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Fox Village - best day trip out of Tokyo

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If you have a day to spare during your stay in Tokyo you should visit the Miyagi Zao Fox Village. It's located in Shiroishi (Miyagi Prefecture) - an easy train ride away. Hundreds of really cute wild foxes run free in the large forest-like sanctuary. Surprisingly (given how adorable the foxes are) this is a less popular destination for tourists compared to bunny island, deer heaven Nara and all the countless animal cafes. Are you interested?

How to get there

From Tokyo take the Shinkansen to Shiroishizao station. If you board on Tokyo station you won't even have to change trains! Use the Hyperdia scheduling tool to find a convenient time. My advice is to leave Tokyo as early as possible so you have maximum time with the cute foxes (the village closes at 4pm)

Once you arrive at Shiroishizao station, you'll need to get a taxi to the fox village. The train station has a small JR tourism office out front and they will call you a cab if they are none outside the station. Look around for other travelers going to the fox sanctuary and you can split the cab fare. The cost for the ride would be 4000-5000 yen each way (bring cash).

Entrance fee for Zao Fox Village is 1000 yen.

When you are ready to leave, exit through the gift shop and ask the checkout register to call you a taxi back to the train station. It takes about 20min for the cab to come pick you up.

Tips

Check the weather. We went there end of March and there was still snow. I wish I had gloves and a warm scarf with me

While in the village you will hear announcements on the loud speakers. We didn't know what they were about but it turns out that they tell you when you can go by the entrance and hold one fox in your lap and cuddle it. I recommend it but beware they smell a little bit:))

Read the directions given to you at the front office carefully but don't freak out. They make it sound like the foxes will attack you which in reality is not true. They are very playful and if you have any dangling things they will attempt to snatch them but they mean well.

You can totally give the foxes some food (the special food you buy on the spot, 200 yen) off the feeding platform. The moment they hear the plastic bag in your pocket they will follow you around (they won't attack you, at least they never attempted attacking us). It's better to drop the food on the ground or throw it gently in the air to avoid an accidental bite. Using the food is a good way to capture some close up photos of these majestic animals.

Just like salt bae, right?

Just like salt bae, right?

Delhi's Most Instagram-worthy off the beaten path spots

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New Delhi has so many Instagram worthy spots. You can stay in the city for few months and not visit the same place twice. Many tourists only spend 3 to 4 days in Delhi in a rush to leave for Taj Mahal. This means that if you are willing to add few more days to your itinerary you can visit some tourist-free hidden gems.

Here are my top Instagram-worthy off the beaten path spots in New Delhi. Clean some space on your phone/camera because you'll be snapping a lot of photos!

Safdarjung's tomb

I call this tomb Humayun's tomb little cousin. The place is not on the itinerary of most people who are doing Delhi for less than 3 days. It's usually very peaceful and you won't have to navigate around large crowds of visitors to get that perfect shot. Highly recommended.  


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Spice market

Get your fix of Delhi madness! If you think traffic in your city is bad try going to Old Delhi! One of the best rooftop views of the spice market are tucked in right in the heart of the action.

Bonus: You can buy a big bundle of Marigold flowers to add color to your photo right outside of the rooftop's entry. Price would be $3-$5


Haveli Dharampura

This boutique stay is a must visit. It's located on one of the narrowest streets you'll ever walk on. The hotel charges you something like 300 rupees entry fee and the price is well worth it. You can easily spend few hours shooting the beautiful pink interior. Be respectful and quiet, the structure of the place is such that sound travels easily and you don't want to ruin the guest's experience.

Bonus: the place has a cute restaurant so you can treat yourself to lunch or tea.

Tip: You can combine this place with a visit to the Spice Market, they are in the same area


Jantar mantar

This place consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. If you are a fan of architecture and minimalism this place is for you! A red and yellow colored gorgeous backdrop for some really #MinimalistCandy photos. It's usually not crowded and more popular with locals. We love places like that don't we?


Like this? Hop over to my travel blog and read the Jaipur guide:

If your time in Delhi is limited check out our "3 days in Delhi" post that offers a fun mix of popular and off the beaten path places to visit and...drum roll...some of the best food we had while exploring. 

Things To Eat in Portland

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Tasty n Alder

If you like comfort food, Tasty n Alder should be at the top of your list! In fact, they do a mix of New American and Asian Fusion food very well, so be prepared to have your taste buds knocked out of the park!

Some highlights include the Eggy Bread Pudding, which is actually a creamy savory dish that will surprise you, and their amazing Korean Fried Chicken. We also really went gaga over their Burrata Watermelon Salad and their Radicchio Salad.

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Salt and Straw

A Portland favorite, there were always long lines out the door and happy faces inside to greet you. Some flavors that we loved were Fennel, Meyer Lemon Buttermilk, Olive Oil, and Goat Cheese Habanero. They always have new seasonal flavors so be sure to check them out!

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Random Order Pies

We loved the quiche here since it had such a nice egg and herb flavor to it. They also had a great banana cream pie that we couldn't stop eating.

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random-order-pie

Bollywood Theater

If you're looking for some fantastic Indian food, this is the place. 

Starting off with Pav Bhaji, they've taken a common Indian street food dish and elevated it to perfection. Make sure to mix some of the onions and hot relish with the veggie mixture on top of the perfectly buttered rolls.

The Kati Roll is like an Indian burrito but with a paratha wrap. There is egg, pickled onion, and green chutney which pairs perfectly with the bold flavors.

The roasted beets were also one of our favorites since they were cooked in coconut milk and curry leaves.

If they also happen to have one of their specials like the Tomato Chaat, definitely get that!

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Le Pigeon

Fois Gras Profiteroles

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Hat Yai

After living in Thailand in a year, I really learned to love their style of street food. Hat Yai exemplifies the kind of food I was eating there on a daily basis.

I'd recommend the the Fried Chicken set which comes with roti and a Malay based dipping curry.

The Soy Braised Short Rib and Southern Thai Ground Pork are also recommended.

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Papa G's

Even if you're not vegan or vegetarian, Papa G's will convert you to a green loving eating machine! Everything here is so delicious and bursting with flavor! So much care and love is given to all the ingredients and I promise you'll feel so good afterwards!

Some highlights included the Collard Wrap, the Indian Curry plate, and the sunflower "cheese".

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The Waffle Window

A cute place with a walk up window (thus the name Waffle Window) - this eatery is a heavy hitter with it's perfectly cooked chicken and waffles. We loved the Fried Chicken with white pepper gravy! So good!!

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waffle-window

HYPED PLACES WE DID NOT LIKE:

Pine State Biscuit - Lines, lines, lines and a lot of hype. We were expecting to be blown away by this place but in the end it was super disappointing. The biscuits were dry, uninspiring, and not buttery. The fried chicken on top was rubbery and dry. Overall, the only saving grace was the sausage gravy to add moisture to everything.

Screen Door - Another huge disappointment with a place that had a lot of lines and a super long wait. Being from the south, I have some kind of idea what good southern food should taste like.. and this was not it. The fried chicken and biscuits were dry and flavorless. The grits had no flavor and no buttery taste to them. If you can't do grits right, you can't call yourself a soul food restaurant. :)

The Wesley - Boutique Hotel In Palm Springs You Need To Know About

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TheWesleyPalmSprings-1 The Wesley Palm Springs is the perfect desert oasis that we discovered randomly. I hate to give out this gem of a hotel but I think everyone should know about it! :)

The Wesley is a boutique hotel with approximately eight different units varying in size and price. Each flat features original mid-century artwork and showcase nice design touches from the tasteful owners.

The location is great - situated in a quiet area near the main road that leads to all of Palm Springs, everything is literally minutes away. For example, the iconic pink door is just 5 minutes away.

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We stayed in the micro apartment unit which included everything possible for a comfortable stay - a private patio, a gas grill, fully stocked kitchen, fast wi-fi, mini dining table, LCD TV, large comfy bed, and a clean modern bathroom.

In the common areas, there are bikes to use, an outdoor bar kitchen, washers, dryer, and an amazing pool/hot tub.

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TheWesleyPalmSprings-6 (interior images of our room by AirBnB)

You can book this gem through AirBnB or by directly emailing the hotel.

You all know what time it is! It's Palm Springs time!

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In my next few posts I'll go over some of my favorite places in Palm Springs and day trip options :)

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