Since I started blogging, I’ve had more opportunities to look at photos, read through my travel notes, and recall this and that about my old trips. I’m glad that memories that I had forgotten about are coming back to me. It is difficult to go on a trip now, but I have enough time to look back on my past trips, and I think it would be fun to enjoy them.

プラハには2013年5月に行った。「プラハ – ブダペスト – ウィーンの旅」の開始はプラハだった。どういうきっかけで手に取ったか忘れてしまったが、米原真理さんの「嘘つきアーニャの真っ赤な真実」は名著です。筆者がプラハのソビエト学校で過ごした時の友達について書かれた本。色々な国から集まった友達との軽妙な会話などを記しており、衝撃をうけた。この本に出会ったことが、中央ヨーロッパに旅に出ることを決めたきっかけであったことを今頃思い出した。

I went to Prague in May 2013. It was in Prague that I started my “Prague – Budapest – Vienna Trip”. I don’t remember how I picked it up, but Mari Yonehara’s “The truth told by a liar Anya” is a great book. It is a book about the author’s friends from her time at a Soviet school in Prague. I was shocked to read about the light-hearted conversations she had with her friends from different countries. I remember now that meeting this book was the trigger for my decision to travel to Central Europe.


Since I became interested in Prague, I’ve been picking up Prague travel guides and planning my trip. Places to go, things to see, this and that. I really enjoyed planning to go to the Estate Theatre where Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” was premiered, to walk around the old town, and to buy bohemian glass shot glasses for myself.


In Prague, it rained heavily on the way from the airport to the hotel, I struggled to get from the airport to the hotel, and I went to the opera that night when I took a midnight flight. That is why, I didn’t enjoy the opera while fighting with sleep. The plan itself may have been unreasonable. The next day, the weather was not so good, and my plan to walk around the old town was not realized, so I don’t remember enjoying it much.


The next night in Prague, I enjoyed ”Aida” at the Prague State Opera House. Prague has at least two world-class opera houses, and I was impressed by the fact that I could enjoy opera every day.

プラハではトラムにお世話になった。土地の乗り物を乗りこなすことは楽しく、有益だったが、何故か道に迷うことが多く、日記には方向音痴の自分を責めるコメントが多い。今ならスマートフォンで道に迷うことも無いだろうが、8年前はそんなものは使っておらず、道に迷ったんでしょう。ただ、いきなり目的地に到着する感動はそれなりのもので、Google Mapに頼らない旅、というのも悪くないと思う。計画は立てるものの色々な変更事項あり、ビールを飲みながら計画を練り直すのも楽しかったと記憶している。

In Prague, I often took tram, it was fun and efficient, however, I don’t know why I got lost so often, and there are many comments in my diary blaming me for being directionless. Nowadays, we probably wouldn’t get lost with a smart phone, but eight years ago, I didn’t use such things, and I was lost. On the other hands, the excitement of arriving at a destination out of the blue is something special, and I think it’s not bad to travel without relying on Google Maps. Although I had a plan, I had to make various changes, and I remember that it was fun to rethink the plan over a beer.


Prague is very famous for its stained glass. I took pictures of various stained glass windows. I understand why people recommend Prague. I would like to revisit it if I have enough time. It’s not that high on my priority list. I can’t deny that was influenced by the weather at the time of my last travel.



I’m not an expert on opera. But I think that opera is one of the most important art forms in the world, because it is performed by an orchestra, and many star singers sing and dance on a gorgeous stage, wearing splendid costumes.


Hence, opera is horribly expensive. Tickets are disgustingly expensive. Although it was eventually cancelled, the tickets for the Teatro alla Scala’s performance in Japan cost 69,000 yen(USD680) for S seats. It’s just too expensive.

その点、New Yorkのメトロポリタン歌劇場といった欧米のオペラ劇場では、シーズンになればほぼ毎日それこそ、今を時めく歌手が豪華絢爛の舞台で美声を轟かせているのですから、旅行に行くとついついオペラに行ってしまいます。ウィーンの国立歌劇場は私に言わせると高すぎます。その点New Yorkのメトロポリタン歌劇場は何とか手の届く金額で鑑賞できます。

On the other hand, almost all opera theaters in Europe and the United States, such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York, are somehow affordable. They have the most talented singers of the day roaring their beautiful voices on the gorgeous stage almost every day of the season, so when I travel, I tend to go to the opera. However, the Vienna State Opera is, in my opinion, too expensive.


All my appreciations of opera are enjoyed when I travel abroad. In the order I remember them


The Marriage of Figaro” … at the Metropolitan in New York. I had dinner at a bar before the opera and somehow met a Spaniard and we hit it off. We drank a lot of alcohol. I thought “I shouldn’t sleep”, but I slept for quite a while. It was the most luxurious sleep I’ve ever had.


Un ballo in maschera” … at the Metropolitan in New York with my parents. I was overwhelmed by the powerful voice of the singer. I was surprised that my father, who I thought would surely fall asleep during the performance, stayed awake until the end.


”Don Giovanni” … at the Estate Theatre in the Prague. The same show where the first performance took place. I don’t know if I was expecting too much or if it was just a bad match. I was not able to be satisfied with the performance.


“Aida” … at the Prague State Opera House. I hadn’t originally planned to go, but I wasn’t too happy with Don Giovanni, so I took my revenge. It makes the Japanese want to cheer for the Japanese national soccer team, doesn’t it?


“Madame Butterfly” … at the Hungarian State Opera House. This opera is very familiar to Japanese people. The sad voice of Madame Butterfly is very impressive. Kimono did not fit for main cast, but it didn’t matter to me. I was convinced by the unending applause for Madame Butterfly


“Carmen”…at the Metropolitan in New York. Watched it in the front row (although the front row isn’t the most expensive). I didn’t like Carmen or Jose, but I was attracted to the sadness of Micaela. Not only me, but also the audience agreed. The biggest applause was given to Micaëla, and the performers were happy to see her in tears, which still remains in my mind. If I dare to rank them, this is the best.


In a normal classical concert, people don’t applaud in the middle of a piece until it is over, but in an opera, people applaud after an aria. I like this style better.



Budapest of Hungary is one of the cities that I would highly like to visit again. It’s been eight years since I visited Prague-Budapest-Vienna in that order, and I’m sure a lot has changed.


To be honest, Budapest may have been the least expected among them. Part of the fun of a trip is in the planning, so the first stop in Prague inevitably takes precedence, so perhaps my expectations for Budapest were not as high as they should have been. But that was a big mistake.


Since arriving in Budapest on the midnight train from Prague, I had a series of wonderful views of St. Istvan Cathedral, the Parliament, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and Buda Castle. The beauty of the famous night view, including the Chain Bridge, was also beyond our expectation.



I also went to the opera. I got the impression that concerts have become a part of the daily life of the citizens. ” Madame Butterfly” was very familiar to Japanese people, and the soprano was wonderful. The soprano was wonderful and the ticket was very affordable.


I also remember that the meal with paprika was wonderful.

Dish in Budapest


I was also impressed by the fact that they were actively repairing the buildings to make them more beautiful.


The hotel I stayed at last time was Lanchid 19, which was a wonderful hotel with a nice view from the window and good taste. The price was not too high. It seems to be still in business. I can recommend it.

View from Hotel Lanchid 19

旅行者が物価を論じるのは不適当かも知れませんが、全体的に物価は安かったように思います。次回はair bnbなどで安い部屋を借りて出来るだけ長い期間滞在し、暮らすように旅したいと思います。自転車も持ち込み、色々な場所に自転車で訪問したいと思います。

It may be inappropriate for a traveler to discuss prices, but I think prices were cheap overall. Next time, I would like to rent a cheap room on air bnb and stay as long as possible and travel as if I were living there. I would also like to bring my bicycle and visit various places by bicycle.

New York (2)

New Yorkには2008年には両親とも一緒に行きました。不思議なことに、ナイアガラの滝とかボストン、ワシントンはパッケージツアーが結構な数組まれていますが、New Yorkはそうしたツアーが見つけられなかったように思います。だから私が色々と案内することを買って出ました。

I went to New York with my parents in 2008. There are a lot of package tours for Niagara Falls, Boston and Washington, but I don’t think we could find such a tour for New York. So I decided to show them around.


My father requested me to go to a gospel. I went to a church in Harlem to listen to gospel music before by myself. Needless to say, gospel music is not for tourists, and the people around me never thought I was coming to church for gospel music only, so I felt very sorry and uncomfortable. Therefore this time I decided to go to a concert called “Gospel Brunch”.


I still vividly remember my father saying that when he went to listen to a gospel concert, his melancholy voice almost brought tears to his eyes.


I have so many memories of travel to New York with my parents, listening to Opera ”Un ballo in maschera, Verdi”, Musicals “Phantom of the Opera”, Jazz, eating delicious food, and so much more. I have told my father many times that singers don’t use a microphone in opera, but he still doesn’t believe me.


Surprisingly, my parents were especially happy to ride on a regular bus that was not for sightseeing. They were happy to be able to see the life of ordinary citizens. My parents travel to various cities, but since they often join tours offered by travel agencies, I think they don’t have opportunities to see normal life on a regular bus or train.

写真はブルックリン橋から撮ったマンハッタン。歩いてブルックリン橋からマンハッタンに向かうのは毎回私がNew Yorkに行く際に必ずすることです。

This photo is Manhattan taken from the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking from the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan is the most important thing I do every time I go to New York.