Okunoshima, aka BUNNY ISLAND + vlog

Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute
Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute

Okunoshima, a tiny island home to thousands of bunnies, was one of my highlights of Japan* despite the fact it was an absolute schlep to get to. I’ve always loved rabbits for being adorable, but their behaviour is defined by being prey animals. They spend all of their waking hours analysing where their next predator is, essentially living in a constant state of stress. Rabbits have been known to become paralysed and even die from panic at the sound of an approaching predator. On top of that they’re highly susceptible to diseases, have low intelligence, can’t vomit and have terrible defence mechanisms so the poor things often have a tough time in the wild.

Enter the bunnies at Okunoshima! The island is populated by rabbits ONLY, which means these animals are psychologically different to other rabbits. There’s no native diseases, no other species to share resources with, and without predators, they aren’t prey. I’m no animal behaviour specialist but this basically means they’re like the lions of their own little jungle. The Okunoshima rabbits are very outgoing animals with dusty fur, muddy, leathery feet and (in the elders), a bit of ear missing or a blinded eye. Pirate rabbits! The babies were the only ones with super-soft fur.

The island itself was a poison gas military base during WWII and has quite a bleak history. It’s far from a tourist spot with few signs and maps and certainly no guides or gift shops. It was kind of creepy wandering around between old ruins with blown out windows and through deserted look-out spots… or at least, creepy until you rustle your food bag and twenty eager bunnies appear. I’m not sure I would describe them as “tame” because they’re still wild and not submissive or trained. But they’re hugely confident, and will do anything to get food; they reminded me (behaviour-wise) of the seagulls in Brighton or the monkeys in Kenya who will chance anything to get a bite of your snack. Although I’ll take an adventurous rabbit over a bolshie seagull any day!

It’s very hard to describe so I’ve made a video! If you have 2 minutes to spare please watch because it does a far better job at capturing Okunoshima than my words and pictures ever could. :)


Okunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cuteOkunoshima Japan Rabbit Bunny Island Tourist Okuno-shima rabbits bunnies cute*I neglected to post about this back in April!


Japan anime manga sailor moon basket packing luggageI’m incredibly excited to announce that I’m going to Japan!

I can’t wait! I’ve wanted to go to Japan since I was 8. My childhood and teenage years flew by through a filter of J-Pop, karate, harajuku fashion, raiding comic shops for imported manga, scouring London for Japanese restaurants and finding anime on the internet after the death of Fox Kids. As a kid my love for japanese culture marked me out as a weirdo but these days everybody has a favourite Studio Ghibli film and there’s sushi on every corner – I couldn’t be happier!

I met the wonderful and amazing Sam (check him out!) last year and we became close friends, eventually realising last Autumn that neither of us had ever been to Japan despite a lifetime of devouring Japanese culture and wishing to visit. So, we’re going – to see the sakura!

I’ve put together this Pinterest board of places to go to and I would LOVE your recommendations!Japan anime manga sailor moon basket packing luggage

Mini-guide: Cardiff

Crown arcade roof detail interior cardiff

I’ve only been to Cardiff a handful of times but I thought I’d create this little guide of our favourite shops and cafes I discovered on my most recent visit there. We spent our days in Cardiff shopping for vintage clothes, admiring the adorable arcades and eating wonderful food. I highly recommend a trip to Cardiff if you can get there; it’s beautiful!
Be warned, there are a lot of photos in this post – everything was so pretty I just wanted to document it all! I’ve written about the place underneath the photos and I’ve put links in all the headings if you want to find out more.

Vintage zizou front
Vintage Zizou display cardiffVintage zizou layouts


(16 Crown Arcade, CF10 1BU)

Vintage Zizou is a clothes and accessories shop for women; for a relatively small premises they have a very varied stock with vintage and contemporary clothes, bags, jewellery, vintage accessories and some gorgeous bridal wear. My friends were quick to drag me away from the wedding dresses before I could spend another half an hour dressed in tulle. Prices were fairly reasonable; I got a beautiful costume jewellery for £6 and one of my friends took home a stunning sequinned top for £25 which was in mint condition.

Childrens books lined up on a wallsecond hand book store sign


(39-43 Castle Arcade)

Troutmark Books is an absolute must-visit if you’re a bookworm like I am. The shop appears deceptively small from outside but once you get set foot inside you’re confronted with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The shop spans 3 floors and has a huge selection of genres available. The shop owner is very friendly and we spent a long time poring over various titles in this shop. Being the kid I am, I especially loved these old children’s books with beautifully coloured spines and the impressive comics collection.

Sophies cafe in Cardiff


(16 High Street Arcade)

There are a huge number of cafes around Cardiff and I won’t lie, we chose to go in to Sophie’s purely because we had a Sophie in our group. Sophie’s specialise in crepes and galettes and although there were no vegan options listed they were happy to accommodate and create something new for me. Again this cafe was deceptively small; however downstairs there was a spacious seating area where we occupied the sofa for a good hour or so.


Hubbards Cupboard interior
Cushions in Hubbards Cupboard
Hubbards Cupboard front window display
Hubbards Cupboard dress window


(35 Castle Arcade)

This shop was so beautiful! Light, airy and very well-presented; we spent a long time in here as it was also one of the first places we found with a decent mens section. The shop was split into two sections; vintage on one side (with a great selection of dresses ranging from medium to high prices) and crafts, stationary and wedding bits and pieces on the other side, all laid out impeccably. I’d recommend this shop to seasoned vintage shoppers or crafty people with an interest in aesthetically pleasing displays!

Barkers afternoon tea
Barkers Tea interior
Barkers Tea Danilo reading


(High Street Arcade)
I’m genuinely upset I don’t live closer to this place as I have been telling everybody about Barker Tea House since I got back to London. I am a prolific tea drinker and the mate infused with mint that I tried at Barker Tea House was exquisite! This was the last “meal” we had in Cardiff; the mini afternoon tea for one came with scones and chocolate brownies that were extremely rich and shared between three people we had more than enough. The upstairs area has a lovely interior which kind of reminded me of an updated country house or old-school british library; I loved the floral tiles that were used as accents and the stripped wood everywhere. I can imagine whiling away a lot of afternoons chatting with friends in this place. (Side note: doesn’t Danilo look like an advert for beards?)

Hobos in CardiffHobos vintage shop in CardiffFriends outside Hobos


(26 High Street Arcade)

Cardiff is well-known as a vintage destination and I don’t know if Hobos is the oldest vintage shop there but it certainly seems to be one of the most iconic. The stock isn’t hugely varied, instead focusing more on popular vintage items (such as silk blouses and varsity jackets). You’re unlikely to stumble across a sequinned ballgown but the items they are all in excellent condition and available in a good selection of colours and prints. For people who take a more streamlined approach to vintage shopping or those who have a more classic style I’d recommend Hobos. They also had a great selection of upcycled vintage items and retro inspired clothes (including the Northern Soul dress I wore in this post!).

Barkers Coffee


(13 Castle Arcade)
On my previous trip to Cardiff with James we had an idyllic meal here; I can’t remember what I ordered but I can remember both James and I talking about how great the food was on the train home. Another gorgeous cafe where I could happily spend a few hours if there weren’t so many other things to go and see! The interior has a kind of New York coffee bar feel to it, with squishy brown sofas and lots of cute metal signs.

Garlands Cafe


 (4 Duke Street Arcade)
A couple of locals recommended their Garlands so we headed there on our final (hungover) morning. The vegetarian/vegan breakfast was so filling and although quite a small and busy place the staff let us sit around for a while which made us feel very at home. Prices were great and the plates were so large it was really good value for money. I also recommend their juice; it was amazing!

Claire Grove Buttons displayClaire Grove buttons shop


(45 Castle Arcade)

This shop was about to close by the time we got there but a quick look around confirmed that they have a HUGE selection of buttons and beads from all over the world. The shop has been there for over 30 years and they also have a selection of quirky cards and prints. If there was a specific button or bead you were after I imagine you’d be able to find it here but it’s a great place just to browse as well – the shop is quite small but beautifully laid out.

Cardiff Fashion Quarter outside colourful entrance
Cardiff Fashion Quarter mural
Cute displays at Cardiff fashion quarter
Retro kitsch designs at Cardiff fashion quarter
Interior layout of top part of CFQ
Vintage clothes at Cardiff fashion quarter
Colourful displays at Cardiff Fashion Quarter
Cute paper flower display
Rhinestone cowbosys


(Womanby Street)

Cardiff Fashion Quarter is almost a miniature shopping mall of independent traders selling a combination of vintage and contemporary clothes, books, jewellery and furniture. It’s based inside a converted cinema and is spread across two floors. Some of our favourite shops were Rhinestone Cowboy, Nelly’s Treasures, Rock-Ola Reborn, Bada Peng and Freak Unique Boutique. The whole space was beautifully decorated with fairy lights, bunting, paper flowers and pretty wallpapers covering the space and each stall had cute displays, we spent such a long time just wandering around and browsing all the cute retro toys!


Other places I would recommend based on my previous visits to Cardiff:

Chapter Arts

One of my favourite arts centres with a really good programme of events, also the cafe is absolutely amazing!

Spillers Records

Obviously I collect records so I’m always biased towards record shops anyway but even if you’re not a vinyl owner this shop is worth a visit anyway – it’s the oldest record shop in the world.

Natural History Museum of St Fagans

The Gate Arts Centre

Bute Park



So there we go, a few of my suggestions for Cardiff! I’ve not really written any city guides like this before so let me know if it’s useful or if you’d like to see more. If you have any favourite places in Cardiff pop them in the comments so other people can go there too!


Old Town

IMG_7991arhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets stone walls day light exterior old townrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets stone walls day light exterior old town garden purple lilac flowersrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets stone walls day light exteriorrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets stone walls day light exterior old townrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets stone walls day light exteriorLaila greece rhodes old town exterior

This will be my last post on Rhodes and I’m sharing my pictures of the old city with you. My travel companion Philly and I were so enchanted by the old city that we spent our last evening there, getting lost amongst the cobbled street and staring wistfully at the beautiful displays in all the shops. Most of the roads are nameless and the city doesn’t follow any kind of grid structure so it’s very easy to lose your way. Philly and I soon gave up trying to use the maps dotted around the city and just followed our noses until we arrived at a gate.

The city was warm and welcoming in the daytime despite the imposing stone wall, but by nighttime the old town was magically lit up with strings of fairy lights. The maze-like quality of the streets was enhanced by the darkness and it almost gave the impression that the minute you turned a corner the rest of the town was shuffling itself around behind you! Most of the shop in the old town are open front, with huge archways leading directly into the display area. As we walked past we could gaze in to the colourful, meticulously laid out displays inside with shops selling all manner of items: lace, carpets, swords, honey, ceramics, gold chains, sandals, postcards, stationary, musical instruments, statues and traditional wood and leather crafts. The best way to spend our final evening in Rhodes!

Thank you to Philly for all the photos of me in this post (and my last two Rhodes posts here and here) and for being such an awesome travel companion! You can read her blog here, and follow mine on Facebook, bloglovin and twitter.

rhodes old town greece castle display shop ceramics statues bust rhodes old town greece castle display shop ceramics bowls cats kittyrhodes old town greece castle display shop coloured lights glass lantern pretty redLaila greece rhodes exteriorrhodes old town greece castle display shop wine cellar knights medievalrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets night bank display tilesrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets night painter artist street artistrhodes old town walls exterior cobble streets night guitar musician busker

Port of Rhodes

girl greece rhodes port town yellow golden lightgirl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorgirl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorgreece harbour colossus rhodes port town exteriorgreece harbour colossus rhodes port town exterior On the very first day we were in Greece I found a very old postcard which featured the beautiful arcades above, flooded in golden light. The postcard was dated 1972 and didn’t credit a photographer or include any information about where the picture was taken. I was completely enchanted by the photo, and I imagined that the photographer who had probably spent a huge amount of time waiting to get the perfect shot of the arcades. I fancied that even if we managed to locate and visit the same unknown place on our trip in 2013, it would likely be some sort of built up tourist attraction hell, forever to be remembered by the golden 1972 picture.

Four days later Philly and I visited Rhodes and stumbled across the exact same arches drenched in the later afternoon sun. It was amazing discovering this secret place simply by chance when wandering around. The Prefecture is literally next to the harbour so admittedly it wasn’t exactly out of the way, but this kind of miraculous discovery does seem to happen more on holiday. I often think when I’m travelling I feel a bit more connected to the world, and I wonder if this is simply because of the technological cut-off. Had I been able to immediately identify the area on the postcard (google image search), read the caption (dictionary translate) and direct myself to the location (apple maps), I wouldn’t have been able to chance upon this place in a moment of complete serendipity and bask in the warm sunlight that drew me there. girl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorgirl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorgirl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorgirl greece rhodes port town yellow golden light hair blown wind check dress interior exteriorIMG_7636acat greece town rhodes wild feral stray white tabby hellogreece harbour colossus rhodes port town exteriorDress – vintage, £12. Hat – Monki, £3 (sale. Flip-flops – Aldo, £12.



Hello! Today it’s really rainy and gloomy in London but you can see how hot it was in Greece! I spent a week in Rhodes with my good friend Philly and we had amazing sunshine every day. I got back last week but have been recovering from food poisoning, hence the delay in posts! These photos are taken in Lindos, a picturesque town on the south east coast of the island. Philly and I travelled to Lindos via boat which was a 4 hour round trip from the village where we stayed in the north west.

Lindos is notable for the huge Acropolis which sits at the top of the mountain above the modern village. I’d normally consider myself more interested in science than anything else, but my week in Rhodes has sparked a nascent interest in history. It was fantastic wandering around the ruins and looking for traces of the people who had built them. My favourite bit was a huge discarded slab which somebody had trodden in whilst the concrete was drying. Seeing a huge footprint in the block somehow enabled my mind to leap back thousands of years and I felt immediately able to imagine the ancient Greeks walking around on the same patches of dirt that we were, moaning about the same heat and looking out at the same sea.

Lindos is also notable for using donkey taxis. Donkeys, like horses, have been domesticated over thousands of years to carry all of our rubbish but donkeys are much smaller than horses and their knees often buckle in old age due to a lifetime of transporting heavy loads. Donkeys are quite independent and if they don’t perceive a threat they won’t do something (unlike horses who can easily be scared into things using noises). I feel very passionately about animal welfare and whilst I enjoyed playing with the donkeys, it was really upsetting to see these poor animals transporting tourists up and down a steep hill in such hot weather. One of the donkey owners told me it’s ok because the donkeys are used to it, which is insane. If you smack somebody in the face every day for a year they’ll get used to it, does that mean that’s ok? It was nice to spend some time bonding with this 1 year old donkey anyway; he kept licking the flowers on my dress.