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ArmchairTourist: Where in the World?

Watch ArmchairTourist: Where in the World?

ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? is an exciting travel show that takes viewers on fascinating journeys across various countries and cities of the world. Produced by ArmchairTourist Video Incorporated, the show offers a unique perspective on tourism, exploring the best and most interesting destinations on the planet from the comfort of your home. The show aims to take travelers on a virtual tour of different places, offering insights into their history, culture, and natural beauty.

ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? features an informative and entertaining host who guides viewers through each episode. The series is shot in stunning high-definition, giving viewers a vivid look at the feature locations. The show raises the bar for travel guides, offering an immersive experience that captures the very essence of the locations it showcases.

Each episode of ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? focuses on a particular destination, city, or country. The show takes viewers to iconic landmarks, pristine beaches, natural wonders, and bustling cities. The host offers insights and commentary on the history, culture, art, and architecture of each location visited, painting a vivid picture of the place and its people.

One of the unique aspects of the show is the way it presents different parts of the world. The series highlights popular travel destinations while also taking viewers off the beaten path to lesser-known destinations that are equally fascinating. For instance, viewers get a chance to explore the major cities of Europe like Paris and Rome, as well as the hidden gems of the continent, such as the picturesque towns of the Netherlands and the idyllic Croatian coastline.

Another impressive feature of the show is its cinematography. The ArmchairTourist team uses drones and other advanced filming techniques to capture breathtaking footage of the world's most scenic locations. The show takes viewers on a cinematic journey across deserts, oceans, forests, and mountains, showcasing the natural beauty of each region.

ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? is more than just a travelogue. It's an educational show that offers insights into the history, culture, and traditions of different places. Viewers will learn about the staggering diversity of the world's cultures, from the vibrant music and dance of Africa to the colorful customs of Asia. The show also delves into the history of different countries and regions, exploring the conflicts, triumphs, and achievements of different peoples.

Additionally, the show has a keen eye for detail. The ArmchairTourist team takes time to explore the nooks and crannies of each location, highlighting the smaller things that contribute to the overall character of a place. Viewers will learn about the food, music, art, and crafts of different regions, getting a deep understanding of the people and their way of life.

In conclusion, ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? is a must-watch show for anyone who loves travel and adventure. The program's immersive experience, stunning visuals, and insightful commentary make it an excellent resource for armchair travelers who may not have the ability to travel physically. The show will take you on an unforgettable journey across various parts of the world, broaden your horizons and introduce you to new cultures and traditions. Whether you want to learn about history, immerse yourself in natural beauty or see bustling cities, ArmchairTourist: Where in the World? has got you covered.

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Armchair Travel: 16 Ways To Travel The World From Home

Got the wanderlust but you’re not able to travel anywhere at the moment? That’s okay – you can become an armchair traveler and explore all the places you want from the comfort of your bed.

You’ll need a computer or a smartphone, a good internet connection, and an idea of a place you want to explore. Nothing else is required for armchair travel, and if your interest is peaked, you can read all about armchair travel right here in this detailed guide!

What Is Armchair Travel?

Armchair travel is kind of like a staycation, but instead of exploring the local attractions, you don’t even have to leave the house. It’s discovering new places from the comfort of your chair, hence the term armchair travel.

It can include anything from looking over photos from your past trips to spending hours on Google Earth, walking around the streets of a city you’ve never been to. It’s pretty much just detaching yourself from your current surroundings and immersing yourself in things related to a different country so that for a moment you actually feel like you are there.

It’s as simple as reading a book about Paris while listening to Edith Piaf and eating a croissant.

16 Ways To Travel The World From Home

Technology has come far enough to allow us to travel the world from the comfort of your own home. Well, not quite, but it’s almost there – you can explore the streets of any country in the world from the comfort of your bedroom, you can learn about the best restaurants, and you can even do virtual tours of museums and other famous attractions – you just have to zoom in enough on the world map. That’s the beauty of living in the age of virtual reality and 360-degree images.

I’m just getting started, and here are even more armchair travel ideas that will help you explore your dream destination from home!

Read Travel Blogs

Just because you can’t hop on an airplane and head to a new destination doesn’t mean you can’t learn about it and explore it. Reading travel blogs is a good way to explore new countries through the eyes and lenses of other travelers.

It’s a form of virtual travel that allows you to draw from other people’s experiences. The key is to find a travel blogger you can relate to and whose content you enjoy reading. Immerse yourself in their content, and sooner than you know it, you’ll become an expert on a destination you’ve never even visited.

There are thousands of travel blogs run by people from all around the world, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find at least one that you enjoy.

Virtually Explore US National Parks

Most US National Parks offer virtual tours that are absolutely perfect for an armchair traveler. You can explore any national park you want from the comfort of your home, and you can even peek inside museums and other unique attractions that the national parks have.

Of course, it’s not the same as reaping the benefits of a hot spring inside a national park, but it’s a great way to explore nature and get to know more about the national parks. There’s also the added benefit of not having to deal with snakes, bugs, and the changing weather that’s so common in the NPs.

Head to the Google Arts & Culture website to see all the 52 national parks and historic sites from the US that have made their collections available for digital exploration. You can also see loads of other famous attractions from countries all over the world here, but more details on that later.

Read A Travel-Related Book

If you’re a bookworm, this is the easiest way to become an armchair traveler. Find some travel-related books that you enjoy reading and allow yourself to live in their worlds for the next few days.

Also, a travel-related book can be anything. It could be the autobiography of your favorite artist who recounts all the places life has taken him to, a proper travel guide to a different country, or even a fiction novel set in a foreign country.

Travel guides and coffee table books related to travel are the safest options if you’re not an avid reader. From travel guides through the US to detailed exploration of Italy’s best beaches – there are countless travel books out there, and you just need to search for one that’s about the destination you’re most interested in.

Those who prefer fiction have even more options. I can’t help myself and I have to recommend Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series – the popular crime novels are set in Norway, primarily Oslo, and the detailed descriptions of the city’s top sights will truly transport you to the Nordics for a moment.

Listen To Travel Podcast

Not a big fan of reading or watching TV? Put on a travel podcast then and listen to other people recount the details of their latest trips. You’ll hear some fun and interesting stories for sure, but you may also learn about the inconveniences that might arise should you choose to travel to the same destinations.

We Travel There is a great podcast hosted by Lee Huffman. He interviews locals from all around the world, so every episode is about a different city. The local attractions and best places to visit are usually highlighted in each episode, making this podcast worth checking out even when you’re planning a travel itinerary.

Where To Go is also a great podcast, mostly because it’s hosted by the team behind DK Eyewitness travel guides. They’re some of the best travel guides out there, and the podcast episodes truly give them a run for their money.

Watch Travel Vlogs On Youtube

There are countless travel vloggers trying to make a living by doing the one thing they love most – traveling. You can support them and help them make their dreams come true by consuming their content and exploring the different countries of the world from the comfort of your own couch.

Finding a travel vlogger you like shouldn’t be too challenging, especially with so many different options out there. The key is to find a person you genuinely enjoy watching, otherwise, you won’t be able to focus on the travel destinations!

You can also find live camera streams on YouTube from countries all over the world. They usually include short snippets from various cameras, but it’s a great way to get a glimpse of distant landscapes and everyday life in foreign countries in just a few minutes. Plus, if you see a stream that you particularly like, you can always just find that specific live camera and refer to it whenever you want.

Enroll in A Travel-Related Course

If you still enjoy learning and you’ve particularly interested in travel, why not enroll in a travel-related course. Working on yourself and furthering your education is always a good thing, and you never know what opportunities may present themselves after you’ve completed the course.

I’m not saying enroll in a five-year college course about tourism, but you can take various online and offline courses on a myriad of topics relating to travel. The best way to get started is to get acquainted with all the different diplomas and certificates that are relevant to the tourism industry.

There are dozens of them, and there are many ways to earn them, from attending free online courses to enrolling in MBA degree programs.

Learn what it takes to become a travel agent, get a certificate that allows you to be a tour guide in your hometown, or complete a flight attendant training program. There are countless travel-related courses you can take, and you just need to see which ones interest you the most. This can also increase your chances of getting a job with one of the travel companies if that’s something you are interested in.

Additionally, you can also enroll in language-related courses. They usually include learning about the culture, literature, and history of the country whose language you’re learning, plus learning a new language is always a great idea.

Cook Your Favorite Dishes From Around The World

Exploring a new country means exploring its cuisine and getting to know all of its different flavors. So, if you’re feeling like traveling somewhere but you can’t actually go to that country, you can try to make it – or at least a tiny bit of it – in your own kitchen.

Turn to YouTube or one of a million different recipe websites, and find a dish you enjoy from the cuisine of the country you want to visit. Tacos will immediately fill the room with staple smells from South America, a good curry can never not remind you of India, and sushi is entirely self-explanatory.

So, if you can’t go on a trip right this minute but you’re desperate to at least feel like you’re traveling, just make your entire kitchen smell like a street full of food vendors from that country!

Watch TV Shows Related To Travel

Sometimes it’s enough for a show to be filmed at the right location for it to become extremely popular. Emily in Paris proved that – despite the fact that the show was criticized for a number of different things, it remained extremely popular and mostly because of the fact that it’s filmed in Paris.

People love to tune in to see Lily Collins strolling down the cobblestone alleys of Montmartre and enjoying croissants with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower, and I have to admit I’m also guilty of binging both seasons.

It doesn’t have to be a show about one specific city – there are countless travel shows that will satisfy your wanderlust for a moment, and many of them feature a different city or country in every episode. Put on some of Anthony Bourdain’s classics – No Reservations and Parts Unkown are still some of the best shows that combine food and travel!

The Grand Tour is another gem that covers remote destinations from around the world, and it’s particularly interesting for car lovers. But you don’t have to be into cars to appreciate the humor of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, and you certainly don’t need to know anything about vehicles to admire the spectacular landscapes that are featured in the episodes of this humorous travel show.

Watch Travel Movies

If you don’t want to commit to an entire TV show, you can just put on a travel movie. Into The Wild is a textbook example of a travel movie, and probably the best-known film in the genre. But a travel movie can be almost anything, as long as it’s set in the place that you’re yearning to visit.

I get the urge to travel to Sicily whenever I watch Godfather, and I doubt anyone would consider that a travel movie. But the beautiful landscapes that Al Pacino escapes to are so fascinating that, for a moment, it’s entirely possible to forget you’re watching a movie about mobsters.

The entire Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy showcases the beauty of spectacular European cities – Vienna, Paris, and Greece, in that order. Mamma Mia also depicts the beauty of Croatian and Greek islands, and it’s a great film to put on if you’re dreaming about a beach vacation.

Wild, starring Reese Whitherspoon, follows an inexperienced hiker setting out on the Pacific Crest Trail. The entire movie was shot on location, so it features the actual highlights of the iconic US long-distance hiking trail.

Go On A Virtual Tour of World’s Famous Museums

Some of the most famous museums in the entire world offer free virtual tours, and you should take advantage of that. J Paul Getty Museum, London’s Natural History Museum, and Musée d’Orsay in Paris have all made their collections available for virtual exploration.

Head to Google Arts & Culture again to go through the collections of these museums. You can even browse the various digital collections they have by genre or time period, so finding a collection curated specifically for you is easier than ever.

Learn A New Language

Learning an entirely new language is the best form of armchair travel. Not only does it get you closer to the culture of a country you’re fascinated by, but it’s also a way of developing a new skill that you can use for the rest of your life.

Learning a new language isn’t exactly the easiest thing you can do to satisfy your wanderlust, but it’s certainly the most useful one. You’ll particularly be happy you took up that happy if you manage to travel to the country whose native language you’ve mastered!

Also, keep in mind that learning a new language usually includes learning about the history and culture of that country, as well as reading a few books written by the nation’s most prominent writers. So, you’re not just learning how to talk to locals on your next trip, but you’re also getting a complete guide to the most important landmarks and attractions of the country you choose!

Plan Your Next Trip

Do you already have a destination in mind for your next trip? Then why not start planning it right now. You don’t have to purchase airplane tickets if you’re not sure when you’ll be able to go, but it’s a good idea to start researching other details that will come in handy during your trip.

Look at hotels and AirBnBs to see where you would like to stay and be sure to check out all the top tourist attractions and things to do at the destination. You can even make little maps for any future trip, and you can refer to the map when you actually arrive at that destination.

If you often go on road trips, you already know just how much planning goes into them, if you want things to go smoothly. You can get a head start on your next trip right now – it will get you excited about the trip, plus you can plan out a good chunk of the road trip.

Reminisce About Your Past Trips

Nothing can transport you through time and place quite like a personal photograph. Blow the dust off your online albums and take the time to go through all the 2365 photos you took on that trip to Rio de Janeiro. It can’t be just me that takes a million photos wherever I’m in a new city, and it can’t just be me that never looks at them again.

Take the time to go through the old photos and choose your favorites. You can even print them out if you like and create a travel collage to hang on a wall. Or you can just turn them into a throwback post.

You can also use this opportunity to make room in your phone for photographs you’ll take on your upcoming trips. Delete any blurry shots, images you don’t like, or images that you have a dozen copies of, and create some space for the photographs of places you’re yet to visit!

Create A Travel Scrapbook

Now that we all have amazing cameras in our pockets, it seems like we’re always taking photos, but never taking the time to go through them. Do you remember going through your childhood albums, and how happy you’d be when you saw that one photo you have a great memory of? Or when you looked at images from your travels as a kid?

You can still do that now, even if you’re a full-blown adult. You can even create an album if you want, but a travel scrapbook is a bit more fun. Go through the photos of the last (or any) place you visited, and select the ones you like the most and you want to have in your travel scrapbook.

If you need some travel inspiration, why not dedicate a few pages to every destination you visited. Print out your favorite photos with your friends and family, but also of the landmarks you liked and any places that stood out. Put all the photos in the scrapbook, and be sure to write little captions beneath the photos.

If you do go through with this, two decades from now, when your travel memories start to fade, you’ll be thrilled every time you lay eyes on your little travel scrapbook.

Play A Travel-Themed (Board) Game

Why not try a travel-themed board game to satisfy your itch for a quick trip? Trekking The World is one of the best-selling board games out there, and it’s great for families and friend groups of up to five people. You play the game by racing to visit as many countries in the world as you can and you collect souvenirs along the way. It’s extremely fun, and a great way to learn about some of the most popular destinations in the world.

The World Game is a travel-themed card game for up to five players. It tests your knowledge of geography by asking you to name the capitals of countries, point them out on a map, or guess their flag. It’s a fun card game, but only if you’re into geography.

It’s worth noting that board games aren’t the only types of games you can play that are related to travel. If you’re into gaming, you’ve got even more options when it comes to armchair travel! Many recent AAA games are set in existing cities, and most of those open worlds are incredibly detailed and pretty true to life.

Not all the details will be identical, but it’s important to point out that the reconstruction of Notre Dame will be done with the help of Ubisoft’s drawings that they used to recreate the iconic church in their Assassin’s Creed Unity game.

You can walk through the streets of London, New York, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo, and many other cities if you’ve got a computer that can run newer AAA games. If not, just try Geouesser – the online game is one of the best things for armchair travel, especially if you want to explore places off the beaten path.

Socialize With Fellow Travel Enthusiasts on Social Media

If all else fails, turn to social media. Go on Reddit, Instagram, or even Facebook and find a group of like-minded travel enthusiasts with whom you can share travel stories and photos. This is also a great way to meet new people and make friends, and you could potentially travel with those people sometime.

But it’s a way of armchair traveling that only extroverts will consider, so it’s definitely not for everyone. You could be one of those people that lurk around the groups and forums, taking in all the stories and images, but not sharing anything with strangers.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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Armchair Travel: 45 Fun Ideas to “Travel” Without Leaving Home

Armchair Travel: 45 Fun Ideas to “Travel” Without Leaving Home

Last Updated on June 9, 2020

Sometimes travel isn’t an option — whether that is due to illness, financial issues or personal circumstances. 

Right now, it’s a global pandemic that is sweeping across the world, putting a halt on travel.   Whether you are stuck at home in a lockdown or a self-imposed quarantine, there are some creative ways to feed your travel addiction . 

From joining online travel communities to taking virtual tours of UNESCO sites, here are my armchair travel recommendations to help you “travel” without leaving your home.

Armchair Travel: 45 Fun Ideas to “Travel” Without Leaving Home

Table of Contents

How to Travel Without Leaving Home

Explore museums virtually on your laptop, take a digital hike around america’s national parks, take virtual tours of the world’s unesco sites, read travel books, read travel blogs, join an online travel community, take an online travel-related course, learn a new language, watch travel-related shows on netflix, watch travel vlogs on youtube, indulge in travel movies, start scratching your world map, make a travel scrapbook, get a travel coloring book, make jigsaw puzzles or models of your favorite places in the world, entertain your kids with travel games and books, create multicultural crafts and activities, cook exotic dishes from around the world, order food delivery.

Many of the world’s musuems have been forced to temporarily shut their doors. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve lost access to the countless treasures housed by these great museums.

Thanks to the extensive  Google Arts & Culture project, we can now access more than 2,500 art spaces from around the world online, and many offer virtual tours. This is the perfect armchair travel activity for museum buffs.

Remember that COVID-19 still poses a threat while you’re surfing the web at home. Hackers are creating thousands of fake pandemic sites to steal your personal information. Make sure to use a COVID-19 scam site checker  before going to any suspicious sites.

Here are some museums worth checking out virtually:

  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam —   View over 164,511 pieces of artwork from the revered art museum in high-definition. The museum’s most famous art pieces include Vermeer’s  The milkmaid and Rembrandt’s  Self Portrait.
  • The Tate, London —This respected museums houses the foremost collection of British art dating back to the the Tudor era and including a large holding of J.M.W. Turner’s work.
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York — This contemporary art and architecture museum has over 200 works viewable through Google’s portal.
  • The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), New York — One of America’s best museums has 26 virtual exhibits and over 200,000 documented works of art from nearly any era.
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris —Check out the virtual exhibitions and 278 pieces of art from 1848 to 1914, including include Van Gogh’s  Bedroom in Arles .

rijksmuseum amsterdam virtual tour

Google Earth has rolled out virtual tours of some of the most beautiful national parks in the United States. The map and satellite imagery masters at Google Earth have put together a series of guided virtual tours of 31 national parks around the country .

Now you can literally travel without leaving your home and take a digital hike on Google Earth. It may not be the same as lacing up your hiking boots and inhaling the crisp clean air of the wilderness, but they’re pretty neat nonetheless. Here are the national parks offering virtual tours:

  • Acadia National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Badlands National Park
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Bruce Canyon National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Denali National Park
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Glacier National Park

death valley united states national park - virtual tour - virtual travel

Not just that, Google Earth has also recently launched  Heritage on the Edge , an online experience that uses 3D maps to showcase a handful of UNESCO World Heritage sites facing the looming threat of climate change.

The goal was to digitally preserve the legacy of the landmarks. For now, you can enjoy a zoomed-in view of the moai on Rapa Nui  (Easter Island), the ancient city of Chan Chan in Peru, and the coastal city of  Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania .

Not only will you be able to interact with 3-D models and 50 exhibits, but you’ll also have access to expert interviews and information on how to conserve these historical sites – an important lens, self-isolating or not. Check out this list of best virtual tours around the world .

moais of easter island - virtual tour

The best travel books are often the ones that have the power to transform you as much as a journey does. My love for travel books was probably the reason why I became a  travel blogger and writer .

I have always been obsessed with travel books, especially biographies of adventurers who have embarked on extraordinary journeys.  Reading George Orwell’s Burmese Days when traveling in Myanmar made the trip all the more special. And reading Escape from Camp 14 before my trip to North Korea definitely piqued my interest in the hermit kingdom.

If you have a long list of books you’ve been wanting to read but never had the time for, this is the best time to hit that list. Check out my massive list of 50 best books on travel .

  • Escape from Camp 14 (by Blaine Harden)— One man’s remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West.
  • Desert Flower (by Waris Dirie) — A true story of Waris’ escape across the dangerous Somali desert to London as an internationally renowned fashion model; and ultimately to New York City, where she became a human rights ambassador for the U.N.
  • The Kite Runner (by Khaled Husseini) — A fictional book about the struggles of a young boy Amir amidst the backdrop of an unstable Afghanistan.
  • Burmese Days: A Novel (by George Orwell) — A story of the waning days of British imperialism, by an Englishman living in a settlement in Burma.
  • Into the Wild (by Jon Krakauer) — The remarkable story of a young man’s solo adventure in Alaska.
  • Gratitude in Low Voices: A Memoir (by Dawit Gebremichael Habte)— A man’s true story of how he fled his homeland  of Eritrea during the war to find solace and success in America.
  • It’s Our Turn to Eat (by Michela Wrong) — The story of a Kenyan whistle-blower

the kite runner - armchair travel books

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TIP: I recommend getting a Kindle Paperwhite if you don’t have one. You can store a ridiculous amount of books on it and read it at night without ruining your eyesight. You can buy books individually or  sign up to Kindle unlimited (first month is a free trial).


The pandemic has affected many small businesses, travel companies and websites. I am one of them — my blog’s readership and income have dropped by over 80%. It’s heartbreaking to see all that I have worked hard to build in the past 12 years be reduced to nothing.

Of course I’m not the only one. So many travel bloggers are worried about possibly losing their livelihood. I ask for your support — just read travel blogs and websites whenever you can. There’s no need to make any purchase; just reading and scrolling can help us out at times like this! 

Here are some of my best travel stories:

  • World’s Most Remote Islands
  • ​ Spirits and Spells: Voodoo Culture in Benin ​
  • ​ 12 Interesting Facts About Madagascar ​
  • ​ A Photo Essay of Tajikistan ​
  • ​ Iraqi Kurdistan — The Other Iraq ​
  • ​ Travel in the Caucasus: Where East Meets West
  • ​ Asmara, Eritrea: An Art Deco City in Africa

Other travel blogs and websites with brilliant narratives and inspirational stories:

  • Roads and Kingdoms
  • Uncornered Market
  • Atlas & Boots
  • The Candy Trail
  • Candace Rose Rardon

read travel blogs - things to do quarantine - armchair travel

Looking to connect with like-minded travelers virtually? There are plenty of online travel communities catering to specific types of travelers, from solo female travelers to extreme travelers who like to veer off the beaten trail.

  • Extreme Travel — A Facebook group I set up to connect with curious travelers seeking out the extraordinary in unusual places like North Korea, Iran and Sudan.
  • Every Passport Stamp — A Facebook community of travelers planning to travel to every country in the world. They have strict rules and requirements, so please join only if you share the same goals as everyone.
  • Travel Community — This massive Facebook group caters to all travelers from different parts of the world. Currently, there are quite a few positive discussions in light of the pandemic.
  • Wanderful — This is a leading network for female travelers. The brand is currently giving away 500 free one-year memberships (typically $69/year).
  • Girls Love Travel — A Facebook group for female travelers covering all kinds of travels and destinations.

finding a travel community

If you have always been interested in travel photography or sketching, this is the best time to sign up for a travel-related online course. There are tons of virtual workshops and courses on Skillshare and Udemy .

Here are some interesting travel-related courses worth checking out:

  • Travel sketching — Take an adventure into your imagination with illustrator and children’s book author Mike Lowery.
  • Oil painting — A fun and informative course that will teach you basics of mark making, glazing and oil painting.
  • Travel street photography — Learn popular street photography techniques, as well as composition, lighting, and photo editing for visual storytelling.
  • Drone photography — Up your skills from beginner to professional drone photography with this step-by-step vide guide.
  • Travel writing class — Learn to write travel tales readers (and editors) will love and sell your freelance writing to newspapers and magazines.
  • Travel poster illustration : Design your favorite city and place in Procreate5. 

travel related online courses on skillshare

I have always had a special interest in languages — they are the best way to connect with locals and cultures when traveling. My first experience learning a foreign language was in college, when I took French and Spanish classes. Eventually I took intensive Spanish courses in Madrid. I also took Arabic classes after that, and recently finished my 6-month Dutch course here in Amsterdam.

Technology has made it really easy to learn a language online these days. Here are some apps and online courses I recommend:

  • Duolingo — A language app that helps beginners to build up vocabulary. It is free to use and has many languages available.
  • Mindsnacks — Another app that offers free language-learning games to help you learn vocabulary, grammar, practice your listening.
  • BBC Languages — Free online language lessons, with crosswords, videos and quizzes accompanied by audio. Courses covering 40 languages, including Urdu, Icelandic and Slovak.
  • Verbling — Interactive language lessons with a native teacher over video chat. You can choose the teacher you prefer, schedule the lesson and pay her hour.
  • Lingoda — Similar to Verbling, Lingoda also offers video lessons with native teachers. But it offers monthly plans and a free 7-day trial.

learn a language - armchair travel - things to do quarantine

Many of us are turning to Netflix to entertain us and feed our wanderlust. Forget depressing series like Outbreak, check out the following travel-themed shows that will sure to uplift you in hard times like these.

You can even use the new Google Chrome extension  Netflix Party  to watch these shows with your friends online. Just click the extension button to create a “party” and share a link to the event with whoever you want to watch the program with. The extension also allows all party members to group chat about the show in real-time.

  • Dark Tourist — Definitely top on my Netflix’s favorites list, this show covers lesser-known areas and unfamiliar cultures. Check out the episodes on Pablo Escobar’s hitmen, vampires in New Orleans, and Japan’s suicide forests.
  • Larry Charles’ Dangerous World Of Comedy — Another of my favorite shows (cos I love travel and comedy), this travel show follows film director, Larry Charles, around the world seeking out how comedy is done in war zones, in slums, and beyond.
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner — One of the many foodie travel shows on Netflix, this is what I’ve been binge-watching lately. Chef David Chang brings big-name celebrities around the world and dives in local food scenes, from Phnom Penh with Kate McKinnon to Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen.
  • Conan Without Borders — One of my favorite talk show hosts, Conan O’Brien, gives a non-traditional and humorous take in this travel series. He lightens up the mood before delving into serious topics, like the humanitarian crisis in Haiti or the war in Israel.
  • Our Planet — This nature series is Netflix’s very own  Planet Earth, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

dark tourist netflix - travel shows on netflix

Don’t have a Netflix account? Youtube actually has some high quality videos from vloggers and videographers who are out there doing some great stuff. Here are some of my favorite Youtube channels:

  • Drew Binsky — This unique vlogger brings viewers to unique places and he always has an interesting story to tell. Some of his videos are insightful and educational, such as these ones on Equatorial Guinea and Congo.
  • Karl Watson — Karl produces quality travel documentaries that are professional and definitely inspirational. His videos tend to cater to younger millennial looking for some adventure.
  • Migrationology — Foodie travelers have to check out his awesome food-focused videos. He’ll bring you on street food tours in Pakistan, feast on home-cooked food in Iran, and try top-notch Wagyu beef in Japan.
  • WildJunket — Shameless self promotion here: I’m not a Youtuber or vlogger, but I do have some short travel videos on my Youtube channel. Watch me jump off a canyon in New Zealand , drive around Iceland on a campervan , and l earn about voodoo in Benin .
  • Eva Zu Beck — This girl has interesting vlogs from the world’s least visited places, including Syria, Pakistan and Yemen. She shows us some of the world’s most beautiful hikes, remote islands and delicious food along the way.

And for movie lovers out there, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to movies about traveling . I have been inspired to go to certain destinations thanks to these travel movies, and I hope they will inspire you too. Check out my giant list of 60 best travel movies of all time !

  • Secret Life of Walter Mitty — Embark on an adventure with magazine writer Ben Stiller (as Walter Mitty) as he goes in search of a photojournalist from the streets of Manhattan to Greenland and the Himalayas.
  • The White Maasai — Based on a non-fiction memoir, this German movie sparked my interest in Africa almost 12 years ago. It tells the story of Corinne’s trip from her home country of Switzerland to Kenya , where she met and fell in love with a  Maasai  warrior and builds a home with him in the savanna. 
  • The Motorcycle Dairies — This movie traces back to where it all began for Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Gael García Bernal), whose road trip across Latin America with his pal Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) opened Che’s eyes to political injustice.
  • Slumdog Millionaire — One of my all-time favorite movies, this Oscar winner tells the story of an Indian Muslim from the Dharavi slum in India. He is a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a  Millionaire ?”, and is one question away from the grand prize. 
  • Wild — This movie follows the journey of Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, as she treks 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail after the devastating loss of her mother.
  • Tracks — Another non-fiction movie based on the adventure of Robyn Davidson, who traverses across the r ugged landscape of Australia with only four camels and a beloved dog for company.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — A story about a group of aging Brits who follow advertisements and arrive in India, with the promise of a second act.

secret life of walter mitty - armchair travel movies

This is the perfect time to reflect on past travels, and think about how far we’ve come.  Get a scratch map and spend time scratching off the places you have been! It’ll bring back some beautiful memories and get you excited about future travels.

I have a scratch map myself and it’s great fun to come home from a trip and scratch off a new country each time. My friends got me this scratch off world map when we moved to Amsterdam and it’s the best travel gift I’ve ever gotten. I hang it on a cork board with push pins, where I also pin souvenirs or memoirs (like bus tickets) from each trip. It’s such a great way to keep travel memories alive!

scratch off world map - things to do in quarantine

Another awesome thing to do to bring back beautiful memories is to make a travel scrapbook. The scrapbook could be based off one epic trip you’ve done. Perhaps an awesome adventure in Southeast Asia , or a Silk Road overland trip . It could also be a collection of all your travels from the past.

Since Kaleya was born, I’ve been wanting to make a special travel album packed with photos, postcards, brochures and stubs I collected during our trips together. It would be an awesome thing to look back on with Kaleya when she grows up. Perhaps now is the time to start making one!

I have my eye on this vintage style scrapbook album ,  but technically you can use any notebook to create an album of travel memories.

travel scrapbook album - travel without leaving home

Coloring is scientifically proven to have countless health benefits for adults. It can help relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala, and help you stay calm and mindful.

I enjoy coloring with my daughter when I get the chance. It not only soothes me, but also brings back wonderful memories from places I’m coloring.

Here are some excellent travel coloring books designed for adults:

  • Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Coloring Book
  • ColorIt — Around the World in 50 Pages
  • Travel Between the Lines — Inspirational Coloring for Globetrotters and Daydreamers
  • Crayola City Escapes — Color Your Favorite World Cities

armchair tourist - adult coloring book

Growing up, I did lots of jigsaw puzzles with my family during our free time. It was how we spent quality time together.

You can easily find jigsaw puzzles of all kinds for both adults and kids, whether that’s 3D puzzles of iconic landmarks or traditional puzzles of landscapes. I love making 3D puzzles with my daughter!

  • 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of world’s greatest attractions
  • CubicFun 3D puzzle of Notre Dame de Paris
  • LEGO built-it-yourself kit of New York city skyline
  • ROKR 3D wooden craft puzzle of an airship

travel at home - 3d puzzle

Now that school is closed in many parts of the world, parents who are stuck at home with kids will need as many resources as they can. To keep your kid engaged, here are some travel-related ideas to pique their interest in the world.

  • The books from Lonely Planet Kids are educational, interactive and fun. Kaleya has a few of this Let’s Explore series of sticker activity books  and she absolutely loves them.
  • Inspire your kids with this book, Explorers: Amazing Tales of the World’s Greatest Adventurers , written by yours truly!
  • Teach your kids geography with the Beginner’s World Atlas  from National Geographic, suitable for kids ages 5–8. 
  • An  interactive world map  is a fun and engaging way to teach kids about the world. It has over 1000 facts about countries, capitals, oceans, and languages, that your kids can learn through interactive quizzes!
  • Join online read-alouds and activities organised by your kids’ favorite authors — here’s a full list .

my daughter with Explorers - travel without leaving home

Another fun thing to do with kids that can pique their interest in travel is creating art and craft or products from other cultures. My daughter loves making Japanese origami and it always brings back fond memories from Japan for both of us.

Adults can also enjoy making multicultural crafts together — it’s a great way to learn about a culture and engage with it without actually traveling. Here are some other ideas:

  • Make Mexico’s Day of the Dead masks
  • Make Japanese origami
  • Make a Native American rain stick
  • Make a Japanese karp kite
  • Learn Aboriginal dot painting from Australia

day of the dead skulls - crafts to travel at home

Food is one of the best ways to engage and connect with a culture and destination.  Some of my favorite dishes I’ve tried around the world, include the Moroccan chicken tajine (slow cooked stew), Hungarian beef goulash, and the traditional Japanese ramen. I’m not a great cook, but I enjoy making Mexican tacos, Vietnamese pho, and Indian prata from time to time.

But you don’t have to travel to tickle your tastebuds — sometimes you learn even more about a cuisine by making it in your own kitchen. Here are some great websites that provide excellent recipes from around the world:

  • All Recipes
  • BBC Good Food
  • Serious Eats

moroccan tajine - make it yourself travel without leaving home

Can’t cook or don’t enjoy cooking? I recommend looking at your local takeaways and trying something brand new. If you live in a multicultural city like I do, there are lots of international cuisine to choose from: from Nepalese to Mongolian, Ethiopian to Peruvian.

Support your local restaurants and give them some business to help you make it through the pandemic! This is seriously armchair travel at its best.

order food delivery - armchair travel

What other things are you doing at home to get that “travel” experience? Share your armchair travel ideas with me in the comments field below!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission when you purchase anything through my links. AT NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

Inspired? Pin it!

travel at home - things to do in quarantine

Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the founder of WildJunket. Originally from Singapore, Nellie has traveled to over 140 countries across 7 continents. As an adventure travel blogger, she has a special interest in unusual destinations and deep experiences. Her work has appeared in many major publications including BBC Travel, CNN and LonelyPlanet.com. Read more about her here and get more life updates from her on her Facebook and Instagram .

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Marc Latham

Comprehensive fun list, but I have one more… I virtually travelled via the internet and wrote fiction books creating a storyline (vegetarian werewolf protagonist looking for its origins years before Missing Link did similar with a bigfoot) using real celebrities and places along the way, with Simpsons inspiration. I think it helps you find new places, learn more about places, and remember them; for me it was nostalgia too, as I virtually travelled places I’d passed through, but didn’t know much about at the time.

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A History of Moscow in 13 Dishes

Featured city guides.

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The Moscow CityPass is a tourist card that gives you free entry to more than 40 top attractions in the Russian capital, including the Kremlin and Saint Basil's Cathedral.

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Ballet is one of the most emblematic symbols of Russian culture, a dance that has infiltrated countries the world over. Watch a performance in Moscow!

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A Japanese Village Wants Tourists to Come for Heat, Soot and Steel

To lure visitors, residents of Yoshida, famed for its high-quality steel, are inviting tourists to help produce it.

The furnace in Yoshida reaches temperatures of about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit...

Supported by

Photographs and Text by Craig Mod

  • April 18, 2024

This past October, I found myself in Yoshida Village standing before a tatara, a giant open-top furnace that was filled with charcoal and raging with such controlled ferocity that it could have been a set piece in Lucifer’s bedroom.

Deep within the belly of those orange flames sat a growing and mangled ingot that contained some exceptionally high-quality steel called tamahagane, or jewel steel, from which Japanese swords have been made for much of the country’s history. The presence of a usable ingot seemed unlikely, and if true, downright alchemic. All we had been doing for the last 20 hours was gently shaking iron sand and fresh charcoal onto the flames at timed intervals.

Yoshida is nestled back in the mountains of Shimane Prefecture in central Japan, abutting the ever-turbulent Sea of Japan. For nearly 700 years, workers around Yoshida made jewel steel in places called tatara-ba (literally “furnace spots”) on a grueling schedule — one that reshaped mountains and rivers, that seared the brows of generations of sooty men shoveling charcoal in loincloths. Then, at the start of the 20th century, production all but ceased. Other methods were cheaper and more efficient.

armchair tourist 7047

At the height of its steel prowess, Yoshida swelled to nearly 15,000 people. Today, the population hovers around 1,500. As with many towns in the Japanese countryside, a mix of aging population, low birthrates and loss of industry has emptied its streets.

Recently, though, in a Colonial Williamsburg sort of way, 24-hour re-enactments of the old iron-smelting traditions began to be performed in Yoshida. The firings are managed by a man named Yuji Inoue, who works for Tanabe Corp., which owns the furnace. “We consider the tatara a symbol and a pillar of town development,” he told me, standing next to the flickering furnace. Mr. Inoue and Tanabe Corp. were trying to remake Yoshida into a kind of tatara village, which he hoped would create self-sufficiency, expand the population and revitalize the town.

And so with this notion of countryside regrowth in mind, a few times a year they fire up their furnace, invite tourists and birth an ingot weighing about 250 pounds.

The open-top blazing furnace was set on a concrete plinth in the center of a room. Flanking its longer sides were air intakes tubes, feeding the furnace, kicking it up to around 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Around it all hung Shinto purification ropes. Just before the fire was lit, a priest had blessed the whole place, for luck and safety.

Safety was paramount because around the flames, at various stations, milled a team of some 20 excited tourists, a mix of both Japanese and a few foreigners, all dressed in very hip dark gray jumpsuits. These were people paying roughly ¥200,000, or about $1,500, for the chance to be a worker in a tatara-ba for a day and night. (They would get to keep the jumpsuits and a small piece of raw steel as souvenirs.) Their faces and hands were streaked by charcoal.

armchair tourist 7047

Jewel steel is produced by sprinkling iron sand — alluvial (river-deposited) sand saturated with iron — slowly over a charcoal pit. The tourists spent hours chopping the pine charcoal to precise sizes. They used scoops woven from bamboo to gather heaps of charcoal and dump them atop the furnace.

Off to the side stood a man named Noriaki Yasuda. He was the designated conductor — called a murage — of this slow dance between heat, charcoal and dampened iron sand. Dressed in an electric blue jumpsuit, he stood out in beautiful, almost poetic, contrast to the licking orange flames.

Monitoring the airflow, the color of the fire and the height of the charcoal with paternal concern, Mr. Yasuda scowled and watched, sometimes retreating to sit in his dark alcove, his arms crossed, still scowling and watching. To produce steel using the tatara technique, it turns out, you spend a lot of time watching.

Outside the all-encompassing warmth of the tatara-ba, the October mountain air felt like prickles on the skin. The sky was abundant with shooting stars. Shimane Prefecture truly is in Japan’s hinterlands. You can take trains to Shimane, but from Tokyo it’s a fairly arduous journey. So it’s easier (and cheaper) to fly there. Of course, I rode the trains. The 500-mile trip took about seven hours.

The area is best known for its astounding Izumo Shrine, a foundational place in Japanese cultural mythology. Still, Shimane was one of the least visited prefectures in 2019. Only a sliver of all inbound tourists made their way that year. In contrast to sites like Gion in Kyoto, which is now overwhelmed by visitors, Shimane reminded me of Covid-era Japan when international tourism was effectively banned.

“Steel is just iron with a little bit of carbon,” Mr. Yasuda explained to me. When I finally built up the courage to talk with him, his face lit up in a wide smile from behind his mask. (Everyone was wearing masks, less out of Covid concerns and more because of the charcoal dust.) He casually led me to a blackboard in the back of his resting space and sketched out the basic chemical formulas of what was happening in the furnace, how charcoal serves two purposes. First, it burns much hotter than wood. And second, its carbon atoms are essential to the formation of steel; embedded between iron atoms, they increase the strength of the metal.

As I stood and watched that giant burning thing, I thought back to Akihira Kawasaki, the master Japanese swordsmith I had visited a few days earlier. I explained how I had never before held a Japanese sword, had never carefully looked at one up close. He nodded and removed one of his gleaming works from its scabbard and placed it on a piece of red felt.

I picked it up, and it felt like holding a black hole, as if light were disappearing into the ridge line of the blade, as if light was being flipped and flopped onto and into itself. My eyes couldn’t get a purchase on the thing. It glimmered and reflected like a mirror and simultaneously seemed to inhale the world. Held up to the lights, the blade seemed to glow as if lit from within.

I was mesmerized. It was a thing of extraordinary beauty: delicate yet strong, and terrifying in sharpness. An atavistic choir in the subcortical corner of my brain was screaming, “Stay away from that edge!” When I placed it back on the felt — warily, delicately, with great focus — I still accidentally sliced off a corner of the mat.

The gap between the smelting process and the end product of the sword was enough to make a thinking person faint. All this charcoal and sand, this heat, this sootiness, this periodic removal of slag — impurities that come out like molten lava, scooped up with shovels and carted away in beaten-up old wheelbarrows to be dumped outside in a smoldering heap — from the bottom of the furnace. That this process of utter rawness could result in a Japanese blade so pregnant with artistry and violence was a miracle of the highest order.

Back inside the tatara-ba, after 20 hours of feeding the furnace, the sand ran out and the process ended. A crowd of some 30 villagers, including several children, squeezed inside the furnace’s building. The concrete outer shell of the furnace was gingerly lifted with the help of a winch. The full force of the heat hit us all immediately. Inside still burned a mass of charcoal. Below the bed of charcoal was a floor of liquid slag. And in the middle of it sat what looked like a mauled rock — the ingot all this work had produced.

The crowd cheered. The ingot was brought onto the dirt floor, and we all gathered around it to take a family portrait.

Can you revitalize a town through steel-making in 2024? I don’t know. But Japan is dotted with this kind of history, culture and craft. The countryside is disappearing, but efforts like this are a worthwhile way to look back and honor what was — and to build something sustainable and future-facing.

There’s a practical element to it all, too: Tamahagane can’t be made any other way. “It seems that modern steel-making cannot produce the same thing,” Mr. Inoue told me when I asked why it was worth all the effort. “The tamahagane is right there, as the highest-quality pieces of the ingot,” he said. Those pieces will be broken off and shipped to a handful of swordsmiths across the country, and also to the museum shop in Yoshida. It turns out that tamahagane also makes amazing golf putters.

Craig Mod is a writer and photographer based in Kamakura and Tokyo. You can follow his work on Instagram: @craigmod . His previous book, “Kissa by Kissa,” chronicles a 435-mile walk along the Nakasendo Highway from Tokyo to Kyoto. His forthcoming book, “Things Become Other Things,” will be published by Random House in the spring of 2025.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

Mumbai:  Spend 36 hours in this fast-changing Indian city  by exploring ancient caves, catching a concert in a former textile mill and feasting on mangoes.

Kyoto:  The Japanese city’s dry gardens offer spots for quiet contemplation  in an increasingly overtouristed destination.

Iceland:  The country markets itself as a destination to see the northern lights. But they can be elusive, as one writer recently found .

Texas:  Canoeing the Rio Grande near Big Bend National Park can be magical. But as the river dries, it’s getting harder to find where a boat will actually float .



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    Test your knowledge with two-full hours of fascinating video from around the world. ArmchairTourist lets you vicariously enjoy the sights and sounds of well known, and obscure travel locations from every continent. Enjoy our beach scenes, asian markets, european cafes, fountains, skylines and train stations - from around the planet.

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    ArmchairTourist specializes in static, long play, experiential videos that allow viewers to vicariously enjoy the sights and sounds of fascinating locations around the world. Enjoy our beach scenes, fountains, Asian markets, European cafes, fountains, skylines and train stations - from around the planet. Pristine HD travel video. Slow television.

  13. Armchair Travel: 16 Ways To Travel The World From Home

    Virtually Explore US National Parks. Most US National Parks offer virtual tours that are absolutely perfect for an armchair traveler. You can explore any national park you want from the comfort of your home, and you can even peek inside museums and other unique attractions that the national parks have. Of course, it's not the same as reaping ...

  14. Armchair Travel: 45 Fun Ideas to "Travel" Without Leaving Home

    From joining online travel communities to taking virtual tours of UNESCO sites, here are my armchair travel recommendations to help you "travel" without leaving your home. Table of Contents. How to Travel Without Leaving Home. Explore Museums Virtually on Your Laptop. Take a Digital Hike around America's National Parks.

  15. ArmchairTourist

    ArmchairTourist. 2,342 likes · 2 talking about this. http://www.armchairtourist.com http://www.instagram.com/armchairtourist...

  16. Explore the Globe from Your Couch: An Intro to Armchair Travel

    Whether it's due to budget constraints, time limitations, or the current global situation, not everyone can travel whenever they want. But w

  17. Walking Tour: Central Moscow from the Arbat to the Kremlin

    This tour of Moscow's center takes you from one of Moscow's oldest streets to its newest park through both real and fictional history, hitting the Kremlin, some illustrious shopping centers, architectural curiosities, and some of the city's finest snacks. Start on the Arbat, Moscow's mile-long pedestrianized shopping and eating artery ...

  18. Moscow for everyone: Here's how to enjoy the Russian capital ...

    Moscow's burgeoning gastronomic scene has been causing a stir locally and internationally. Published for the first time in 2021, the Michelin Moscow Guide awarded its prestigious stars to no ...

  19. Armchair Traveler: New Orleans Edition

    Join Clermont County Public Library branch manager, Lisa, as she shares tips about places to visit and dine in New Orleans.SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com...

  20. Moscow CityPass

    Moscow CityPass Prices. You can buy the Moscow CityPass for a duration of 1, 2, 3 or 5 days depending how long you're planning to spend in the city. Duration. Adults. Children under 16 years old. 1 day. € 60 ( US$ 64.90) € 45 ( US$ 48.70) 2 days.

  21. Visit the new ArmchairTourist website today! Travel ...

    Travel vicariously to thousands of locations and guess Where in the World. We also want YOU to join the ArmchairTourist community. Use your phone or camera to easily upload and share your travel destinations, neighbourhood parks or Room with a View. Share with the world on television, AppleTV, Roku or FireTV. ...

  22. Tips for Parents on Kids Flying Solo and Free of ...

    For many parents and guardians, putting a child on a flight alone may seem terrifying. Belligerent passengers, delays, turbulence: All loom large in a caregiver's imagination. Life sometimes ...

  23. Sober Travelers Find Something to Savor in Wine Country

    Wild Terrains, a certified B-Corp travel company specializing in experiences for women, has planned three days of a 10-day Argentina tour to be sober-inclusive in Mendoza.

  24. Pet Policies for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines

    Dogs or cats are allowed to travel below a seat in an approved carrier — up to 18.5 inches long by 8.5 inches high and 13.5 inches wide — according to the airline.

  25. Where in the World?

    Have a nice 'Room with a View'? Submit to ArmchairTourist: https://www.armchairtourist.com

  26. A Japanese Village Wants Tourists to Come for Heat, Soot and Steel

    To lure visitors, residents of Yoshida, famed for its high-quality steel, are inviting tourists to help produce it. The furnace in Yoshida reaches temperatures of about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit ...