An International Jewelry Box

Like many others out there, I’m a jewelry addict. I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit as a teenager and young adult. When I took my first trip to Europe (Denmark) at age 14, I brought back a handmade pewter necklace that I still have. From there, my jewelry collection grew steadily as I added more countries to my list of places traveled. I love my collection of timeless, international jewels. Here are some quintessential pieces to buy in five different countries.

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The Perfect Kyoto Souvenir: A Tenugui from Eirakuya

A tenugui is a thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton. These towels are usually about 35cm by 90cm (about 13 ½ inches by 35 inches), plain weaved and almost always dyed with some pattern. Yeah, I'm essentially just talking about Japanese tea towels. But think about how important tea is to Japanese culture, as well as design and illustration too. A bit kitsch, but tenugui are gorgeous items for the kitchen and provide nice reminders of that special trip to Japan They're light weight and can be packed with easy. They won't break the bank either. Bingo! Tenegui is the ideal souvenir or gift.

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Visit Kyoto's Amazing Food Market: Nishiki

Known as Kyoto's kitchen, people have been buying and selling food and food related items in Kyoto's Nishiki Market since the 1300s. A stroll through this mile long, covered food market is a must for gourmets, history buffs or anybody who loves a good bargain. Just make sure that when you visit that you go hungry! From home made fish cakes, conger eel tempora, freshly roasted chestnuts and all sorts of pickled everything, Nishiki is one of the most delicious shopping experiences you can imagine and a brilliant spot for edible and otherwise souvenir shopping too.

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Visit the Mountain Resort of Hakone, Japan

Hakone is a mountain resort town roughly 60 miles south of Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, incredible scenery and stunning (if often obscured) views of Mount Fuji, Hakone and the surrounding area are part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Whether as a destination to be thoroughly explored over a few weeks or one to consider for a relaxing weekender or quickie day trip from Toyko, Hakone represents an accessible opportunity to see another side of Japanese culture beyond the urban bustle and to experience some of the best of nation's gorgeous countryside.

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Mickey’s Empire: Differences in the Planet’s Disney Parks

When Walt Disney opened Orange County’s Disneyland in 1955, he had no plans for other Disney parks. Fortunately, Walt realized that the world needed a bit more Disney. Between 1963 and 1965, he dreamed of opening Riverfront Square in St. Louis, Missouri. The concept ultimately fizzled, but it did inspire his second resort – Walt Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1971. Twelve years later, Tokyo Disney came to life, followed by Disneyland Paris in 1992, and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in 2005. All of these parks are united by Disney magic, but each has a distinctive spirit. Here are some of the special differences in each of the parks.

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