Wonders of Japan
Featured Articles
  • I Don’t Like Airbnb

    Nov 2019

    This may be my most controversial post up to date as I will declare something that will be despised by many independent travelers: I don't like Airbnb.

  • Lofoten Diaries: Winter Trip

    Mar 2017

    It is no secret that Norway is among my favorite countries and the winter is my favorite season.

  • The End of the World: Svalbard

    Apr 2015

    Interestingly - the first thing I ever heard about Svalbard many years ago was how mean all the people living there was and how much they hated the tourists. Really?

Destination Tips
  • The new building of Ishikawa Minshuku has very clean facilities, good location and reasonable rates (especially for solo travelers). If you have a car, South Village Hostel for beautiful surroundings. Suishimoda Hostel if you are looking for solitude and want to experience the most scenic village of Yakushima (Nagata) and an old style Japanese home.

  • Panaroma in Miyanoura if you are up for modern/scandinavian design, Cottage Davis for exquisite cuisine and cozy atmosphere in the Southern part of the island, Yakiniku Ippudo in Miyanoura to warm up especially in rainy days.

  • For further reading: A Verdant World Between Sea and Sky by www.yakushimalife.com.

  • Other than wonderful hikes, the ocean side onsens such as Hirauchu and indoor, super hot but very authentic Onoida are two great alternative activities.

  • If you are looking for a half day hike on a more tranquil trail, Ja No Guchi Waterfall hike starting right at Onoida Onsen is a favorite of mine.

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About Me

I am Burcu. I was born in a town of chemical engineers— including both my parents—near Istanbul on the winter solstice of 1980. I think this has a lot to do with my undying love for winters and cold destinations such as Norway, Alaska, and Hokkaido, but it hardly explains why I am asleep by 9 pm every night. I spent most of my youth in Istanbul, first at a boarding school and then with family, although I was also fortunate enough to spend few years of high school and university abroad, at an age young enough to admire other cultures, places and people before prejudices sink in and the world goes crazy. As for the job department, I am a lawyer and, after spending thirteen years in a law office, I now have a part-time arrangement that allows me location independance. In my blog, you will read a lot about Japan, Norway, and Switzerland—three of my favorite destinations with astounding nature. I also occasionally write articles for magazines. I am happiest when walking, and saddest when I think of what has become of my country in the last two decades. The only people I truly envy are those fortunate enough not to know heartache for their home country, a rare privilege in this age.

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Favorite Travel Habit

If I am in a city, I love to walk around during morning rush hour. That is the only time a city cannot hide its truth and pretend to be nicer than it is. I am sorry to report but Istanbul that you see during rush hour (ouch!) is what living in Istanbul feels like.

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Hotels or Airbnb?

Definetly hotels. I like the transitional feel at hotels, that temporariness. It makes me feel lighter. Airbnb on the other hand makes me feel suffocated being surrounded by someone else`s life/decoration choices. I wrote more about Why I Don`t like Airbnb.

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Favorite Destinations

Japan, Norway, China, Alaska and Switzerland and I think Barcelona is grossly overrated whereas Germany does not get what it deserves as a travel destination.

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Where I live

Well, not in a bathtub or in an onsen but you probably still get the clue – in Japan. More specifically in Tokyo, in one of its very laid back eastern wards, Katsushika. I love it.