Kura's top recommendations for travelling South Korea and Japan

Kura's top recommendations for travelling South Korea and Japan
Hello Tortoises!
Thank-you for taking interest in our recent travels to South Korea and Japan. We spent about a month between the two countries and loved every minute of it! What you'll find below is a list of our recommendations, the stand-out places we found inspiring, 'worth the trek' and just plain downright fun. We hope you find this small list of recommendations helpful in your upcoming travels!
South Korea!
-Leeum Museum of Art - Very impressive building with beautifully displayed exhibitions. Make sure you look up what exhibitions will be on during your time of visit as most of them are ticketed and require purchase in advance.
- Yongsan Crafts Museum - We stumbled across this place by chance and the shop/ gallery on the ground floor featured the work of many local artists who work in the studios above. Some of the staff were the artists themselves and were lovely to chat to. 
-Itaewon Uyukmien - A great little lunch spot just down the road from Leeum Museum. Michelin star restaurant with great prices. Known for their Taiwanese beef noodles which were absolutely delicious!
-Rust Bakery - Great little bakery! Loved their chestnut bread and toasted soybean muffin. Worth a visit if you’re in the area!
- Watch a baseball game at Jamsil stadium and observe the crowd go wild. This was a bit of a different excursion for us, but we ended up really loving the experience and atmosphere. Tickets are purchasable at the gate.
- Try a baseball simulation batting cage if you’re up for something a little active and fun. The locals frequent batting cages to socialise, drink & de-stress after a long day at work. 10/10 fun!
- If you're big on food like us, you have to try some local delicacies like their famous hair tail fish, black pork, abalone & Hallabong tangerines! 
- We highly recommend eating hairtail fish at Jegal-Yang, the fish was fresh and the side-dishes were just to die for. 
- Arte Museum Jeju We had too much fun at this place and really enjoyed the immersive media art. We went there right before last admission (around 6 or 7pm?)  and had the place practically to ourselves with plenty of time to see everything.
- Osulloc Tea Museum & Innisfree Jeju House. Very touristy but lovely buildings and grounds which we enjoyed. Visit on a weekday to avoid larger crowds.
- Mt Hallasan (only did the short trek, apparently the full hike to the top is well worth it but we ran out of time)
- Sunrise peak - A great short but steep trip up the side of an extinct volcano. Impressive views of cliffs and the rugged coastline everywhere you look!
Cheonjiyeon Waterfall - Beautiful grounds with a lovely walk under stunning tree canopies before you reach the waterfall.
- Bonte Museum & Water Wind Stone Museum - We didn’t make it here but it looks pretty awesome, so please report back to us if any of you make it here! 
- We stayed in Seomyeon and really loved it! Super convenient and it really felt like we were in the middle of it all.
-Samojeong We can’t recommend this restaurant enough. Specialising in Samgyetang which is a traditional herbal chicken soup, cooked so beautifully that we ate here like 3 times in 2 days. Ginseng chicken + Beef hotpot was 10/10
- Object, Seomyeon Cute little stationery store with very unique offerings, you definitely can't leave empty handed.
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was so beautiful and impressive. Like a temple carved into the cliffs.
- 지수농원 : An amazing duck restaurant that feeds you a  whole duck cooked 3 ways (grilled,teppanyaki,soup - big meal for 3ppl) Very intimate, located in the owner’s home with the kitchen downstairs and the eating space upstairs with a view. Very tasty!

We flew into Fukuoka from Busan which was only an hour away. We highly recommend doing this if you’re planning to travel both South Korea and Japan at the same time.
- We loved the scale of this city. Not too big, not too small, with gorgeous buildings and streets which were not overly crowded. We stayed in an airbnb in Haruyoshi (West side of the Naka river) 
- Shin Shin Get here early to avoid the lines! The Hakata ramen was exceptional and broth was superrrr umami, very morishhh.
- We only had one full day here in Fukuoka and explored mainly Yakuin & Imaizumi. Some shops we recommend include. knot eel(雑貨屋) YARRA doux bleu 薬院店 B・B・B POTTERS NONE TOO SOON LIFE & OBJECT AURA clothing & antiques BROT LAND Save them all on your 'want to go' list, happy exploring! 
- There were also plenty of Yatai’s/ food stalls near and around  the Haruyoshi bridge selling delicious food and treats.

Teshima & Naoshima art islands
- We stayed in Takamatsu and caught a ferry to the art islands, the journey was simple enough but if we had a bigger budget, we would of loved to stay on Naoshima to make the most of it.
- Teshima Art Museum The most surreal experience. Don’t go here if you have a cough… it will be very awkward haha.
- Tip: If you can avoid it, don’t go on a Sunday because everything will be  closed even though google says it’s open. If you do go on Sunday, pack some food & plenty of water because there’s not a lot of options on Teshima island.
- Naoshima: Try and tick off all the museums, they are all very good. We highly recommend Chichu Art Museum especially - Mind blowing stuff.
- We recommend exploring Nakazakicho - Super cute neighbourhood, full of fun, quirky, vintage & retro shops. Check opening hours/ days before visiting. Some highlights - ichimaruni 本店 Pigsty a⇌zSTORE (Men's) & vivie 中崎町店 (Ladies') green pepe Cocoa YAMASTORE Osaka Naniwaya
- Daytrip: Kondacho Kamitachikui Tamba Sasayama pottery village. Home of the oldest climbing dragon kiln and The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo. This place was really amazing but super duper hard to get to without a car. If you’re interested in more info, please reach out and we’ll be more than happy to share our experience.
- Premarché Gelateria プレマルシェ・ジェラテリア & Premarché Alternative Diner The gelateria served up an impressive 40+ truly unique gelato flavours with great Vegan and dairy-free options too! 
- Rurio An awesome little udon restaurant pushing the boundaries of Japanese/ Italian fusion.
- Kawai Kanjiro's House A must for people interested in art/ sculpture/ ceramics & pottery. 
-Sumiya Cultural Art Museum An beautiful little hidden museum. Amazing guides that do speak some English. If you are at all interested in geisha history I would really recommend.
- Kyukyodo Traditional stationery store with postcards, Washi paper goods, paintbrushes and other letter writing accessories. 
-Koizumigakki Ethnic Musical instruments. The store owner is super lovely and talented.
- kohchosai Modern bamboo cutlery & homewares beautifully displayed.
-Naito brush shop Traditional handmade brushes for daily use in an old traditional store front. 
-Nanaya Kyoto Sanjo Shop For super strong Matcha Ice-cream and tea-based gifts. Highly recommend the Houjicha Chocolate bars.
- Day trip: Uji. Popular for shrines, temples & green tea.  Highly recommend visiting, Jinjiro Tea Shop, Asahiyaki shop & gallery,HOHO HOJICHA 焙茶専門店 宇治本店 & 辻󠄀利 宇治本店
- Daytrip:  La Collina Ōmi-Hachiman - Straight out of Studio Ghibli. Beautiful buildings and grounds with yummy sweets and treats. We recommend to go there on a weekday to avoid crowds/ lines
- We stayed in Shimokitazawa- a great neighbourhood for vintage clothes shopping & distinctive restaurants/ bars & cafes. A few highlights, reload (This whole shopping mall was really well put together and curated) sonora Fog Linen Work シモキタ園藝部 e's yarn Flamingo (Shimokitazawa Store) Stick out Ishii Shimokitazawa
- We had a small amount of time around Omote-Sando Station and really loved the area. Highlights:Spiral Market Café Madu Aoyama utsuwa omusubi (Japanese pottery store) Utsuwa Kaede
- National Museum of Western Art - Building by Le Corbusier and paintings by Monet, Picasso and the like. 
- Other random highlights from the blur that Tokyo was. Toriyoshi Great Izakaya restaurant under a trainline, literally rumbled. Great vibe and great food.Green Italian TORCIA Japanese/ Italian fusion for if you’re feeling a little fancy. Kanaya Brush Best boar bristle hairbrushes! A great variety of brushware for the home. Real Escape Room Asakusa If you’re into this kind of thing, try and escape the red room! Non-Japanese speakers welcome. It was very impressive even though it was low-tech mt lab. for cool stationery & washi tape. Asakusa Gyukatsu for a great feed Wagyu beef katsu, go here out of peak food times to avoid lines.
Thanks all for tuning in! We think this just about wraps up all our recommendations currently. Happy travelling all :) 

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