Category Archives: Japan

3 Must Have Items for Travel


Welcome to another #TravelTuesday link up on A Compass Rose! Next week will be our monthly themed Travel Tuesday and since it will be for the month of December the prompt shall be ‘Holidays’.  Share the places you have traveled to on your holidays, your wanderlust lists of where you would love to go during the holidays, why people should travel to your city for the holidays, or anything you would like! Dream big and let us travel vicariously through your post for next week.

This week I wanted to share with you all some thoughts my sponsors and I have on traveling.
I asked these lovely ladies the following question and you can read their replies below.

“You are going on a trip, what are the three must have items in your travel bag?”

TravelTuesdayCRYSTAL | The Happy Type
1. This is easy! Chapstick (because dry lips are the pits)
2. Hand Sanitizer (I apparently touch EVERYTHING)
3. A pack of toilet paper (When you have lived and traveled in Asia a small cache of TP is GOLD)

KIM | A Moving Story
1. A pashmina. I am terrified of airplane blankets. Pashminas can serve as a blanket, jacket and nose scarf in stinky places. One can never be over-prepared when traveling!
2. A Sharpie marker. I rarely go anyplace without at least one sharpie. It comes in handy when marking up maps, labeling purchases and taking notes on the road.
3. Haribo Gummi Bears. I like to have Gummi Bears on me in case I go someplace and don’t like the food. They’re a great snack if you happen to get sick and want to slowly reintroduce food, and let’s be honest, they’re great motivators if you need to bribe someone (hotel clerk, bellman, taxi driver) to hook you up. Unlike chocolate, they don’t melt, travel well and have many uses!

KATE | Diaries of an Essex Girl
1. My kindle
2. A hair brush
3. Definitely a toothbrush too! As long as I’ve covered hygiene and entertainment for any long journeys, I’m a happy lady.

LIX | A Classic Notion
1. My camera is my number one priority. I love the experience of traveling, but traveling without being able to capture the images I see would be an absolute nightmare.
2. Unless it’s a very short or very wildlife-involving trip, at risk of being super boring and sounding like a tech addict, I’ll also take my laptop — to transfer photos into and to stay connected to the people I love.
3. For the third, well — my meds. Paroxetine because you can’t quit cold turkey and lorazepam and ibuprofen just in case. And my wallet. And deodorant and a hairbrush and a toothbrush and toothpaste, probably. I can be a little obsessive about personal hygiene.

MELANIE | Melanie Fontaine
1. My camera
2. A good guide book of my location that includes my map and my phone.
3. My camera because travel photography fascinates me to no end, the guide book so I never lose my way and the phone in case any of the other two fails.

LOUISA | My Family & Abruzzo
1. The iPad so my 5 year old can play Angry Birds Star Wars on the plane/in the car.
2. Baby wipes (especially if you’re flying with a certain low cost airline)
3. These days, my iphone.  Goodness, I sound like a tech freak now.  I do read a lot of books and I draw too, I promise!

LINDSEY | A Broad’s World
1. My camera
2. My backup camera because I’m clumsy and have broken one too many while on holiday.
3. My handy dandy first aid kit, because who knows what I’m going to eat or accidentally step on.

BONNIE | A Compass Rose
1. My camera bag with everything I would need for my photography. We are talking the camera body itself, lenses, memory cards, external drive (for backup), cords, batteries, tripod or monopod, LED light, etc.
2. A journal.  Whether it be on my phone or an actual book I can write in with a pen.  I love writing down inspirations as they happen, writing poetry, or just writing about my experiences.
3. Packing Merry Poppins Style. Okay so perhaps this is not an ‘object’ but I like to see what all I can pack in my bag so that I am prepared for all occasions without feeling like I am lugging around my kitchen sink. Packing is an art!


Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.




1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link! ;)
3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday after 9 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
6. The First Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

 Q: You are going on a trip, what are the three must have items in your travel bag?


*Photograph courtesy of Ryan Aherin during his travels to Japan

3 Tips for Visiting Japan

Today I am pleased to introduce you to one of my featured sponsors for July.  Her name is Lisa and she has touched my heart with her photography and gorgeous family photos.  She is a mom to her adorable son and cute dogs, Jasper & Coco, and expecting her next bundle of joy soon.  She also shares my love of travel and is taking over my blog today to share with you a combination of travel and her photography hobby.  Make sure to introduce yourself and share some ACR love her way.


Hi, A Compass Rose readers! 

My name is Lisa and I blog at  
I blog about my family and also my photography hobby. 
Reflected temple (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for
I’m so honored to be sharing 3 tips for visiting Japan to you today on Bonnie’s lovely blog. In my former life (before marriage and kids), I lived in Taipei for two years and traveled to Japan twice. Once with some friends, and a second time all by myself. Japan really is one of the countries I’d visit over and over again. I love the food, culture, and how tourist-friendly it is (at least the cities I visited). Hope you enjoy the tips!


Tip 1: A little Japanese goes a long way
I know two Japanese phrases, and they took me a long way while visiting Japan. Need directions? Have a question? Just say “Sumimasen“, which means “Excuse me“. Another I used all the time, “Arigatou gozaimashita“, which means “Thank you very much.” Listen to the locals use these words for their correct pronunciation.

  Flag over river (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for

Tip 2: Trains, trains, and more trains
I visited the Kyoto region on my second time to Japan and took trains just about everywhere. If you’re planning to take a lot of trains, look into a Japan Rail (JR) Pass. Be sure to read the FAQ page to find out the details on the pass. For longer-distance trains, I reserved seats and got my pass stamped at the various stations – Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo. It was fun collecting them.

Tip 3: Restaurants with food displays are everywhere
When in doubt, eat at a restaurant with a food display. I once took a waitress outside to the window to show her what I wanted to eat. A few times cold noodle dishes were served when I was expecting a warm dish, but it certainly didn’t affect my appetite. Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines.


Hope the tips are helpful! 
I’ll leave you with one of my 
favorite photos from my trips to Japan! 
Please let me know when you visit Japan, 
so that I may live vicariously through you.

Reflected temple (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for

*All photography in this post is copyright to Lisa C. Ng for © 2013