¡Hola!

My family has now left, and I've started studying a bit for my upcoming exams. I had a really good time showing my family around. Thursday we spent exploring Exeter, and on Friday we caught the train down to the coast and walked from Dawlish to Teignmouth. The weather was nice, and we had some fish and chips and ice cream for lunch in Teignmouth. I didn't bring my camera, but here are some pictures from the last time I made this walk:

On Saturday, we left Exeter and drove up to Reading. We stopped for lunch in Bath on the way, which was amazing! Bath is definitely the most beautiful city I've been to in the U.K. so far, and I'll definitely be going back in the future! We spent a few hours walking around before driving to Reading.

In Reading, my family finally got to meet Bhav! We all had dinner together on Saturday, and lunch on Sunday before my family left for Steyning.

Sunday night, I also went out drinking with Bhav and two of our friends, which was a lot of fun 😄

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Hey guys!

I'm officially back in the U.K. after a week in Japan followed by a week with family and friends back home in Norway. It feels good to be back 😊 My parents and my aunt and uncle followed me back to the U.K., and I'll be showing them around Exeter and Reading over the next few days 🇬🇧

So, yesterday was my last day in Norway this time around, and I spent it by going to an art exhibition by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the Astrup Fearnley Museum with my friend. The exhibition was really interesting, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in modern art 🇯🇵

After checking out the exhibition, we went to Beijing Palace for dinner, which was great! Here are some pictures:

We finished the day by meeting some more friends at Fuglen - a famous coffee shop in Oslo.

It's already midnight here in the U.K., so I should probably get some rest before showing my family around tomorrow morning. The plan is to check out Exeter tomorrow, and then catch a train to the coast to look around some of the beach towns on Friday 😊

Goodnight ❤

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This post will be about my favorite restaurants we visited in Tokyo! All the food we had in Tokyo was amazing, but I've decided to write about my top three favorite restaurants that I'll definitely visit again when I go back to Japan 😁

3. Ichiran

Number three on my list is Ichiran. This is a ramen chain founded in Fukuoka back in 1993, and it can today be found all over Tokyo, as well as the rest of Japan. It is incredibly popular among locals and tourists alike, and you shouldn't be surprised if you see a long line outside one of their restaurants even late at night (it's open 24 hours a day). Their broth is so incredibly meaty and delicious, and their matcha pounding dessert amazing. I would eat lunch here every day if I had the opportunity. We visited two of their restaurants, and they were both fantastic!

Address: Chain with restaurants all over Tokyo

2. Shabu Shabu (しゃぶ通)

This shabu shabu restaurant located in Ginza offers reasonably priced all you can eat shabu shabu. The service was great and the meat delicious! It was such great value for the money. We each had five servings of meat each, as well as beer, whiskey, sake, and plum wine. We finished with some ramen, and got some free ice cream for dessert. It was an incredible and fun night, and I can't wait to go back in the future.

Address: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza, 6 Chome−9−15, 鳥繁ビルB1

1. Saitamaya Yakiton

All the restaurants we visited in Tokyo were great, but this one was, without a doubt, my favorite one! It is regarded as one of the best yakiton joints in the whole of Japan, and it dates all the way back to 1954. We got sticks of grilled wagyu beef (the finest beef in the whole world!), chicken hearts, liver, ox tongue, chicken gizzard, and lots more. They also served us this amazing wagyu beef stew, which probably is the most amazing thing I've ever eaten!

Not only was the food great, but the owners were also some of the friendliest people I've ever met! They showed so much interest in all their customers, and we had some very nice conversations with them. The other customers were also all so kind, trying to talk to us with their broken English, even offering us free drinks.

I would travel all the way to Tokyo just to eat at this restaurant if I had the money to do so. That's how great it was! I don't have any pictures from the place, as photography is prohibited, but here's a blog post by Eat Your Kimchi featuring both pictures and a video from the place: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/saitamaya/

Address: 2-5-12 Higashi Jūjō, Kita, Tōkyō

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Hey, guys!

We left Japan Wednesday morning, and I'm now back home in Norway for Easter. It was sad leaving Japan. Everything was just so amazing - the people, the food, the places, and of course the company ❤ We will definitely be going back in the future though, as we would love to explore more of the country.

For this blog post, I would just like to share my personal top five favorite places from our trip. Keep in mind that we didn't explore the whole country, so of course there might be even more amazing places to see than the ones mentioned 😉

5. Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto

This Shinto shrine dedicated to foxes (an animal representing fertility, prosperity, and success) is located on a mountain base in Kyoto and dates all the way back to year 711. A striking characteristic of the shrine, are the thousands of torii (traditional Japanese gates) creating a pathway through the shrine. We visited the shrine in the evening of our visit to Kyoto, and it was a really nice experience walking around in the darkness with the shrines and torii lit up. I'm happy we visited at night, as I can only imagine how busy and crowded the place is during the day.

4. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo

Located between Shibuya and Shinjuku, two of the busiest areas of Tokyo, this green oasis features approximately 1,500 cherry trees (according to Wikipedia), all of which were in full bloom during our visit. It has more that 20,000 trees in total, and features a French formal garden, an English landscape garden, and, of course, a Japanese traditional garden, which was the one we explored. This massive green area provides peace and quiet from the busy city surrounding it, and it is big enough to spend hours walking around.

3. Path of Philosophy, Kyoto

Also located in Kyoto, this path located in the eastern part of Kyoto runs along a canal lined with cherry trees. It runs past numerous temples and shrines, and it takes about half an hour to complete. It is a very popular walk, especially in spring when the cherry trees bloom, so it can be quite busy. It gets less busy as you walk, however, as most of the tourists just linger around the beginning of the path. I thus recommend people going there to actually walk the full path, as it gets less touristy as you go. This place was definitely my favorite spot for cherry blossom viewing on the whole trip!

2. Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

Another massive green space located in Shibuya, Tokyo is the Meiji Shrine and its surrounding park. It was founded in 1920, dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. It is a beautiful place to walk around and explore, especially when the sun is out and the cherry trees are blooming. It's a place I'll definitely return to on my next trip!

1. Tōshō-gū, Nikko

Number one on my list is without doubt the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikko, about 90 minutes by train from Tokyo. This Shinto shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most decorated shrines in the whole country. It was built back in 1617, and is located far into the woods. We visited on a foggy day, which was perfect, as it gave the place a very special, mysterious effect. I'm very happy that we made the trip up to Nikko. It is one of those places that I'm not sure if I want to go back or not. The visit was such an incredible experience, and I'm worried that if I do visit again it won't be as special, and thus ruin the memory I have of the place. Here are some pictures from Tōshō-gū and the neighbouring Taiyu-in temple:

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Hello again~

So, on our fourth day in Japan, we met up with two of my old Japanese classmates from my time living in Korea! We all met up at Tsukiji Fish Market at noon and walked around the market for a bit before one of my Japanese friends treated us to some amazing sushi for lunch.

We hung out with my friends until early evening, visiting some coffee shops and walking around Roppongi Hills. It was a great day, and we got lots of recommendations for Tokyo, and Japan in general for potential trips in the future 😊

For dinner, we had some yakitori in Shinjuku.

We spent yesterday in the beautiful old city of Kyoto. Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan before it was moved to Tokyo in 1868, and it thus features a lot of grand, historical buildings, like the Kinkaku-ji and the Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine. We also walked through a bamboo grove, and along a stream called the Philosopher's Path, which was surrounded by hundreds of cherry trees.

We spent a full day in Kyoto, leaving Tokyo early morning, and returning late in the evening. It was a very good day, despite the crowds who visited to see the cherry blossom blooming throughout the city. There were also lots of nice street food, and I ate a whole bunch of samples, only actually paying for an ice cream 😂 We even got to try some matcha and sakura tea with real gold in them 😁

Today we did some more exploring in Tokyo, having lunch at Ichiran once more (this time in Harajuku), visiting the Pokemon Center Mega Store and a Studio Ghibli store, and having dinner at an amazing restaurant called Yakiton Saitamaya. The owner and the people working there were some of the friendliest people we have ever met, and so were the other customers. Everybody showed so much interest in us, and the food was prepared right in front of our eyes. It was an amazing experience! We'll definitely go back on future trips to Japan 😍 We didn't take any pictures there, but here's a video from the place if anybody's interested in seeing what it's like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geZWL_gE-Ak

Here's my shopping haul from the day. Multi-flavoured Kit Kats, Pokemon merchandise, and sushi and dessert shaped erasers 😂

I really wish we could've stayed longer in Japan. We've already decided that we want to go to Hokkaido next time we're visiting this amazing country, as everybody seems to recommend it.

We'll be leaving for the U.K. in the morning, and then I'll go back to Norway on Thursday 😭

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It's already midnight here in Tokyo, so I'll keep the post short this time 😂

Yesterday, Bhav and I started the day by walking up to Shinjuku to watch Ghost in the Shell! While we waited for the movie to start, we went to a famous ramen shop called Ichiran for lunch 🍜 IT WAS SOOOO GOOD! The broth was meaty and silky, and the matcha dessert heavenly (I love matcha... haha).

When the movie had finished, the sun was out, so we headed over to Asakusa to explore the Sensō-ji temple and its surroundings. It was beautiful, with cherry blossom and blue skies 🌸☀ I also had some takoyaki and crabs. Lars + food = happy Lars.

Next we decided to go to Tokyo Tower for some views over the city, as the air was so clear 🗼 I had read online that there could be hours-long lines to enter the tower. But we were lucky. There was literally no line in front of us 😁

Tokyo Tower! 🗼

For dinner we had all you could eat (and drink) shabu-shabu in Ginza! We each had five rounds of meat (+ ramen and ice cream at the end), and I had Japanese beer, sake, Japanese whiskey, and plum wine 😁

Today the journey went to Nikko - a small town in the mountains north of Tokyo, known for its natural beauty and old shinto shrines. It was super foggy, but that just added a magical effect to the place and we both agree that we couldn't have been any luckier with the weather!

After getting back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen, we went to Shibuya to have dinner at a restaurant called Tonteki. It was amazing 😍

One thing we've both noticed during our first few days here in Tokyo is just how clean it is. There's literally no trash on the streets (not even gums), all the cars (and even garbage trucks) are shining, and we've even seen old ladies vacuum-clean OUTSIDE buildings! Even the air seems clean, and that's amazing considering it is a city of 37,8 million people. Also, everything is obnoxiously cute - yes, even the garbage trucks!

Tomorrow we're meeting up with some of my old Japanese class mates from Korea for lunch. But now, sleep!

Goodnight ❤

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Hello everybody,

I've been getting some complaints about not blogging in English (Thando), so here's a post in English for you all!

So, if you didn't yet realize from the title, we are now in Tokyo, Japan! It's a place both Bhav and I have always wanted to go, and we even talked about going here before we actually met in person 😂

We left the U.K. Tuesday evening. We traveled with Asiana and had a five hours layover in Korea before continuing out journey to Japan. During our layover, we had time to meet and have dinner with some of my friends from my time studying in Korea (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING ALL THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT, JAYNE AND MIO ❤ 我爱你们 哈哈). We had lots of good Korean food, as well as bubble tea from Gong Cha 😍 By the time we reached our AirBnB in Shinjuku, Tokyo it was already close to 2 am.

Despite not having proper sleep for the past two days, we woke up 10am this morning to explore the city. The weather was amazing, and I really regret not bringing my shorts 😂 We started the exploring by going to the Meiji Shrine, just a few minutes from our AirBnB. The shrine was pretty, and the park surrounding it even more so. We then had some Coco Curry for lunch before going to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, the most amazing park I've ever been to! We spent quite some time walking under all the cherry blossom 🍛 🌸

After taking 1000+ pictures of cherry blossom, we ended up walking to the Hanazono Jinja Shrine, before getting our Japanese rail passes and walking back home to relax for a bit.

For dinner we went to Harajuku for some conveyor belt sushi. It was amazing! So much better than Yo-Sushi back in the UK! Yo-Sushi is gross... haha 🍣🍣🍣

After dinner we walked down to the famous Shibuya Crossing - the busiest crosswalk in the world! We ended the night with some drinks before walking back home.

Can't wait for tomorrow 😁

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Hei igjen!

Nå har ferien endelig startet! Jeg hadde muntlig eksamen i kinesisk onsdag morgen. Den gikk veldig bra, og etterpå hadde jeg thai til lunsj med de tyske vennene mine. Deretter gikk turen til Reading hvor jeg nå befinner meg 😊

Det er deilig med ferie, spesielt når sola skinner. Vi spiste frokost ute ved elven i dag, og gikk deretter en lang tur. Nå skal Bhav lage middag 😁

I går viste jeg Bhav diverse videoer jeg er i på YouTube. En av dem var et intervju fra da jeg var utvekslingsstudent i USA. Et av spørsmålene var hva som er det beste med USA, og jeg svarte enkelt og greit: "Sweet potato fries. They're pretty good." 😂 Med andre ord syntes ikke Lars Erik, 17 år så veldig mye om USA, og det eneste bra med landet han kunne komme på var sweet potato fries 😂

Nå skal vi spise middag 😁

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Hei alle sammen!

Ja, jeg kan vel trygt si jeg ikke har vært spesielt flink til å holde bloggen oppdatert med tanke på at det allerede er en måned siden bursdagshelgen min i Paris, og nesten syv måneder siden siste blogginnlegg 😂 Utrolig mye har skjedd dette halvåret, og jeg har nå lyst til å prøve og blogge regelmessig igjen!

Så, for en måned siden dro kjæresten (sa jo at mye har skjedd) og jeg til Paris for å feire bursdagen min. Det kunne godt ha vært et par grader varmere, men alt i alt må jeg si at disse tre dagene var noen av mitt livs beste!

Vi reiste med Eurostar til Paris fra London tidlig torsdag morgen. Egentlig kanskje litt FOR tidlig, med tanke på at vi måtte stå opp klokka to om natta for å ta toget inn til London fra Reading hvor kjæresten bor. Vi var derfor ganske så slitene da vi kom fram, og slappet derfor av litt i AirBnB-en vår før vi startet utforskningen av byen. Dette var Bhavs første tur til Paris, og vi prøvde derfor å se så mye som mulig. Heldigvis liker vi de samme tingene, og jeg slapp dermed å trasse rundt inne på museer 😄 Her er noen bilder tatt fra torsdagen:

Og selvfølgelig spiste vi masse god mat:

Fredagen trasket vi videre. Etter frokost (som var supergod!) gikk vi rundt ved Eiffeltårnet, som var fem minutters gange fra der vi bodde. Været var fantastisk, og etter Eiffeltårnet gikk vi opp til Triumfbuen (vi spiste selvfølgelig mer mat på veien), hvor jeg fikk gratis inngang 😄 Utsikten fra toppen var fin. Anbefales 👍

Utsikten fra toppen av Triumfbuen:

Etter Triumfbuen gikk vi via Champs-Élysées til Willi's Wine Bar for å drikke vin 😊

Vi endte dagen med å spise middag på en jazzbar i Montmartre.

På lørdag hadde jeg bursdag, og den begynte jeg med et boblebad og champagne 💁 Deretter tok Bhav meg til frokost på Café de Flore, før vi gikk en tur i Le Jardin du Luxembourg. Og nok en gang endte dagen i Montmartre, hvor vi hadde crepes og middag.

Som sagt så hadde vi en helt fantastisk opphold i Paris, og jeg hadde nok hvert fall ti bad i badekaret i leiligheten i løpet av de tre dagene (jeg ELSKER badekar)! Det var deilig med et avbrekk fra jobb og studier. Gleder meg allerede til å reise tilbake!

På vei hjem hadde vi frokost på Dishoom i London 😍

På onsdag har jeg muntlig eksamen i kinesisk, og så er det påskeferie! Gleder meg 😄

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¡Hola!

Denne helgen dro Sarah og jeg til London for å se Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Skuespillet var på lørdag, men vi reiste av gårde til London allerede fredag morgen for å få mest ut av helgen. Da vi ankom Waterloo Station gikk turen rett til hotellet i Covent Garden for å legge fra oss bagasjen, før vi raste videre til King's Cross Station for å sjekke ut Harry Potter-butikken der. Vi fant fram, og endte opp både litt fattigere og litt lykkeligere med vårt nye merchandise 😁

Vi kastet også i oss en burrito hver på stasjonen før vi igjen hoppet på t-banen. Neste stopp var Foyles - en bokhandel - hvor vi brukte altfor mye penger på bøker. Vi har begge problemer når det kommer til å velge ut bøker i bokhandlere, og vi satt derfor ganske så lenge i dyp frustrasjon på gulvet og prøvde å kutte ned på antall bøker vi hadde samlet sammen. Sarah endte opp med to Harry Potter-bøker på tysk og en bok om strategi, mens jeg kjøpte Peter Pan på koreansk og en bok om geopolitikk 📖

Deretter gikk jeg litt rundt på egenhånd i Soho, mens jeg ventet på Sarah som møtte halvtanta si, før vi gikk ut for å spise middag. Vi hadde tenkt oss på Dishoom - en kjempepopulær indisk restaurant i Covent Garden - men der var det halvannen times kø, noe som gjorde at jeg tok til tinder for restaurantanbefalinger 😂 Takket være tinder endte vi opp på en kjempegod (og billig!) italiensk restaurant i Soho kalt Princi, hvor vi spiste risotto.

Covent Garden.

Risotto på Princi.

Lørdagen var altså den store dagen vi så Harry Potter. Men før Harry Potter, som begynte klokka to, spiste vi først kjempegod frokost på Farmstand, gikk innom et svensk bakeri, og handlet masse skandinaviske matvarer i en skandinavisk matbutikk. Og som på resten av turen hadde vi konstant latterkrampe av hverandres sykt dårlige humor, og alle de rare tingene vi gjorde. Fikk ganske så mange blikk. Folk må jo ha trodd vi var fulle 😂 Men det tror jeg faktisk de gjør her i Exeter også...

Som sagt så begynte den første delen av Harry Potter klokka to. Skuespillet var helt magisk, mer enn det skal jeg ikke røpe. Forstår virkelig ikke hvordan de fikk til alle effektene. Alt så jo så helt ekte ut! Vi brente selvfølgelig også av litt mer penger på merchandise før skuespillet begynte...

I pausen mellom de to delene (del to begynte ikke før halv åtte) spiste vi lunsj/middag på Wild Food Cafe og is på Udderlicious Ice Cream, som var utrolig godt!

Søndagen ble brukt til mat. Å spise var seriøst det eneste vi gjorde. Vi begynte med frokost på Bill's, for så å gå til enda et svensk bakeri, deretter til Beyond Bread (hvor de selger glutenfritt), Yorica hvor vi spiste frozen yogurt, og til slutt Dishoom, hvor vi endelig fikk et bord. Alt dette ble konsumert innen klokka ble fire, og klokka syv bar det tilbake til Exeter.

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