Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recommended Beaches in the US

Recommended Beaches in the US

Oh, it’s hot. The job is tedious. Vacation is calling. Where would you rather be than on a warm sand beach or in the cooling water? Well, here are some great suggestions for your next beach adventure.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is one of the most well-known beaches in America. Millions of people flock here yearly for miles of coarse sand, great fishing and a party atmosphere. In the summer months the beach is crowded with visitors from all ages vying for the perfect spot to view the ocean. The piers are filled with anglers looking to catch shark and other fish. Visitors can try their hand at parasailing, ride the waves on body boards, or just play in the water. Those who don’t want to get wet can view pods of dolphins trolling the coast in the early mornings and late evenings just before sunset. The Grand Strand has multiple bars and restaurants along with an amusement park. Places like ‘The Gay Dolphin’ and ‘Wings’ offer trinkets and t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Biker Rally 2014’ or ‘Spring Break’ for the souvenir hunters.  With annual car shows, Harley rallies, and Canadian Polar Plunges, Myrtle beach is a year-round destination.

 Florida boast one of the most beautiful beaches in America: St. Augustine Beach. Here, pristine ocean and powdery white sand make an amazing vacation. St. Augustine beach has clean restrooms and showering areas. Outside, children can play on the playground or bike down the street to Rita’s for a frozen custard. In the city of St. Augustine, the oldest city in America, visitors can go on ghost tours of America’s most haunted city. Sample fiery salsa’s and candies at Pepper Palace. Eat seafood where patrons can feed the fish as they swim below them on the waterfront at Santa Maria.

Looking for somewhere a little quieter? About 10 minutes from St. Augustine is the community of Vilano. Vilano Beach is a shell collectors haven with starfish and long ‘fingernail’ shells. This beach is usually quieter and less crowded , even in summer, than St. Augustine Beach.  Here you will see locals practicing yoga on the sand in the early mornings. The Vilano Pier is a great place to snag some fish. Sharks and bass and spades are there for the taking, if you can wrestle them in! Vilano Beach has many vacation rental properties and few hotels- a more family-like setting. Bring the children and the in-laws and enjoy a week in a beautiful mansion or a beach cottage.

Key West Florida is surrounded by amazing beaches. This island is perfect for people wanting a tropical vacation without leaving the US. Lush palms, green iguanas along the sides of the roads and resting on rocks, and yes- gorgeous beaches.  Come and snorkel in the clear waters. Get married under bird-of-paradise flocked arches. See the historic buildings along the port.

Grab some flip-flops, sunscreen and a smile. These fantastic beaches and many more are waiting for you today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5 Tips for International Travel

5 Tips for International Travel

Packing your bags and getting things ready to travel to another country is a process. No matter where you are heading to there is a list of things you must do prior to leaving. If you have a family and pets to consider this process gets even more complicated. But there are a few basic methods and tips for international travel that will get you smoothly and quickly on your way without incident.

1. Update your Passport. If you have changed your name, address, or phone number you need to check in with your local government to update these changes on your passport. Reverse the opportunity for issues to arise and help speed up the security at the airport by doing so.

2. Receive the proper vaccinations before leaving. Checking in with your doctor before travelling abroad is a great idea to prevent unnecessary sickness during your travels. You can easily schedule an appointment with your doctor and inform him of where you will be heading so he can give you the proper vaccinations.

3. Look up monetary conversions. Before leaving the country you need to know what your money will need to be converted to and what the conversion rate is. This will help you prepare for your trip and estimate how much money you need to bring.

4. Call credit card companies and inform them of your travels. Leaving the country and suddenly making purchases in Japan is a giant red flag to credit card companies, so if you don’t want your credit cards to be turned off let them know in advance of your plans.

5. Pack extra clothes in your carry-on bag. The last thing you need is to be stuck in a foreign country without your luggage so play it safe and bring extra clothing in your carry-on bag.
Take the stress out of international travel by following our tips above.

Photo anaa yoo on Flickr

Sunday, May 25, 2014

U.S. Travel Tips

U.S. Travel Tips

When considering traveling anytime, always plan your trip. This helps you by know what direction(s) you plan to travel, fuel stops, hotels, attractions. Also know how you plan to travel. You can take a passenger airliner, a bus, an RV, train or the good ole' family station wagon just like the Griswold’s. Just kidding!

Trip Planning 101

If driving your own vehicle or if you rent a vehicle, plan every foot of your trip. I cannot stress this enough.  If driving your personal vehicle it is a good idea to get a complete tune-up & fluid change. Check all your car's fuses, lamps, wipers and most importantly, have your tires and brakes checked. America's mountains are treacherous on brakes & your transmission. It would also be knowledgeable about your auto insurance and what it cover in lieu of breakdown. If renting a vehicle, be smart and use their insurance and not your own. If an accident occurs with your auto insurance, your premiums will skyrocket. Just map out your fuel stops, night stops and any other stops along the way. If you choose to travel by rail, this is a good idea as trains travel through the most beautiful county side and in many train stations are railroad museums & libraries that inform you on the history of that railroad. If you choose to travel by bus, I would reconsider.

Plan Ahead to Make Your Experience More Enjoyable

Sometimes it's a long ride between stops and this is bad if you get hungry or have to use the restroom, unless you choose to brave the restroom on the bus. I do not advise that. Going down the road a bus gets tossed around. Enough said! If you choose to fly, this is also a good choice for travel if you want to get there fast, but you have to consider extra baggage fees, same as buses & trains. Also, you must consider rental car fees and/or taxi/shuttle fees after your plane lands at your destination airport. The fact of lost luggage will be in the back of your head the whole flight because if your luggage gets lost, you have some unplanned shopping to do. Take all these into consideration when trip planning. Make sure to carry along a GPS for traveling roadways that the map doesn't show. Be sure to pack a weather radio, flashlights, first aid kit(s), cellular phones & chargers. Don't forget the roadside emergency kit (reflective triangles, flares).

Personalize Your Trip
If you choose to drive your own personal vehicle or rental car for long periods of time be cautious as you will become extremely tired. Stop for a break and stretch your legs. Be wary of traffics alerts from text alerts, digital roadway message boards and radio broadcasts. You may also want to avoid inner city driving by taking bypasses, especially during rush hour. A bypass route is usually twice as long as driving directly through the inner city, but with traffic congestion being a factor, a bypass is less stressful. Along the way, if you're unfamiliar with the area you can use the internet as well as your GPS to find specific POI's, hotels, restaurants and other attractions.

Travel Can Be Efficient
Traveling major interstates and highways is a great idea due to all of the rest areas, picnic areas and DOT Weigh Scales allows take bathroom breaks & snack stops. Yes, even the weigh stations have restrooms and in an emergency, there are officers in the scale houses a majority of the time.

Always have a plan for Roadside Assistance, as you never know when the next breakdown is likely to occur. Something as simple as a flat tire is a simple fix, just remember to load a spare before you leave, or purchase one. Tow trucks are expensive and are very expensive after hours.

Bonus Tip
A point to remember when traveling is that odd numbered highways and interstates run North & South. Even numbered highways and interstates run East & West.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Prepare for the travel

Prepare for the travel

A person, who is planning to travel abroad for the first time, needs prior planning to make the trip successful. There are number of preparations that are needed before embarking on the journey. These preparation touches on necessary travel papers, getting the necessary information on your destination as well as making the necessary reservations among others.

As part of preparation the person who is intending to travel is advised to check in with his or her doctor as well as the insurance services provider. You need to have the necessary vaccinations as well as have essential prescriptions if need be. There also a need to check with the medical insurance provider whether the policy taken covers overseas travel and emergencies that may arise. If it is not included, there is a need to take a cover that will take care of the traveler while outside the country. The first time traveler needs to check whether their documents are in order, if the passport has expired, renew it on time to avoid disappointment.

You will also need to know about the currency in use in the country that you intend to visit, this will make sure that you plan your budget effectively, carrying credit or debit cards is the most recommended thing but it is also advisable to carry some cash around denominated in the local currency since you might find areas where some cards are not accepted.

There is also need to get some information about the country you are visiting; this includes some popular places as well as one or two words in the language that is used in the country. This will ease your movement within the country.

Travelling outside the country for the first time can be challenging but with the proper planning and prior preparations, things can be made easy, therefore it is important to get some basic tips which will help you around.

photo Nattu on Flickr

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Shiroube Local Art Support Project goes to Art Show Busan!

Shiroube Local Art Support Project goes to Art Show Busan!

One of our favorites and supported artist Hisahiro Fukasawa, fine artist restructuring Japanese traditional design technique by modern digital technology, presents his latest work in Art Show Busan.

Hisahiro Fukasawa

2013: LUMINE meets art AWARD 2013 / Silver prize
1976: Born in Nagano prefecture in Japan
1999: Graduated from Osaka University of Arts
2001: Graduated from Kuwasawa Design School
Living in Tokyo Japan

Solo Exhibition:
2010: The Art complex Center of Tokyo

Group Exhibition:
2013: The Art complex Center of Tokyo

Busan Art Show

The project connects local art scenes with international audiences. Are you also an artist looking for better chances for presenting your art work? Drop us a line to speak how we can help you!

Thank you
Shiroube Team

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Best Travel Mobile Apps

The Best Travel Mobile Apps

Traveling has become more complicated as the world has become more complicated. A great way to make travel a little bit easier is to know which mobile apps are most helpful for anyone going on vacation or a business trip.

Tripit is a handy mobile app that offers both a free version and a paid version. The app tracks a user’s airline miles and alerts them if there is a delay in their scheduled flight. All the user has to do is forward emails such as their airfare confirmation, bus or hotel reservations and more. Tripit then organizes all of these emails and makes it easier to access them by organizing an itinerary for the user to follow. It also gives people the ability to share their travel itinerary with anyone they choose.

GateGuru is an app that provides users with a map of whatever airport they are flying into. The app neatly organizes information such as which services, shops and restaurants are near which gates. This helps users maximize their time in the airport between flights. GateGuru works with airports in Canada and the U.S.

iTalk Lite is a very unique app that lets users record the sounds they hear in their surroundings, such as street performances, birds singing, waves crashing against the shore and any other sound they would like to capture.

Hopstop is a great app for those who rely on public transportation when they travel. All a user has to do is plug in where they are and where they want to go and the app will provide them with the bus and/or train routes for cities such as Paris, San Francisco and New York.

These travel apps can be a person’s best friend while trying to navigate an unfamiliar town.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exploring Stockholm

Exploring Stockholm
A good compromise between elegance , culture and fun in the Swedish capital


Stockholm is one of the most charming, livable and eclectic cities in the whole of Scandinavia. It’s special feel comes from the fact that although Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, this is still a relatively small city compared to most of the other capitals of Europe, which are huge metropolis the likes of London, Paris, Berlin or Rome. Unlike its European counterparts, Stockholm is home to only a little over 1 million citizens considering the surrounding urban area: this makes for a great compromise in between the perks of living in a smaller town and the kaleidoscopic spirit of an European city that has so much to offer to its citizens and tourists alike.

Along side the overwhelming number of green areas, water is a very prominent element in Stockholm: The entire city is built around (and within) an archipelago of hundreds of tiny islands, connected by bridges, providing breath-taking scenery that can even be enjoyed by hopping on a boat and cruise around these little island, passing through something close to 15 beautiful bridges in the process. Many of these islands are host to beautiful private homes, while others feature gardens and little natural havens that are well worth a more in-depth look.

Besides the charming environmental setting, Stockholm offers so much to do in terms of culture and entertainment. Most of the local museums, including the History Museum and The Modern Art museum, are always up to date and very accessible, especially to tourists, who can almost always benefit from free museum passes that come in with the purchase of a subway card (a lot more convenient than buying single tickets for every ride you need to take). One of the best ways to get into the “Stockholm mindset” is to take a walk from the central station (referred to as T-Centralen) to the charming area of Gamla Stan, “the old town”, situated just a few steps away from the Swedish Royal Palace (which, by the way, hosts musical performances by the Royal guard every day at 12pm!).

Gamla Stan might be crowded with tourists, but it’s atmosphere is still far from being a “plastic tourist trap”, with the exceptions, perhaps of some of the souvenir stores around the neighborhood. Gamla Stan offers a wide range of cozy, intimate restaurants, as well as many great vintage stores, where you can find great deals on great clothing, literature and records. After spending a day shopping and experiencing the city, you can get to the chic area of Södermalm, the true hot spot of Stockholm’s night life, where the clubs are crowded with Swedes spending their hard-earned money on their weekend drinks! If you are not the night-club type, you can enjoy an evening at one of the many more casual oriented pubs and restaurant in the city, and why not, take a look at what’s going on at legendary music venues such as Debaser Medis or Cirkus, where there is always some international artist performing for the Swedish audience.


Scandinavia, generally, is not known to be among the cheapest holiday destinations, but on the other hand, pricing is always quite fair where it really matters: For example, there is a very wide selection of hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and apartment for rent coming in several price ranges to accommodate travelers with different budgets, and most of the museums and areas of touristic interests are accessible for free. Restaurants and nightlife can get pretty expensive, but even then it is possible to find countless wallet-friendly alternatives without necessarily compromising the quality.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tips For Traveling With Children

Tips For Traveling With Children

Traveling with children can present many challenges to their parents. Special precautions must be taken when traveling with children of any age, but especially young children.

Children tend to slow adults down so if you are traveling with them you will want to get to the airport a little earlier than you normally would. Often airlines will board families with small children first and this means it is crucial for you to be at your gate before your flight starts boarding. Otherwise your children may hold things up for everyone, which often results in traveling with angry and frustrated passengers.

Bring things to entertain children with during the flight. Depending on their age a coloring book with crayons or a portable DVD player and some appropriate movies may be all you need to keep them occupied for the duration of the flight. If you are traveling with a baby, the TSA recommends that you bring a safety seat on the plane with you. This will keep your baby safe in the event turbulence occurs.

When flying coach with children try to get seats in the first row of the plane’s economy section. In that area you will be somewhat isolated from other passengers so if your children get cranky during the flight they are less likely to bother their fellow passengers. If seats in the front row are not available, children should sit in between their parents. Never let young children sit in an aisle seat because they will want to run around the plane if they can get out of their seat easily.

It is important to have children stretch their legs during the flight. Parents should not let children walk around alone on a plane.

These tips will make traveling with children easier.