A girl can’t go to Paris in a tracksuit – especially on her honeymoon! Keep warm and rugged up in a stylish wool coat, comfy boots and thick wool tights. The simple but elegant black dress can be easily worn during the day or out to dinner and the leather tote is perfect for cramming your ipad, travel guide book and camera in! A stylish cuff and of course a wool beret keeps the outfit fun & personal.

My Glory Box Coat from Alannah Hill, Hailey Leather tote from Trenery, Dyson boots from Mollini, Mimco bow cuff, Metallicus plain long sleeve dress from Birdsnest, wool tights from Witchery, She’s A Shy Girl beanie from Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip

Ms Gingham says: I can almost smell the croissants and coffee!!! Yum!

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After a long journey, we finally arrived at Yamanouchi. Craig Shaw, our English-speaking liaison from Snow Monkey Japan picked up us from Yudanaka train station and took our weary selves to Biyu no Yado, the ryokan (or Japanese inn) where we would be staying during our visit. Craig also works at Biyu no Yado, which made it convenient.

view from our room

biyu no yado

view from our room

At Biyu no Yado, we got the traditional room as we wanted a more authentic experience. We love the switcheroo-service that the staff do during meal times. During dinner time, they will prepare our futon for sleeping. While during breakfast, they would tidy up the futons and restore the room to its day-time state.

our room

Day-time room.


Night-time room.

Dinner and breakfast were included in the room cost and the meals are a real spread.



The little complimentary traditional sweets we received were also such a joy.

complimentary sweets

Pockets of Japan are well-known as hot springs or onsen areas. The highlight of staying at Biyu no Yado is definitely the onsen baths. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we took all our baths in the communal baths while we were there!

Yudanaka Onsen

On the morning of 12th April 2011 our adventure was certainly made even more interesting. While getting ready for breakfast, we experienced a 5.5M local earthquake. It was a pretty big earthquake that lasted for a couple of seconds. It was certainly shocking and worrying, but despite the continuing little aftershocks during the day, we proceeded to carry out the activities we planned for our stay. After breakfast, we went to Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the snow monkeys.

Jigokudani Monkey Park entrance

We had to do a bit of climbing to see the monkeys and after a big earthquake, the last thing you would want to see is a sign like this …


We also saw signs that warned us of possible animals we might encounter during the walk … which luckily we did not encounter.

Once we got into the park, it was quite amazing really. Wild snow monkeys running around as we walk. At Jigokudani Park, the visitors can get really close to the monkeys. When we arrived it was feeding time… imagine a herd of wild monkeys running around beside you chasing after the caretaker… Amazingly, the monkeys ignored the visitors and went on as if we were not there. There were a number of rules to be followed when visiting the snow monkeys.

1. No eating while walking.

2. Don’t disturb the monkeys.

3. Don’t carry any bags. Although apparently the monkeys are not interested in our cameras, so cameras are ok.

4.  Don’t stare at the monkeys in the eye. Craig told us, the monkeys are like the mafia part of the town.

We were warned if we do not follow the rules, the monkeys would attack!

Monkeys roaming

We also explored Yamanouchi town. We visited the Good Fortune Route where we saw the giant “The Goddess of Mercy of World Peace”. Reading the information, I thought it was quite apt that we were on our honeymoon. 🙂

Heiwa Kannon, Yamanouchi

Goddess of Mercy of World Peace

Park information


We had a lovely lunch at Tokumi. The owner asked us if we were afraid of the nuclear situation. Later we realised, most places that we visited in Japan, the locals would ask us the same question.



So, after experiencing a 5.5M earthquake what else did we do? We went snowshoeing up on Mt Yokote (known locally as Yokote Yama), which is part of Shigakogen, a national park in the area. I asked Craig, who was our guide for this particular activity if it was safe to go up a snow mountain with earthquake and all. He jokingly told me it is better to be at the top during such time. Going up to Yokote Yama was certainly one of the best highlights of our honeymoon. It was an amazing experience.

Beautiful view from Mt Yokote

To get to the top of Yokote Yama, Craig asked Takesou-san, who owned a bakery right on top of the mountain to take us up there. As you can see from the photos, the roads were still closed off for visitors as it was still being cleared of snow. Takesou-san has a special car and the skills to drive through the slippery roads.

the snow on the side of the road

clearing the road of the snow

View from the car

We also got to ride a snow mobile! It was amazing!

Up on a snow mobile

Takesou-san’s bakery and cafe at the top of Yokote Yama.

Mt Bakery at the top of Mt Yokote

Once we reached the top of the mountain, we met two beautiful Siberian Huskies… Momichi and Silver. Silver is the friendlier one.

Silver and Tony

After a brief reprieve at Mt. Bakery, we then proceeded to snowshoe our way down the mountain.

Snow shoeing

Tony at Mt Yokote

Together. :)

We saw the sunset from the top of the snow mountains of Yamanouchi. We made our way back in time for dinner.


walking down

Then the next day after breakfast we continued on our Japan journey. The next stop? Nagoya!

In Yudanaka Station waiting for the train

Photos from Jennifer and Tony’s collection with help from their liaison Craig Shaw.

Ms Gingham says: I’m just loving following Jennifer’s adventure around Japan! How beautiful does snowshoeing down the mountain while watching the sunset look? I just hope that bulldozer wasn’t Takesou-san’s “special car”!

Jennifer says: “I’m not sure how to describe myself really, as I’m interested in everything and anything. I’m currently undergoing my post-graduate studies and as a creative outlet have my own mini label me.u, where I make jewellery/accessories. Despite having the wedding done now, I still love looking at all things bridal! So I still troll around wedding sites looking for all things pretty!”

Read Part 1 of Jennifer and Tony’s Yamanouchi Adventure.

Fancy a wedding on a beautiful deserted island? You’ll love the post I have for you today and the premiere of our elopements and destination weddings on Polka Dot Honeymoons! Kathryn and Jason eloped to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef and had a beautiful wedding for two. Of their decision to elope, Kathryn says “We tried twice prior to our elopement to get married but work and life commitments kept popping up. So around May 25th this year after many, many Internet searches we came across Lizard Island and knew instantly it was for us!

Neither of us like waiting for anything so as soon as we had decided to elope – just us – we set the wedding date for the 30th June and put everything in motion.”

Of how they met? Well that’s a romantic tale in itself! Kathryn recalls, “Jason and I met in 2008 when he flew from Melbourne to Perth to interview me for a distributorship within his company. After the interview we agreed he would accompany me on my next trip to Kalgoorlie in WA to ‘show me the ropes’ – we spent every waking moment for a month together there. About a week after his return to Melbourne I rang him to let him know I was really missing him, he flew back to Perth a week later and we have been inseparable since.”

Matthew Evans captured today’s elopement. I love how Matthew captured the beautiful, relaxed atmosphere of the tropical Queensland area. Matthew captured the sense of occasion beautifully along with the most wonderful backdrop Mother Nature provided.

Kathryn chose a vintage lace Givenchy gown for her wedding day and carried a bouquet by Nine Blooms. The bride’s makeup was styled by Blush Hair & Makeup.  Jason wore a Saba suit.

Kathryn says “The experience we shared on Lizard Island was a true fairytale in every sense and I was made to feel every bit the princess / movie star that a woman, on her wedding day, deserves to feel – and I got to take the best reminder of my wedding day home with me! ( my husband)”

Kathryn remarks “Matthew, the photographer, was a true professional and has a real talent for capturing raw emotion on film. He was a lot of fun to work with too and really knew what he was doing.”

The couple shared a candlelit dinner on the beach for two complete with a wedding cake made by Mark Jensen (the head chef at Lizard Island).

Congratulations on your marriage Kathryn and Jason! Thank you for sharing your elopement with us today on Polka Dot Honeymoons! Thank you also to Matthew Evans for today’s photographs!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

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  • Blush Hair & Makeup