The Hidden Gem of the Grand Canyon: Horseshoe Bend

Jess Valentine

After it being near the top of our USA bucket list for years, we finally got to experience how grand the Grand Canyon really is. After our visit many people asked us, “Which rim of the Grand Canyon is best?”

A group of highly-trained and highly-cultured women called the geishas, are a representation of Japanese culture. Meeting one can be an once-in-a-lifetime event, even for many Japanese. Though you will see many geisha throughout Japan, Kyoto is known as the birthplace of the culture.

What started as a student-organized event has quickly morphed into the internationally recognized Sapporo Snow Festival. It is one of Japan's largest winter events and every year it attracts more visitors from Japan and an increasing number of visitors from abroad, too. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow and ice sculptures lining Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the sights and lights along the main street in Susukino. If you are planning to attend and want a little more information about the history of the festival, what you can do and other logistics, read Cover-More’s guide to the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.

Generally, Japan is an incredibly safe country in which to travel—theft levels are low and crime is rare. Regardless of the shining reputation of the country, there will always be the exception to the rule and many times scammers are responsible for tricking foreigners into giving up their cash or picking their pockets. You can avoid meeting the same fate by becoming familiar with some of the most common scams used in Japan. As always, stay vigilant when in public and if you get a weird vibe or feel like you’re being led down a sneaky path, trust your instincts and leave. Don’t worry about politeness if you feel you are in danger, leaving is your safest bet.

Tokyo may be the modern day capital of Japan, but Kyoto will always hold a place in Japanese hearts. Standing as the capital of Japan for over a millennium, this city still holds on to the old world charm while embracing the modern-era. Though you may be fooled initially upon entering the city, where the steel and glass main gateway greets you, the hidden gems of this city, such as the parks and the temples, will take you back to bygone eras. This city may be small in size, but it is rich in cultural heritage.

When you try to conjure up images of Japanese culture, few pictures will rank as highly as Traditional Japanese Sumo Wrestling. The age-old wrestling match between scantily clad, heavyweight men is not only an icon of Japanese culture envisioned by foreigners, but it is also Japan’s national sport and it rightfully deserves its important status.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance.

Did you know that sushi began as a quick street food in Tokyo? Back in the 18th Century when Tokyo was still called Edo, sushi was created as an optimal on-the-go meal. Since then sushi has taken off, and now there are as many poorly constructed sushi rolls as there are meticulously and traditionally prepared sushi rolls.

There are so many attractions in Tokyo, it can be hard to figure out which ones to visit, which to pass up and which aren’t worth the visit due to the hassle of dealing with the crowds. The main attractions like Kamakura, Mt. Takao, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Skytree and Yumenoshima are all great places to visit but should be saved for a weekday or for the “off season.” Instead, opt for attractions and sights that are off the beaten track for fun, fewer crowds and better experiences.

When travelling to a new city, especially one as large as Tokyo, one of the most stressful parts of visiting can be navigating the city and figuring out how to visit all of the places you plan to go. Luckily, Tokyo has an excellent train system that is rather easy to navigate. Most of the station names and information are in English, the ticket sales machines have an English option, and when all else fails, the lines are color-coded to assist confused tourists. Even though the system is relatively easy to use, there are a few tips you will want to follow to ensure a worry-free commute.

Step into a high-tech future with a keen appreciation of the old-world when you visit Japan's capital city. Tokyo's official metropolitan area is home to more than 12 million people and greater Tokyo has a population of 35 million. With so many people, Tokyo is a buzzing urban area with much to see and even more to experience.