Celebrate Valentine's Day: Valentine's Day Around the World | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Celebrate Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day Around the World

I’m still on my quest to learn how holidays and traditions I’ve come to take for are celebrated around the world! Next up on the list… Valentine’s Day! It’s not quite as popular as other holidays, especially since some people treat Valentine’s Day as if its any other day. Some people see it as nothing more than a commercial holiday created by big corporations in the card, chocolate, and jewelry industries. However, others see it as a time to take a step back from their busy lives and appreciate their significant other. Let’s see how other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Learn to Be a Samurai at Samurai Kembu Theater in Kyoto, Japan

Learn to Be a Samurai at Samurai Kembu Theater in Kyoto, Japan

At the Samurai Kembu Theater, visitors get to learn about “Kembu,” the traditional sword art practiced by the ancient samurai of Japan. It traditionally uses a katana (long, curved sword) and fan to convey poems and stories. Visitors can watch performances by masters of Kembu, and then they can even try it out for themselves. It’s definitely a unique, must have experience in Japan for those interested in Japanese culture, history, and society.

A Day Trip from Tokyo: Things to Do In Nikko, Japan | Footsteps of a Dreamer

A Day Trip from Tokyo: Top Things to Do in Nikko, Japan

Nikko, Japan isn’t quite as popular as some of the other bigger cities in Japan, but don’t let that dissuade you. Nikko is full of rich Japanese culture, and you’ll find that it’s much less crowded and not as touristy as some of the other big cities, making it the perfect place to get a first hand encounter with Japanese culture. It’s also a great day trip from Tokyo, so you don’t even have to go out of your way to get there. If you’ve got the time, here are some suggestions for things to do in Nikko, Japan.

Parks and Gardens in Tokyo | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Must See Parks and Gardens in and Around Tokyo, Japan

I’ve always loved taking a stroll through a garden, particularly a Japanese garden. It always just feels so peaceful. It’s not surprising that, when I finally made it to Japan, I spent a great deal of time exploring the many parks and gardens of Japan. Without any further ado, here are the parks and gardens that made the top of my list.

Christmas Lights at Stan Hywet in Akron, Ohio, USA | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Deck the Hall: Christmas Lights at Stan Hywet in Akron, Ohio, USA

Standing on 70 acres of land, and consisting of five historic buildings and eight gardens, Stan Hywet is the 6th largest home in the United States that is open to the public. Every year in December, volunteers decorate the estate with Christmas decorations of all kinds, and include over one million lights and a choreographed light show to various Christmas songs. If you’re ever near Akron, Ohio during the month of December, I highly recommend paying a visit!

Celebrate Christmas: Christmas Around the World - Footsteps of a Dreamer

Celebrate Christmas: Christmas Around the World

Recently, I’ve been on a quest to learn about how other countries celebrate holidays that I have come to take for granted. I’m so accustomed to the traditions and celebrations that I grew up with that it was a bit of an eye opener to learn that other countries might do things a little differently. With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to reach out to some of my fellow travel bloggers and ask how they celebrated Christmas in their home country.

New Year's in New York: Watching the Ball Drop in Times Square

New Year’s in New York: Watching the Ball Drop in Times Square

Growing up, I would always watch the ball drop on TV on New Year’s Eve. I would see the crazy crowd of people in Times Square all wearing their New Year’s glasses and partying the night away. Despite what others might think, I thought it would be so cool to be in Times Square and experience the ball drop in person. I was so excited when I finally got the chance to go! However, going to New York City to see the ball drop definitely takes some preparation. Here are my thoughts on spending New Year’s in New York.

Bowling at Round1: Moonlight Strike Game - Footsteps of a Dreamer

Bowling at Round 1: The Moonlight Strike Game

I went bowling at Round1 Entertainment for the first when I was studying abroad in Japan. I lucked out that there was a Round1 close to my dorm and close to my university, so I found myself there quite frequently. Despite my troubles trying to convert American shoe sizes to Japanese shoe sizes so I could rent the correct bowling shoes, I thoroughly enjoyed bowling at Round1 because of their unique Moonlight Strike Game.

A Dreamer's Guide to Trip Planning: Trip Research and Creating an Itinerary

A Dreamer’s Guide to Trip Planning: Trip Research and Creating an Itinerary

Trip research and creating an itinerary can be an intensive task and even a little overwhelming at times. There always seems to be so much to think about in order to make sure you get to do everything you want, get everything at a good price, and overall have a good time. However, planning your trip doesn’t have to be a super stressful process as long as you have a methodology for tackling it. Learn how to plan for your next trip the non-stressful way!

Celebrate Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Around the World

As an American, I grew up hearing stories and watching movies about the Indians and English settlers celebrating the harvest together in a time of struggle, which became the first Thanksgiving. For that reason, I just assumed that Thanksgiving was another holiday relatively unique to the United States. I can’t think of too many other countries that had issues with colonists and Indians. However, it turns out that celebrating the season’s harvest is a rather common thing to do! So what is Thanksgiving around the world like?

Essential Apps for Travel in Japan - Footsteps of a Dreamer

Essential Apps for Travel in Japan

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how to read a traditional paper map. There’s no point when I can have all the same information and more in the palm of my hand! If you are planning on traveling to Japan, there are a lot of apps out there that can help you not only navigate the train system, but also find where to eat, learn some survival phrases, and more! Before you go, make sure you download these essential apps for your trip!