Here are our top tips for being MVP of your holiday (and life).
Farewell, comfort zone. It was nice knowing you.
Bring out the bucket list: here are six destinations that are gonna be hot, hot, hot in 2016.
In a city in where ramen enjoys cult-like status, Ivan Orkin’s achievements would be no mean feat for a Japanese chef – for a foreigner they’re unheard of.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I was nervous about using a Japanese onsen. I’m not a big nudist. In fact I think the best time to be nude is when you have a lot of clothes on, and maybe a coat.
When I read ‘monastery stay’ on our Intrepid Japan itinerary I was a little sceptical about what I’d find. Truthfully I was picturing some 1980s brick building staffed by Canadian expats with names like ‘Floating Leaf’ or ‘Jarod’, and dotted with plastic Buddha statues and inspirational posters.
“Nothing will go well, so you always feel uneasy.” Wish these words, the dragon robot sealed my fate.
Fun fact: Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants than London, Paris and New York combined.
In the evenings, in Kyoto, there’s a particular hour where the light shifts from white to gold. Central Kyoto runs on a grid – north-south and east-west – which, it turns out, is absolute money for a photographer.
We’re standing on the third floor of a nondescript building in downtown Tokyo, a light and airy space used for soba noodle workshops. The air sparkles with tiny particles of buckwheat flour. At the centre of a group of 12 stunned gaikokujin (foreigners, i.e. us) a small and shrunken old man is patiently building soba noodles from scratch.