DESTINATIONS

Tokyo off the beaten track: Kōenji, Asagaya, Ogikubo, and Kichijōji

Tokyo off the beaten track: Kōenji, Asagaya, Ogikubo, and Kichijōji | PACK THE SUITCASES

We’re lucky enough to have friends in Tokyo, so we try to stay near where they live in Ogikubo. This gives us a unique insight into local life there every time we visit. Here’s a brief summary of things we love about Tokyo off the beaten track. It covers: Kōenji, Asagaya, Ogikubo, and Kichijōji. This area is basically a western section of the Chūō-Sōbu line: one of the most crowded commuter train lines in Japan (which is really saying something).

If you want to visit somewhere in Tokyo without the tourists, where normal people live, and where the huge 20-storey buildings give way to low-rise winding streets, this area is perfect.

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DESTINATIONS

Funchal, Madeira travel guide: things to do, see and eat

Funchal, Madeira travel guide: things to do, see and eat | PACK THE SUITCASES

We’ve been meaning to write this for ages: our ultimate travel guide to the island of Funchal, Madeira, in Portugal. It is one of the few places we keep returning to. Beautiful scenery, food and culture draw us back, as well as (almost) guaranteed winter sun. Here’s where to eat and drink, as well as what to see and do. Hopefully it will convince you that it isn’t just full of OAPs…

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DESTINATIONS

Noodles and gardens in Takamatsu, Japan

Noodles and gardens in Takamatsu, Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

We gorged on udon noodles until we could hardly walk round the gardens in Takamatsu, Japan. This is obviously an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

Takamatsu isn’t somewhere we’d ever heard of. We’ve actually never heard of anyone going there. But it was on our way back from an incredible long weekend on the art island of Naoshima and our friend Tom was in charge of our lives and knew we would like it so off we went.

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