Categories Japan Travel Junkie Diary of

Reza Alavi

Monday, May 20, 2013
Reza AlaviLike0

When the owner and founder of Real Pilates, an awesome studio and the only STOTT PILATES Licensed Training Center in this part of the world agreed to be part of Travel Junkie Diary, we could not have waited any longer to have him on here! We are in Japan with Reza Alavi who is a huge fan of traveling and an inspiring traveler. He also has plenty of stories to share and the love he has for Japan had inspired him to run and design his studio the same way.

Here is his diary

Destination  Nara and Kyoto in Japan.

The Japanese strive for perfection in everything they do, small and big, with discipline. If I may borrow a line from The Last Samurai, “from the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue”.

Stayed at Mitsui Garden

A superb balance between business and family hotel. Very helpful staff, superb restaurants available (especially in the Tokyo Ginza branch), always brilliantly located (specially the one in Hiroshima) and depending on the branch they sometimes have integrated Japanese hot springs or at least a wonderful spa facility.

Month  The best season in Japan is obviously at the time of Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in late March, early April. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.

In your suitcase Aside from the usual items (clothes, etc.), my favorite books (I still like paper so no e-books for me) on Japan and its secrets, a reusable water bottle and super comfortable shoes!

Dined at Ironically my favorite restaurants in Japan were the Korean barbecue restaurants were you get served fresh meat and vegetables at the table and get to cook things yourself: if you like meat, absolute awesomeness guaranteed! TORAJI is my favorite chain.

Shopped Not a great fan of shopping I am afraid other than the unavoidable amazing Japanese electronics: so the entire Akihabara district in Tokyo is a must see!

Diary Wake up around 7-8am, have an awesome buffet breakfast, take a walk around the hotel, catch a bus to one of the numerous amazing sites around town, my favorite being Todai-ji. I would then wander around the beautiful gardens as the entire city is like a giant garden. You have beautiful deers walking freely around town because it is believed they are sacred animals, so everyone respects them deeply. A small non-touristic restaurant would be my next step. Noting like the taste of authentic Japanese food! Often such restaurants are in the corner of someone’s house so you get to also experience a family like atmosphere. After a few more hours contemplating the natural beauties of the city I would then head back to the hotel to get ready to go and relax in one of the typical Japanese hot springs (Onsen)… after that, light dinner, a bit of reading and ready to go to bed.

Tips Try everything, be patient when facing a Japanese with limited English skills. They will always try to help you to the extent that they might walk you all the way to your desired destination simply to be kind (and also because they cannot communicate well). Expect DIFFERENCE. Everything about Japan and the Japanese is different

Mode of travel Emirates Airlines  to Kansai International airport in Osaka – fantastic quality as always; followed by bullet train Shinkansen after that. Easy, safe and comfortable.

1996 Nara 02 Ancient Tunnel of Light Fushimi Inari Kyoto Garden Nara Higashiyama Old Street Japan_2007.07.11_0821 Kyoto Japan NaraDeerHorde Zen in Kyoto

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

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  • How far would you risk to get to where you want to go? 
KYOTO, JAPAN: Each of the famous torii shrine gates has been donated by an individual or a Japanese business in the hope of receiving good luck and fortune. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on the back of each gate.
  • Today I met someone who didn’t know her self worth and it left me with a heavy heart. She admitted she wished for a lot of things and dreamed of accomplishing all her NY resolutions. 
It reminded me of a story I read how we tend to create a big gap between expectations and reality and we cannot see it. How young women daydream for a perfect life and compare themselves with stuff such as ‘body goals’ or ‘couple goals’ rather be known for their accomplishments and how smart one can be. 
It made me realize how much we always have to remember to be kind to ourselves and practice love. It’s an easy thing to ‘be yourself’ but quite another thing to know who you truly are. 
I hope you stop counting your mistakes and stop torturing yourself with regret. I hope you love so strong, where you will always find the courage to say the things you wanted to say. I hope you never ever have to compare yourself to anyone but keep growing into the strong, smart and beautiful woman you are. 💫
  • This isn’t the ‘perfect instagram picture’ but I was never one to post for the number of ‘likes’.
Every picture I post on instagram is because it has a story behind it, and... an unforgettable memory. I didn’t even realize @dennisstever was taking a photo of me, and, to be honest, I think it might have been a fluke, because, if you were on that zodiac with us, you would understand how maintaining our balance was our first priority, otherwise it would have been be a dip in the freezing arctic waters. 
We anchored our sailboat in the middle of nowhere, they call it the arctic wilderness, miles away from tromso’s port. We took the zodiac to reach an uninhabited island and all I could remember, was the water level at my boots, and I was holding on to 3 camera bags and equipments and remember asking Dennis to repeatedly say “If MICHELLE falls off, save her cameras first” 😂
I’ve asked him so many times to acknowledge the fact that I’ve given him full permission to save my equipment first before anything else, and it just makes me laugh so hard on how far I am willing to go to save my gear. 
This photo reminds me of life. The adrenaline rush, the subzero temperature winds at the break of dawn, the unknown, the love, the risks we take, the crazy decisions we make in life and for our passion, in my case, it’s my love for photography. 
Can’t wait to return in two weeks on a @travelwithtjd 💫
  • It wasn’t so long ago when I made this dream a reality. Over a year ago, I made it to Harads in Sweden while driving, crossing the borders from Finland. One of the most incredible experiences of my life. This is the UFO at Tree Hotel. What you don’t see, is the incredible views of the Lule River valley and miles and miles of unspoiled forest lands. ❤️
  • Felt on top of the world...
Can you guess where in Portugal this was taken 2 years ago?
  • A week ago, I was walking barefoot on an island 🌴... Today, I’m recovering from the flu in bed... and in a couple of days I’ll be back to winter mode ❄️. How is your weekend looking so far? 😊
  • Truth: A lot of you question how I have things figured out... it’s far from the truth. I promise. 
The truth is, I take risks in the things I believe in, personally and my business life... and learned not to try and overthink when making the decision, because I remind myself how hard I worked for my career and passion to come together. 
I take risks not because I’m brave, but because I really believe that it could be SO good when it works out, or when a project I pitched for succeeds... I look back and realize how far I have come and remember thinking that things were such a mess I would never recover. 
I have never led an ‘ordinary life’ nor a life that would suit everyone maybe...but that is the only life I love despite the sleepless nights working and my heart racing all the time. “That’s the sleepless life of an entrepreneur” they say. 
I am determined to be the best of what I only believe I can be, even when I may lack in other things or even when I fall... But my life is about breaking my own limits and not let the outside noise affect my judgments. That’s how I make it through... 💕
  • Here is a little bit on how this picture was taken... As drones are strictly not allowed @sixsenseslaamu - I had to find a way to climb on the roof patio and hook my camera  on a balcony pole so it doesn’t get blown away or fall right into the pool. 
When I finally thought I had the settings set on and the camera hooked properly, I ran down the stairs, out the backdoor, into the front door of the pool deck and sat there with my remote control. The sun’s light has increased slightly then and my settings were all wrong again 🤦🏼‍♀️, if you were my Neighbour, you would see a crazy lady, with her hat flying away, running up and down the roof top. 
Luckily, my remote’s connection to my camera and the light was finally set and I took the shot. Then I just sat there. Watching the sky turning from pink, to orange to clear blue. 
Only then, I realized my camera was still hanging ever so lightly... so, pulled myself together and rushed back on the rooftop. 😊 That’s the story 🌴
  • I worked out what would make me happy, and I worked out what I wanted to do, and I trained myself to do the job that would make those two things happen. ‘You make it sound so simple...’ Everyone said 
It is simple...The thing is, it's also a lot of hard work. And people don't want to put in a lot of work. But I didn't get here simply by wishing for it.
  • The view from my beautiful water villa @sixsenseslaamu 🌊 Happy Sunday everyone!
  • Welcome to the Maldivian Jungle 🌊🌴Escaped for a long weekend to dive, tan, eat and learn all about the sustainability projects together with @sixsenseslaamu and @travel4apurpose - this has to be one of the most beautiful beach front villa I’ve seen. Are you a water villa or beach villa lover?
  • Legend says that there is an intangible string of fate that binds two souls destined to be together... Whether as best friends, lovers or two crossing paths.
Those connected are bound no matter of time, place or circumstance.
The red string of fate is derived from an ancient East Asian belief. According to this myth, the Gods tie a red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other or help each other in a certain way.
And so, no matter how near or far you are from the person, the thread remains. 
There will be times when mentally or physically, you feel distant from the person, but that doesn’t affect the thread that binds you two together. 
If you feel that with a lover, friend, or someone you just met... take a minute to remember what you just read and always be kind to one another. 💫