Looking for Holiday fun? – the Vancouver Christmas Market

Oh. It’s that time of year again. Christmas is quickly hurtling towards us before we know it. Then we are scrambling to get gifts for loved ones and arrange times to meet them. Or maybe you are just looking to get into the holiday spirit and feel festive. Continue reading Looking for Holiday fun? – the Vancouver Christmas Market

The Covered «Galeries» of Paris

July 2, 2016 (Thursday) – One of my personal interests in Paris was to explore the covered shopping galeries, or passages couverts, of Paris. Because we had a lot of other things planned for our one week trip, I ended up seeing only one of these famed galeries. If I ever go back, then exploring more of these galeries would definitely be on my list.


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小樽 Otaru Day Trip

We had finished our first week of Japanese language classes at JaLS and we were upon our first full weekend in Hokkaido. We originally tried to get bus tickets to Hakodate for the Saturday, but all the times we wanted to take were sold out. So we decided to visit Otaru this Saturday instead.

Rapid Airport at Otaru Station

Otaru is a about a 40-60 minute train ride on the JR train. If you grab the Local train, then it stops at every single station. However, if timing works for you, then you can grab one of the express trains and bypass all the smaller stations. Regardless of the speed of the train, the ticket still costs ¥640 for a one-way ticket. The ride from Sapporo to Teine is all above ground and offers a view of the city from high above the streets. However, soon after Teine station, we are travelling right along the coastline of Ishikari Bay until we reach Otaru.

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The Shopping Mall Next Door – Ario Sapporo

After we had finished up at the Sapporo Beer Museum, 3 of the 4 of us who had been at the museum had decided to check out the mall right behind the beer museum. The shopping mall next door is Ario Sapporo.  Now most people travelling avoid shopping malls, and rightly so. A shopping mall is a shopping mall is a shopping mall. That’s mostly true the world over. However, sometimes it can be neat to walk through a shopping mall to see another culture’s take on this 20th Century shopping phenomenon.

Photo from Welcome to Sapporo page

I must say that Ario holds pretty true to the North American feel of a shopping mall. One. It occupies a large swath of land surrounded by a parking lot. Two. The aforementioned parking is free. (There’s free parking in Japan??? What?!?) Three. There’s a large department store that anchors the mall. That department store, in this case, is Ito Yokado. Finally four. Most of the stores are run by large national and multinational chains who tend to be the only ones who can afford mall rental rates.

However, there were a few fun things that I discovered at Ario Sapporo.

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LCx at Harbour City

One of my days in Hong Kong, my family and I ventured down to Harbour City on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.  The entrance is right by the Star Ferry pier on the Kowloon side.  It’s a large complex that comprises of a cruise ship terminal and shopping. This is Hong Kong after all.  There’s shopping almost everywhere you go. So if you are a classic mall rat and love to gawk at commercialism at its pinnacle, then Harbour City is not a bad place for you to start.

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Walking Boston – Quincy Market

After the horrid Brutalism of Boston City Hall, we crossed the street to Boston’s old market, the Quincy Market. It’s really a tourist attraction with all the tourist trappings, but it’s all in good travelling, and all in good walking too.  The sun was starting to set and the chill was starting to set in.  This had been the warmest afternoon of our whole stay … Continue reading Walking Boston – Quincy Market

Walking Boston – Newbury Street

Newbury Street is Boston’s High Street.  All the major clothiers and boutiques can be found along this stretch of road.  To be honest, though, with our limited time, my coworkers and I weren’t all that interested in shopping at this time.  Newbury Street was simply on our way to the Public Garden and the Boston Common. However, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  This was … Continue reading Walking Boston – Newbury Street

Portland’s Brewery Blocks

We left the central part of Portland’s Downtown. It was still too early to search for dinner and we just had our “unhappy hour” meal. Originally, I thought we’d walk around Powell’s City of Books for a while. As we circled around the block for parking, we came across the Brewery Blocks. The Brewery Blocks are on the southern edge of the the ever-gentrified Pearl … Continue reading Portland’s Brewery Blocks