya Napa. They have a good atmosphere, great music, and whatever else you could possibly want.

You will not find more bars, discos, clubs and restaurants anywhere then in Athens. In central areas like Psiri, Plaka and Thission, you can find a plethora of local clubs and discos. They have Rembetika Music Clubs, like Rembitiki Istoria, Stoa Athanaton, Misikleous, and Stathmos.

They also have tavernas with live Greek music. Ambelofilo features Greek island music. Elafokinigos has foul, deer, and all types of game meat.

For ethnic Latin as well as other clubs, Palenque, Asante, Caraho, and Cubanita Havannah Club.

For live rock clubs, go to An for its Greek bands and bands touring from the UK and USA, as well as it’s early morning hours. Or try Rockland for their great house band along with guest stars every weekend. House of Art features international singers as a surprise.

Parafono is a live music club featuring jazz and blues, and one of the rockingest places you could go in Greece. Its setting is a cabaret-esque place, and has an awesome sound system and lively audience. It is these points that make this the ideal place to go for jazz and blues music.

Bossa Nostra has a red decor inside and occasionally features Latin music.

Go to Alsos for its Greek laika and rock-alternative music.

The James Joyce Pub carries a full bar menu, imported beers, great music and they open early and stay open late.

Whether you travel to Europe, Greece or Cyprus, you can find the nightlife you so desperately crave as well as make some new friends and great memories.

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