@GirlEatWorld’s adventure through Kyushu, Japan

Featured

This week inspirational Instagrammer, and CheapTickets.sg‘s favourite food photographer @GirlEatWorld visited the Kyushu region of Japan.

Psst! From now until Monday 17th October you can enter to win flights for you and a friend to have your own Japan adventure. Enter now.

Here’s her story!

Whenever someone finds out I am visiting Japan, the #1 most common response would be asking if I am going to Tokyo or Kyoto. Those are two very lovely cities, however there are so, so much more to Japan! In this post, I will be introducing the “lesser known” areas of Japan – the Kyushu region, located south from Kyoto. I put “lesser known” in a quote because two of the cities in my itinerary should be familiar if you studied world history in High School 😉

Without further ado, let’s start!

From Singapore, I flew to Osaka to meet with my friend who had been traveling around Kyoto earlier that week. I didn’t join her because I had just been to Kyoto earlier this year, and while it was beautiful I would rather save my vacation days and join her for the later part of the trip.

Hiroshima

Technically, Hiroshima is part of Honshu so it does not count under Kyushu, but we made a pit stop from Osaka to Hiroshima since it is on the way! It was an easy 1.5 hours train ride by Shinkansen (the japanese bullet train) from Shin-Osaka station to Hiroshima station.

Hiroshima should not need any further introduction. It is one of the cities that was decimated by an atomic bomb during World War II, and effectively ended Japan’s world domination efforts. Today, Hiroshima has been totally rebuilt and is a very much a bustling modern city. However, the Atomic Bomb history still played a huge role in the city’s identity.

We reached by 11AM and wasted no time in exploring the city. The weather gods were not on our side that day as it was cloudy and raining the entire day. It makes for a somber mood for visiting perhaps one of the most tragic cities in the entire world.

Places to Visit:

  • The Atomic Bomb Memorial & Atomic Bomb Dome
  • Hiroshima Castle

What to Eat:

hiroshima-okonomiyaki-1

Okonomiyaki
When in Hiroshima, have Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き). “Okonomi” means “however you like” and “yaki” means “grilled”. So when ordering Okonomiyaki, you can really customize what you want to have inside! In Hiroshima, the okonomiyaki ingredients (cabbage, noodles and meat of choice) are layered rather than mixed, and comes with fried egg on top.

Where to have this:

  • Chinchinkurin
  • Okonomimura

Momiji Manju

hiroshima-momijimanju

Momiji Manju is a popular steamed bun snack shaped like Japanese maple leaf that can be found throughout Hiroshima. 🍁 It is filled with red bean jam.

Where to have:

Everywhere in Hiroshima! Even 7/11 or Don Quijote would have one.

Fukuoka

From a history-filled Hiroshima, we took a 1 hour ride with Shinkansen down to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station.

Unlike other Japanese cities I visited on this trip, Fukuoka does not offer much in terms of historic education. But what it lacks in one department, it makes up in another – Fukuoka is an absolute foodie destination. For one, Fukuoka is the home of the world famous Hakata Ramen, which should be familiar to all ramen enthusiasts out there. At night the city transforms into a street food lover heaven with the many Yatai stalls that lines the popular districts of Fukuoka.

Places to Visit:

  • Fukoka Castle Ruins
  • Tenjin Station
  • Nakagawa Seiryu

What to Eat:

Hakata Ramen

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Fukuoka Hakata ramen

Hakata-style ramen originated in Fukuoka, so it’s definitely a must-try whenever you are in the city. This ramen is characterized through the rich tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, straight and slightly al-dente noodles, and fried garlic toppings.

Where to have:

  • Ikkousha
  • Ichiran
  • Ippudo
  • Any Yatai stall!

Yatai Stalls

fukuoka-yataistall-2

Yatai stalls are Food stalls that pops up around Fukuoka when the sun sets. It typically opens from around 6pm to 2am, making it an excellent option for dinner or after-drinks snacks. Generally, all stalls offer the same dishes: Hakata Ramen, Oden, and Yakitori. I found that the ramen I had from the stall was even better than the famous ramen shops!

Where to have:

  • Along the Nakasu island river

Nagasaki

From Fukuoka to Nagasaki, there is no Shinkansen service so we took JR Kamome, which was still just a short 2-hour ride from Fukuoka.

Much like Hiroshima, Nagasaki should be a familiar to all of us. Nagasaki was hit by an atomic bomb 3 days after Hiroshima and to this date remains to be last city to suffer the devastating effect of a nuclear weapon.

Today, much like Hiroshima, Nagasaki has been fully rebuilt. It is now a quaint and charming city with diverse cultural influences. I absolutely fell in love with Nagasaki – although we had originally planned to stay for only one night, we ended up extending one more night.

Places to Visit:

  • Nagasaki Atomic Bomb
  • Grovers Garden
  • Nagasaki Ropeway and Mount Inayasa
  • Hashima Island

What to Eat:

Champon and Sara Soba

nagasaki-sarasoba

The dish to eat in Nagasaki is undoubtedly Champon (ちゃんぽん). This clear pork broth noodle soup with pork meat, vegetables and seafood ingredients like fish cake and squid was an interesting one to have. It tasted like chinese food to me, and after looking it up online it does seem to have come from chinese roots. The name itself is Hokkien for “to eat a meal”. Sara soba is quite similar to Champon, but with gravy instead of soup and fried noodles.

Where to have:

  • Eirakuen

Kakuni

Kakuni is another result of the chinese influence in Nagasaki. This snack is a meat bun that taste exactly the same as Kong Bak Pao, a chinese braised pork buns. It consist of pork belly simmered in soy sauce until tender, and served between white buns.

Where to have:

  • Iwasaki Honpo

Castella

Castella is a Japanese Sponge cake brought into Japan by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. At that time, Nagasaki port was the only place in Japan that was open for foreign trading. Sugar was an expensive item back then and Castella became a luxury dessert to have. Nowadays, the cake is a specialty of Nagasaki.

Where to have:

  • Bunmeido Castella shop

Chirin Chirin Sorbet Ice Cream

nagasaki-chirinchirinChirinchirin is a popular treat in Nagasaki that has been around for 50 years. Sold my vendors at tourist places, this sorbet is famous for the way it is served – shaped like a rose. The rose shape is achieved by scooping the sorbet little by little and placing each scoop to mimic rose petals.

Where to have:

Various food vendors. I found mine near the Nagasaki Atomic bomb memorial statue

Kumamoto

Kumamoto is extremely close to Fukuoka – only 40 minutes by Shinkansen and perfect for a day trip. Except when we got there, we wished we had allocated more time to this city. Outside the Kumamoto train station, we rented a car for 80,000 yen for 12 hours and started exploring the city.

Kumamoto was unfortunate to be hit by two very strong earthquakes earlier this year in April 2016. That much is evident while we were driving around town – though most of the city has recovered, we saw disarrayed roof tiles and fallen buildings every now and then, especially at the Kumamoto castle. Although we cannot enter the Kumamoto Castle at the moment, we were still able to see the castle from afar and marvel at how this 15th century building were able to survive the strong earthquake.

Then, we continued our drive down Route 339 to a place called Daikanbo, to see Mount Aso and Kumamoto’s beautiful landscape.

Places to Visit:

  • Kumamoto Castle
  • Daikanbo
  • Kumamon

What to Eat:

Ikinari Dango

kumamoto-ikinaridangoIkinari Dango is a Kumamoto dumpling snack filled with red bean paste and sweet potato. Ikinari is Kumamoto slang for “sudden” so the literal translation of this snack is “sudden dumpling” or “instant dumpling” since the dumpling can be very easily prepared.

Where to have:

You can pretty much find Ikinari Dango all over Kumamoto. I got mine from the souvenir shops in Kumamoto station.
Travel to Japan with CheapTickets.sg

Getting to Japan from Singapore is super easy and affordable with special sale fares on flights and hotel rooms. Check out all our travel deals Japan such as sale fares on flights to Nagoya to check out the Chubu region and to Fukuoka for the Kyushu region that @GirlEatWorld explored as well as favourites Tokyo and  Osaka.

Special Travel Deals:

$30 flight discount:  Get a $30 instant discount on your booking when you use the code JAPAN2016 at the checkout when booking your flights before 31 October 2016.

$100 cash rebate: Get a $100 rebate when you book return flights to Japan and a minimum of 4 nights hotel accommodation when you book before 31 October 2016.

You are sure to have a good time on your trip to Japan. Start to plan and book your trip online now at www.cheaptickets.sg.

Special thanks to @girleatworld for taking all the gorgeous pictures featured in today’s blog and sharing her journey with us at CheapTickets.sg, be sure to follow her on Instagram for more travel inspiration. Happy travels!

Advertisements

Take a journey through Japan’s Locality

You probably already love Japan? Us too! Whether you are seasoned visitor and explored Japan’s established tourist spots such as Tokyo and Osaka or hard core Japan enthusiast, having eaten at that secret udon spot on the foothills of Mt Fuji there is always more to explore. Take a journey of culinary and cultural discover through Japan with CheapTickets.sg this autumn as we discover Japan’s Localities.

Explore Kyushu

Located in the southern part of Japan, the region of Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan. Made up of 7 prefectures Kyushu boasts a choice of natural and historical places to visit. The gateway from Singapore to Kyushu is through Fukuoka Airport, only 6 hours 15 minutes direct flight time from Singapore. With return flights from only $408, it’s a great time to plan a getaway to explore the region of Fukuoka.

Yatai Stalls in Fukuoka- Kyushu

Yatai Stalls in Fukuoka- Kyushu

Once you arrive into Fukuoka, the first thing you should start with is filling your belly with some Japanese delicacies. ‘Yatai’ ,the local pastime of gathering at the cities outdoor food stalls to enjoy dishes such as Ramen, Udon and Yakitori can be done each evening from around 6pm- 2am when over 150 Yatai stalls open throughout the city. The most popular spot for tourists is in the strip along Nakasu Island, a 15 minute walk from Hakata Station.

After a flight one of the best ways to relax in Japan is indulging in Japanese Onsen. Beppu Onsen is widely known to have some of the best hot springs in Japan has over 2500 baths to offer including mud, sand and steam baths. Head to Tanayu hot springs, part of the Suginoi Hotel, offering outdoor pools overlooking the city. Next door to Tanayu you can enjoy the springs in your swim suits at Aqua garden, a rarity in Japan. Admission is ¥1500 (weekdays) and ¥2000 (weekends) and open 9am-11pm with last entry at 9.30pm.

8 Hells of Beppu

8 Hells of Beppu

For a different experience, try out the ‘8 Hells of Beppu’ where you can boil eggs and vegetables. For more information on visiting Kyushu including cheap flight and hotels deals in Fukuoka, Beppu Onsen and Kurokawa Onsen visit the CheapTickets.sg guide to booking a trip to Kyushu.

Experience and be impressed by Chubu

Our next stop is northwards to the region of Chubu, in the centre of Japan. If you are starting your trip here you can take a direct flight from Singapore to Nagaya in 6 hours 45 minutes. A direct flight will cost you from $800, you can save by taking a stopover flight that will only cost from $430. You can check out today’s cheapest flights to Japan at CheapTickets.sg flight deals page.

Misonikomi noodles in NagoyaAside to the beautiful temples and palaces of this city the must do is to try the speciality dish of this region, the Misonikomi dish, noodles in a Miso Broth. Some say that the origin of Nagoya’s miso-nikomi noodle is the hoto noodle dish of the Yamanashi Prefecture, dating back from the warring states period where warlords brought back the hoto noodles, used as battle food.  The clear based soup is created from a stock of dried bonito, shiitake mushroom and kombo kelp and seasoned with thick soy sauce and sweet sake. What makes this dish truly special is the use of haccho-miso, a salty red paste made only from beans without using koji rice malt. Another distinction is the serving style: one serving is boiled in a small earthen pot and is served piping-hot often with the addition of chicken, egg, green onion, shiitake mushrooms or mochi rice cakes.  There are many restaurants in Nagoya that specialise in the Misonikomi, some recommendations can be found here..

For more places to visit in Chubu and special flight and hotel promotional deals from CheapTickets.sg visit the designated special site for Japan.

Recharge in Tohoku

If you feel like cooling off, playing in some snow* whilst savoring in some of the freshest seafood and widest varieties of fruits and beef, Tohoku is the region for you. Easily navigable by the Shinkansen and local trains you can fly into Akita in the north of Tohoku via Tokyo and then explore the region.

With the ski season lasting from December until the end of March, beginners to experts can enjoy 15 different slopes and 12 courses including a 10k downhill course. During the winter season visitors can also enjoy the famous Zao Onsen ‘Ice Monsters’. These natural wonders grow through the season and are best seen during the night time illuminations.

Matsushima Bay in Tohoku Japan

Matsushima Bay in Tohoku Japan

Beautiful at any time of year, and celebrated as one of Japan’s 3 most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate, Matsushima Bay is dotted by over 200 pine tree covered islands. Take a sightseeing cruise around the bay before exploring the local area, enjoying some of the freshest seafood around.

For more information on visiting Tohoku and getting the best hotel deals for stays in the locality including Zao, Hiraizumi and Matsushima click here.

Get in touch with Japan’s Locality with CheapTickets.sg now and enjoy promotional flight and hotel deals.

Get in touch with Japan's Locality with CheapTickets.sg

*CheapTickets.sg is not able to guarantee snow on your vacation!

10 romantic places to visit from Singapore- near and far… on the cheap

J-Lo once quoted ‘Love don’t cost a thing’, whilst technically true, we like to think that a little bit of investment goes a long way, especially when it comes to travel. Are you looking for that ultimate romantic getaway with your Valentines, or maybe looking to take your loved one somewhere for that intimate break from city life? OK so not all of these destinations might be cheap in everyone’s budget- but if you are going to do them, we’ve have found the cheapest ways of doing getting there… Here are some of Carrie, the CheapTickets.sg travel gurus list of romantic places to travel to from Singapore.

1. Matala beach- Crete

Matala Beach at Sunset

Matala Beach at Sunset- from the bar!

A few years ago a boyfriend of mine (who incidentally is now my husband) took me to the island of Crete in Greece. This beautiful island nestled south of mainland Greece in the Mediterranean is host to both historic treasures and plentiful Greek hospitality, and of course great food. My favourite spot is the beach town of Matala in the south west of the isle, 1.5 hours drive from the airport, pick up a hire car at the airport from only $22 a day. The beaches unique artificial caves were created in the Neolithic Age. In the 60s they were occupied by hippies and even inspired a Joni Mitchell classic. Why here? The sunset from your front row seat in one the small restaurants along the beach can’t be beaten. Being a small town there are limited hotel rooms available- book ahead to secure a room in the summer months. Make the most of your hire car by exploring the islands villages and coastal towns. Tip: avoid Malia unless you are looking for an extreme night out with drunk 18 year olds. Return flights to from Singapore to Crete are only $1400.

2. Perth and surrounds- Australia

Rottnest island Perth Australia

Rottnest island Perth Australia

The city of Perth serves as a gateway to hundreds of kilometres of stunning coastline and beaches. The beaches that scream romance to me are those on Rottnest Island. A short ferry ride away from the mainland from Barrack Street Jetty you can reach the fine white sand beaches and dip your feet in the crystal waters. Staying overnight on the island is a breeze with rooms from only $53 per night for a beach side room. Return flights from Singapore to Perth are as cheap as $310 on CheapTickets.sg.

3. Venice- Italy

Bridge of Sighs- Venice

Bridge of Sighs- Venice

Venice is a old classic, and its only going to get older. Romance is embedded in the veins of this city in its alluring canals winding around the city. Hop aboard a classic private gondola or go cheap with a Venice city card and hop about on the public boats. Sweep your loved one off their feet and onto the land to abundance of cute little cafes and bars to meaner in and out of whilst glimpsing at the iconic architecture from the Doge’s Palace to the Rialto Bridge. With return flights from Singapore starting at only $997 all in, yes until $1000 its cheaper than you think to get to the romantic city of Venice.

4.San Francisco- USA

cheap flights to san franciscoSan Francisco might not be on the top of most people’s places to take a romantic trip but trust me, hire a bike from many of the bike shops along by Fisherman’s Wharf and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to the small town of Sausalito for a spot of lunch to recuperate from the cycle. I guarantee you will get some brilliant selfies, and a work out at the same time. The romantic part? The ferry ride back to the wharf (the cycle hire companies will sort you out with the tickets in advance) sailing past the famous Alcatraz and into sight of the famous split street skyline. Book cheap return flights to San Francisco from only $1099.

5. The Maldives

Aeriel view of Bandos Island resort and spa maldives cheap hotel

Aeriel view of Bandos Island resort and spa maldives cheap hotel

The Maldives aka honeymoon headquarters isn’t reserved by the newly weds. Bask in the natural romance of the hundreds of islands on offer with peace and mind this isn’t a budget blowing trip. Return flights to Male are now as cheap as $410 and hotel rooms from as low as $120 per night. Cheap romantics beware, the cost of the sea plane transfers from the airport can end up costing as much as your flight from Singapore. Check out which resorts can be accessed by boat transfer such Bandos Island resort (fr $300 per night).

6. Halong Bay- Vietnam

Cruising along Halong Bay with a yellow sail above on your ship cruising amongst the iconic limestone islands whilst taking afternoon tea on deck… romantic? I think so! This unfortunately still remains a dream of mine since when I went last August a cyclone had blown into the bay making it unsafe for the boats to sail out. We still had a fun day out and made friends on the journey with our other disappointed comrade travellers… because of this try and avoid travelling to the bay in July and August. You can easily arrange a cruise from the many vendors in Hanoi, just realise you get what you pay for. Expect to pay at least $120 per person per night to be in some comfort. Flights from Singapore to Hanoi are now available from as cheap as $255.

7. Fukuoka, Japan

Amazing Ramen restaurant in Fukuoka

Amazing Ramen restaurant in Fukuoka

The romance of Fukuoka starts in the Onsen spas and ends in food, and lots of it! The town of Beppu  is famous for its hot spring spas but if you don’t have the time there are plenty in the surrounds of the city. My romantic day in Fukuoka started with a trip to a hillside onsen spa in the Fukuoka countryside. Taking a 30 min free shuttle from outside the main station enjoy 2 hours in a private spa hut with outside bath from only $20 per person then have access to the baths. English is limited at the spa but your hotel can help. In the evening a foodie paradise opens up with ‘Yatai’ the given name for street food in Fukuoka being the most attractive fare. There are over 150 stalls spread over the city. I recommend to head to the Nakasu Yatai along the riverside to mix with the locals. There is fantastic food all over the city but the fun is finding it! Cheap flights from Singapore to Fukuoka, Japan are available to book from only $504 return all in.
8. Borobudur, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple Indonesia

Borobudur Temple Indonesia

From sunrise to sunset the temple of Borobudur is a towering sanctuary in the sky, heaven on earth for romantics. To visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site Book a cheap flights from Singapore to Yogyakarta from only $174 all in return and take the 40km drive into the hills for a mesmerising experience. Stay at one of the countryside retreats nearby for a truly out there experience. Best to avoid visiting during Vesak since this is a pilgrimage destination.

9. Nurwara Eliya- Sri Lanka

Heritance Tea Factory Hotel rooms, Nurwara Eliya

Heritance Tea Factory Hotel rooms, Nurwara Eliya

Journey into the tea plantations of central Sri Lanka to experience serenity, and a perfect cup of tea. Take long walks with your loved ones through the manicured trails through the tea and enjoy the cool weather of the hills during the winter months. For a heritage experience check in at Heritance Tea Factory, a converted hotel offering colonial style rooms amongst the rolling tea plantation hills from only $250 per night. Return flights from Singapore to Sri Lanka start from only $320 all in.

10. Singapore

What? You can stay in Singapore and have a romantic break? Yes! There are so many deals to enjoy when you book a staycation in Singapore (think of all the money you can save on airfare!

With Valentines around the corner this weekend its not too late to book a romantic break in a 5* hotel in Singapore. We have some fantastic deals for rooms in Singapore on 14th Feb
5* Swissotel Stamford fr $165
5* Pan Pacific fr $300
5* Carlton Hotel fr $176
5* Grand Copthorne fr $168
5* Grand Park Orchard fr $252

Happy Valentine’s to all our CheapTickets.sg travel lovers!

CheapTickets.sg Deals you'll love

Chef Carrie’s Top 10 Eggs of the Week

Tradition has it that Easter eggs represented a new lease of life – the tough outer shell representing Jesus’ tomb, and the hatching of chicks a representation of new life. Hence, Christians used Easter eggs as a way to remind themselves of Jesus’ ressurection. In Singapore though, the Easter egg tradition is not practiced, but at CheapTickets.sg we’re interested to bring the tradition a little differently… Singaporean-styled!

If you’re a foodie like me, you must definitely love eggs! Chef Carrie has picked out her top 10 favourite del-egg-table egg dishes from all around the world, in no particular order:

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

1. Hong Kong: Portuguese Egg Tarts

Crispy on the outside and unbelievably soft on the inside, this heavenly Portuguese egg tart hails from Macau, an ex-Portuguese colony. It is said that these egg tarts are quite different from those in Portugal, although they may look similar. The Hong Kong take on these egg tarts are completely different as well! Coming fresh out of the oven, you can expect the best egg tarts along many street bakeries.

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Lord Stow’s Bakery, Macau

2. France: Croque Madame

A classic ham and cheese sandwich topped with a sunny-side up, the sandwich is named as such because the French thought that the egg resembled a lady’s hat. And yup, you got it – without the egg, the sandwich is called the Croque Monsieur. How glamorous, right?

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Au Petit Suisse, Paris

3. Taiwan: Oyster Omelette

Better known in Hokkien as oh-ah-jian­, this dish is popular in Singapore as well. The Taiwanese version is slightly different, topped up with specially concocted sweet and sour gravy. Oyster omelette is commonly found along the streets and at night markets, energizing you for even more shopping!

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Take your pick from Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), Taipei

4. Japan: Ajitsuke Tamago

If you think about it, it’s just a half-boiled egg. But what sets it apart from regular half-boiled eggs is that it’s perfectly marinated and cooked just long enough to keep the yolk runny and amazing. The perfect addition to any Japanese ramen, it’s no wonder that nobody can resist them!

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-omendation: Takano (多賀野), Tokyo

5. England: Scotch Eggs

Wrapped with minced sausage and bread crumbs, just wait till the yolk’s yellowy goodness oozes out and it’ll be gone in seconds.  A popular food item in bars, it goes well with beer (you might even forget the alcohol while gobbling the egg down).

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Harwood Arms, London

6. Spain: Tortilla

Don’t confuse the Mexican tortilla with this Spanish one! While we are familiar with the Mexican tortilla chips, Spanish tortilla consists of a thick egg omelette made with potatoes fried in olive oil. Don’t underestimate this typical-looking omelette, and try the best Spanish omelette Carrie reggommends!

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Meson de la Tortilla, Madrid

7. China: Century Eggs

A nice touch to regular porridge, this healthy preserved egg is perfect for the health-conscious – through its preservation it retains most of the vitamins and proteins, less the carbohydrates. Only for the acquired taste, the century egg is not for everybody, but Carrie approves.

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Bandao Jiu Lou (半島酒楼), Shanghai

8. New York: Eggs Benedict

Packed within an english muffin, ham, bacon, egg and hollandaise sauce, the origin of the Egg’s Benny is highly disputed. But who cares – as long as it’s good, we love it.

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Peacock Alley, New York City

9. Korea: Gyeran-bbang

Crispy, soft; savoury, sweet – all things good packed in a punch is what the gyeran-bbang (literally translated as egg bread) tastes in a bite. A common street snack among locals and tourists, queues at these stalls are always long but don’t worry, because they move fast.

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Get one freshly made from street stalls, all over Seoul

10. Italy: Frittata

A simple omelette enriched with vegetables, pasta, meat or cheese, the fluffy Frittata is a classic favourite for all, young or old. A bite into this savoury goodness just leaves you wanting more! Pair it with some butter chicken or Florentine steak for more Italian goodness.

CheapTickets.sg Easter sales

Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Trattoria Sostanza (Il Troia), Florence

How about you? What are your favourite unique egg dishes? Share them with us in the comments section below!

3 reasons to book with CheapTickets.sg during their NATAS pre-sale

CheapTickets.sg NATAS Pre-Sale has startedEveryone’s favourite local travel fair is back, but are you dreading the hassle of squeezing with the crowds and waiting in line at the Singapore Expo this weekend? Abandon those plans and try booking from CheapTickets.sg in the comfort of your own home instead! It’s a simple philosophy: save time, save money!

1. Get it cheap

In lieu of NATAS, various major airlines have already reduced their fares by large margins of up to 40%. CheapTickets.sg is providing an exclusive $70 off every flight booking from now till the 3rd of March! Just key in this code: NATAS70 when booking to be automatically entitled to this awesome discount. If you still want to compare our prices with those at the NATAS travel fair, simply use our mobile site while you’re at the fair and compare the air fares for yourself!

CheapTickets.sg NATAS deals

Photo credit: Disney

2. Get it online

CheapTickets.sg provides additional services that are not yet provided by any other online travel agency – to help you increase your savings, take advantage of the unique features of CheapTickets.sg:

  • 24/7 access to live updates of the cheapest fares available
  • Compare fares between all airlines – from budget to full-fledged airlines
  • Mix and match flight carriers to get the cheapest fares on your ideal travel dates, without having to make multiple bookings on different sites

With all these amazing functions, the savvy traveler in you is given the freedom to independently search for your preferred dates of travel, rather than be restricted to structured packages offered by other travel agents.

3. Get it now

The NATAS travel fair means competitive prices not just from the travel fair, but from airlines and various travel agencies as well. This means that a large influx of bookings will be expected by the end of the week, and seats on the best flights will definitely fill up quickly. CheapTickets.sg recommends our dear travelers to secure your ideal holiday dates early to avoid disappointment!

To help you start your search, CheapTickets.sg has found great deals to a few of your favourite destinations!

CheapTickets.sg NATAS deal to Bangkok

 

Bangkok
from only $173

 

 

 

CheapTickets.sg NATAS deals to Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong
from only $202

 

 

 

CheapTickets.sg NATAS deals to London

 

London
from only $1152

 

 

 

What are you waiting for? Hurry over to www.CheapTickets.sg/NATAS to grab these awesome deals now!

Discover Japan- Tokyo Part 1

Last week, we shared our adventure in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. This week, we speed forth to Tokyo for some shopping and sightseeing! The fastest way north is to catch the JR Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) from Kyoto to Tokyo for up to 7,980 yen (Approx. SGD $98), which would take you between 2 hours 20 minutes (Nozomi trains) and 4 hours (Kodama trains), depending on which train. Visit http://www.shinkansen.co.jp/ryoukin_tokaido_sanyo.html for more information. Alternatively, if you want to put that time to better use, then add the Osaka to Tokyo route to your multi-city trip during your flight selection at http://www.cheaptickets.sg! That will only take you less than half the time to get to Tokyo!

Being one of the top global fashion cities, Tokyo is definitely a must-go for shopping! Here are some popular shopping districts in Tokyo that you can’t miss!

Shop it up at Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Shop it up at Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

With several major department stores, electronics retailers, shops and boutiques, shopping arcades and theatres, Shinjuku is one of the largest shopping and entertainment districts in Tokyo. You may even find yourself an unexpected bargain at the dozens of shops located in the underground mall! You can get here conveniently via the subway and alight at Shinjuku station.

Have a shopping spree at Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Enjoy a shopping spree at Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Just a 30-minutes bus ride from Shinjuku is Shibuya, the heart of the fashion world for young people and the birthplace of many of Japan’s youth fashion trends. With trend setting clothing mall like Shibuya 109 housing more than 100 boutiques, and several other small boutiques along the streets, Shibuya is one of the largest shopping districts in Tokyo.

Enjoy two experiences at Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

Enjoy two experiences at Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

After your shopping spree in Shibuya, you can walk along Meiji-dori street (which has several fashionable shops along it) for about 15-20 minutes to get to Harajuku. With two parallel shopping streets that cater to very different shoppers, you will enjoy two different kind of experience all in one place. On one side, Omotesando features upscale boutiques and several leading designer brand shops while on the other, Takeshita Dori is a centre of youth fashion and counter-culture. If you want to experience the teenage culture, visit Harajuku on a Sunday as that is the time when many teenagers gather together to engage in cosplay (“costume play”).

After all that shopping, it’s time to gear yourself up for a bird’s eye view of Tokyo city! And where else can we have a panoramic view of Tokyo city but in Tokyo Tower and/or Tokyo Skytree itself?

Have a bird's eye view of Japan from Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Have a bird’s eye view of Japan from Tokyo Tower, Japan

Do you know that the Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower of Paris? With a height of 333 meters, visitors can ascend 150 meters to the main observatory and 250 meters to the special observatory to get an amazing view of Tokyo city. In the day, if you’re lucky enough, you may even see Mount Fuji in the distance! At night, the Tokyo Tower lights up and add glamour to Tokyo’s night scenery. Adult ticket prices to the main observatory is 820 yen (Approx. SGD $10) and an additional 600 yen (Approx. SGD $7.30) to access the special observatory.

Soar to greater heights at Tokyo Skytree, Japan

Soar to greater heights at Tokyo Skytree, Japan

If you think you want to soar to greater heights, then pay a visit to the Tokyo Skytree! Opened in May 2012, Tokyo Skytree is almost twice as tall as the Tokyo Tower, with a height of 634 meters! It has two observation decks at a height of 350 meters (Tembo Deck) and 450 meters (Tembo Galleria), making them the highest observation decks in Japan and some of the highest in the world. After taking in the panoramic views of the city, you can even visit the aquarium and large shopping complex located at the base! Adult ticket prices to the Tembo Deck is 2,000 yen (Approx. SGD $24.30) and an additional 1,000 yen (Approx. SGD $12.15) to the Tembo Galleria.

If you think that Tokyo is just about shopping and sightseeing, think again! We are about to embark on a journey to discover Japan’s rich culture and heritage in Tokyo, so join us next week to hear about our adventures!

In the meantime, if you can’t wait to get to Japan, www.cheaptickets.sg has an exclusive $30 discount for your Japan flight! Enter the discount code JAPAN30 at the checkout page for any return flight booking to Japan from Singapore on a full-fledged airline before 14 Feb and enjoy your $30 flight discount!

Discover Japan- Kobe, Kyoto, Nara

After our adventures in Osaka, we are now heading down to Kobe, only about 30 minutes away via the Hankyu Railway, from Umeda Station (Osaka) to Sannomiya Station (Kobe) at a cost of 310 yen (Approx. SGD $4).

Tour the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Kobe, Japan

Tour the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, Kobe, Japan

Kobe’s Nada district is Japan’s top sake (rice wine) producing region due to its availability of high quality rice, purity of water filtered from streams and good weather conditions. You can spend half a day just exploring some of the breweries there. I would recommend for you to visit the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum which is about a 5-minute walk from Hanshin Sumiyoshi Station. The museum offers comprehensive English coverage, including pamphlets and video clips of sake production. Visitors can also enjoy a taste of Hakutsuru sake that cannot be found elsewhere. With free admission, what are you waiting for?

Witness the brewery in action at Shushinkan Brewery, Kobe, Japan

Witness the brewery in action at Shushinkan Brewery, Kobe, Japan

If you are visiting in the winter, why not check out the Kobe Shushinkan Brewery, where you can see the brewery in action. About an 8-minute walk from Ishiyagawa Station, where reservations have to be made one day in advanced for a free guided tour to its sake cellar and brewery. For more information, visit http://www.enjoyfukuju.com/english/our_brewery/index.html.

Now that we have toured Kobe, it’s time to experience some Japan’s traditional culture! And the best city to truly experience that is none other than Kyoto – a world of traditional beauty! You can get to Kyoto easily in about 30 minutes from Kobe via Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train). Kyoto is home to many World Heritage sites, as well as temples and shrines. Many shops here also allow visitors to try their hand at traditional pastimes like tea ceremony, flower arranging or even wearing kimonos!

Experience Kiyomizudera, Kyoto, Japan

Experience Kiyomizudera, Kyoto, Japan

One temple that you must visit is the Kiyomizu-dera (literally “Pure Water Temple”), located in Southern Kyoto. Established in 778, Kiyomizu-dera houses many important cultural monuments, and has 15 colourfully-painted halls and pagodas. The two most famous places of the temple are the Main Hall (Hondo) and the Kiyomizu Stage, which is a porch of the Main Hall. The Main Hall has been designated as a national treasure, where it houses the Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva. The Kiyomizu Stage offers a great spot to have a spectacular view of Kyoto’s city centre. During Spring (mid March to mid April) and Fall (mid November to early December), there will also be special evening illuminations that enhance the beauty of Kiyomizu-dera. For more information on the opening hours and admission fees, check out http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html.

Another district that you must visit is Arashiyama, located at the western outskirts of Kyoto.

Stroll at Togetsukyo Bridge, Arashiyama, Japan

Stroll along Togetsukyo Bridge, Arashiyama, Japan

The landmark of Arashiyama, Togetsukyo Bridge is famous for its views of cherry blossoms and autumn colours. It is also a romantic place for couples to stroll at. Surrounding the bridge are many small shops, restaurants and other attractions, including some historical shrines, temples and even the famous bamboo groves.

Experience tranquility at Bamboo Groves, Arashiyama, Japan

Experience tranquility at Bamboo Groves, Arashiyama, Japan

If you would prefer a serene experience here, I would recommend you to visit the bamboo groves in the night. Can you imagine how splendid it would be to walk along this path while being surrounded by a forest of tall bamboos in the night? It would definitely be an experience you can’t forget!

Since you’re in Osaka, your trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Nara Park in central Nara. To get to the city, you can take the Miyakoji Rapid Service from Kyoto and connect to Nara in about 45-50 minutes.

Visit Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Visit Todaiji, Nara, Japan

At Nara Park, you can find Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), one of the most famous and historically significant temples in Japan, and a landmark of Nara. It was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all of Japan’s provincial Buddhist temples. Todaiji’s main hall (Daibutsuden) is the world’s largest wooden building and houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha.

Feed the deers at Nara Park, Japan

Feed the deer at Nara Park, Japan

Nearby Todaiji, be in for a unique experience as you get up close to the deer – yes, you saw it right! – deer that roam freely around the park! With nearly 1200 of them, these deer have become a symbol of the city and have been designated as a natural treasure of Japan. Don’t worry, these cute little creatures are calm and friendly, so you can safely feed them with deer crackers that can be purchased around the park for about 150 yen (Approx. SGD $2). Some of these deer have even learned to bow to visitors in order to be fed!

We’re about to make our journey north to the Capital City Tokyo. So join us next week to hear all about our adventures! If you want to join us too, enter our contest at http://bit.ly/1i4wrbt to win a pair of return flights to Japan – including taxes and fees!! Hurry before the entries close on 30th Jan!