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Japan Has The World’s Tastiest Food, Ice-cold Beer And A Cafe With Owls On Staff

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KUIDAORE is a Japanese word that means “to eat yourself bankrupt”.

They have a word for that, because Japan is the only country on Earth where the food is so good there is a real risk of scoffing your way to poverty.

Getty – Contributor Japan is a fantastic place to visit… and you won’t go hungry

It’s not just the local grub — sushi, ramen, udon, katsu curry — they also cook our dishes better than we do, and everyone else’s too.

Think patisseries so perfect they’re an insult to the French, beer always served in an iced glass, even their McDonald’s burgers look like the pictures.

And the best part? There’s no service charge. Tipping is a terrible insult.

My wife Morgan and I learned these mouth-watering facts on Intrepid’s ten-day Japan Express tour, travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto, via the mountain town of Nikko.

Jacob Lewis / The Sun The Japanese know how to serve an ice cold beer

The itinerary gave us the freedom to follow our guide — the knowledgeable and fun- loving Noriko “Nori” Saeki — or strike out on our own when more niche attractions took our fancy, as they did in Tokyo.

The first of these was Owl Cafe in Akihabara, an area known for electronics shops.

Little Mix party the night away in Japan on latest leg of their tour

The zoo-cum-coffee shop craze kicked off over a decade ago with Tokyo’s first cat cafe.

A laminated binder set out the rules.

No loud noises, no sudden movements and no letting the birds near each other — apparently big owls will eat little owls given half the chance.

Jacob Lewis / The Sun The Owl Cafe was a memorable experience

We were allowed to choose three birds to hold, but I gave up after the second took offence at my hairy forearm and began obsessively pecking at it.

Our hour-long session left me with a balding arm, some debate over whether owls should be living in a Tokyo flat and one very nice photo.

At least the owls survived the encounter, the creatures at our next stop weren’t so lucky.

If you want to know you’re eating fresh sushi, there’s really only one way to be sure — catch it yourself.

Alamy A must visit… Kyomizu temple in Tokyo

That’s exactly what’s expecting of you at Zauo, a seafood restaurant where guests fish for their supper.

Sat at a table on a faux- wooden fishing boat, diners pick a dish from the menu, decide how they’d like it cooked, grab a rod and go hunting in surrounding tanks.

Veggie Morgan only agreed to the unusual dinner date after my solemn assurance that she wouldn’t have to kill anything.

But five minutes of watching me dangle my limp line was enough, and she stepped in to hook us a juicy sea bream, which was cooked up into the best battered fish I’ve ever had.

Jacob Lewis / The Sun Memory Lane’s bars and cafes host several hidden gems

Feeling very well fed, we went for a night cap in Memory Lane near Shinjuku station, or as the locals call it, Piss Alley.

The row of food shacks and bars is far cleaner than the days when it gained its unfortunate name.

But the local hangout still pulls in the traditional crowd of hard-drinking office workers knocking back beers and shochu before catching the last train home to the suburbs.

We got chatting with a group who insisted, with traditional Japanese hospitality, that as our elders, they must pay for all of our drinks.

Google helped fill in the gaps but plenty was lost in translation, like when a compliment to the effect that I was in fact a fantastic fisherman for having caught such a lovely woman, came out as, “You have the best fishwife.”

Jacob Lewis / The Sun Jacob Lewis with wife Morgan with Nikko’s waterfall in the background

Next day, with sore heads, my “best fishwife” and I joined our ten-person tour group on the two-hour train to Nikko, an historical mountain town of temples, shrines and one breathtaking waterfall.

We ate fresh cold soba noodles, took a bus up the mountain to view the 318ft wonder of Kegon Falls and wandered the ancient temples.

Japan’s Shinto form of Buddhism is a very interactive religion, with a visit to a temple feeling a lot like a trip to Disneyland.

There are spiritual tree stumps to crawl through, lucky wells to aim coins at, magical streams to drink from, purifying smoke to waft and fortunes to be read.

Alamy Nikko’s waterfall is a magical place to visit

We stayed at the Turtle Inn, a traditional ryokan or guesthouse which, like the ageing but clean Sakura Ryokan we’d stayed at in Tokyo, included an onsen.

These are baths fed by geothermal waters. Bathers sit on a small wooden stool and scrub themselves clean, before entering the warm, clear pools.

Next morning we took a day trip to the Watanabe Sahei sake brewery. A family-run business, owner Yasuhiro Watanabi is an hilarious and fascinating guide, not that I can remember much of it, as he was all too generous with his wares.

Jacob Lewis / The Sun Kyoto’s famous Golden Temple

And after we exited through the gift shop, our entire families are getting identical, very pricey sake accessories this Christmas.

The final stop, Kyoto was a short train ride away.

If Tokyo is Japan’s robotic beating heart, Kyoto is its ancient soul.

At The Palace Side hotel we stayed in our first very nice Western room but missed the futons and tatami floor of the ryokans.

Alamy Japan’s famous geisha girls

From the Golden Temple, to the geisha girls and bamboo forest, this historic city gives a glimpse of the nation that once closed itself off from the world for 220 years.

We stumbled upon a traditional Japanese tea dessert house called Bunnosuke Chaya Shimizu.

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Family Horrified To Find Dead Rat In Their Suitcase After American Airlines Lost It For Five Days

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A FAMILY have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase after they lost it on an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, ‘OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say’.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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Dead Rat Found In Family’s Suitcase That Went Missing For Five Days After American Airlines Flight

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AN American family have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase following an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry  called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, “OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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This Is The Best Place To Hide If A Terrorist Attack Happens On Holiday

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IT is everyone’s worst nightmare to be caught up in a terrorist attack anywhere on the planet – but if you are far from home it could be even more terrifying.

The best place to hide in the unlikely but horrifying event has been identified by an expert – who reveals that it’s inside a jewellery shop.

Getty – Contributor Jewellery shops have high security measures in place and are one of the best places to head in a terrorist attack

Travel expert Lloyd Figgins told the Express: “Jewellers are good places to go to. You have to remember that they have CCTV, panic buttons, and shutters.

“If you were to go into one, they can just press a button and call the police.

“Tell them there is a terrorist attack out there and they need to get the shutters down.”

Terror attacks have happened in recent years in tourist destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and Berlin.

Getty – Contributor Several tourist cities have been the victim of terrorist attacks in recent years

The beach resort of Sousse in Tunisia suffered a terrorist attack in 2015 when a gunman stormed a beach, killing 30 British tourists.

Egypt is also classed as high-risk by the government.

Lloyd also recommends taking shelter in a place of worship as they aren’t often targeted in Western holiday destinations.

Terrorism expert and Marine Corps veteran Drew Dyer has also shared tips on how to travel safely when on holiday.

He told Sofrep.com where the best place to stay in a hotel is in case of emergency.

Getty – Contributor The top floor of a hotel does not allow for any manoeuvre room, according to an ex-CIA agent

One of the most important tips was that guests should always request that their room is on neither the ground floor nor the top floor when booking a hotel.

Drew said: “The ground floor is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any manoeuvre room.

“The first or second floors allow access for most third world country emergency vehicles.”

Drew also advises that guests should request a copy of the fire escape plan, usually found on the backs of hotel room doors, as soon as they check in.

Terrifying footage shows Tunisian terrorist’s beach rampage

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